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7 Oct 2008 : Column 572W—continued


Crime Prevention

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government are taking to prevent crimes involving (a) internet fraud and (b) identity theft; and if she will make a statement. [224293]

Mr. Coaker: The Government maintain internet fraud prevention advice on a number of websites and also supports the GetSafeOnline website which is a joint Government and industry initiative which provides clear, accessible and up-to-date advice on the easy ways in which the public and small businesses can protect themselves and their PCs while using the internet.

The Government have recently allocated £29 million in new money to implement the findings of the cross Whitehall review of fraud. A new National Fraud Reporting Centre which will enable the police to draw together comprehensive fraud intelligence will also work with law enforcement to tackle fraud facilitated through the internet.

The Government are involved in a range of activity to help reduce identity theft and works with organisations in the public and private sector. We have sought to ensure better co-ordination in prosecuting fraudsters through establishing a network of Single Points of Contact in all police forces and a range of Government Departments and agencies dealing with identity fraud investigations and prosecutions.

We have also strengthened legislation. Offences in the Identity Cards Act 2006 target those who possess and use false identity documents and genuine documents belonging to someone else. More powers to share data to combat fraud were enacted in the Serious Crime Act 2007 and the Disclosure of Death Registration Information Scheme, under the Police and Justice Act 2006, was launched on 16 January 2008.

We have introduced systems to confirm the validity of UK passports presented to other organisations and interviews for first time passport applicants over 16 years old now take place to verify the identity of individuals.

A leaflet and the

website help to increase public awareness of the problem. The material advises on how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity fraud, warning signs to look out for, and what someone should do if they do fall victim. Anyone who has had their personal details used fraudulently can contact one of the three credit reference agencies for help in resolving any credit related problems. They offer a free credit repair service and will liaise with each other, and the banks, to repair compromised personal credit records.

Finally, our plans for a National Identity Scheme will provide people with a highly secure means of protecting their identity and help citizens to prove their identities easily, quickly and with vastly improved security.

Crime: Prisoners

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of offences recorded by the police in each of the last five years were crimes committed by prisoners whilst in custody. [224229]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 17 September 2008]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Home Office collects 'recorded crime' data from the police in England and Wales. These data concentrate solely on the numbers of offences which are recorded and detected by the police.

Within this data-set no details are collected on the offender.


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Crime: Young People

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of children under the age of 16 who were victims of crime in each year since 1997 were from single-parent households. [223752]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not currently available.

There are two primary sources of statistics on crime held by the Home Office. Police recorded crime is based on aggregate returns from police forces of the number of notifiable offences reported to and recorded by the police. Such returns do not contain information on the characteristics of victims or their families. The British crime survey is a sample survey of households in England and Wales and covers crimes experienced in the 12 months prior to interview. Currently, the survey is restricted to the experiences of adults aged 16 years and over. Following a recommendation of the independent Smith review of Home Office crime statistics, the survey is being extended to include those aged under 16 years from 2009.

Curfews: Young People

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will assess the implications for the safety of young people in curfew areas where they may not be present in public in groups of more than two people. [222460]

Mr. Coaker: There are no plans to assess the safety of individual children in areas that are subject to authorisations made under section 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 (dispersal orders).

Domestic Violence: Emergency Calls

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police forces use recordings of 999 calls when interrogating those accused of domestic violence offences. [222406]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office does not hold information on the use of 999 recordings in police interviews with suspects in domestic violence cases.

However, in April this year revised guidance on investigating domestic abuse was reissued to all police forces by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the National Policing Improvement Agency. The guidance sets out the principles of interviewing suspects in domestic violence cases and also gives direction on the use of relevant questioning to prove offences.

Driving Offences: Insurance

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the extent of insurance fraud arising from intentional motor vehicle accidents. [222650]

Mr. Coaker: I have made no assessment of the extent of insurance fraud arising from intentional motor vehicle accidents.


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Driving Offences: Mobile Phones

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on enforcing the rules regarding driving while using a mobile telephone in each year since 1997. [222257]

Mr. Coaker: This information is not collected centrally. Use of resources is an operational matter for individual chief officers of police. It became a specific offence to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving in December 2003.

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were arrested for driving whilst using a mobile telephone in each year since 1997. [222258]

Mr. Coaker: This information is not collected centrally. Information on court proceedings for the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving and fixed penalties issued for the offence are contained in Motoring Offences and Breath Test Statistics, England and Wales, published annually, and in its supplementary tables. The information covers the period from December 2003, when this conduct became a specific offence.

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been prosecuted for using a mobile telephone whilst driving. [223880]

Mr. Coaker: The latest available information from the Court Proceedings Database held by the Ministry of Justice is for 2006 and is provided in the table. As the majority of ‘use of hand held mobile phone while driving’ offences are dealt with by the issue of a fixed penalty notice these are also included.

2007 data should be available later this year.

Fixed penalty notices issued( 1) and total court proceedings for the offence of use of hand held mobile phone while driving( 2) by police force area, England and Wales 2006
Number of offences

Fixed penalty notices issued Total court proceedings( 3) Total dealt with

England and Wales

164,910

2,682

167,592

(1) Paid, i.e. no further action.
(2) Offences under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, Regulations 110 (1), 110 (2) and 110(3).
(3) Includes cases where fixed penalty notices were originally issued but not paid and subsequently referred to court.
Notes:
1. It is known that for some police force areas, the reporting of court proceedings in particular those relating to summary motoring offences, may be less than complete. 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.

Homicide: Children

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children under the age of 10 were victims of homicide in each of the last 10 years. [222647]


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Mr. Coaker: Available data relate to homicides recorded by police in England and Wales between 1997-98 and 2006-07, and are shown in the table. Data for 2007-08 are not yet available.

Latest analysis of homicide statistics for England and Wales was published in ‘Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2006-07’ (Home Office Statistical Bulletin 03/08) which can be found online at:

The next homicide chapter is scheduled for release in January 2009.

Homicides currently recorded( 1) where victim aged under 10 years: England and Wales, 1997-98 to 2006-07( 2)
Year offence initially recorded( 3) Number of homicides

1997-98

61

1998-99

70

1999-2000

56

2000-01

81

2001-02

49

2002-03

73

2003-04

53

2004-05

48

2005-06

38

2006-07

49

(1) As at 12 November 2007; figures are revised as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.
(2) Data for 2007-08 are scheduled to be published in January 2009.
(3) Offences are shown according to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made.

Offensive Weapons

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which programmes and organisations dealing with (a) gun and (b) knife crime her Department has funded in each of the last five years. [222766]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office has provided funding for a range of organisations working on issues generally relating to violent crime, including CrimeStoppers and Crime Concern.

In addition, through the Connected Fund, we have provided small grants to local community organisations working on tackling gun and knife crime. Lists of the organisations funded in the six rounds of the fund held to date can be found at:

The Home Office has also provided funding for Be Safe, which provides educational workshops on weapons; the Disarm Trust, which worked to support community groups working on gun crime; Urban Concepts' ‘Don't Trigger Campaign’, focusing on raising awareness of gun crime; Mothers Against Guns, which supports families of gun crime victims; From Boyhood to Manhood, an organisation working with young black men who are at risk of being involved with violent crime; and Street Pastors, which works on the streets on Friday and Saturday nights to listen to young people and provide support.


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Offensive Weapons: Dyfed

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many knife crimes were recorded in Dyfed-Powys in each of the last five years. [221918]

Mr. Coaker: It is not possible to identify those offences that are knife-related from the data centrally collected on overall recorded crime. However, since April 2007, police forces have been providing separate aggregate data on serious violence (attempted murder, GBH and robbery) involving knives and sharp instruments. Dyfed-Powys police recorded 74 such offences during 2007-08.

Available data from the Homicide Index relate to offences currently recorded as homicide where the apparent method of killing was ‘sharp instrument’, as at 12 November 2007. The number of such offences recorded by Dyfed-Powys police each year between 2002-03 and 2006-07 are given in the following table. Figures for 2007-08 are scheduled to be published in January 2009.

Offences currently( 1) recorded as homicide where apparent method of killing is sharp instrument( 2) : Dyfed-Powys police, 2002-03 to 2006-07( 3,4)
Year offence initially recorded( 3) Number

2002-03

3

2003-04

0

2004-05

0

2005-06

2

2006-07

1

(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) Homicides involving any sharp instrument, including knives.
(3) Offences are shown according to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made.
(4) Data for 2007-08 are not yet published.

Offensive Weapons: Southampton

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people aged (a) 16 and under, (b) between 17 and 18, (c) between 18 and 21 and (d) 21 years were arrested for carrying (i) knives and (ii) firearms in the City of Southampton in each of the last five years. [222993]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not collected centrally.


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