Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Alcohol-related Crime

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Within the recorded crime series, the combined offence of causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is the only alcohol/intoxicating substance-related offence specifically listed. The most recently published figures on this offence are given in the table.

The British Crime Survey (BCS) estimates the level of alcohol-related violent crime using the question, "As far as you know, at the time it happened was the person who did it under the influence of drink?". This

8 Mar 2004 : Column WA142

question is asked of those who admitted being the victim of a violent offence in the previous 12 months. This question is asked every year. The last published figures in relation to this question were published in September 2003, and reported on questions asked in the 2000 BCS. This estimated that there were 1,246,000 incidents of alcohol-related violence in 1999 (Research Development Statistics, online report 35/03). More recent estimates have been published on the proportion of violence which is considered to be committed by someone under the influence of drink in 2001–02, which was 47 per cent (Home Office Statistical Bulletin 01/03).

In the BCS, all victims of violent crime are asked about the location of the incident. The options include, "In/around pub/bar/night club/ working men's club" and "In/around dancehall/disco". This gives us a measure of the number and proportion of incidents committed in connection with licensed premises. The figures published from the 2000 BCS revealed that 19 per cent of all violence occurs in or around a pub, bar or club, which is an estimated 623,000 incidents per year (online report 35/03).

8 Mar 2004 : Column WA141

Recorded crime by offence 1991 and 1995 to 2002–03 and percentage change between 2001–02 and 2002–03
Numbers and percentage changesRecorded crime

HO Office Offence Classification No(1)Offence19911995199619971997–98(1) 1998–99(1)
4.4Causing death by dangerous driving
4.6Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs 416242320291325348

HO Office Offence Classification No(1)Offence1998–99(2)1999–20002000–012001–022002–03(3)% change between 2001–02 and 2002–03(3)
4.4Causing death by dangerous driving
4.6Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs34931733537041312

(1) The number of crimes recorded in that financial year using the coverage and rules in use until 31 March 1998.

(2) The number of crimes recorded in that financial year using the expanded offence coverage and revised counting rules which came into effect on 1 April 1998.

(3) Numbers of recorded crimes will be affected by changes in reporting and recording. For further information see Chapter 3 in "Crime in England and Wales 2002–03".


8 Mar 2004 : Column WA141

Armed Forces: Medically Downgraded Personnel

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many downgraded personnel in the Armed Forces are not fit for operational deployment; and whether they will include this figure in future assessments of medically downgraded personnel. [HL1302]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): Within the Armed Forces, the three Services currently have different systems of medical downgrading reflecting the different roles they perform in delivering military

8 Mar 2004 : Column WA142

capability. Medical downgrading statistics include those who are ill and injured, but also include those Service women who are pregnant. In addition they include those who have long-term conditions but remain fit for the task they are expected to undertake. As of the quarter ending 1 October 2003, centrally held figures show that 2,095 trained Royal Navy personnel were assessed as not fit for operational deployment. Within the Army, 2,945 trained personnel in other ranks were assessed as non-deployable but figures for Army officers are not available for this period.

The total figure for the RAF of medically downgraded trained personnel, which includes those with either limited deployability or non-deployability, is 4,412. It is not currently possible to differentiate between those who would be deployed in a limited

8 Mar 2004 : Column WA143

capacity and those who are completely non-deployable within the medically downgraded RAF personnel figures. However, there is a mechanism in place for RAF personnel to be individually assessed if there is an operational requirement. As these assessments are carried out on an individual basis, it is not possible to identify these people as a group.

Work is under way to refine the way in which fitness for task is measured across the Armed Forces and future assessments of medically downgraded personnel will seek to differentiate those that are not fit for operational deployment.

Obesity

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to appoint an obesity tsar to address the problems of those who are obese, and prevent increases in their number.[HL1426]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Government are not considering the appointment of an obesity tsar. Action to prevent obesity is already integral to the national service frameworks (NSF) on coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes, older people and the forthcoming children's NSF. These set standards for action on nutrition and exercise, and for tackling obesity. Clinical tsars—including those for CHD, cancer, diabetes, and children—all highlight obesity as a key area of concern.

The public health White Paper will provide the overarching framework for all government efforts to improve public health and to progress work on the prevention and management of overweight and obesity.

Simvastatin

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether pharmacy status for simvastatin would be linked to cholesterol testing so that patients at high risk of a first coronary event could receive a higher dose statin, on prescription under the care of a general practitioner.[HL1685]

Lord Warner: The Government have consulted publicly on a proposal to make simvastatin 1Omg available over the counter in pharmacies, to reduce the risk of a first major coronary event in people who are likely to be at a moderate risk of coronary heart disease. The Committee on Safety of Medicines will advise Ministers on the proposals in the light of the responses to consultation.

8 Mar 2004 : Column WA144

The proposal also includes a pharmacy protocol on the questions pharmacists would need to ask to ensure those at a higher risk and who need to be referred to their general practitioner can be identified and those at a lower risk can choose to purchase a statin. Current evidence suggests that, for adults in western societies, it can be beneficial to reduce cholesterol levels whatever the starting point. The intention is that pharmacists will be able to offer cholesterol testing to people who want it.

Post Office: Delivery of Party Election Material

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have discussed with the Post Office ways of preventing postal delivery workers delivering party election material (other than election freepost items) while wearing their Post Office uniform; and, if not, whether they consider it desirable that this should happen.[HL1559]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): This is an operational matter for the Royal Mail. I understand that Royal Mail's code of business standards sets out that employees should not distribute or deliver unauthorised material while on duty or in uniform. Unauthorised material would include party election material that Royal Mail has not been officially asked to deliver or has not been posted through its system. Failure to comply with the code of business standards could result in disciplinary action being taken against the employee.

Pension Protection Fund

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In relation to pensions in payment where the pensioners retired before April 1997, what level of inflation-proofing will be provided by the proposed Pension Protection Fund (PPF); and for how many people and by how much on average that inflation proofing would fall short of the inflation protection to which they would have been entitled from their pension scheme before the assumption of responsibility by the PPF.[HL1452]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): For pensions in payment where the pensioners retired before April 1997 no inflation-proofing would be provided were they to enter the proposed PPF. However pensions in payment where the pensioner retired after April 1997 would receive inflation-proofing up to a cap of 2.5 per cent or RPI, whichever is the lower, on post-April 1997 accruals.

8 Mar 2004 : Column WA145

Details for how many people and by how much on average that inflation-proofing would fall short of the inflation protection to which they would have been entitled from their pension scheme before the assumption of responsibility by the PPF are not available.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page