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Parliamentary Questions

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: No. Such a rule could result in misleading answers.

Association of Chief Police Officers: Funding

The Earl of Haddington asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): In my Written Answer on 21 April (WA 199), I explained to the noble Lord that the contributions to the costs of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) secretariat were made under the common police service funding arrangements. The funding arrangements for the common police services have changed in recent years. In 1994-95 the police authorities' contribution was 49 per cent. of the total net cost of common police services. This was apportioned between police authorities on the basis of a per capita charge based on the authorised establishment of each force. From 1995-96 to 1997-98, the costs of common police services were taken into account when the level of police grant was set for police authorities. From 1996-97, police authorities have made voluntary contributions towards the costs of the ACPO secretariat.

I refer the noble Lord to my Written Answer on 2 April 1998 (WA 64) in respect of the Association of Chief Police Officers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and my noble friend Lord Sewel's Written Answer on 1 April 1998 (WA 35) in respect of the Association of Chief Police Officers for Scotland, concerning the most recent accounts for these two organisations. This remains the most recent information available.

The payment of £10,000 made by the Association of Chief Police Officers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland to the costs of setting up the Chief Police Officers' Staff Association is a matter for ACPO.

The Home Office contributes to the salaries of national officials and some running costs of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, to similar costs of the Police Federation of England and Wales and separately to the individual constituent bodies of the staff side to the Police Negotiating Board for the United Kingdom, i.e. the Chief Police Officers' Staff Association, the Superintendents' Associations of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, the

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Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, the Police Federations of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, in respect of their administration and travelling and subsistence costs.

The Home Office will contribute £2,000 towards the costs of CPOSA in connection with its staff side activities of the Police Negotiating Board in 1998-99.

Europol Convention and Protocols

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which conventions or protocols relating to Europol have (a) been agreed; (b) are in force; and (c) have been proposed by the European Commission; and in respect of each, what have been, or are expected to be, the parliamentary procedures used for their ratification, together with the relevant dates; and what relevant reports or proceedings relating thereto have been published and made available to the public.[HL1669]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Europol Convention has been agreed, as have two related protocols: one on the interpretation of the convention, by way of preliminary rulings, by the European Court of Justice; and one of the privileges and immunities of Europol, its organs and staff. None of these instruments is yet in force as they first need to be ratified by all member states of the European Union, some of which have not yet quite completed the necessary parliamentary procedures.

These instruments have been proposed by successive presidencies of the European Union, not by the Commission which, under the Maastricht Treaty, has no right of initiative in respect of justice and home affairs matters. The parliamentary procedure for ratification of the Europol Convention and both related protocols required draft Orders in Council to be approved by each House of Parliament. Such orders are subject to affirmative resolution. The orders relating to the Europol Convention and the Protocol on Preliminary Rulings by the European Court of Justice were considered in another place on 3 December 1996 by a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, and on the Floor of this House on 9 December 1996. The order relating to the protocol on privileges and immunities was debated in another place by a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation on 4 December 1997 and on the Floor of this House on 15 December 1997. Records of all the above proceedings were published in the Official Report.

EU Committee on Justice and Home Affairs: UK Representative

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the names and offices of any United Kingdom representatives of the committee of officials authorised by Article K4 of the Treaty of Maastricht

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    in preparation for, and providing in respect of, any matter of justice and home affairs; and to whom are their reports and minutes made available.[HL1671]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The United Kingdom representative on the committee set up under Article K4 of the Treaty on European Union is Mr. Timothy Walker, Director General of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office.

The treaty provides that the committee's task is to give opinions for the attention of the Council and to contribute to the preparation of the Council's discussions in the areas referred to in Article K1 as matters of common interest in the fields of justice and home affairs and in the areas referred to in Article 100c of the European Communities Treaty (visas). Reports and other documents discussed by the committee are normally submitted through the Committee of Permanent Representatives to the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The public may apply to the Council for copies of the documents, and any such applications will fall to be considered under the relevant Council decision. The calendar of meetings is now available on the internet, and work is in progress to make the agendas of K4 meetings and other papers available in the same way.

Motoring Offences: Convictions

Viscount Simon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For the most recent five-year period for which details are available, how many drivers were convicted of:

    (a) one offence;

    (b) two offences;

    (c) three offences;

    (d) four or more offences;

    and what was the annual total of convictions.[HL1637]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Such information as is available is given in the table. This relates to the number of convictions for summary motoring offences. A breakdown to show how many persons were convicted of different numbers of offences is not available for Scotland or Northern Ireland, and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost for England and Wales for a five-year period.

However, a small sample of cases in which convictions for summary motoring offences were recorded in the London area in 1996 has been examined. Of these, 33 per cent. involved one conviction, 32 per cent. two convictions, 22 per cent. three convictions and 13 per cent. four or more convictions. The figures relate to the number of convictions at a single court appearance. It is not possible to analyse the number of offences attributable to individual drivers who many have appeared in court more than once.

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Convictions for summary motoring offences--United Kingdom

England and WalesScotland (provisional)Northern Ireland

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