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Illegal Immigrants

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received

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on the impact of the proposed levy charge imposed at freight terminals on rail freight operators who inadvertently bring illegal immigrants into the UK; and if he will make a statement. [147080]

Mrs. Roche: The power to levy a civil penalty on rail operators who bring clandestine entrants to the United Kingdom concealed in rail freight wagons is contained within section 39(3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. This stipulates that powers to impose the charge are to be introduced by regulation and that the Secretary of State must consult those appearing to him to be likely to be affected by the imposition of penalties prior to their introduction.

The formal consultation process began on 13 November 2000, with the issue of draft regulations, code of practice and regulatory impact assessment, and ended on 25 December 2000. This was preceded by informal consultation during which representatives of the industry were invited to comment on an initial draft of the code of practice.

We are now considering the draft regulations and code of practice in the light of the issues raised during the consultation process. Copies of a report detailing these contributions and the response of the Home Office to them will be placed in the Library in due course.

Police Resources

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received from the Chief Constable of the Thames Valley Police concerning the resources available to him; [146996]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 23 January 2001]: The Chief Constable of Thames Valley wrote to me on 8 December 2000 about Crime Fighting Fund resources.

Under the provisional police funding settlement for 2001-02, Thames Valley Police Authority will receive central Government funding support of £245.2 million, an increase of 5.8 per cent. over 2000-01. Thames Valley also will receive additional funding of £4,301,000 on present estimates, for the Crime Fighting Fund, £8,652,000 for the Airwave Communications System, and £1,262,860 for rural policing.

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the level of spending on police resources on an average per capita basis is (a) nationally and (b) in the South Buckinghamshire district council area. [146999]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 23 January 2001]: Spending on police resources on an average per capita basis in England and Wales was £123.19 in 1999-2000. Spend in the South Buckinghamshire district council area is not available, however spend per capita in the Thames Valley police force area was £108.88 in 1999-2000.



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Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue guidance to chief constables about the diversion of police resources to town and city centres from the surrounding rural districts; and if he will make a statement. [147000]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 23 January 2001]: I have no plans to issue guidance to chief constables about the diversion of police resources to town and city centre from rural districts. The deployment of officers is an operational matter for the chief constable who will determine operational priorities, taking into account local needs.

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what financial resources he plans to make available to improve recruitment and retention of police officers in the South Buckingamshire district council area. [146998]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 23 January 2001]: No financial resources are being made available specifically to improve recruitment and retention in the South Buckinghamshire district council area.

Thames Valley police is, however, benefiting from measures introduced nationally to improve police recruitment. The force was allocated 325 recruits from the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) recruitment initiative: 111 for

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2000-01, 108 for 2001-02 and 106 for 2002-03. It has been agreed that the force can defer 69 of its CFF allocation for 2000-01 into 2001-02. Funding for all the CFF recruits, including those deferred to 2001-02, will be provided from the date of appointment.

We also launched the first ever national recruitment advertising campaign for the police service on 30 August 2000. The campaign is expected to cost £8.2 million (including VAT) in 2000-01. It is not possible to say what proportion of the cost of the campaign has benefited particular forces but, by 14 January 2001, 287 expressions of interest arising from the campaign had been forwarded to Thames Valley police.

Government Grants (Central London)

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list each category of grant, and the amount of each grant, paid by his Department to (a) Westminster and (b) Kensington and Chelsea in (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99, (iii) 1999-2000 and (iv) 2000-01; and what the projected figure is for 2001-02. [146312]

Mr. Straw: The following table shows grants paid by the Home Office to the London boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea in 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01; and projected payments for 2000-02:

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£

WestminsterKensington and Chelsea
1997-98
Grant under section 11 of the Local Government Act 19661,363,059739,615
"Make a difference"--55,000
1998-99
Grant under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966(22)1,398,498758,845
"Make a difference"--30,000
Youth Justice pilots17,00011,250
1999-2000
"Make a difference"--20,000
Youth Justice pilots53,50038,930
Drug Action Team development funding--35,782
Adult and family asylum seekers10,192,4807,790,560
2000-01
Young offender referral order pilot72,00072,000
Drug Action Team development funding--35,782
Adult and family asylum seekers(23)6,375,7435,621,054
Crime Reduction programme(24)056,000
2001-02(25)
Young offender referral order pilot72,00072,000
Drug Action Team development funding--35,782
Crime reduction programme1,925,000--

(22) The Ethnic Minorities and Travellers Achievement Grant, which replaced section 11 grant at the end of 1998-99, is administered by the Department for Education and Employment.

(23) Actual grant payments for first six months only. No estimate is available for final six months; or for the unaccompanied asylum seeking children's grant, of which neither authority has received any payment to date.

(24) Actual grant payments to date. Total projected payments for 2000-01 are: Westminster £280,000; Kensington and Chelsea £177,000.

(25) Projected grant payments. No projections are available for the adult and family asylum seekers grants; or for the unaccompanied asylum seeking children's grant.


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Police Time (Funding Applications)

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the

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number of senior police staff hours per annum which are devoted to initiating, writing and checking bids for central funds. [146264]

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Mr. Charles Clarke: The information requested is not centrally available. It could be obtained only by asking the forces that had submitted requests for special grants to estimate the time involved in the preparation of their bids.

Animal Experiments

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the total amount of funding made available to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate for each of the last five years. [147171]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The total funding available to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate for each of the last five financial years has been as follows:

£
1996-971,147,000
1997-981,160,000
1998-991,340,000
1999-20001,384,000
2000-011,495,000

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many laboratories were licensed for using animals for the testing of drugs in (a) 1996 and (b) 2000. [146825]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: At the end of 1996, 300 certificates were in force designating establishments under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Relevant statistics for 2000 are not yet available, but the corresponding figure for 1999 is 296.

It is known that many of the designated establishments have been and are engaged upon licensed programmes of work which include aspects of drugs development. It is not, however, possible to isolate that activity from the broader categories of statistical data held centrally.

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