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Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were employed by (a) HM Prison Service Agency, (b) the Criminal Records Bureau, (c) the Forensic Science Service, (d) the Assets Recovery Agency, (e) the Medical Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, (f) the Food Standards Agency, (g) the UK Passport Agency and (h) his Department in each region in each of the last 12 months for which information is available; and how many and what percentage of posts were vacant in each region in each month. [51319]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The available information is too detailed to be set out in this answer but I will arrange for it to be placed in the House Library. In some cases it has not been possible to provide all the information requested without incurring disproportionate costs, or because data is not collected centrally in the form requested.

DNA Database

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there is a target for the number of DNA records to be held in the National Register by December; and if he will make a statement. [47480]

Fiona Mactaggart: There are no targets for the number of persons with a DNA profile on the National DNA database each year, but the Home Office has produced an estimate of the number of persons from England and Wales with a DNA profile held on the database in each year until 2012.

The estimated number of persons from England and Wales who will be recorded on the National DNA database by 31 March 2007 is 3,305,564.

Domestic Violence

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Government have to improve the services offered to women seeking refuge from domestic violence in West Lancashire. [53383]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Government office for the north west (GONW) ensures that the National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan is linked to the improvement of service provision for women experiencing domestic violence across Lancashire. The Government office also ensures that local partnerships consider domestic violence as part of their negotiation of crime reduction targets with local partnerships.

West Lancashire is currently seeking to recruit a Domestic Violence Co-ordinator by April of this year and domestic violence is a strategic theme in West Lancashire's 2005–08 Crime and Drugs Strategy, one of the outcomes of which is the development of a Domestic Violence Strategy for the district as well as an increase in the reporting of DV incidents.

West Lancashire has received £7,000 domestic violence funding for the last two years and has also contributed part of its Building Safer Communities Funding towards domestic violence. West Lancashire will be part of the Lancashire County Council Local Area Agreement from April 2006 and, within the
 
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Stronger Safer Communities Block, there are two domestic violence outcomes: (1) to increase the number of domestic violence incidents recorded by the police, and (2) to assess the overall provision and effectiveness of local authority services designed to help victims of DV and prevent further occurrences.

Specialist domestic violence courts are being rolled out across Lancashire as part of the Specialist Domestic Violence Court Programme. As a result, Lancashire Strategic Domestic Violence Management Group have been commissioned by Government Office for the North West to undertake a complete gap analysis of all service provision to adults and children who may experience domestic violence with an action plan being drawn up in March 2006 to ensure improvements are made.

Drug Intervention Programme

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases in the Drug Intervention Programme (a) handling stolen goods, (b) attenuated acquisitive crime and (c) begging was the trigger for a drugs test in 2004–05. [44095]

Paul Goggins: The following table gives a breakdown of drug tests successfully conducted for 2004–05.

In Schedule six to the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (as amended by the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (Amendment) Order 2004 (S.I. 2004/1892), an offence under section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 is a trigger offence if committed in respect of an offence under any of the following provisions of the Theft Act 1968-section one (theft), section eight (robbery), section nine (burglary), section 15 (obtaining property by deception), and section 22 (handling stolen goods).

Attempted crimes, begging and persistent begging became trigger offences from 27 July 2004.
TriggerTotal number
of tests
Handling stolen goods (excluding attempted handling)1,468
Acquisitive crime (excluding attempted crimes)40,829
Acquisitive crime (excluding attempted crimes)39,431
Attempted crimes1,398
Begging1,014
Persistent begging30

Drug Offences

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children were (a) arrested, (b) prosecuted and (c) imprisoned for (i) drugs offences and (ii) Class A drugs offences in each of the last five years. [47721]

Fiona Mactaggart: The number of children (persons aged between 10 and 17) arrested for drug offences in England and Wales is shown in table A. Data collected centrally cannot be broken down by drug class type.
 
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Table A: Number of children aged 10 to 17 arrested for drug offences in England and Wales, 2000–01 to 2004–05

Number of arrests
2000–0116,000
2001–0217,600
2002–0319,500
2003–0418,100
2004–0514,500




Note:
Includes estimates as not all forces have been able to supply information to the detail required.



Drugs

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the extent to which the voluntary sector is used for and involved in the provision of treatment of problematic drug users. [44648]

Caroline Flint: I have been asked to reply.

Recorded on the national drug treatment monitoring system, 930 of the 1,306 agencies, which includes young people services, involved in the delivery of drug treatment are within the voluntary sector.

Drug action teams or other local partnerships oversee the commissioning of drug treatment and develop their plans in close consultation with voluntary sector providers.

Elder Abuse

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what systems are in place among law enforcement agencies to (a) record and (b) respond to cases of elder abuse. [53863]

Hazel Blears: The information is as follows.

(a) Elder abuse is not a recorded offence category and incidents of elder abuse could be recorded under various offence categories (e.g. serious wounding, common assault, harassment, criminal damage etc). Elder abuse, depending on the specific nature of the incident, can be classified as domestic violence.

Although domestic violence is also not a recorded offence category, police forces are asked to 'flag' domestic violence incidents as they are assessed on their pro-active response to domestic violence incidents through the Police Performance Assessment Framework (PPAF).

(b) No Secrets", jointly published by the Department of Health and the Home Office in 2000, provides a complete definition of abuse and a framework for councils to work with the police, the NHS and regulators to tackle and prevent abuse occurring. It was the product of a multi-agency steering group, led by the Department of Health, with the full co-operation of the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Association of Directors of Social Services, the voluntary sector and academic bodies. The aim of No Secrets is to ensure that key local agencies, particularly but not solely health, social services and the police, are able to work together to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, by developing local multi-agency
 
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policies and procedures. No Secrets gives local councils the lead for development of adult protection committees. A copy is available in the Library.


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