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22 Feb 2007 : Column 873Wcontinued
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 203W, what assessment he has made of the impact that targeted patrol of crime hotspots has had on (a) crime rates, (b) calls for police services and (c) antisocial behaviour. 
Reviews of the international literature by Sherman and Eck (2002) and Weisburd and Eck
(2004) have found that there is a consistent body of strong evidence to support the targeting of police patrols to crime hotspots. Research shows that directed patrol is effective in reducing both crime, antisocial behaviour and calls for service.
Recent Home Office research shows that foot patrol, as part of a neighbourhood policing strategy that includes problem-solving and community engagement, can deliver improvements in crime, perceptions of crime and antisocial behaviour, feelings of safety, and public confidence. Home Office Research from 2004 highlights the value of high visibility foot patrol targeted in robbery hotspots. The research site experienced a 16 per cent year-on-year reduction in street robbery.
Ongoing Home Office research will evaluate the impact of neighbourhood policing on police performance, and will be published in due course.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2007, O fficial Report, column 194W, on police patrols, what definition he uses of doorstep contact in relation to community confidence. 
Mr. Coaker: Doorstep contact in a recent literature review is described as door-to-door visits made by the police to residents with the purpose of seeking or giving out information. They are shown to reduce both crime and disorder.
In delivering neighbourhood policing, door-knocking is one method of engaging communities to identify local priorities. On the Bletchley Estate in Thames Valley, the hotspots identified by local residents at community meetings are followed up by door knocking in those areas. The officers and PCSOs use door knocking to find out what the problems are in the hotspots in order to target their activity, and to invite people to street briefings. Home Office research from 2006 provides evidence in support of community engagement that goes beyond traditional public meetings and includes methods like door knocking. It showed that engagement was linked with improved public confidence.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what questions are asked in the annual Prison Service Staff Survey. 
John Reid: Questions asked in the annual Prison Service Staff Survey change each year depending on current issues. However a core of consistent questions are retained year-on-year to enable tracking of perceptions on key matters affecting working lives. These cover views about job satisfaction, working in prisons, facilities, management, development, communication and relationships.
The 2006 Staff Survey questionnaire will be placed in the House Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners sentenced to
life imprisonment since May 1997 have been released. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department is developing a new database that will allow it to accurately capture the information requested. Currently, to provide the information requested would require manual checking of individual records which could be carried out only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many members of independent monitoring boards at prison establishments were found to have been involved in the trafficking of unauthorised articles into prison establishments in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 19 February 2007]: One member was found to have been trafficking unauthorised articles into prison in the last three years and their appointment was terminated.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to widen the availability and practice of restorative justice in the adult criminal justice system. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Governments adult restorative strategy is: to encourage, but not require, its further use in the adult criminal justice system, particularly as a service to victims; to ensure quality of delivery by delivering best practice guidance; and to continue to develop the evidence base on when restorative justice works for adult offenders. It has invested around £5 million in the Crime Reduction Programme Restorative Justice Pilots (which ran from 2001-04) and their evaluation. These pilots delivered restorative justice at all stages in the criminal justice system.
Two (of four) research reports have already been published on, respectively, the setting up of the pilots and the delivery of the process. The third and fourth reports on victim and offender satisfaction, and the impact of restorative justice on reconviction rates and cost-effectiveness are expected to be published this year. This research will inform the longer term strategy for adult restorative justice. In the meantime, we have created further legislative opportunities for the use of adult restorative justice, for example, through conditional cautions, which are currently being rolled out nationally. Best practice guidance for practitioners was published in December 2004 and this now forms the basis for National Occupational Standards, which are another building block towards for the further expansion of restorative justice.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spent using Royal Mail in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Byrne: The Home Offices accounting records have recorded expenditure with specific suppliers only since 2004-05. Expenditure for these years with Royal Mail was as follows:
Expenditure incurred specifically with Royal Mail for 2001-02 to 2003-04 could not be provided without incurring disproportionate costs.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) under 12-year-olds, (b) 13-year-olds, (c) 14-year-olds, (d) 15-year-olds, (e) 16-year-olds and (f) 17-year-olds who were normally resident in Gloucestershire were in young offender institutions or prisons for each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The available information is given in the following table. The figures have been supplied by the Youth Justice Board, which assumed responsibility for commissioning and purchasing places in the secure estate for children and young people from April 2000. They show the number of young people aged 15-17, normally resident in Gloucestershire, who were accommodated in young offender institutions on 17 February in each year from 2001. None were accommodated in prisons. Young people under the age of 15 are not placed in young offender institutions or prisons.
|15 to 17-year-olds normally resident in Gloucestershire accommodated in young offender institutions( 1)|
|(1 )Number accommodated on 17 February each year.|
10. Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the future of the low carbon buildings programme. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The low carbon buildings programme has two phases with the aim of helping to build a sustainable industry for microgeneration technologies.
Phase one (£30 million) was launched in April 2006 and provides several streams of funding for householders.
Phase two with a £50 million budget announced in Budget 2006 was launched in December. It supports projects in the public and not for profit sectors, with
the specific aim of driving down the cost of microgeneration technologies. Both phases continue to make good progress.
Under Phase one we have so far committed £6.8 million to 4,534 household projects, £660,000 to 41 community projects, and we expect to commit around £2.3 million to the 26 stream two projects to date.
12. Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received on noise limits for onshore wind farm developments. 
Mr. Darling: My Department regularly receives representations on onshore wind farm noise limits.
13. Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the commercial feasibility of carbon capture and storage. 
Mr. Darling: The technologies involved in carbon capture and storage have yet to be demonstrated together at commercial scale on power plants. There are currently eight potential full-scale carbon capture and storage projects proposed in the UK. Given the potential cost of a demonstration plant, the DTI appointed consulting engineers in January to help decide on whether to give the go ahead for a demonstration project.
14. Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had on the World Trade Organisations Doha round; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: The World Economic Forum at Davos has provided additional momentum to the DDA and enabled formal negotiations to resume. Myself and ministerial colleagues have worked actively in the EU and with other WTO members, including the US, India and Brazil to restart the negotiations. We will continue to press all WTO members to take these forward, and to show the flexibility necessary to conclude an ambitious, pro-development outcome to the DDA as soon as possible.
15. Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what opportunities he plans to provide for scrutiny of the Post Office closure process. 
In our consultation document on the Post Office Network, we propose that Postwatch should have a role in developing the local area closure proposals and a scrutiny role for the local public consultation process. Discussions between Post Office Ltd and Postwatch about local consultation procedures
and Postwatch's role are in progress and we will set out clearly Postwatch's role in announcing Government's final decisions following the national public consultation.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2007, Official Report, column 2067W, on post offices, how many stakeholder groups have been sent copies of the Post Office network consultation documents; and how many consultation responses his Department has received from each region. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: To 18 February, 1,336 hard copies of the consultation document had been despatched to stakeholder groups and other interested parties. The consultation document is also available electronically on the Departments website and to 15 February, the document had been downloaded 2,622 times and the response form had been separately downloaded 1,323 times. The electronic version of the consultation document can also be copied freely.
To 19 February responses received by the Department by country/region were:
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when his Department will (a) complete its analysis of responses to the Post Office network consultation and (b) publish its response to the consultation. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government expects to complete its analysis of responses to the Post Office network consultation and to publish its responses to the consultation in March.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment he has made of additional Government services that could be made available at post offices. 
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