The Department of Communities and Local Government has conducted, with stakeholders, an informal scoping exercise to learn more about the extent to which some communities believe caste is a continuing social phenomenon within British society and to identify any evidence that individuals had been discriminated against on these grounds. The analysis of the responses has not yet been completed.
Mr. Paul Murphy: The Environment Agency has a formal records management procedure which addresses retention issues. Pursuant to that procedure, the Environment Agency's Legal Services would generally retain its files relating to a contaminated land issue, under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, for five years following the conclusion of that matter. The further retention of that file would then be reviewed.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Details of the Department for International Developments expenditure plans for 2007-08 were published in its Annual Report 2007. Planned expenditure for Afghanistan in 2007-08 is £107 million. Final outturn data for 2007-08 will not be available until after the end of the fiscal year.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many claims for discrimination, based on (a) sex, (b) race and (c) sexual orientation, were brought by members of his Department and settled (i) in and (ii) out of court in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has settled fewer than five claims for sex discrimination brought by DFID staff in the last five years. All action was settled out of court in one year, 2003. There were no claims on the grounds of race or sexual orientation.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2008, Official Report, column 1658W, on department accountability, how many distinct budget lines relating to her Department's expenditure and forecasts are reported to the Treasury monthly. 
These tables show the resource and capital budgets at departmental objective level and their constituent budgets. The number of lines shown in the tables may vary from year to year depending on departmental policy and machinery of government changes.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many acceptable behaviour contracts were issued in each of the last two years; and what proportion have been complied with. 
Mr. Coaker: Data on acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs) are not collected by the Home Office as they are voluntary agreements and therefore not suitable for central data collection. However, surveys carried out by the Home Office of the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) indicated that over 25,000 ABCs have been made since October 2003. The Home Office has issued updated and comprehensive guidance for practitioners on the use of ABCs.
65 per cent. of people stopped behaving antisocially after one intervention;
86 per cent. after two; and
93 per cent. after three.
Jacqui Smith: The British Crime Survey (BCS) provides information on the prevalence and trends of illicit drug use among 16 to 59-year-olds in England and Wales. The BCS does collect information on the use of cannabis at least once in a lifetime, use in the last year and use in the last month, but it does not routinely collect information on the number of people who tried cannabis for the first time each year.
Mr. Coaker: The Government will continue to work in partnership with retail organisations to tackle retail crime. As part of this work we have set up, with the British Retail Consortium, a National Retail Crime Steering Group to provide an opportunity for discussion of retailers' crime concerns and to devise strategies to deal with these.
In line with the new Crime Reduction StrategyA new partnership 2008-11 the work on reducing retail crime will focus on three key areas: raising the profile of crimes against business; improving engagement between retailers and crime reduction partnerships; and ensuring local partnerships have the guidance and the tools to develop local responses.
One of the tools is being developed by the Perpetuity group with Home Office funding. The group is developing a crime reduction tool for small and medium-sized retailers to design out crime in their stores and significantly reduce the opportunities for shop thieves to operate.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 29 February 2008, Official Report, column 1966W, to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone), on crime: rural areas, how many offences were recorded by the police in rural police force areas in each year from 1997-98 to 2001-02. 
|Total offences recorded by the police in rural police force areas( 1)
|Number of offences
|(1) The defining of rural police force areas within England and Wales has been taken in accordance with the ACORN (A Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods) guidance as published in the Statistical Bulletin 01/02 Rural Crime England and Wales. The data cover 13 forces which ACORN defines as either most rural (Dyfed-Powys, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire and North Wales) or less rural (Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Devon and Cornwall, Durham, Gloucestershire, Norfolk, Suffolk, West Mercia and Wiltshire).
(2 )The coverage of recorded crime was expanded in 1998-99 and figures before and after that date are not directly comparable.
Mr. Byrne: Government policies and programmes affect the lives of millions of people and in order for them to work they must be communicated effectively. This is done with cost efficiency in mind and adherence to the strict rules on the propriety of Government advertising. In recent years, the Home Office has produced advertising to help empower people to protect themselves from crime, warn young people of the dangers of illegal drugs and help recruit police officers.
The following table sets out advertising spend for the last five complete financial years, broken down by (i) advertising media spend; (ii) recruitment advertising spend; (iii) overall spend, and (iv) advertising as a percentage of that spend. Providing further historical figures would incur disproportionate costs. Figures for 2007-08 are not yet available.
|Recruitment advertising (£)
|Total Home Office spend (£)
|Total advertising as a percentage of total Home Office spend
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in her Department were (a) dismissed, (b) subject to disciplinary procedures short of dismissal, (c) moved to less sensitive duties due to shortcomings in performance and (d) given early retirement in each of the last five years. 
Jacqui Smith: The number of staff (a) dismissed and (b) subject to formal disciplinary procedures for poor performance within Home Office headquarters, the Border and Immigration Agency, Identity and Passport Service, and the Criminal Records Bureau, is set out in the following table.
|Disciplined short of dismissal
Fewer than five members of staff within the Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau were moved to less sensitive duties due to poor performance, and further information on those cases has been withheld on grounds of confidentiality.
The number of staff (d) given early retirement within Home Office headquarters, the Border and Immigration Agency, Identity and Passport Service, and the Criminal Records Bureau in each of the last five financial years is set out in the following table.