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19 Apr 2007 : Column 750Wcontinued
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the employment prospects in NHS trusts for newly-graduated speech and language therapists; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities (SHAs) to analyse their local situation, develop plans and take action to recruit the appropriate staff required to deliver high quality speech and language services.
SHAs are working proactively with employers to support graduate opportunities. NHS Employers published guidance recently to support local national health service organisations, to help them maximise employment opportunities and to ensure the health and social care services do not lose the skills of newly qualified graduates.
On 7 February, NHS Employers hosted a summit which brought together representatives from SHAs, trade unions, the independent healthcare sector, social care, the higher education sector and Job Centre Plus. The outcome of the day was a jointly agreed action plan to help newly qualified graduates find jobs. The action plan will be taken forward by local partnerships working together to develop the best solutions for their area.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations were cancelled within three months of the date of the operation being given to the patient in the last 12 months. 
The data collected cover cancellations for non-clinical reasons on the day the patient is due to arrive or after arrival in hospital, and
for non-clinical reasons on the day of surgery. There were 54,682 such cancellations in the last 12 months (taken from Department of Health dataset QMCO).
Under the 18-week target, maximum waits of 18 weeks from referral to treatment will include any periods of delay caused by cancellations.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Departments policy is on the proposed transposition of the Treaty of PrĂ1/4m into EU law; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ryan: The current German presidency of the EU has put forward a draft Council Decision on the stepping up of cross-border co-operation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime. This draft Council Decision aims to incorporate into EU law some of the elements of the PrĂ1/4m Convention. The Government are broadly supportive of the draft Council Decision because it provides the potential to improve between EU member states the exchange of DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data, which will help British police forces prevent, prosecute and investigate serious crime and make it harder for criminals to escape justice.
The draft Council Decision has been submitted to Parliament for scrutiny. In addition to the written evidence provided to Parliamentary Scrutiny Committees by the Home Office I also gave oral evidence to the Lords European Committee on 7 March.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in approving evidential roadside breathtesting devices. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 18 April 2007]: We are currently finalising a type approval guide for evidential roadside breathtesting devices. Once the guide is available it will be for manufacturers to prepare devices in accordance with the guide and submit them for approval. We hope this will happen later this year.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the first evidential roadside breathtesting device to be used by a constabulary. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 18 April 2007]: We hope that manufacturers will be able to submit devices for approval later this year. The necessarily detailed tests for approval might then take around nine months. Once a device or devices are approved, it will be for manufacturers to market and police forces to purchase as they consider appropriate.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely impact on roads policing of the use of evidential roadside breathtesting devices. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 18 April 2007]: At present only screening tests can be conducted at the roadside; a person must be taken to a police station for an evidential test. Evidential testing at the roadside will save time and enable more enforcement. It will also catch those who fall below the drink-drive limit in the time taken to get to an evidential test.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in respect of how many 999 calls the target response time was missed in 2006. 
Mr. McNulty: Incidents reported to the police on 999 are graded by priority in accordance with the Police National Call Handling Standards and target response times are set accordingly by individual police forces appropriate to their geographic and population profile.
The data in respect of how many incidents reported to 999 were responded to by individual police forces against their respective target times in 2006 is not compiled centrally by the Home Office.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether biometric data of children aged 11 to 16 years captured for biometric passports will be transferred to the new Identity Cards database. 
Joan Ryan: It is intended that British citizens aged 16 and over will become registered on the National Identity Register and receive an identity card alongside an application for an adult passport.
It is only once such an application is received that biometrics will be recorded on the National Identity Register as part of the application process for a passport and identity card package.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 1 February 2007, Official Report, column 519W, on identity cards, how penalties under the Identity Cards Act 2006 will be communicated to those who incur them. 
Joan Ryan: A formal notice will be issued under section 31 of the Identity Cards Act to inform a person of a decision to impose a civil financial penalty for failure to comply with a specific requirement, such as a failure to notify a change of circumstances (under section 10) or to surrender an ID card when required (under section 11). The notice will set out the reasons for deciding to impose the penalty and the amount of the penalty as well as explaining the steps that the person may take to object to it. In addition, prior to the issue of a penalty notice, a warning letter will normally be issued to an individual to alert them that they appear to be liable to a civil penalty, explaining why this is the case and how they can meet the particular requirement in question and thus avoid the need for any penalty to be imposed.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of people were convicted of an offence of the (a) manufacture, (b) importation, (c) sale and (d) hire of (i) flick knives and (ii) gravity knives under section 1 of the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 in each of the last five years, broken down by age group. 
Mr. McNulty: Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on the number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences in connection with dangerous weapons under the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 Section 1 in England and Wales from 2001-05, by age group, are provided in the following table.
Information on the individual circumstances of offences is not held centrally and therefore information on the offensive weapons involved in these cases is not available.
|Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts, found guilty at all courts and convictions as a proportion of prosecutions for 'offences in connection with dangerous weapons under the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959, by age group , England and Wales2001-05( 1, 2)|
|Year/Age group||Proceeded against||Found guilty||Convictions as a proportion of prosecutions (percentage)|
|(1) These data are provided on the principal offence basis.|
(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 police forces and courts. 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.
Prosecutions are counted by date of final outcome in the magistrates court. Guilty figures are counted by the date of sentence in both magistrates courts and Crown courts. Hence guilty figures can exceed prosecutions where they reflect cases of people being found guilty in the magistrates court and committed for sentence to the Crown court, the two events being counted in two different years.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were convicted of selling knives to under-18s in 2006. 
Mr. McNulty: Information on defendants convicted of offences in 2006 will be available in the autumn.
Data from the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform show that 19 persons were found guilty at all courts for the offence of selling to a person under age of 16 years a knife; knife blade, razor blade, axe and any other article which has a blade under section 141A(i) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 which was inserted by section 6 of Offensive Weapons Act 1996 in 2005 in England and Wales.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) arrests were made and (b) convictions were secured under section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 in each of the last five years; 
(2) how many (a) arrests were made and (b) convictions were secured under section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Information on arrests for recorded crime offences under s139 and 139A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (as amended by s4(1) of the Offensive Weapons Act 1996) and s1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 (as amended by s2(1) of the Offensive Weapons Act 1996) are not separately identifiable within the arrests collection held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. The collection is based on persons arrested for recorded crime (notifiable offences) by main offence group (i.e. violence against the person, robbery, burglary, criminal damage etc) only.
Information on the number of persons found guilty for the offences requested in England and Wales for the years 2001-05 is provided in the following table.
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