The Victim Personal Statement (VPS) scheme was introduced in 2001 after pilot projects confirmed the demand for a victim statement scheme. The VPS provides victims with a formal opportunity to tell criminal justice agencies and individuals dealing with their case how the crime has affected themphysically, emotionally, psychologically, financially or in any other way. Victims groups tell us that victims want the opportunity of having a voice in the criminal justice system. However, we are aware that there are some concerns about the level of take-up and the
purpose of the scheme. Throughout the summer we will be consulting in more depth with victims, victims' groups and criminal justice agency staff on how the scheme is working, in order to assess what, if any, improvements could be made to its operation. The Government are also currently piloting Victims' Advocates at five Crown courts. The pilots allow the relatives of murder and manslaughter victims to make a statement to the court about the effect of the crime on them after conviction and before sentence. The statement can be made by the relative orally as if giving evidence, read out by an independent or CPS lawyer, or given in writing.
Mr. Byrne: The funding arrangements for VARRP (Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme) mean that the Home Office will not be invoiced for the fist six months of 2006 until the end of August 2006.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps he is taking to ensure the work of those agencies for which he has Ministerial responsibility will be efficiently co-ordinated in the case of Zylfi Meera; 
(3) whether those agencies for which he has Ministerial responsibility will need to co-operate with other official services and agencies for which he does not have ministerial responsibility in the case of Zylfi Meera. 
Mr. Byrne: It is not the policy of the Department to comment on the specific details of individual cases or the agencies involved in these cases in the public domain. However, if the hon. Member wishes to write to me with detailed representations on this matter and sets out the basis of his interest in this case I will consider these further.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of (a) the decision of Bolivia to rewrite its Constitution and (b) the likely impact on (i) human rights, (ii) the growth of democracy and (iii) Bolivia's relations with (A) its South American neighbours, (B) the United Kingdom and (C) the United States. 
Mr. Hoon: The decision to rewrite Bolivia's Constitution is a matter for the Bolivian people and its Government. An EU Electoral Observation Mission monitored elections on 2 July for the Constituent Assembly, the body charged with carrying forward this process, and we are encouraged to hear initial reports that they took place peacefully. We are not in a position to speculate on the impact of any changes to the Constitution that the Bolivian people may eventually choose to introduce.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the extent to which the agreements between the regime in Burma and the Governments of (a) France, (b) Italy and (c) Germany relating to timber imports from Burma are consistent with the EU Common Position on Burma. 
Rosemary McKenna: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations her Department has made to the Chinese government in relation to human rights abuses in Tibet; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: We regularly raise human rights, including Tibet, with the Chinese Government. My hon. Friend the then Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ian Pearson) raised Tibet with the Chinese Government on 7 April 2006. Human rights in Tibet, and a number of individual cases of concern, were discussed at the latest rounds of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue in May and the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on 3 July. We will continue to raise concerns about human rights abuses in Tibet at every appropriate opportunity, including during my own visit to China this week.
Mr. Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government will make representations to the Indonesian government regarding the imprisonment of Dr. Zakaria and her colleagues. 
Mr. McCartney: We do not plan to make representations to the Indonesian government about this case. However, the treatment of religious minorities is an issue we regularly discuss with the Indonesian government. In September 2005, President Yudhoyono stressed that the state guaranteed every citizen religious freedom and called on the police and members of the public to act to prevent violence against any faith. We will continue to work with the Indonesian government on this important objective.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she made to the Government of Israel in May and June on the use of UK-supplied military equipment and components in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. 
Mr. McCartney: It is not clear when the talks are likely to reconvene. We are very disappointed that, due to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) reluctance to re-engage, it has not been possible to hold further rounds of the six-party talks since their last session in November 2005. We continue to urge the DPRK to return to the talks and make progress on implementing the commitments made in the 19 September 2005 joint statement. Following the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow, the Chair's statement underlined the importance of the DPRK returning to the table.
Ahead of the launch of the Taepodong-2 missile/Satellite Launch Vehicle, we made clear our view to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), as did the EU, US, Japan and others that this would be seen as a provocative act, which would add considerable tension to an already complex regional situation. We strongly urge the Government of the DPRK to refrain from any further provocation and adhere to its commitments under the 1999 moratorium and the 2002 Pyongyang Declaration. We also call upon the Government of the DPRK to rejoin the six-party talks immediately to demonstrate their commitment to resolve these issues.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for which services (a) her Department and (b) its associated public bodies hold contracts with the Post Office; and what the (i) start and (ii) termination date is of each contract. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the response given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) by my hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Jim Fitzpatrick) on 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 1243W.
I have had no meetings with Kerzner International. On Wednesday 17 August 2005, while on a well-publicised visit to the Greenwich peninsula, I was one of a number of guests who were updated on progress in the area. I believe one of those present at that time was a representative of Kerzner International, but at no time did I have any conversations about plans for a casino, and I was accompanied by officials at all times.
Mr. Ingram: There are currently no Warrior vehicles in Afghanistan. The suitability of the current force package in Afghanistan is kept under regular review and future deployments will be tailored appropriately based on an assessment of the expected operational tempo and conditions.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 July 2006]: Our initial assessment is that the level of spares support to Apache attack helicopters in Afghanistan has been effective. The level of spares support is monitored on a continuing basis.
Mr. Watson: This information is not held centrally and it will take a little time to co-ordinate a reply. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as the facts have been assembled and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the proposed merger of the Defence Procurement Agency and the Defence Logistics Organisation is expected to cost; what the purpose of the merger is; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 10 July 2006]: The detailed structure of the new organisation, formed by merging the Defence Procurement Agency and Defence Logistics Organisation, will be addressed during implementation. However, it is not expected that the merger itself will involve significant additional costs beyond those arising from the proposal to collocate elements of the two organisations. The purpose of merging the two organisations is to provide a greater unity of purpose in acquisition; to improve support to our armed forces; and to provide best value for them and the taxpayer.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) land and (b) property his Department and its predecessors (i) leases and (ii) leased in (A) Southend West constituency, (B) Essex, (C) Hertfordshire and (D) the Metropolitan Police area of London in (1) 1979, (2) 1983, (3) 1987, (4) 1992 and (5) 1997. 
Mr. Watson: Full details are not held centrally in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, I am able to provide some information which I have placed in the Library of the House due to its volume.
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the armed forces are expected to take delivery of the 70 extra helicopters planned to be procured by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: A contract for the delivery of 70 future Lynx aircraft was signed in June 2006 between the Ministry of Defence and Westland Helicopters Ltd. A total of 66 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered before the end of 2016.
In addition, a contract with Lockheed Martin for the upgrade of 30 of our current Merlin Mk1 aircraft was announced in January 2006. The first of these upgrades is expected to enter service in 2013, with all being completed before the end of 2016.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many qualified helicopter pilots are serving in (a) the Royal Navy, (b) the Royal Marines, (c) the Army and (d) the Royal Air Force. 
|Qualified helicopter pilots, 1 April 2006
|(1) Based on category employment qualification, employed in the Army as helicopter pilots. It is not possible to provide information on soldiers who may be qualified as helicopter pilots, but are employed in other trades as this information is not centrally collected.
(2 )Trained rotary wing pilots.
(3) Provisional. Due to the introduction of a new personnel administration system for the RAF, all RAF data for 1 April 2006 are provisional and subject to review.
All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Due to the rounding methods used, figures may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.