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Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to meet local authority representatives to discuss grant payments for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 20 November 2007]: I met with representatives of local authorities last month to discuss this matter. In the meantime, there is on-going dialogue between my officials and local authorities on a number of funding issues in respect of the support provided by local authorities to unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions took place of individuals found to be supplying cannabis seeds via internet websites in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the links between home-grown cannabis and organised crime; and whether these links have changed since January 2004. 
Mr. Coaker: The Serious Organised Crime Agency produced the 2008-09 UK Threat Assessment of Serious Organised Crime at the beginning of April. The Threat Assessment recognises that while cannabis continues to be imported into the UK in significant quantities commercial cultivation in the UK, mainly by organised criminals, is on the increase, particularly the high potency form of cannabis known as skunk.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the prevalence of cocaine abuse in the 15 to 25 year age group in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Coaker: 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 and reports prevalence of cocaine use in the last year for young people aged 16 to 24.
Figures in the following table show prevalence of cocaine use (including crack cocaine and cocaine powder) over the last five years using the 2002-03 to 2006-07 BCS. The BCS shows that cocaine use among young people has remained stable during this period.
|BCS: P roportion of 16 to 24-year-olds reporting use of cocaine in the last year|
|Drug||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07||Statistically significant change2002-03 to2006-07( 1)||Statistically significant change2005-06 to2006-07( 1)|
|(1) A statistically significant increase at the 5 per cent. level would be denoted by up arrow character. A statistically significant decrease at the 5 per cent. level would be denoted by down arrow character..|
British Crime Survey
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will assess research on the principal variables which affect levels of crime in order to assess their relative significance. 
Jacqui Smith: The Home Office has no current plans to undertake such an evaluation. We already make use of the body of criminological and economic research evidence around a number of socioeconomic variables that impact on crime (including, for example, the economy, the impact of the police and criminal justice system, and demographic changes). However, given the complex way in which these factors interact, a conclusive judgment on their relative importance is extremely difficult to make. Furthermore, what comprises key factors may vary significantly between different types of crime and over time.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of those arrested for robbery in (a) the East of England and (b) Suffolk in 2006 were aged 17 and under. 
Mr. Coaker: Information on arrests collected by the Ministry of Justice provides data on persons arrested for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, by age group, gender, ethnicity, and main offence group. The available information is given in the following table. Data for 2006-07 will be available later in the year.
|N umber of persons aged 17 and under arrested for recorded crime (notifiable offences) within the robbery offence group, by area, 2005-06 (latest available).|
|Age 17 and under||All ages and age note known||Percentage of age 17 and under|
| Note: 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 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.|
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of incidents of violence against the person involved a (a) knife, (b) hitting implement, (c) glass or bottle, (d) stabbing implement, (e) firearm, (f) stone or stones, (g) syringe and (h) other implement in each police force area in England and Wales in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not available centrally. It is not possible to determine the implement used in crimes of violence against the person from the recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office.
|Table 1.03 Offences currently( 1) recorded as homicide by apparent method of killing and sex of victim: England and Wales, 1996 to 2006-07|
|(1) As at 12 November 2007; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.|
(2 )Including asphyxiation. Year 2000-01 includes 58 Chinese nationals who collectively suffocated in a lorry en route into the UK.
(3 )These figures may not agree with those in the firearms chapter because (a) figures include cases where the firearm was used as a blunt instrument and (b) homicide figures include shooting by crossbows and are compiled at a later date and take into account the results of police and court decisions.
(4 )Year 2005-06 includes 52 victims of the 7 July London bombings.
(5 )Year 2003-04 includes 20 cockle pickers who drowned in Morecambe Bay.
(6 )Year 2002-03 includes 172 victims of Dr. Shipman.
(7 )Excluding death by careless/dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking.
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