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Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people carrying replica guns were (a) injured and (b) killed by the police in (i) 1990, (ii) 1997, (iii) 1998 and (iv) 1999. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Affairs Select Committee and the Firearms Consultative Committee have recommended that there should be restrictions on the availability of replica firearms and their possession in a public place. We have also received representations from the Association of Chief Police Officers about the use of replica firearms in robbery and other crimes, and from the Gun Control Network. We intend to consider all these recommendations and representations carefully in consultation with the police service and other interested parties.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the supply of places for juveniles on remand or sentenced provided by (a) the Prison Service, (b) local authorities and (c) the independent sector over the next five years. 
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shown in the table. There are no formal estimates of supply of Prison Service places beyond 2002-03 at this stage.
|Prison Service||Local authorities||Independent sector|
(8) No estimates beyond 2002-03 at this stage
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) 15 and (b) 16-year-olds are on remand in adult prisons; if he will list the prisons concerned; and how many were so remanded on the equivalent date in 1999. 
1. Provisional figures
2. Total receptions cannot be calculated by adding together receptions in each category because of double counting
Mr. Boateng: The Home Office publishes a long-term projection of the custodial population annually in February of each year. Projections are provided according to various alternative scenarios. For the February 2000 projection the middle variant projection assumes growth in the use of custody by courts but no change in the average sentence length. The higher variant projection assumes that custody rates and sentence lengths increase. Both variants include an assumption of an increase in the juvenile estate due to the introduction of the Detention and Training Order in April 2000.
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Mr. Boateng: The Youth Justice Board's commissioning strategy has identified three areas--London, Wales and the North-west, where there are currently overall shortages of secure accommodation for both male and female juvenile offenders.
The Board's current commissioning plans, which are subject to negotiations with the Prison Service and planning applications and approval for potential new sites seek to redress the shortages in Wales by late 2003-04. Options for London are under consideration which will release some of the pressure by March 2002, with further sites addressing the shortfall by March 2005. Some inroads into the North-west shortfall are expected in 2001-02 but the necessary new accommodation is not expected to be available until 2004-05.
Mr. Boateng: Juveniles remanded to prison are held in Prison Service juvenile accommodation whenever possible. On 13 December 224 15 and 16-year-olds male remandees were held there and 17 in ordinary prisons for exceptional reasons.
Mr. Charles Clarke: I have written on two occasions to the hon. Member for North Essex about the issue raised in the petition, namely the placement of asylum seekers at the Silver Woods Hostel (formerly the Silver Springs motel). My first letter preceded the presentation of the petition to Parliament and the second was sent in response to the hon. Member's further letter of 7 September.
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I can only confirm that the present use of the hostel for asylum seekers is not a matter for which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has any responsibility and he has no powers to prevent that use. The National Asylum Support Service has not designated Thorrington as a cluster area for the dispersal of destitute asylum seekers and their families and has not sought to accommodate asylum seekers there.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his policy that the UK should be made a less attractive destination for economic migrants; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Our policy is to reduce misuse of the asylum system by people who are not refugees. The changes we have made to that system are designed to minimise its attractions to unfounded applicants while ensuring that those with genuine claims are not left destitute.
At the same time there is a developing debate in the United Kingdom and elsewhere flowing from an analysis of the potential economic and social benefits of migration. The Immigration Rules already set out circumstances in which people may come here for work and other purposes. The United Kingdom is quite rightly an attractive destination for legitimate migrants, who make a strong contribution to our economy and our society. But this is a wholly separate issue from our unwavering determination to restore the integrity of the asylum system.
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