(2) what information he has on the degree of liaison between the Metropolitan police and private companies authorised to clamp vehicles in respect of prioritising illegally parked vehicles.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Under section 104 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the decision to fit a wheel clamp to a vehicle may only be authorised by a police officer. Private companies are employed by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis to carry out the physical task of applying wheel clamps and their operatives act on the instructions of a police officer.
Highway Maintenance Service Limited
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report the text of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State's letter of 5 June to the hon. Member for York about recorded crimes in North Yorkshire.
Mr. Jopling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give the average number of remand prisoners held in police cells in Cumbria over the last convenient period for each police station ; how many police hours were spent looking after them ; and at what cost to public funds.
Information is not available centrally on the numbers held in individual police stations over this period. The available information does not separately identify the number of prisoners held on remand.
During the same period, a total of 17,598 police hours were taken up with tasks relating to the custody and transport of prisoners who would normally be held in prison. The cost to the Prison Service of the police cells operation in Cumbria was £309,433.48.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : There is already an active suicide prevention management group at Feltham. In addition, the governor recognises the widespread concern about recent deaths at the establishment and has chaired a special group to identify what more could be done. The group is taking forward a range of initiatives, including a review of induction procedures and of measures to curb the incidence of bullying. Staff have been given refresher training in suicide prevention and a training pack has been produced for future use. Case conferences are held each week to manage prisoners identified as being at risk. A prison visitor scheme has been set up to support those who do not receive regular visits. Links have been made with the local branch of the Samaritans. The establishment is also continuing to develop its policy of encouraging regular contact between prisoners and their families, particularly where there is concern about the prisoner's welfare. In addition, a new unit is to open on 22 June with specially trained staff whose role will be to work to modify the behaviour of known bullies. Video cameras are also being installed in trouble spots to help staff to identify bullies.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to amend the law to bring the provisions concerning manslaughter into line with the protection given to the pre born against abortion after 24 weeks and the Still-Birth (Definition) Act 1992.
Column 52124-week limit now in the Abortion Act 1967 and with the Still-Birth (Definition) Act 1992 when a suitable opportunity arises.
Mr. Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give further consideration to the points made in the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection report on the London hospital medical college in October 1991 ; and if he will publish a full detailed response to each point.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The allegations in the BUAV's report were thoroughly investigated by the Home Office scientific procedures inspectorate and considered in detail by Home Office officials. A reply was sent to the general secretary of the BUAV on 17 March, and he has been invited to put any further specific questions to the Home Office in writing.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the outcome of his recent meetings about the hunger strike by the Turkish/Kurdish/Aleri refugees in London ; what evidence he has of the after-effects of torture of former Turkish refugees living in London ; what information he has about the treatment of their wives and children ; what
representations he has received about this matter ; and what representations he has made to the Turkish authorities.
Mr. Charles Wardle : On 1 June we were informed that 54 of the original 62 hunger strikers had abandoned their protest. On 5 June we were informed that the remaining eight had taken the same step. Representations have been made in individual cases about the circumstances of Turkish refugees and asylum applicants with exceptional leave living in London and about their families remaining in Turkey. Applications for family reunion are considered in the light of the immigration rules and other published guidelines. My right hon. and learned Friend has had no contacts with the Turkish authorities on these matters.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will reduce the time before an asylum seeker given exceptional leave to remain may apply to bring in his family and immediate dependants from four years to three years.
Mr. Charles Wardle : No. The period of four years reflects the view that family reunion for someone with exceptional leave should not normally be allowed until it is apparent that his stay in the United Kingdom is likely to be permanent.
Applications received for asylum in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants <1>Number of principal applicants |<2><3>1990|<4>1991 -------------------------------------------------------- January } |4,455 |2,165 February } |3,360 |3,445 |1,420 March } |3,885 |1,595 April } |5,275 |1,440 May } |3,665 |3,805 |1,370 June } |3,000 |<5>- July } |3,725 |<5>- August } |6,980 |3,340 |<5>- September } |3,525 |<5>- October } |4,375 |<5>- November } |8,005 |3,790 |<5>- December } |2,210 |<5>- |22,000 |44,840 |<5>- <1>Provisional figures, rounded to the nearest 5. <2>1990 figures may understate because of delays in recording. Reliable monthly estimates are not yet available. <3>In addition, about 55 applications by nationals of Afghanistan to the British High Commission in New Delhi were processed locally. <4>In addition, about 15 applications by nationals of Afghanistan to the British High Commission in New Delhi and 40 applications by nationals of Liberia to the British High Commission in Lagos were processed locally. <5>Not yet available.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure greater uniformity in practice about what constitutes urgent and compassionate grounds for family reunion in the cases of asylum seekers seeking exceptional leave to remain.
Mr. Jack [holding answer 15 June 1992] : Vandalism in Wales is being most effectively addressed when organisations such as the Police, local authorities and other local agencies combine their efforts to develop practical preventive policies. It is such approaches which our policies seek to support.
(2) how many responses he has received to his consultation paper on squatting ; whether he will list the name of each respondent ; and whether he will state the number of respondents who were in favour or opposed to each of the four options consulted on.
Mr. Jack [holding answer 16 June 1992] : The Government are committed to strengthening the law against squatting and last year a consultation paper was published setting out various proposals. The responses to
Column 523this exercise raised a number of issues which require and are receiving careful consideration. It is not possible at this stage to say when legislative proposals will be brought forward. The Government wish to ensure that any new measure should be fair, easy to administer and be effective.
In all, we received 216 responses to the consultation paper. Analysis of the results shows that 133 responses--62 per cent.--were in favour of strengthening the law, 58--27 per cent.--were opposed, and 25--11 per cent. --came to no clear conclusion. However, those respondents opposed to strengthening the law can generally be taken to have supported option A-- leaving the criminal law unchanged ; six respondents favoured option B--a limited extension of the law to certain types of squatting ; 17 favoured option C--extending the criminal law to all squatting in residential premises ; and 56 supported option D--a general extension of the criminal law to cover squatting in any premises.
Eighty four of the responses were from private individuals or companies, and we also received responses from the following public bodies, local authorities and organisation :
The Association of District Councils
The Association of Metropolitan Authorities
The London Boroughs Association
The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
The London Borough of Brent
The London Borough of Croydon
The London Borough of Greenwich
The London Borough of Hackney
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Newham Borough Council
Tower Hamlets Borough Council
Wandsworth Borough Council
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council
City of Bristol
City of Carlisle
Chester City Council
Exeter City Council
Swansea City Council
Cheshire County Council
Cumbria County Council
Gwent County Council
Oxfordshire County Council
Ashford Borough Council
Bournemouth Borough Council
Borough of Broxborne
Borough of Crewe and Nantwich
Dacorum Borough Council
Darlington Borough Council
Daventry Borough Council
Gillingham Borough Council
Guildford Borough Council
Hastings Borough Council
Borough of Luton
Medina Borough Council
Newport Borough Council
Scarborough Borough Council
Spelthorne Borough Council
Test Valley Borough Council
Wallingford Borough Council
Bridgenorth District Council
Carrick District Council
Fenland District Council
Hinkley and Bosworth District Council
Mid-Bedfordshire District Council
North Dorset District Council
North Kesteven District Council
North Norfolk District Council
North West Leicestershire District Council
Penwith District Council
Purbeck District Council
Rother District Council
South Cambridgeshire District Council