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17 May 2007 : Column 898W—continued


Antisocial Behaviour: Bus Services

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals have been (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted of offences relating to throwing stones or other missiles at buses in each of the last five years. [137406]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

Statistics collected centrally do not separately identify an offence of throwing stones or other missiles at buses from other criminal offences.

Children: Abuse

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to require web hosting companies to review their commitments to ensure abusive images of children are removed from the internet; and if he will make a statement. [131975]

Mr. Coaker: The Government remain committed to ensuring that websites with child abuse content cannot be accessed from within the UK through any Internet Service Provider (ISP).


17 May 2007 : Column 899W

We continue to work very closely with the ISP industry as they put in place blocking mechanisms to restrict access to those websites identified by the Internet Watch Foundation, as well as to exploring other options to prevent access to illegal images of child abuse.

The Government have set a target for every ISP to support the blocking mechanism by the end of 2007.

Children: Protection

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Criminal Records Bureau checks as a child protection measure. [137235]

Joan Ryan [holding answer 16 May 2007]: Analysis from a recent independent poll indicates that the CRB is making a real difference to the protection of children and vulnerable adults; in the last three years, 60,000 unsuitable people have had offers of employment which involved working with children and vulnerable adults withdrawn on the basis of information contained on their Disclosure. This analysis also demonstrates that users of the Criminal Records Bureau’s (CRB) service feel that the information provided on Disclosures useful when making recruitment decisions.

The research, conducted by IPSOS MORI, shows that customer satisfaction levels are at an all-time high, reflecting the year-on-year improvements made by the CRB.

The National Audit Office (NAO) produced a report in 2004 (Criminal Records Bureau, Delivering Safer Recruitment?) in which it noted that CRB did not measure the impact that it had on society, whether it reduced crimes against the vulnerable or reduced the fear of crime. Following a CRB Internal Audit report in 2006, a proposal was put forward to adopt a system of outcome measures, which the CRB are currently exploring, that will be used to determine further the effectiveness of the CRB’s service in terms of child and vulnerable adult protection.

Fingerprints: EC Countries

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of proposals for a centralised EU database of fingerprints; what estimate has been made of the (a) set up costs and (b) annual running costs of the database; and if he will make a statement. [137518]

Joan Ryan: The Government believe that cross-border information exchange is fundamental to the fight against organised crime and terrorism and have therefore supported various EU initiatives to improve the exchange of information between member states. This includes a proposal currently under negotiation to facilitate the electronic exchange of data on fingerprints, DNA and vehicle registration between member states, known as the PrĂ1/4m Council Decision.


17 May 2007 : Column 900W

The Government have doubts however about the need for a centralised EU fingerprint database as suggested by the European Commission in its Annual Policy Strategy Communication for 2008. In particular, the Government will be looking to the Commission for a clear assessment of what added value this would bring to the PrĂ1/4m Council Decision.

The European Commission has yet to present the detail of its proposal, without which the Government cannot undertake a cost assessment. However, the Government have estimated that the start up costs for implementation of the PrĂ1/4m Council Decision would be around £31 million. This includes running costs for the first year, which would be around £2.5 million. The Government believe that this is justified by the practical benefits to be gained from the enhanced information sharing arrangements.

Leyhill Prison

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are held at HMP Leyhill; and how many are (a) Category D prisoners and (b) Category C prisoners. [135940]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

There were 399 prisoners detained at HMP Leyhill on 31 March 2007. All were Category D prisoners.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to answer the letter to him dated 2 April from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms J Mann. [137329]

Mr. Byrne: I replied to my right hon. Friend’s letter sent on behalf of his constituent Ms J Mann on 15 May 2007.

Offensive Weapons

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were convicted of knife crime offences in (a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997. [131274]

Mr. Coaker: Data from the Court Proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform showing the number of persons found guilty for offences related to the illegal sale and marketing of knives, and to the possession of knives in a public place without good reason in the areas of (a) South Tyneside, (b) the North East government office region and England and Wales for the years requested are provided in the table.

Data for the Jarrow constituency are not available as data broken down to constituency level are not collected centrally.

Information for 2006 will be available in the autumn.


17 May 2007 : Column 901W

17 May 2007 : Column 902W
Number of persons found guilty at all courts for offences related to the illegal sale, marketing and possession of knives in selected areas and England and Wales, 1997-2005( 1,)( )( 2,)( )( 3)
Area/region 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

South Tyneside magistrates court

6

11

14

6

21

23

12

22

36

North East local government office region

134

162

180

185

230

316

317

360

376

England and Wales(4)

3,363

3,808

3,543

3,531

4,326

5,306

5,346

5,827

6,025

(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.
(3) Includes data for offences related to the illegal possession, sale and marketing of knives.
(4) Data excludes figures for West Mercia police force area for the offence of possession of a knife or bladed article on school premises, due to a reporting error for this offence at the courts in that area.

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been convicted of carrying a knife in a public place in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk in each year since 1997. [134679]

Mr. Coaker: Data on the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform showing the number of people found guilty at all courts for the offence of carrying a knife in a public place in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c ) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire, and (f) Norfolk police force area 1997-2005 can be viewed in the following table.

Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for the offences of carrying a knife in a public place, and having an article with blade or point on school premises in Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, and Norfolk police force area 1997-2005( 1,)( )( 2,)( )( 3,)( )( 4)
Force 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

Bedfordshire

24

36

23

40

32

40

57

68

78

Cambridgeshire

24

35

31

15

27

46

34

62

57

Essex

85

97

96

100

99

103

146

201

176

Hertfordshire

31

29

28

27

25

53

83

84

92

Norfolk

29

50

46

36

41

59

69

70

69

Suffolk

31

22

26

30

31

61

52

68

69

Total

224

269

250

248

255

362

441

553

541

(1) These data are 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 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.
Includes the following:
(3) Statute: Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.139 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 s.3. Offence description: Having an article with blade or point in public place.
(4) Statute: Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.139A (1)(5)(a) as added by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 s.4(1). Offence description: Having an article with blade or point on school premises.

Police: Manpower

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of police officers left the police force in each of the last 10 years. [137169]

Mr. McNulty: The available data are from 1997-98 onwards and are given in the following table. These data are taken from the Home Office Statistical Bulletin series “Police Service Strength, England and Wales” published annually containing data correct as at 31 March; the bulletins can be downloaded from the following link:


17 May 2007 : Column 903W
Police officer leavers from England and Wales forces from 1997-98 to 2005-06
Officer leavers Officer strength Percentage leavers

1997-98(1)

6,657

124,798

5.3

1998-99(1)

6,104

123,841

4.9

1999-2000(1)

5,948

121,956

4.9

2000-01 (1)

5,849

123,313

4.7

2001-02(1)

6,420

127,267

5.0

2002-03(2)

7,783

132,509

5.9

2003-04(2)

7,139

138,468

5.2

2004-05(2)

7,367

141,059

5.2

2005-06(2, 3)

8,773

141,523

6.2

(1) Wastage comprises retirements, resignations, dismissals, deaths and transfers to police forces outside England and Wales.
(2) Not comparable to previous wastage figures as data do not include transfers to other England and Wales forces and officers leaving after a period of secondment.
(3) Over 1,000 police officers previously working with the National Crime Squad (NCS) and the National Criminal Intelligence Squad (NCIS) left their home force to join the Serious Organised Crime Agency when it vested on 1 April 2006.

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