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5 Jun 2006 : Column 273W—continued

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the responsibilities which his Department has lost since 1997; what the (a) date and (b) destination Department was in each case; what responsibilities the Department has taken on since 1997; and what the (i) date and (ii) source Department was in each case. [71134]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 23 May 2006]: Ministerial responsibilities are set out in the List of Ministerial Responsibilities, which is updated regularly. A revised version will be published shortly. Copies of previous versions are available in the Library.

Departmental Staff

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff from his Department attended the Civil Service Islamic Society
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Eid-Ul-Adha event in London in 2005; and what the total cost to his Department was of this attendance. [73018]

Mr. Byrne: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will write to the hon. Member with details of the Civil Service Islamic Society Eid-Ul-Adha event. Copies of her letter will be placed in the Library.

Disability Access

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any buildings in his Department fall short of disability access regulations. [73020]

Mr. Byrne: Building by building information on compliance with disabled access legislation is not held centrally. The Home Office has a large and varied estate comprising approximately 1,900 major sites and individual buildings. Some buildings inevitably are better suited than others for access by disabled people. The Home Office has carried out a significant amount of work in recent years to improve its facilities for those who are disabled. Policy is for all buildings to comply with all relevant legislation.

Dr. David Kelly

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which individual decided that Dr. Nicholas Hunt should be the pathologist chosen to investigate the death of Dr. David Kelly in July 2003. [73992]

Joan Ryan: The selection of the pathologist to undertake a post-mortem examination is made, by the coroner with jurisdiction, under the provisions of section 19 or s20 Coroners Act 1988. In cases of suspicious death, where there may be a prosecution, the coroner would consult the police (see Rule 6 Coroners Rules 1984) before making the selection. The death of Dr. Kelly took place within the jurisdiction of the Oxfordshire coroner and so the choice of Dr. Hunt would have been made by that coroner.

Drink Offences

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders were found guilty of (a) drunken and disorderly behaviour and (b) drunken and aggravated disorderly behaviour in (i) England and (ii) Tamworth constituency in each year since 1997. [71239]

Mr. Coaker: Data from the Court Proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on the number of offenders convicted at all courts for offences relating to (a) drunken and disorderly behaviour and (b) drunken and aggravated disorderly behaviour in (i) England and (ii) Tamworth constituency in England, 1997 to 2004 are contained in the first table. It is not possible to separately identify
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Tamworth, as the data is not collected at this level of detail. Therefore, data for the Lichfield and Tamworth area have been provided instead.

Statistics for 2005 court proceedings will be available in the autumn of 2006.

Some drunkenness offences are now dealt with by penalty notice for disorder. The penalty notice for disorder scheme was brought into effect in all police forces in England and Wales during 2004. Under the scheme the police are able to issue persons believed to have committed specified minor offences with a fixed penalty notice. No admission of guilt is required and payment of the penalty discharges all liability to conviction of the offence. Data on the number of penalty notices for disorder issued in 2004 and 2005 (provisional data) for offences related to drunkenness are provided in the second table.

Number of offenders found guilty at all courts for offences relating to drunkenness, Lichfield and Tamworth Local Justice Area, and England 1997 to 2004( 1)
Lichfield and Tamworth Petty Sessional Area England
Drunkenness, simple( 2) Drunkenness with aggravation( 3) Drunkenness, simple( 2) Drunkenness with aggravation( 3)




































(1) These data are on the principal offence basis.
(2) 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 & Police Act 2001.
(3) 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) & (5) Merchant Shipping Act 1995, S.2 Licensing Act 1902 and S.61 Town Police Clauses Act 1847.

Number of Penalty Notices for Disorder issued in for offences related to drunkenness, England, 2004 and 2005( 1)
Total DA06 Drunk and disorderly DB05 Drunk in a highway DB07 Consumption of alcohol in public place






2005( 1)





(1) Provisional data.


RDS—Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

Drug Offences

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children aged under 18 years were arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs in (a) England, (b) each English region and (c) the Tees Valley in each year since 1997. [73650]

Mr. Coaker: Information requested is not collected centrally.

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Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug offences were recorded in (a) Devon, (b) Cornwall and (c) the south west region in 2005. [72796]

Mr. Coaker: The latest available information for small area crime data is for financial year 2004-05. The figures for drug offences are given in the following table.

Drug offences recorded in 2004-05
Number of offences



Cornwall and Isles of Scilly


South west region


Notes: 1. Devon calculated by combining the three basic command units of north and east Devon, south and west Devon and Plymouth. 2. Cornwall is the basic command unit Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.


Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 17 May 2006, Official Report, column 1036W, on Europol, what discussions he has had relating to the future of Europol. [73734]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 25 May 2006]: The Austrian presidency has initiated an EU-wide debate on Europol's future, most recently in the form of a Friends of the presidency group consisting of experts from the member States, the Commission and Europol.

In light of their discussions, the presidency has prepared an options paper which summarises the possible approaches that could be explored. The presidency intends agreeing council conclusions on the paper at the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 1 and 2 June. These would provide a basis for taking the discussions further forward in the council working groups.

Foreign Prisoners (Release)

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what correspondence he has received from prison governors on the release of foreign prisoners since 1999. [73671]

Mr. Sutcliffe: There is no record of any such correspondence.

Forensic Science

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last reviewed the code of practice for scene of crime officers. [49166]

Joan Ryan: The Home Office has not issued a code of practice for scene of crime officers and, as far as we are aware, there is no national code of practice as such. However, both the Forensic Science Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers have issued some good practice guidance for scenes of crime staff. This
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includes: The Scenes of Crime Handbook, the National Operational Standards for Scenes of Crime and a draft National Crime Scene Investigation Manual.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether evidence in reports for the Forensic Science Service is checked by outside agencies. [74608]

Joan Ryan: Evidence in reports prepared by the Forensic Science Service Ltd (FSS) is assessed externally to ensure that quality standards are met. The FSS is accredited to the ISO 17025 (2005) standard, which is an international testing standard for laboratories. This testing standard requires independent assessment of the FSS Quality Management System by an external body—in this case the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The UKAS assessment includes proficiency testing organised by other forensic provider networks within the UK, EU and UN, and covers the extent to which the FSS provides assurance that the results it provides meet the required quality standards. The FSS is also accredited to the wider ranging ISO 9001 standard that is assessed by the British Standards Institute (BSI).

Under disclosure rules, access to FSS files is available to the defence and the courts for scrutiny in any particular investigation. A proportion of cases in which the FSS has provided evidence for the prosecution are independently examined and checked by other forensic providers on behalf of the defence.

HM Young Offenders Institution Feltham

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent assessment he has made of the (a) management and (b) systems operation at HM Young Offenders Institution Feltham; and if he will make a statement; [73751]

(2) if he will make a statement on security arrangements at HM Young Offenders Institution Feltham; what action he has taken to improve security arrangements in the last month; and what investigations he has ordered into issues arising from an attempted escape; [73752]

(3) if he will make a statement on the role of Mr. Rod Eddington at HM Young Offenders Institution Feltham. [73763]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Management and related systems at Feltham are regularly reviewed by the Governor and area manager. The establishment continues to make significant progress, as described in the most recent HM Chief Inspector of Prisons' report following an inspection in May 2005.

The security arrangements at Feltham were fully assessed by the National Standards Audit unit in December 2005 in which Feltham scored 83 per cent. Feltham also conducts regular and frequent self-audits, the last being in March, which have confirmed the national markings. There is one current disciplinary investigation into a recent escape attempt but it would not be appropriate to comment further until this is complete.

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