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Lord Rooker: Most Prison Service staff join at the pay minima of the respective grade, of which there are over 100. The pay rates of civilian staff recognise various forms of specialism e.g. accountancy, auditing, psychology, farm management and industrial craft trades. Specialist prison officers e.g. those working in healthcare, catering, physical education, libraries, works services trades, instructing and as dog handlers currently receive an annual specialist allowance. We are also in the process of introducing market supplements to recognise specialisms such as personnel, procurement, project management, engineering and health and safety.
Lord Rooker: There is an extensive range of training available to all staff in the Prison Service, from the initial training for new prison officers, through to specific operational training courses and opportunities for staff development.
The initial training for new prison officers is an 11-week course that is partly residential and partly establishment based. This gives a thorough introduction to the Prison Service and equips officers to maintain security and contribute to prisoner resettlement.
Training in prisoner management and care includes, for example, courses for staff who work with young offenders or women prisoners, for those involved in delivering offending behaviour programmes, and for physical education officers.
A new approach to leadership and management development is now being created. It will include a leadership programme and direct support and advice to establishments. This review will take account of the recommendations of Lord Laming of Tewin.
Lord Rooker: Cells without integral sanitation in segregation units and health care centres are used to hold prisoners while their behaviour is disturbed, violent or destructive and where they are assessed as presenting a serious risk of harm to themselves or others.
The Home Secretary sets the strategic direction for the police service through a small number of ministerial priorities, each measured by a set of performance indicators including the best value suite of performance indicators (BVPIs).
The priority on drugs, as reflected in the Government's 10-year drugs strategy, is to tackle the misuse of Class A drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, as these are the drugs that cause the greatest harm. A BVPI (No. 129) exists in respect of supply offences involving Class A drugs.
Whether they intend to implement the recommendations of Setting the Boundaries, the report of the sexual offences review, published on 4 April 2001.[HL549]
Lord Rooker: I understand that work has begun on the project, which will create a central register on the police national computer of firearms certificate Holders, drawn from the register already held by local police force systems.
This development work will continue, but I regret to say that it will not be possible for the register to be implemented on the live operational PNC system until an upgrade of PNC software has been completed. This upgrade is essential for the continued daily operation of PNC, which might otherwise be prejudiced, and should be completed in March 2002 and advised that the firearms certificate holders register will go live as soon as possible after that; timing is dependent on rework necessary to ensure existing applications run on the upgraded software. I am asking the PITO board for a full report on this unwelcome slippage and will write to the noble Lord when this has been received.
Lord Rooker: The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police tells me that it is not his policy to deal with rough sleepers in the area around New Scotland Yard any differently from rough sleepers elsewhere in Westminster. The perimeter of the New Scotland Yard complex is subject to 24-hour police security patrols and this may also have an effect in reducing the incidence of rough sleeping on the north side of Victoria Street in the immediate vicinity of New Scotland Yard.
Lord Rooker: During the last year, Home Office Ministers have met representatives from the Afro-Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, Al Khoei Foundation, An-Nisa Society, Black Churches Civic Forum, Board of Deputies of British Jews, Breakfast Jewish Forum, Church of England, Hasidic community, Jewish Yemenite community, Muslim College, Muslim Council of Britain, Three Faiths Forum and Union of Muslim Organisations.
What role the new National Substance Misuse Treatment Agency has had in informing the draft residential care standards for younger adults in relation to people with substance misuse problems.[HL410]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government began their extensive consultation process on the proposed national minimum standards for care homes for younger adults before the inception of the national treatment agency. The agency's role in setting standards across the substance misuse treatment field will incorporate the new residential care standards once they are finalised, following further consultation with providers.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: It is for the council to decide how the register will be kept and the means of obtaining access to it. Our proposals for legislation to replace the council envisage that its successor should have a similar power, subject to a duty to consult those affected. They do not require the publication of home addresses of registrants on the register. The responses to consultation are now being carefully considered and a report will be published in due course.
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