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Police (Ethnic Minorities)

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to increase the number of recruits from ethnic minorities into the police; whether a target has been set for the Metropolitan Police Service; and whether this target has been broken down by (a) ethnic and (b) other minority groups. [64159]

Hazel Blears: It remains the Government's policy that the composition of the police workforce should reflect the communities which it serves. The Police Service continues to make progress against the Home Secretary's recruitment targets for 2009, and all forces are committed to recruit from minority ethnic groups in proportion to, or at a level above, their representation in the local economically active population. Performance against this objective is a key performance indicator in the Policing Performance Assessment Framework.

The Home Office is working with the Police Service to accelerate the pace of change. The measures currently in hand include promoting the use of outreach workers in police forces, engagement with student faith societies and black students' unions to encourage applications from minority ethnic graduates and measures to increase minority ethnic applications to the High Potential Development Scheme. The Home Office has developed in collaboration with force recruitment departments materials aimed at increasing recruitment from minority ethnic groups, including multi-lingual recruitment material, a toolkit providing best practice guidance for familiarisation events and a video to familiarise applicants with police assessment and selection procedures.

In 1999, two per cent of police officers were from minority ethnic communities, the latest available figures show that at 31 March 2005 black and minority ethnic police officers made up 3.5 per cent. of total officer strength and that minority ethnic representation across the Service as a whole, including special constables and police staff, stood at 4.6 per cent.

The Home Secretary's Employment Targets which were published in 1999 set the Metropolitan Police a target of 25 per cent. ethnic minority representation within the force to be achieved by 2009. The latest available figures show that as at 31 March 2005; 7 per cent. of police officers (an increase from 3.3 per cent. in 1999), 20.8 per cent. of special constables (an increase from 13.9 per cent. in 1999) and 21.9 per cent. of police staff (an increase from 14.6 per cent. in 1999) within the Metropolitan Police were from ethnic minorities. The target set for the Metropolitan Police is based solely on ethnicity.
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Probation Service

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action was taken in each year since 1997 to address each complaint about (a) Essex and (b) Southend probation service. [48871]

Fiona Mactaggart: In 2001 the Secretary of State agreed the National Complaints Procedure that enables local probation areas to handle complaints. Each complaint made about the Essex probation service is investigated under a three stage process. The three stages are: informal investigation by the local office, formal investigation by the chief officer or a senior officer nominated by the chief officer, and finally the appeal stage when a panel of three board members hears the appeal. Unresolved local complaints can be escalated to the independent Prison and Probation Ombudsman.

Essex probation area will maintain their own record of complaints received from offenders and the outcome of these cases.

Public Order

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to tackle antisocial behaviour in Southend West; and if he will make a statement. [64211]

Hazel Blears: Southend on Sea is an action area—one of 50 areas across the country who work closely with the Home Office to ensure a high level of commitment to tackle antisocial behaviour locally.

With effect from 18 April, South Eastern Division of Essex Police is adopting Neighbourhood Policing, some two years before the national due date. Each Neighbourhood Policing Team will have a nominated officer who will be able to take calls relating to non emergency calls, including antisocial behaviour. Southend Antisocial Behaviour Team are in the process of setting up community engagement panels in which residents will have a direct input into the policing of their areas.

Recently high visibility patrols including Police Community Support Officers have been carried out throughout West Southend tackling all aspects of crime and antisocial behaviour. The area has several parks and open spaces and patrols are regularly carried out here.

The Police work together with the Southend Multi Agency Antisocial Behaviour Response Team (SMAART) in taking a twin track approach to perpetrators of antisocial behaviour using both preventative and enforcement action. This includes among others working with the Youth Offending Service in addressing behaviour through to obtaining antisocial behaviour orders.

UK Immigration Procedures

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) detained and (b) questioned by immigration officials at Heathrow airport in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by ethnic group. [64135]

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Mr. McNulty: In 2005–06, 25,040 were interviewed, of which 21,287 were detained by UK Immigration Service staff at Heathrow airport only and do not include detention centres.

These figures are from locally collated management information and as such are subject to change. It is not possible to obtain these figures broken down by ethnic group as this information is not held centrally and can therefore be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Vehicles (Crime) Act

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the operation of section 38 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001. [65036]

Dr. Ladyman: I have been asked to reply.

Section 38 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 gives the Secretary of State powers to make payments in relation to;

Section 38 provides the legal basis for the safety camera programme 'netting off' scheme which allows the police, highway authorities and magistrates courts, working in local 'Safety Camera Partnerships' to be reimbursed for the costs of safety cameras and follow-up enforcement from fixed penalty fines for speeding and red light offences.

On 15 December 2005 the Secretary of State announced that the netting off funding arrangement for safety cameras was to cease on 31 March 2007.

World Cup

Mr. Simon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how his Department is working with the German Government to prevent hooliganism by British fans at the 2006 World Cup. [64576]

Paul Goggins: There is very close and effective liaison with the German Government, police and civil authorities at Federal and Lander levels. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and Herr Schauble (German Interior Minister) signed an agreement last month covering governmental, police, judicial and other co-operation. Detailed arrangements are in place to minimise the risk of significant English football disorder during the World Cup, the cornerstone of which is tough football banning order legislation which prevents known risk fans from leaving England and Wales during the tournament.


Arms Exports

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Government agency is responsible for monitoring the end-use of UK arms exports; and if he will make a statement. [64913]

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Dr. Howells: The possibility of diversion of exported goods to an undesirable end use is part of the strict risk assessment undertaken by all four Government Departments (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development) involved in the export licensing process at the time of application, which takes into account relevant information the Government may hold, including from the Government's overseas posts. Should information come to light that goods have been diverted, the Government will take this into consideration when assessing any future applications. The Government may also revoke the relevant licence(s) and ask the authorities in the country concerned to investigate.

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