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|Table 2: Breakdown of mean average months on the waiting list by religion of applicants, on the waiting list for NIHE housing in Northern Ireland (excluding NIHE and housing association transfers)|
|NIHE applicants||31 March 2003||31 March 2004||31 March 2005||31 December 2005|
|Financial years||Discretionary housing payments|
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether the law applied in Northern Ireland with regard to testing for illegal fuel in vehicles is the same as that applied elsewhere in the United Kingdom; 
(6) how many vehicles were found to be using illegal fuel in each district command unit in Northern Ireland in each of the past three years; and how many prosecutions were brought in each case in each year; 
The number of officers present at a road checking exercise will be dependent upon the risk assessment undertaken for that exercise. There will usually be not less than two PSNI and four HMRC personnel present at a check, the precise numbers depending on the level of risk.
Each operation involving the testing of fuel in vehicles is unique in the time taken, the numbers tested and the number of personnel involved. It is not possible to estimate a cost for these operations.
Her Majestys Revenue and Customs does not record the number of random checks undertaken for illegal fuel by each council area or district command unit in Northern Ireland. Nor does it have the facility to identify the numbers of vehicles that have been detected using illegal fuel in each district command unit.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland why the knife amnesty in Northern Ireland was not extended in line with the amnesty in England and Wales; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Northern Ireland knife amnesty. 
Mr. Hanson: Our approach to tackling knife crime has been different to that in other parts of the UK. We have participated in the national knife amnesty, but this has been accompanied by a year-long public information campaign aimed at addressing the culture of knife carrying among young people, which is unique to Northern Ireland. In addition to this, an education package will begin in schools in September and other measures will be introduced, including the raising of the minimum age at which a knife can be legally purchased to 18-years-old. It is our intention to hold a further knife amnesty during 2006, which again is unique to Northern Ireland and this will help us to gauge how effective these initiatives have been.
During the amnesty almost 900 items were handed in. In addition, the incidence of knife crime during the period of the amnesty fell by 30 per cent. This is clearly a good start and evidence that the amnesty has had an impact. However we intend to continue to address the problem of knife crime and I hope to make further announcements in due course.
The knife amnesty began in Northern Ireland over three weeks from 24 May to 13 June. Nearly 900 items were handed in over this period, removing potential weapons from the streets. As stated
in recent media we do plan to re-run the amnesty later this year. I have noted that the incidence of knife crime dropped by 30 per cent. during the period of the amnesty.
However the amnesty is just the beginning. The public information campaign aimed at tackling the culture of knife carrying among young people is still ongoing and an educational package will be introduced into schools from September. Legislation giving powers to increase the minimum age for buying a knife will be introduced also in the autumn. We will continue to look at different strategies, policies and initiatives to tackle knife crime in Northern Ireland and introduce any we consider will have an impact on reducing the incidence of this crime.
Mr. Hanson: In 2005-06 there were 1,130 crimes recorded where a knife was involved in the incident. The following table provides a detailed breakdown. These figures are offence-based rather than offender-based (no offender-based figures are available). While it is known that a knife was used in all incidents recorded, it is not possible to indicate how the knife was used.
|(1) From April 2003, assaults with minor injuries are recorded as AOABH.|
(2) Prior to April 2003, offences where the victim received minor injuries were recorded as common assault.
Central Statistics Unit, PSNI.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many deaths from lung cancer there have been in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; and how many of these deaths were smoking-related. 
Mr. Hanson: The following table gives the number of deaths registered in Northern Ireland for each year between 2001 and 2005, by gender, due to malignant neoplasms of trachea, bronchus and lung(1).
Smoking history is rarely recorded on death certificates. Estimates can however be made of the number of deaths attributable to smoking, by using information on the contribution that smoking makes to specific conditions recorded at death. The Health Development Agency(2) (2004) estimated that just over nine in ten male lung cancer deaths, and eight in ten female lung cancer deaths, were attributable to smoking.
(1) International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes C33-C34.
(2) Twigg, L., Moon, G., arid Walker, S. The smoking epidemic in England, Health Development Agency, 2004: http://www.publichealth .nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=502811.
|Number of deaths registered in Northern Ireland due to malignant neoplasms of trachea, bronchus and lung (lung cancer), by gender, 2001 to 2005|
|Deaths due to lung cancer|
Paul Goggins: The number of suspected measles cases notified by clinicians is given in the following table, as is the number of these cases that were subsequently confirmed by laboratory tests in each of the last 10 years for which data are available.
|Number of notifications||Number of laboratory-confirmed cases|
|(1) Data for 2006 are up until week 24 and are provisional.|
(2) Test in this case unable to distinguish between antibody response to recent vaccination and a true case of measles
Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre Northern Ireland (CDSC (NI)).
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