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Crime Statistics and Comparison of Police Detection Performance

Baroness Wilkins asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The next publication of crime statistics is due on July 18. As in January, an annex to the publication will give crime and detection figures for police basic command units for six types of crime which are of particular public concern. But for the first time my department will also be publishing these crime figures in relation to crime and disorder reduction partnerships. The partnership data will be published in 13 groups, or families, of partnerships.

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The families draw together areas with similar policing and crime reduction characteristics to assist comparison between the areas. There are 376 partnerships. The Home Office will today publish a policing and reducing crime unit briefing note to provide a description of how the family groups have been devised, which includes the list of the family groups. I have placed a copy of this briefing note in the Library.

Telegram from HM Ambassador to Japan

Viscount Goschen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have instituted an inquiry into how the contents of a telegram from HM Ambassador to Japan came to be disclosed to the media, as reported in The Times of 4 July.[HL3192]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Yes.

Tobacco-related Taxes

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much money was raised in the last financial year from tobacco-related taxes.[HL3171]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Excise duty receipts on tobacco products for the financial year 1999-2000 can be found in Table 2.1D of the national statistics publication Financial Statistics. The amount of VAT raised on tobacco can be estimated from the amount of household expenditure on tobacco. This is shown in Table 4.1 of Consumer Trends, published by the Office for National Statistics.

Mull of Kintyre Helicopter Crash

Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Regarding the inquiry into the crash of a Chinook helicopter on the Mull of Kintyre in June 1984: (a) whether the board of inquiry concluded that there were three possible causes of the accident; (b) whether the board attempted to establish the most probable cause and concluded that of the three possible causes that the crew could be blamed for two of them; (c) whether the board ruled that one of the two causes was the most probable cause of the accident; (d) how a decision upon the most probable cause of the accident can be reconciled with the requirement that a finding of negligence must only be made "where there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever"; and (e) whether the words "probable" and "absolutely no doubt whatsoever" are in contradition with one another.[HL3124]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The board of inquiry considered all the possible causes of the accident and attempted to establish the most probable. The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief said, in concluding the report, "without the irrefutable evidence which is provided by an Accident Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder there is inevitably a degree of speculation as to the precise detail of the sequence of events in the minutes and seconds immediately prior to impact. What does emerge from the inquiry, however, is that there is no evidence whatever of any combination of possible minor problems, or of any major difficulty, which would have so taxed the skills of the crew that they had no option other than to keep flying towards high ground at speed at low level in deteriorating conditions of cloud and visibility. From this I am reluctantly drawn to the conclusion that the operating pilots could and would have avoided this accident had they followed a different course of action from the one they chose to pursue".

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Transport of Military Equipment

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 6 June (WA 149), in considering whether road or rail transport is used for the movement of military equipment within the United Kingdom, what monetary value is applied in the calculation to cover (a) congestion and delays to other road users; (b) emissions; (c) noise; (d) speed of overall journey; and (e) training needs.[HL3006]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Ministry of Defence is only funded for the movement of military stores and equipment by the most cost-effective means. The MoD's budget is not intended to fund reductions in traffic congestion, delays, emissions and noise, and the selection of the best value for money option does not take these factors into account in monetary terms. None of them can be costed realistically and objectively, though they are taken into consideration when making a decision. The selection process does allow for the practical effects of speed and other capability factors, and close liaison is always maintained with civil police and local authorities to minimise any impact on other road users, However, training in each mode of transportation is also an important aspect of defence capability and will, therefore, dictate the mode to be used on many occasions.

Smoking-related Illnesses: Cost to NHS

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Govermment:

    How much the National Health Service in the whole of the United Kingdom spent during the last financial year on smoking-related illnesses.[HL3172]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The information requested is not available. However a study Cost Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Interventions by the Health Education Authority, in collaboration with the University of York, published in 1997, estimated the annual cost to the National Health Service of treating smoking related disease caused by smoking was between £1.4 billion and £1.7 billion for England, This is the most recent available estimate.

Smoking in Public Places

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they propose to ban smoking in public places.[HL3173]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Government have supported the licensed hospitality trade's Public Places Charter to increase the provision of non-smoking facilities in pubs, hotels and restaurants. The Health and Safety Commission has consulted on introducing an approved code of practice on smoking in the workplace.

Tobacco Advertising and Marketing

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they propose to restrict further the advertising and marketing of tobacco.[HL3174]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The ban on advertising was to be introduced on 10 December 1999 but the tobacco companies succeeded in the High Court in winning a stay on the Government implementing the regulations, pending the decision of the European Court of Justice on the validity of the Directive 98/43/EC. The Government appealed the High Court's decision successfully, but the companies have appealed to the House of Lords and the stay on implementation remains in force pending the outcome of that appeal.

On 15 June the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice delivered his opinion that the legal base of the EU directive which seeks to ban tobacco advertising was invalid and the directive should, therefore, be annulled. The Advocate General's opinion is not binding on the European Court. However, in the light of the opinion we are preparing primary legislation to deliver our manifesto commitment to ban tobacco advertising. We will bring forward this legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows, as the Government attach a high priority to it.

"Do Not Resuscitate" Instructions: Monitoring

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 3 July (WA 121-22), whether they have any plans for "do not resuscitate" decisions made in National Health Service hospitals to be collected centrally.[HL3199]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: I refer my noble friend to the reply I gave on 6 July 2000 at col. WA 156.

Nurse Recruitment

Baroness Uddin asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What initiatives are in place to recruit nurses from the ethnic and religious communities in the United Kingdom.[HL3200]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The new equalities framework for the National Health Service The Vital Connection reinforces the Human Resource Framework Working Together which sets out that NHS employers must demonstrate progress towards a workforce that year on year becomes more representative of the community it serves at all levels of the organisation. National examples include the Positively Diverse scheme and the Mary Seacole Bursary awards. Local examples include the Healthcare Apprenticeship Scheme at Bradford Community Trust and the Pathways to Access Project in Tower Hamlets.

The number of applicants to nurse training from Black and Asian backgrounds doubled between 1997-98 and 1998-99 (from 1,300 to 2,716). In 1998-99 about 8 per cent of domestic applicants to nursing providing ethnicity data described themselves as Black or Asian.

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