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Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will expedite assessment of the asylum claims of all Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the light of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal's November 2008 country guidance determination on Zimbabwe. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 12 February 2009]: In November, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal refined what they believe are the current risk factors that must be considered for a Zimbabwean asylum claim. We have accepted their findings. We have issued new guidance to our case-owners and also made that guidance publicly available. We will keep the situation under review as the situation in Zimbabwe develops and we will update that guidance when appropriate.
The UK Border Agency will examine all outstanding Zimbabwean asylum claims on their individual merits, as soon as possible, applying the current test as set out in our guidance. This has already begun. We have dedicated significant resources to clearing backlogged cases. We will consider cases in line with published policy on prioritising cases which is on our website at:
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 19 November 2008, Official Report, column 575W, on the British Crime Survey, when volume 2 of the 2007-08 technical report will be published. 
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether additional funding has been made available to support the policing of illegal cannabis production and use since the drug was reclassified; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 13 March 2009]: The Government announced the decision to reclassify cannabis to a class B drug in May 2008. Following this announcement the Government have provided funding for a series of measures to work with police and enforcement agencies to support the policing of illegal cannabis production and use. These measures include working jointly with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on a UK Baseline Assessment; a National Problem Profile of commercial cannabis cultivation for the first time; the appointment of a national cannabis co-ordinator and the funding of NPIA practice guidance on tackling commercial cannabis cultivation and head shops.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department has taken to promote closer working and engagement between safer neighbourhood and community police teams with young people. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Home Office has supported the rollout of Neighbourhood Policing teams to every community in England and Wales. For neighbourhood policing teams an essential element of developing partnerships with their local communities is to consider how to engage effectively with young people. For example, each borough in Surrey has a youth intervention team that engages with young people in schools and the wider community, while Essex police make use of the county councils youth buses to engage with hard to reach communities. We also recently published our Youth Crime Action Plan (YCAP) which highlights the need to improve the communication and relationships between young people and the police.
Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 16 March 2009]: Town centre management schemes and business improvement districts are locally funded approaches that primarily aim to improve the trading environment and image of defined areas. Information is not collected centrally on the performance of these schemes.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people from (a) Enfield North constituency and (b) the London Borough of Enfield have attended the community crime fighters one day training course; and how many she expects to have done so by the end of 2009. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: One-day Community Crime Fighter training events have been held across England and in Wales. Over 1,000 people have so far attended these events. 3,600 people will be trained by the end of 2009.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many offences classified in the Home Office Counting Rules as 8/32 (breach of an anti-social behaviour order) have been recorded by police in each year since 1 April 2005; 
(2) how many offences classified in the Home Office Counting Rules as (a) 66/8 (breach of a sexual offences prevention order), (b) 66/17 (offences relating to notification), (c) 66/19 (breach of risk of a sexual harm order) and (d) breach of a foreign travel order have been recorded by police in each year for which figures are available. 
Jacqui Smith: The offences listed within both questions are all recorded under Home Office classification 66 Other offences against the State and Public Order as stated within the Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crime.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of criminal activity attributable to persons under the age of 16 years as (a) victim and (b) perpetrator. 
We do not have a recent estimate of the proportion of criminal activity for which those aged under 16 were perpetrators or victims. The most recent available (2007) figures for proven offending only (offences resulting in a
caution or conviction) show that young people (aged 10 to 17) accounted for 24 per cent. of caution and convictions for indictable offences.
Following a recommendation of the independent Smith review of the Home Office crime statistics, the British Crime Survey has been extended to cover under-16s since January 2009. This will assist in providing a clearer understanding of youth victimisation. We know that young people are more likely to be victims of other young people, and we are committed to driving down levels of youth victimisation. Through the implementation of the Youth Crime Action Plan, we will introduce a new national objective to substantially reduce the number of young victims by 2020.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many articles in independently peer-reviewed journals have been published by research staff in her Department acting in their official capacity in each of the last five years. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 3 March 2009]: Research and Analysis staff in the Department occasionally write articles in peer reviewed journals in an official capacity on a range of scientific research topics or to inform wider public debate on research issues relating to the Departments wider objectives. There is no centrally held information on the number of such articles published although a search of local records has indicated that 40 articles have been published in independently peer reviewed Journals by Research and Analysis staff working in an official capacity since 2004.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 150W, on drugs: crime, what categories of incidents would be recorded as those where drugs represented a characteristic or motivating factor. 
Jacqui Smith: Incidents recorded as having a characteristic or motivating factor linked to drugs will be those that have been identified in accordance with the definition for the Drugs incident qualifier, as set out in the National Standard for Incident Recording (NSIR).
Reports where the incident contains any reference to the behaviour or wellbeing of any person being affected by the consumption of drugs, whether legal or illegal;
Reports of the misuse, possession or creation of classified substances and/or paraphernalia reasonably assumed to be associated with such substances.
The qualifier guidance also includes examples as to the circumstances when this qualifier should be applied.
The Department has commissioned a number of studies which provide information on the relationship between theft and other acquisitive crime and drug use. In addition, monitoring data from the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) are routinely collated.
These data sources provide some information on the links between drug dependency and crime and the proportions of arrestees who use drugs. We have no published estimates of the share of total retail crime committed to fund drug use, although these sources do provide some indication.
The most recent assessment of the link between dependency on drugs and crime is the Arrestee Survey 05/06 which provides information on arrestees' self-reported offending while using drugs, and reported crimes committed in order to buy/get hold of drugs. This survey also provides the best available estimate of the proportion of people arrested for theft in general who are drug users. For example, of arrestees who reported taking heroin and/or crack cocaine (HC) at least once a week, 54 per cent. reported shoplifting in the four weeks prior to arrest compared to 10 per cent. for those arrestees who did not take HC at least once per week.
81 per cent. of arrestees who used heroin and/or crack cocaine (HC) on at least a weekly basis reported committing acquisitive crimes in the 12 months prior to arrest, in comparison to 30 per cent. of those arrestees who did not take HC weekly. (Source: Table 5.4 Home Office Statistical Bulletin 12/07)
Data from the Drug Intervention Programme also provide information on the number of positive drug tests (heroin and crack/cocaine) in 106 basic command units (BCUs) for those arrested and/or charged with a number of trigger offences, including theft.
The Drug Treatment Outcomes Research Studya representative study of drug treatment-seekers in England and Wales. The findings from this survey provide
information on the number of treatment-seekers who had committed offences prior to interview, the number committing offences in order to buy drugs, and the numbers committing offences while under the influence of drugs. Around two-fifths (39 per cent.) of drug treatment seekers reported committing an acquisitive crime in the four weeks prior to interview. This figure rose in the case of heroin and crack cocaine users, with 55 per cent. reporting that they committed an acquisitive crime in the four weeks before interview. (Source: Home Office Research Report 3)
The Offending Crime and Justice Surveya survey of offending among young people in the general population, asks whether offenders who had committed other thefts (including retail but not limited to) had taken alcohol or drugs at the time of the offence
Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 13 March 2009]: The most recent estimates made by the Department of the costs of drug-related retail crime provide figures for the victim costs of shoplifting as well as robbery associated with class A drug use (note that robbery covers both commercial and personal robbery). Estimates are also provided for the total social and economic costs of these crimes associated with class A drug use.
Recent estimates suggest that shoplifting accounts for 12 per cent. of the total social and economic costs of class A drug use. Victim costs for shoplifting are made up of the value of the property stolen and were estimated at £1,533 million in 2003-04.
Robbery is estimated to account for 16 per cent. of total social and economic costs of class A drug use (although note that this does not distinguish between personal and commercial robbery). Victim costs for robbery are made up of the value of property stolen as well as the cost of violence experienced by the victim and were estimated at £1,583 million in 2003-04.
Home Office online report 30/05
Home Office online report 16/06
Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 16 March 2009]: The Home Office is not able to provide information on levels of illegal drug dependency in the UK, but the British crime survey (BCS) does routinely provide estimates of illicit drug use among adults living in households in England and Wales.
Table 1 shows trends in the proportion of 16 to 59-year-olds who have said they had used illicit drugs in the last year; latest figures show that the prevalence of any illicit drug use has fallen since the 1998 BCS.
|Table 1: Proportion of 16 to 59-year-olds reporting use of drugs in the last year, 1998 to 2007-08, BCS|
|Ints||Statistically significant change|
|1998||2000||2001-02||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07||2007-08||1998 to 2007-08||2006-07 to 2007-08|
1. Any drug use includes ketamine since 2006-07 interviews.
2. Base numbers relate to any drug use. Bases for other drug measures will be similar.
1998 to 2007-08 BCS (self-completion modules).
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