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8 Mar 2007 : Column 2143W—continued

Using projected population estimates in the funding formulae ensures that the formulae take account of demographic trends in each council area.

Unitary Councils

Kitty Ussher: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the timetable is for making decisions on bids that have been submitted by local authorities for unitary government status. [125356]

Mr. Woolas: We intend to announce at the end of March which unitary proposals will proceed to the 12-week stakeholder consultation. Following consultation we will reassess those proposals and intend to announce by the end of July 2007 which proposals will proceed to implementation. Subject to Parliament’s approval of the necessary legislation, we expect any new unitaries to be fully operational by April 2009.

Home Department

Anti-discrimination Forms

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what forms were introduced to counter discrimination by law enforcement agents at work since 1997; what the length of each form is; and how many of each type were filled out over 2005-06. [115682]

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Mr. McNulty: In respect of the police, from 1 April 2005, Code of Practice A, issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, on the exercise by police officers of statutory powers of stop and search provides that when an officer requires a person in a public place to account for themselves, a record of the encounter must be completed at the time and a copy given to the person who has been questioned.

The information required to be completed on the form is set out in paragraph 4.3 of Code of Practice A and includes a requirement to record the ethnicity of the person. The format of the form is a matter for each chief officer of police. Statistics on the use of the power will be published as part of the annual reporting requirements on the exercise of certain police powers under PACE, due for publication in May 2007.

While the PACE provisions apply equally to officers of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) the organisation was not formed until 1 April 2006 and therefore was not operational during the period in which statistical information is being sought.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders: Mentally Ill

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps he plans to take to monitor the application of the updated guidance from his Department on antisocial behaviour orders in relation to perpetrators of antisocial behaviour suspected of suffering from mental health problems; [124483]

(2) how many recent notifications he has received of antisocial behaviour orders imposed on children and young people with (a) mental health problems and (b) other special needs; [124484]

(3) how many assessments have taken place since August 2006 of perpetrators of antisocial behaviour who are suffering from mental health conditions. [124485]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 1 March 2007]: The decision to grant an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) rests with the courts, and the agencies that apply for such orders are themselves public bodies that are subject to the disability equality duty. The Home Office's “guide to antisocial behaviour orders” reminds agencies of their duties and provides a context for their observation, but it is not intended to serve as a substitute for existing monitoring arrangements. The Home Office therefore does not collect data on the health or other needs status of people issued ASBOs by the courts.

Biometrics: Equipment

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the costs of rolling out biometric readers for identity cards across the public services. [123575]

John Reid: Until further detailed work with both public and private sector organisations during the preparation and initial rollout of the Identity Card Scheme is complete, it is not possible to provide the
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precise mix of services each organisation may require and thus, it is not possible to provide a final estimate of the number and total cost of biometric readers across the public services at this stage.


Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2007, Official Report, columns 1501-02W, on burglaries, what initiatives are being taken (a) to encourage greater reporting of distraction burglaries and (b) to increase the number of convictions for these crimes. [125872]

Mr. Coaker: All Home Office publicity materials on bogus callers emphasise the importance of reporting suspicious callers and instances of distraction burglary.

At the local level partners including health and care professionals and voluntary sector bodies encourage the reporting of bogus caller incidents in one to one sessions in the home. Other initiatives used to promote positive doorstep behaviour and encourage reporting include theatre presentations, talks at luncheon clubs and events such as special pensioner screenings at cinemas, reporting facilities located in high street drop-in centres, and ‘nominated neighbour’ schemes.

To enhance the police response to distraction burglary, a national distraction burglary database and intelligence network has been established to facilitate the sharing of intelligence and support joint operations between forces and with other enforcement bodies including Trading Standards. Best practice including increased use of forensics and other technologies is also encouraged through the network.

Community Policing: Rotherham

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of Safer Neighbourhood teams in Rotherham; and if he will make a statement. [125539]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office monitors and evaluates neighbourhood policing nationally through a strategic research programme rather than measuring the performance of individual teams, such as those based in Rotherham. Implementation is measured by repeat surveys of all forces and basic command units (BCUs), and results are being compared with outcomes in the Police Performance Assessment Framework (PPAF). Outcomes which should be affected include crime and antisocial behaviour, feelings of safety and security, and satisfaction with, and confidence in, the police. An additional study is testing the impact of neighbourhood policing at a BCU level, following the successful evaluation of the ward level National Reassurance Policing Programme.

Surveys are being carried out in four Pathfinder BCUs each matched to a comparison site, to measure change in public perceptions and experiences. Results will be published in due course.

The Home Office also continues to assess police performance through the Policing Performance Assessment Framework (PPAF). The statutory performance indicators in PPAF on public confidence in the police (2a) and
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perception of antisocial behaviour (10b) measure the impact of neighbourhood policing. Finally, HMIC’s baseline assessments also provide a qualitative measure of neighbourhood policing delivery.

Community Support Officers: Cleveland

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers within Cleveland police are funded by (a) his Department’s resources, (b) neighbourhood renewal fund resources, (c) new deal for communities resources and (d) local authority resources, broken down by local authority area. [125741]

Mr. McNulty: This information is not collected centrally.

The Home Office is providing £818,000 from the neighbourhood policing fund (NPF) and £812,000 in other PCSO funding to Cleveland in 2006-07. This funding will assist the force in reaching its target of 122 PCSOs by April 2007. All forces are encouraged to seek funding from a variety of sources including their local community safety partners to meet the costs of police community support officers (PCSOs). Police community support officers play a key role within neighbourhood policing teams in improving community safety. Community safety and the reduction of crime and disorder in all of our communities can only be achieved through effective local partnerships, which include the police service and a range of others, including the local authority, housing providers, and representatives of the voluntary and community sectors.

Crime: Bedfordshire

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what targets were put in place on the rate of convictions to criminal offences in Bedfordshire in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [124511]

Mr. McNulty: No targets have been set for the rate of convictions to criminal offences.

Bedfordshire has a target to bring 13,045 offences to justice in 2006-07, and a target to bring 13,579 offences to justice in 2007-08.

Each Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB) has a target to increase the number of offences brought to justice (OBTJ). An offence is said to have been brought to justice when a recorded crime results in an offender being convicted, cautioned, issued with a penalty notice for disorder or a formal warning for possession of cannabis, or having an offence taken into consideration.

LCJB targets for numbers of OBTJ have been set each year since 2001. The performance by Bedfordshire is given in the following table.

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The number of offences brought to justice (OBTJ) in Bedfordshire, 2001-02 to September 2006( 1,2,3)
Number of OBTJ
Achieved Target



















(1) Baseline (excluding 825/90 offences).
(2) To end 2006-07.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(4) Year to September.
RDS Office for Criminal Justice Reform

Crime: Lancashire

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drink-driving offences were committed within Lancashire in each of the last 10 years. [124879]

Mr. Coaker: Available information on the number of convictions at all courts and those dealt with by written warning, taken from the annual Home Office publication "Offences relating to motor vehicles, England and Wales Supplementary tables", for the Lancashire police force area, from 1995 to 2004 (latest available) are given in the table.

2005 data will be available later this year.

The number of driving etc. after consuming alcohol or taking drugs( 1) offences found guilty at all courts or dealt with by written warning within the Lancashire police force area, 1995-2004
Number of offences
Total findings of guilt at all courts Written Warnings Total









































(1) Offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988. (2 )Equals nil Notes: 1. It is known that for some police force areas, the reporting of court proceedings in particular those relating to summary motoring offences, may be less than complete. Work is underway to ensure that the magistrates' courts case management system currently being implemented by the Department for Constitutional Affairs reports all motoring offences to the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. This will enable more complete figures to be disseminated. 2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when these data are used.

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Departments: Missing Persons

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions his Department has been represented at a meeting of the Missing Persons Strategic Oversight Group since May 2004; and on what dates this occurred. [124098]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 28 February 2007]: The Missing Persons Strategic Oversight Group (SOG) met twice, on 22 March 2006 and on 6 November 2006. The Home Office has been represented at both meetings. In addition to SOG meetings, the Home Office, the Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Health have ongoing bilateral contact with other stakeholders represented on the SOG.

Deportation: Convictions

Stephen Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sanctions are available upon conviction for breach of (a) a deportation order and (b) an exclusion order. [121938]

Mr. Byrne: It is a criminal offence, under section 24(1)(a) of the Immigration Act 1971 to knowingly enter the United Kingdom in breach of a deportation order or without leave. This offence carries a maximum penalty, on summary conviction, of a £5,000 fine and/or six months’ imprisonment.

The power to exclude a person from the UK is a non-statutory power available to the Home Secretary. There are no specific criminal offences in relation to those who enter the UK despite having been excluded, but any leave to enter or remain in the UK obtained by such a person will normally be cancelled or curtailed and steps taken to remove them from this country. A person who exercises deception to secure entry to the UK may be treated as an illegal entrant and be subject to removal or prosecution. The offence of obtaining or seeking leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception carries a maximum penalty on indictment of two years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

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