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9 Feb 2006 : Column 1431W—continued

Christmas Cards

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate the cost to his Department of sending Christmas cards in 2005. [45917]

Mr. Charles Clarke: For 2005 the Home Office sponsored an official Christmas card produced by, and in support of, the charity Victim Support.

The cost of the design and production of the 20,000 copies of the card was £11,641.
 
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The Department does not hold separate costs of postage from its overall postage costs.

All expenditure incurred in the purchase and postage of the official Christmas card was made in accordance with the departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting.

Citizens Juries

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions his Department consulted citizens juries on departmental policies in the last five years; in how many of those consultations the recommendations of the citizens' jury differed from existing departmental policy; and on how many occasions departmental policy was changed to reflect the recommendations of the citizens' jury. [46236]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office has no central policy for consulting citizens' juries on departmental policy and therefore this information is not stored in one place. To check practice over the last five years with every policy area would incur a disproportionate cost.

The Home Office consults the public on policy using a wide range of other methods, including policy consultation papers. A list of current open consultations is available on the departmental website.

Crime Statistics

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many violent crimes were committed (a) in Romford, (b) in Havering and (c) by illegal immigrants in (i) Romford and (ii) Havering in each of the last five years. [48551]

Hazel Blears: It is not possible to identify violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants from the recorded crime statistics. The available data are at basic command unit (BCD) level and are provided for the London borough of Havering only in the following table.
Recorded offences of violent crime for Havering basic command unit

2000–012001–022002–032003–042004–05
Violence against the person2,7873,2253,9013,9224,191
Sexual offences158173178181159
Robbery392549479512442



Notes:
1. The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced on 1 April 2002.
2. Figures are therefore not directly comparable with those for earlier years.


Departmental Estate

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) land and (b) property is owned by his Department in Forest of Dean constituency. [47254]

Mr. Charles Clarke: My Department does not own land or property in the constituency of Forest of Dean.

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the items valued at over £100 that have been reported as stolen from Home Office buildings in the past 12 months. [43436]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The items valued at over £100 stolen from Home Office buildings relate specifically to a robbery from Graeme House, Liverpool on 9 December.

The items stolen were (i) right of abode receipts totalling £120, (ii) citizenship ceremonies receipts totalling £14,288 and (iii) nationality receipts totalling £35,991.

Total items recovered were (i) right of abode receipts—none, (ii) citizenship ceremonies receipts—£12,036 and (iii) nationality receipts—£30,494.

The net loss stands at £7,869.
 
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Departmental Staff (Castle Point)

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff employed by his Department live in Castle Point. [42818]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office (including the Immigration and Nationality Department) has no staff residing in Castle Point. However, Her Majesty's Prison Service has thirty staff living in the area (rounded to the nearest ten staff).

Drug Classification

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to reclassify methamphetamine as a class A drug pending further report of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs; and if he will make a statement. [49352]

Paul Goggins: I asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to keep the classification of methylamphetamine under close review when accepting its recommendation, in November 2005, that it should remain a class B drug. I will await the Council's further advice, which I requested within 12 months, before making any further decisions on classification.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will refer methylamphetamine to the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs for review as a matter of urgency. [49353]

Paul Goggins: The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recently reviewed the classification of Methylamphetamine under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act and published its report in November 2005. I accepted its recommendations that it should remain classified as a class B drug, but I have asked the Council to keep the matter under close review and report back to me within 12 months.

Drug Treatment Programmes

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the waiting time is for access to residential drug treatment for heroin addicts in Plymouth. [48405]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 6 February 2006]: I have been asked to reply.
 
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The waiting time, provided by the Plymouth drug action team, for access to residential drug treatment for drug users accessing rehabilitation is three weeks. Waiting time data is not collected for patients in terms of an addiction to a specific drug.

In December 2001, there was an overall average waiting time of 9.1 weeks in England. This had reduced to 2.4 weeks in September 2005.

Forensic Science

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which body is responsible for ensuring standards in forensic science laboratories; and if he will make a statement on its work. [49164]

Andy Burnham: There is currently no national body responsible for the setting of national standards for forensic science laboratories. However, forensic science organisations can be accredited to the international standards for general testing of laboratory processes, such as ISO 9001: 17025. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the body available to the government for assessment and verification audits against these standards.

UKAS is a commercial non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee, and operates under a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Trade and Industry. UKAS employ 130 technical professionals and contract the services of an additional 260 external assessors and technical experts as required. UKAS have an explicit duty to act in the public interest.

Drug Offences

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been convicted of possession of (a) a Class A drug, (b) a Class B drug and (c) a Class C drug in each of the last five years; and what percentage received a custodial sentence in each case. [44140]

Hazel Blears: The number of people who have been convicted for possession of class A, B and C drugs in the last five years is shown in the table. The table includes the percentage of people given a custodial sentence for the possession offences.
The number of people found guilty or cautioned for drug possession offences

Type of offence2004(21)Percentage of custodial sentences2003Percentage of custodial Sentences2002Percentage of custodial sentences
Offences under Drugs Acts:
A4550035,450820,90013
B5230882,950383,5403
C45,500356046303


Type of offence
Offences under Drugs Acts:2001Percentage of custodial sentences2000Percentage of custodial sentences
A18,5201619,99014
B73,180375,9764
C4101514<0.5



(21) Cannabis was reclassified in January 2004. There were 45,390 cannabis possession offences in 2004 where the offenders were found guilty of cautioned as compared with 77,500 in 2003. However, there were 27,520 street warnings for cannabis possession since the street warnings were introduced nationally in April 2004 and this is likely to have reduced cautioning figures for cannabis possession.


 
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Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were convicted of possession of (a) a Class A, (b) a Class B and (c) a Class C drug with intent to supply in each of the last five years; and what percentage received a custodial sentence in each case. [44143]


 
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Hazel Blears: The number of people who have been convicted for possession with intent to supply a class A, B and C drugs in the last five years is shown in the table. The table includes the percentage of people given a custodial sentence for the possession offences.
The number of people found guilty or cautioned for drug possession with intent to supply offences

Class2004Percent receiving custodial sentences2003Percentage of custodial sentences2002Percentage of custodial sentences
A2,20039440663,73077
B520632,940432,90045
C2,2003900100


Class2001Percentage of custodial sentences2000Percentage of custodial sentences
A3,230773,63468
B3,020494,36544
C0000



Note:
Cannabis was reclassified in January 2004. There were 2,200 possession with intent to supply cannabis offences in 2004 and 2,500 in 2003.


Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the percentage of police time spent on drug-related crime in the last period for which figures are available. [44645]

Hazel Blears: This information is not collected centrally.


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