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31 Jan 2006 : Column 375W—continued

Racial and Religious Hatred Bill

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received on the role of the Attorney-General in relation to prosecutions under the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. [46020]

Paul Goggins: The requirement for the Attorney-General to give his consent to any prosecution brought under the provisions of the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill is something that has been raised on a number of occasions during the passage of the Bill through Parliament. The Home Office has also received a considerable number of letters about this provision from MPs and members of the public.

The Government believe the need for the consent of the Attorney-General for prosecutions to proceed is an important safeguard that will help to prevent spurious and vexatious cases coming to court. This provision already applies to the existing offence of incitement to racial hatred.

Railway Enthusiasts (Anti-terrorism Legislation)

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Transport and (b) the British Transport Police on the application of anti-terrorism legislation to the activities of railway enthusiasts who choose to photograph trains and stations. [43446]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The application of anti-terrorism legislation in relation to rail enthusiasts is not an issue that has been raised in discussions between myself, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport or the British Transport Police.

Rail enthusiasts can be a valuable asset in the fight against terrorism. They have experience and knowledge of the railway system that can enable them to identify anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. All members of the public are encouraged to be vigilant and report any such concerns to the police.

The use of anti-terrorist powers should always be an appropriate and proportionate response to the threat. That threat remains real and serious, and in the light of the terrorist attacks on seven and 21 July last year, it is quite right that the police should take every measure to safeguard security around our transport infrastructure. While the police do not target the use of anti-terrorist powers against rail enthusiasts, photographing trains and railway stations can be an indicator of possible hostile terrorist reconnaissance and officers who encounter such activity may deem it appropriate to use stop and search powers under the Terrorism Act 2000, when appropriate
 
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Rape

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the level of specialist services available to rape victims. [45745]

Paul Goggins: The Government are currently conducting a mapping exercise of specialist support services for victims of sexual violence in England and Wales. Over the last two years £4 million from the Home Office Victims Fund has been used to support the development of sexual assault referral centres and strengthen specialist voluntary sector services for victims of sexual violence. A further £1.25 million will be made available for voluntary sector sexual violence services in 2006–07.

Rates

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was paid by the National Offender Management Service in rates to each relevant local authority in the UK in 2004–05; and how much was paid (a) in each (i) nation and (ii) region of the UK and (b) in London. [39116]

Fiona Mactaggart: The rates paid by the Prison Service in England and Wales in 2004–05 was £25,504,569.79 and is shown as follows by:

London figures are included under English regions. Wales is not divided into regions.

The total rates paid by the Probation Services in England and Wales in 2004–05 were £8,209,424.33.

Probation rates are shown as follows by:

London figures are included under board and region (identical breakdown).

Rental Costs

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was paid in rent for properties by the National Offender Management Service in 2004–05 (a) in total, (b) in each (i) region and (ii) nation of the UK and (c) in London. [39175]

Fiona Mactaggart: The total rent paid by the Prison Service in England and Wales in 2004–05 was £3,957,000. This is broken down by region. The Prison Service does not pay any rent in respect of its London headquarters buildings as these are part of the former Common User Estate owned by the Home Office. Rents paid to other Government Departments have been excluded.

The SW region includes the rent paid for the Weare mooring.

The total rent paid by the Probation Services in England and Wales in 2004–05 was £14,958,782.38.
 
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Probation rents by:

London figures are included under board and region (identical breakdown).
Prison and probation rents—2004–05 figures

£
RegionsProbation rents
East1,586,651
East Midlands1,036,719
London4,380,219
North East545,701
North West1,340,846
South East2,252,546
South West553,578
Wales751,869
West Midlands1,533,688
Yorkshire and Humber976,965
Total14,958,782


£
RegionsPrison rents
East Anglia168,000
London651,000
Northern78,000
North West563,000
South East38,000
South West1,408,000
West Midlands68,000
Yorkshire and Humber368,000
Total3,957,000

Reoffending Rates

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reoffending rate was for individuals serving (a) custodial sentences and (b) community service orders in (i) England, (ii) the West Midlands and (iii) Tamworth constituency in 2004–05. [37830]

Fiona Mactaggart: Reoffending rates are not currently available on a regional basis.
 
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National reoffending rates are published in 'Adult reoffending: results from the 2002 cohort'. Home Office Statistical Bulletin 25/05'. This is available on the Home Office's website, http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/hosbpubs1.html.

Security Clearance

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when Ms L.W., of Chillington in Totnes constituency, will receive the confirmation of security clearance to commence duties as an higher executive officer with the Home Office; and for what reasons there has been the delay since (a) she was offered the position on 23 August and (b) human resources department confirmed her clearance to the hon. Member for Totnes in October. [32149]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 28 November 2005]: The delay between 22 August and 24 October was largely because Ms L.W.'s application was temporarily misplaced within the Human Resources Directorate of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND). The team dealing with the application were, at the time, processing an exceptionally large number of applications. Ms L.W. was granted provisional clearance on 24 October to enable her to take up her post in IND on a conditional basis. Ms L.W. was placed on the next available training course which began on Monday 28 November. Ms L.W.'s necessary pre-employment checks have now been completed and she has been informed of this.

Substance Abuse Offences

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2005 to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam, Official Report, column 406W, on substance abuse offences, how many people in the South West region were convicted for (a) drunkenness, (b) driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs and (c) causing death by dangerous driving when under the influence of drink or drugs in (i) 2003, (ii) 2004 and (iii) 2005. [45250]

Paul Goggins: Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on the number of persons convicted for drunkenness, driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs and causing death by dangerous driving when under the influence of drink or drugs in the South West region, 2003–04 is given in the following table. Court statistics for 2005 will be available in the autumn.
Number of offenders found guilty at all courts for various offences in the South West region, 2003 and 2004(21)

Drunkenness (simple)(22)Drunkenness (with aggravation(23))Driving after consuming alcohol or drugs(24)Causing death by dangerous driving or careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs(25)
20033501,99840627
20042901,28638924


(21) These data are provided on the principal offence basis
(22) Includes offences under S.12 Licensing Act 1872, Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985 SS.1(4), 1 A(4), 2.(2) and S.12 Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001
(23) Includes offences under S.91 Criminal Justice Act 1967.S.12 Licensing Act 1872, S.174 Licensing Act 1964, S.9(4) Late Night Refreshment Houses Act 1969, S.28 London Hackney Carriage Act 1843, SS.101(1)(a)(b), (4) and (5) Merchant Shipping Act 1995, S.2 Licensing Act 1902 and S.61 Town Police Clauses Act 1847
(24) Includes offences under sections 4(1),4(2), 5(1 )(a), 5(1 )(b), 6(4) and 7(6) Road traffic Act 1988
(25) Includes offences under Road Traffic Act 1988 S.1 as added by Road Traffic Act 1991 S.1 and Road Traffic Act 1988 S.3A as added by Road Traffic Act 1991 S.3 and amended by Criminal Justice Act 1993 S.6


 
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