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Offensive Weapons: 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 gun or knife crime in each year since 1997 were from single-parent households. [223753]

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
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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.

Powers of Entry

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation sponsored by her Department has (i) amended and (ii) enhanced existing powers of entry since May 1997. [222046]

Mr. Coaker: Since May 1997, Parliament has passed 73 primary enactments and 208 statutory instruments containing reference to a power of entry in England and Wales, sponsored by a range of Departments, introducing new or amending existing powers of entry. The relevant legislation is placed in the House Library.

We are currently conducting a review of the powers of entry. The review is focused on establishing the continuing need for existing powers and determining the potential for a single statutory framework for all powers of entry. The review is also examining ways in which public understanding and awareness of entry powers can be raised.

A public consultation paper will be published later this year on the proposed framework approach and raising public accessibility. Details can be found on:


Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the number of those designated as persistent and prolific offenders are presently serving prison sentences. [224332]

Mr. Coaker: The most recent data available from the performance management arrangements for the Prolific and other Priority Offender programme cover the period from January to March 2008. Based on returns from 93 per cent. of all Prolific and other Priority Offender schemes in England and Wales, the data show that 38 per cent. of Prolific and other Priority Offenders were serving custodial sentences at that time.

Road Traffic Offences: Fixed Penalties

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 July 2008, Official Report, column 608W, on road traffic offences: fixed penalties, if she will place in the Library a copy of the proposal from the Association of Chief Police Officers; and if she will make a statement. [222360]

Mr. Coaker: The proposal was contained in a paper submitted to the Fixed Penalty Procedures Working Group, which is chaired by the Home Office and brings together representatives from across Government and the criminal justice system who have an interest in fixed penalties. It is set out below. We are currently considering
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the launch of a consultation on the proposal, as would be required before any change could be made.

Security: Licensed Premises

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether requirements are imposed on door staff of licensed premises to undertake continuing training after they have obtained a Security Industry Authority licence. [222652]

Mr. Coaker: The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has not to date specified competency requirements for second and subsequent licence applications after an individual has provided evidence of competency when applying for his or her first licence under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. However, the SIA anticipate proposing the introduction of a requirement for licence holders, including door supervisors, to provide evidence that they have kept their competency up to date when applying for licence renewal. Such a proposal would require an assessment of the costs and benefits involved.

Smuggling: Tobacco

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to constrain illicit trade in tobacco; and what plans she has to review these measures. [224522]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

Since the publication of the tackling tobacco smuggling strategy in 2000, over 15 billion illicit cigarettes and over 1,000 tonnes of hand rolling tobacco (HRT) have been seized. Many organised criminal gangs have been broken up and thousands of individuals have been successfully prosecuted. As a result of the success of the strategy, the size of the illicit market for cigarettes was reduced over the five years to 2005-06 from 21 per cent. to 13 per cent.

At Budget 2008, the Government announced that the new UK Border Agency, which has assumed responsibility for Customs detection work at the border, would be developing a strategy for enhancing detection of tobacco products.

Speed Limits: Cameras

David Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of bi-directional road safety and speed cameras in the Metropolitan Police district are coloured yellow on both sides. [222304]

Mr. Coaker: This information is not collected centrally. Issues relating to the deployment of safety cameras in the Metropolitan Police district are operational matters for the Commissioner.

David Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Metropolitan Police plans to colour yellow the front of the bi-directional safety camera on the southbound carriageway of the A3 at Beverley Bridge by Robin Hood Gate, Richmond Park. [222305]

Mr. Coaker: This is an operational matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

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Young People: Greater London

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much (a) universal and (b) targeted funding her Department has provided to youth groups in London in each of the last five years. [222765]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office has invested funds in a wide variety of universal and targeted services to develop positive activities to improve outcomes for young people, as well as targeted youth crime and antisocial behaviour prevention activities for young people most at risk.

The Home Office has provided funding in the last three years to 21 London-based Positive Futures projects. The total Home Office funding provided to this collection of projects was £2.5 million for 2006-07/08 and an additional £1,274,680 in this financial year.

Disaggregated information on funding specifically to London-based Positive Futures projects in 2005-06 and 2004-05 is not available.

In addition, in May 2004, the Home Office launched the Connected Fund, which has to date held six funding rounds of small grants for local community organisations working to tackle gun and knife crime. Details of the projects funded can be found on the website:

Total funding under this funding stream to date is £1.75 million and approximately half of which went to London based organisations.

Also across Government the Department for Children Schools and Families fund a wide range of universal and targeted youth groups.

International Development

Africa: EU Strategic Partnership

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1165-6W, on Africa: EU Strategic Partnership, what criteria his Department is using to monitor progress under the strategy against the Millennium Development Goals. [223690]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Africa EU Joint Strategic Partnership and action plan were agreed by EU and AU member states at the Lisbon summit in December 2007. The action plan consists of eight Partnerships which contain 22 priority actions with agreed activities under each. On the European side, EU member states have taken a lead on the different partnerships. This role will include monitoring implementation of the agreed priority actions, in consultation with African partners.

The EU Africa MDG Partnership includes four priority actions, with a set of agreed activities listed under each. The UK Government are currently mapping ongoing and planned work on these activities and identifying gaps, in consultation with European and African partners. Once this mapping is completed, the principal criteria for assessing progress will be (a) delivery of planned or ongoing activities; (b) action to address gaps; and (c) whether a wide range of stakeholders, such as civil society organisations, are able to contribute their views and ideas.

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Africa: Females

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1167-8W, on Africa: females, what programmes his Department is supporting which promote the rights and political participation of women in Africa in 2008-09. [223684]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting a number of innovative and successful programmes in African countries that address women's rights and political participation.

DFID supports Kenya's Political Empowerment Programme which provided support to women candidates contesting parliamentary and civic seats in the December national elections. There are now more women in both parliament and local councils: the number of elected women in Parliament increased from nine in the last Parliament to 15 currently in 2008.

In Nigeria we are working with other donors and Nigerian civil society organisations, and DFID funded programmes have provided detailed analysis on the impact of the African Protocol on the Rights of Women and the adoption of the convention to eliminate discrimination against women (CEDAW). This will facilitate Nigerian civil society organisations to develop advocacy strategies aimed at passing legislation that better protects women's rights. In Sierra Leone DFID has committed long-term funding (2006-10) to support Women's Access to Justice. This programme has supported the introduction of Circuit Courts to reach remote areas, improving women's access to justice.

Further Information is available on the DFID website using the links provided in the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1167-8W.

Developing Countries: Borders

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1176-7W, on developing countries: borders, what information his Department has received from USAID on the steps it is taking to strengthen the Trans Kalahari and Maputo development corridors in 2008-09. [223681]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) receives monthly updates from the USAID Trade Hub based in Gaborone, Botswana.

USAID recently reported the endorsement given by Botswana's Ministry of Works and Transport for harmonising axle load limits for trucks moving along the Trans Kalahari Corridor. This measure should facilitate trade along the corridor.

USAID is also supporting the work of the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) for improving transport logistics along the Maputo Development Corridor. Some of the recent progress reported by USAID on their work with the MCLI include:

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Further information on the USAID Trade Hub can be accessed at:

Developing Countries: Education

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much and what percentage of its budget his Department spent on education programmes in schools in 2007-08; and what assessment he has made of the performance of such programmes against their objectives. [220455]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: In 2007-08, the Department for International Development (DFID) spent some £351 million bilaterally on education which represented 12 per cent. of DFID's total bilateral programme. These figures include an allocated proportion of General Budget Support and funding to the Education for All fast track initiative. It does not include support to education through multilateral institutions and non-governmental organisations funded through DFID's Partnership Programme Agreements. The UK is committed to increasing its total spending on education globally to £1 billion by 2010.

Global enrolment in primary education increased from 647 million in 1999 to 688 million in 2005 but latest estimates show that some 75 million primary aged children are still not enrolled in school, so a significant challenge remains. That is why, last year the Prime Minister and United Nations' Secretary General called for accelerated action to achieve the millennium development goals, including for education.

Ethiopia: Overseas Aid

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1178W, on Ethiopa: economic situation, what steps his Department is taking to help the Ethiopian government to promote human development in 2008-09. [223693]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Despite the present economic and humanitarian situation, this year's national budget for Ethiopia (passed in July) commits the Ethiopian Government to further increases in the levels of social spending to promote the expansion of basic services and improve human development.

Through a number of sector programmes, the Department for International Development supports this government priority through improving the availability and quality of health, education and water and sanitation services, particularly in poorly served rural areas in Ethiopia.

During 2008-09, we will be spending approximately £38.5 million on education services, £20.5 million on health services, and £10.5 million on water services.
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These resources will make a significant contribution to increasing the numbers of schools and teachers, health clinics and health workers, water points and latrines in rural areas.

Ethiopia: Water

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what bodies received funding from the £75 million allocated to support the Ethiopian government water sanitation and hygiene programme. [224142]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development's (DFID) water and sanitation programme in Ethiopia is administered through a World Bank trust fund. Project funds are channelled through the Government of Ethiopia's federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and spent by local government at regional and district levels. These funds are spent directly to provide water and sanitation services at community level. In 2008, £9 million has so far been provided to build around 1,000 rural water schemes (such as protected springs and hand dug wells) and eight small town schemes (piped water systems), benefiting approximately 500,000 people. Overall, DFID's £75 million will pay for water and sanitation for 3.2 million people.

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