Previous Section Index Home Page

13 Feb 2006 : Column 1714W—continued

Child Protection

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to police on the use of cautions in respect of the offence of having indecent pictures of children. [48539]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 2 February 2006]: Guidance on the cautioning of adult offenders is contained in the Cautioning of Adult Offenders Circular 30/2005 issued by the Home Office. The circular offers a framework to help police officers exercise their discretion and professional judgment, but does not provide guidance in relation to individual offences.

The questions to consider in each case are whether a caution is appropriate to the offence and the offender, and whether a caution is likely to be effective in the circumstances. Broadly, the criteria for cautioning are that there should be sufficient evidence of guilt and a clear and reliable admission of the offence, that it is in the public interest to use a caution as the appropriate means of disposal, and that the suspect should be 18 years or over.

Indictable-only cases must be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. If all the above requirements are met, the police officer must consider whether the seriousness of the offence makes it appropriate for disposal by a caution. In order to assist with this decision, officers have been provided with a Gravity Factors Matrix, which is available on the Police National Legal Database. The guidance offers general advice in relation to sexual offences, which include the offence of possessing indecent images of children under 16.

It advises that a decision to issue a caution in cases involving such offences should not be taken without consulting other relevant agencies. Currently a caution received on or after 1 May 2004 for a relevant sexual offence makes the offender subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for two years from the date of the caution.

Community Policing

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to develop community policing. [50411]

Hazel Blears: The Government wants local policing services to be driven by neighbourhood and community needs. We want local people to have a say in what the priorities are, and to know, trust and have confidence in their local policing team.
 
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1715W
 

We are therefore committed to ensuring that, by 2008, every area in England and Wales will benefit from dedicated, accessible and visible neighbourhood policing teams—led by police officers but involving special constables, community support officers, volunteers, neighbourhood wardens and others too. A programme to deliver on this commitment is well under way.

Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter dated 25 October from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Razia Sultana. [38422]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I replied to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on 20 December 2005.

Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Immigration and Nationality Directorate will reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, of 23 September 2005 on behalf of Corene, Germane and Jeremy Williams, children of Conrad Williams (Home Office Reference W1018091, acknowledgement reference B2263815). [49851]

Mr. McNulty: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood on 8 February 2006.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department will reply to the letter of 6th December from the hon. Member for Warley regarding Mr. Faisal Ahmed of Smethwick. [50840]

Mr. McNulty: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to the right hon. Member for Warley on 8 February 2006.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department will reply to the letter of 15 November 2005 from the hon. Member for Warley regarding Mr. Tirath Singh of Oldbury. [50841]

Mr. McNulty: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate replied to the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Warley on 10 February 2006.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department will reply to the letter of 14 November 2005 from the right hon. Member for Warley regarding Mr. Santokh Singh Dhanda, of Smethwick. [50843]

Mr. McNulty: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to my right hon. Friend on 6 February 2006.

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter dated 22 November 2005 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms A. Khalik. [41842]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 12 January 2006.
 
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1716W
 

Credit Cards

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to compel credit card companies to report the (a) theft and (b) misuse of credit cards to the police; and if he will make a statement. [47218]

Paul Goggins: It is for credit card companies and individuals to decide whether to report theft or misuse of credit cards to the police and I have no plans to introduce powers to compel them to do so. The banking industry, which maintains comprehensive statistics on the level of plastic card fraud, works closely, with the police to tackle fraud and is funding a successful specialist police unit (The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit) to tackle organised cheque and card fraud.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time taken to settle applications for criminal injuries compensation was in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005. [49046]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority advise that the median average elapsed time from the date of receipt of an application to the date of first offer was 248 days in 2004, and 291 days in 2005.

Departmental Finance

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which functions of his core Department are carried out in (a) England and (b) London; and what administrative costs associated with these functions were for each area in the last year for which figures are available. [39820]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Home Office functions cover a wide range of activities across the United Kingdom and it is not possible, without incurring disproportionate costs, to identify these in the way that has been requested.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which functions of his core Department are carried out in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Wales; and what administrative costs were associated with these functions for each area in the last year. [39945]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Home Office functions cover a wide range of activities across the United Kingdom and it is not possible, without incurring disproportionate costs, to identify these in the way that has been requested.

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what functions in his Department are carried out in Scotland; and what the administrative costs of these functions were in the last year for which figures are available. [40014]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Home Office functions cover a wide range of activities across the United Kingdom and it is not possible, without incurring disproportionate costs, to identify these in the way that has been requested.
 
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1717W
 

Departmental Property

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) personal computers, (b) laptops, (c) servers, (d) printers, (e) scanners, (f) photocopiers and (g) fax machines (i) his Department and (ii) each (A) non-departmental public body, (B) executive agency and (C) other public body for which his Department is responsible in each English region owned in (1) 2003–04 and (2) 2004–05. [40074]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The large majority of IT equipment used by the Department is leased from IT provider, Sirius.

The large majority of IT equipment used by the Department does not therefore appear on the asset register as the Home Office does not own it.

IT items of equipment owned outright by Home Office—Core are listed, using the same lettering sequence as the question (a) in both 2003–04 and in 2004–05, three were owned (b) in both 2003–04 and in 2004–05, 620 were owned (c) in 2003–04, 181 were owned; in 2004–05, 182 were owned (d) in both 2003–04 and 2004–05, five were owned (e) in both 2003–04 and 2004–05, 54 were owned (f) in 2003–04, 0 were owned; in 2004–05, two were owned (g) in both 2003–04 and 2004–05, one was owned.

This response does not include items owned by non-departmental public bodies, Executive agencies or other public bodies.


Next Section Index Home Page