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Mr. Coaker: We fully recognise the need for trans-national work to combat human trafficking and welcome the continued efforts of the European Union in this area. However, we foresee some difficulties with a proposed EU hotline, including issues relating to the management and dissemination of information received and language difficulties. The value of an EU hotline over and above national arrangements and existing structures would have to be demonstrated.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of human trafficking for sexual purposes have been discovered in each of the last three years; from which countries the persons arrived; and how many successful prosecutions resulted. 
Mr. Coaker: From 2003 to date, the Poppy Project has supported a total of over 253 women who were accepted as being victims of trafficking. These victims have their origins in a number of countries, however the top five countries of origin for referrals to the project are Lithuania, Albania, Nigeria, Thailand, and China.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licences to sell alcohol were revoked in each year since 1997 as a result of the sale of alcohol to persons under the age of 18 years in England and Wales, broken down by (a) police force area and (b) local authority area. 
Past and future statistical bulletins on licences to sell alcohol include the number of licences revoked, but do not indicate why. Licences may be revoked for a number of reasons or a variety of factors, including sales to children.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licences to sell alcohol were suspended for 48 hours in each year since 1997 as a result of the sale of alcohol to persons under the age of 18 years in England and Wales, broken down by (a) police force area and (b) local authority area. 
The offence of persistently selling alcohol to children which can lead to a suspension of the permission to sell alcohol for 48 hours was introduced only in April 2007. No records are currently held centrally of the number of such actions taken.
Mr. McNulty: There is no date set yet for the commencement of Sections 19 to 21 of the Police and Justice Act 2006. While not explicitly reviewing the role of partnerships or Overview & Scrutiny Committees and Community Call for Action, local accountability and local involvement arrangements are being reviewed by Sir Ronnie Flanagan as part of his wider review of policing. This review is scheduled to be published in the new year. Work will be taken forward thereafter to implement these sections.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much on average a band D council tax payer in London paid towards policing costs in (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000; and if she will make a statement. 
|Metropolitan Band D council tax|
Mr. McNulty: North Yorkshire police authority, like every other police authority in England and Wales, has received a sustained increase in police funding over the last 10 years. Total grants to North Yorkshire have increased by nearly £27 million (42.9 per cent.) since 1997-98.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many roadside checks for (a) speed, (b) use of seat belts and child restraints, (c) vehicle safety and roadworthiness and (d) influence of alcohol or drugs were conducted by each police force in each of the last three years. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she introduced the rural policing grant; for how long a period it applies; how many police officer posts it has created; and how such posts will be funded once the grant ceases. 
Mr. McNulty: The rural policing fund was introduced part way through 2000-01 when £15 million was made available to enhance the policing service in rural areas at no cost to the metropolitan forces. From 2001-02 the Fund rose to £30 million per annum benefiting 31 forces. All shire forces benefited except Cleveland, Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire and South Wales.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the single non-emergency number in the five first wave areas; 
Mr. McNulty: Following consideration of the assessment of the programme Ministers have decided not to continue to directly fund the live single non-emergency areas but will continue to provide funding to support the national 101 routing infrastructure to ensure that the number remains available for use by local areas wishing to implement or develop their own locally funded 101 service.
Ministers acknowledge the many benefits achieved by the live areas. Evaluation and assessment of the 101 service found that it had successfully demonstrated the benefits it was intended to achieve around improving access to and delivery of local community safety services. Importantly, through better partnership working and information about what problems are happening where, it has also helped local police and councils to target their resources more effectively and efficiently. It is hoped that the lessons learned and good practice will be mainstreamed into local operations wherever possible.
Representations on funding were received from the existing live police and council partnership areas. These representations were taken into careful consideration in deciding the future for the 101 service.
The Home Office will have spent £41 million to the end of 2007-08 on the development, implementation, support and live operation of the 101 service. The good practice and lessons learned for improving local services from this work, together with continued funding support for the national 101 telephony infrastructure, will help to inform and support further improvements to community safety and the maintenance or development of locally funded 101 services in local areas.
Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not collected centrally. The Home Office collects statistics on offences recorded by the police but thefts of mobile phones cannot be separately identified from thefts of other items.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many security firms have made representations to her Department on the Security Industry Authority's licences; and what those representations were. 
Mr. Coaker: The Home Office receives regular and frequent correspondence on a range of matters relating to the work and remit of the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The representations cover a range of issues. Over the past year the most frequent subjects have been inquiries about individual licence applications, and responses to a consultation exercise on the future options for the licensing of private investigators.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what undertakings were given at the time of the formulation of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) to (a) serving and (b) former police officers or their representative body, the Public and Commercial Services Union, on the effect that SOCA would have on access to the police pension on attaining 30 years service or 50 years of age; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 20 November 2007]: At the time of the formulation of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) it was stated that ex-police officers could retire from SOCA at whatever age their existing pension scheme allowed them to take their pension. Any decision to work beyond that point would be entirely optional and subject to mutual agreement between the individual and SOCA. Ex-police officers could retire from SOCA, take their lump sum and after a short break rejoin SOCA; but they would not be able to draw a full pension and a salary once they rejoined if this took them over their previous salary (i.e. abatement would apply). This was set out in SOCA Update Issue 13 and reiterated by the Director-General Designate at several road shows across the country.
It should be noted that SOCA is not a police force; however, arrangements were put in place to ensure that any police officer joining SOCA on 1 April 2006 under the Transfers to SOCA Scheme 2006, having been previously directly recruited into the NCS/NCIS on or before 31 March 2006, retained their entitlement to police allowances and membership of the police pension scheme.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what direct financial support her Department gives to each sexual assault referral centre in England and Wales; whether it is her policy that local police authorities should share in the costs of (a) establishing and (b) running sexual assault referral centres; what her policy is on whether the sexual assault referral centres should be partly financed by primary care trusts; what discussions she has had with the Department of Health about the centres; what guidelines her Department issues on (i) capital set up and (ii) running costs of the establishment of policies and procedures for sexual assault referral centres; what steps her Department is taking to encourage the establishment of sexual assault referral centres in England and Wales; how many sexual assault referral centres there are in England and Wales; and how they are financed. 
Mr. Coaker: There are currently 19 Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) with a further 17 centres under development with the support of Home Office funding. The existing SARCs are primarily funded by police forces and primary care trusts, although funding sources and operating costs vary across the SARC network. The direct financial support for SARCs provided by the Home Office is set out in the attached table. In 2007-08 there have been three funding streams available to SARCs: capital start-up grants for new SARCs, grants to support the development of good practice in existing SARCs, and grants for independent sexual violence advisers based in SARCs.
National Service Guidelines on Developing SARCs, published jointly by the Home Office and the Department of Health in 2005, make clear that the primary responsibility for establishing and running SARCs sits with police forces and Primary Care Trusts, although they also encourage Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to support the development of SARCs through local area agreements. These guidelines also provide guidance on the set up and running costs of SARCs. Guidance on policies and procedures is provided in Getting Started guidance produced by the National SARC Steering Group and updated in 2006. The Home Office also employs an expert consultant in SARC development to assist those setting up SARCs with establishing partnerships, costing proposals and developing operating procedures.
The Home Office and Department of Health engage in regular discussions about SARC development and are working in partnership to develop guidance for primary care trusts and local authorities on commissioning services for victims of sexual violence, including SARCs. Ministers from both Departments sit on the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Sexual Offending, which includes the development of SARCs within its remit.
The Government have encouraged the development of SARCs through the publication of guidelines, the provision of start-up funding, the work of the expert consultant, and practitioner workshops. In October the Government published in draft the National Indicator Set for Local Strategic Partnerships which will be in operation from 2008-09. This included an indicator on access to support services for victims of serious sexual
offences, including services provided by SARCs. We have also made clear through the new Making Communities Safer public service agreement that
tackling serious sexual offences, including through the provision of support services to victims to reduce harm, is a priority for the Government.
|Home Office funding allocation to Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in England and Wales|
|Police force area||SARC location||Funding from the Home Office in 2007-08 (£)||Start-up funding from the Home Office in previous years (£)|
|(1) Under development means that funding has been provided from the Home Office for start-up costs but the SARC is still in the process of setting up.|
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