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Naturalisation Applications

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for naturalisation (a) he has determined personally and (b) have been determined personally by other Ministers in his Department (i) in total since 2 May 1997 and (ii) in (1) 1997, (2) 1998, (3) 1999 and (4) 2000. [149572]

Mrs. Roche: This information is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The overwhelming majority of decisions are taken by officials.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which hon. Members made representations to his Department between 2 May 1997 and 28 July 1998 in support of relaxing the residence requirement for applicants for naturalisation. [150040]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 12 February 2001]: None so far as we can determine. It would entail disproportionate cost for us to check for any representations made in the context of individual cases.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the residence requirements are with which an applicant for naturalisation is expected to comply; what is the legal basis for these requirements; and if he will make a statement. [149575]

Mrs. Roche: I refer the hon. Member to Schedule 1 to the British Nationality Act 1981 where the residency requirements are set out. Schedule 1 is the legal basis for the requirements.

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Prison Statistics

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners (a) were in category B prisons, (b) escaped from category B prisons and (c) absconded from category B prisons in each year between 1990 and 2000. [149916]

Mr. Boateng: Available statistics show the category B prison population at the end of June for each year was:

YearNumber
19955,274
19968,162
19979,016
19987,181
19997,396
20007,763

I am unable to provide figures for 1990-1994 in the time available.

Determining the number of prisoners who have either escaped or absconded from category B prisons over the 10 year period can be supplied only at disproportionate cost. However, I can advise the House that there has not been an escape from a category B establishment since September 1999.

Police (Avon and Somerset)

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate (a) the total number of police officers and (b) the number of frontline officers in the Avon and Somerset area in each year since 1978-79. [148739]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Information on police numbers in Avon and Somerset constabulary from December 1978 is provided in the table. However, it is only possible to provide information from December 1990 on the number of operational (frontline) officers. The information on operational officers has been provided by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Data on operational numbers were collected on a calendar year basis between 1990 and 1993. Police numbers prior to 1994-95 have therefore been provided on the same basis so that the data are comparable. From 1994-95 all data are on a financial year basis (ie as at 31 March of each year).

Avon and Somerset Constabulary police numbers since 1978 and operational numbers since 1990

YearTotal number of police officersNumber of operational police officers
1978(28)2,775n/a
19792,861n/a
19802,962n/a
19813,014n/a
19822,996n/a
19832,985n/a
19842,979n/a
19852,965n/a
19862,982n/a
19873,021n/a
19882,975n/a
19893,055n/a
19903,0592,599
19913,0722,640
19923,0652,379
19933,0342,286
1994-95(29)3,0002,262
1995-962,9812,277
1996-972,9892,378
1997-982,9762,417
1998-992,9992,394
1999-20002,9342,777
2000-01(30)2,941(30)n/a

(28) Figures between 1978 and 1993 are on a calendar year basis.

(29) Figures from 1994-95 are on a financial year basis.

(30) Total police numbers for 2000-01 are those for 30 September 2000. Information on the force's operational numbers for 31 March 2001 will not be available until the middle of the year.


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Victim Support

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sums of money his Department will in future make available each year for independent charities providing support for victims by victims; and what procedures there will be for applying for such funding. [150457]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government are considering the allocation of grant to victims programmes and hope to make an announcement shortly.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sums of money his Department has given each year, from 1995 to date to (a) Victim Support, (b) other independent victim charities, and the amounts per charity, and (c) other victim support organisations with non-charitable status, and the amounts per organisation; and what proportion of the above amounts had gone to provide support for bereaved and injured road traffic victims (i) via Victim Support, (ii) via the independent victim charities and (iii) via the other victim support organisations with non-charitable status. [150458]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The available information about Home Office grant given to victim support organisations since 1995 is summarised in the table.

Victim Support (£ million)Support after murder and manslaughter (£)Other victim support organisations (£)
1995-9610.81700
1996-9711.68200
1997-9812.68200
1998-9912.68243,0000
1999-200017.500100,0000
2000-0118.600100,0000

Information about the proportion of such grant which might have gone to provide support for victims of road traffic incidents is not available.

Since 1999 the Home Office has also provided £23,000 a year to the road safety organisation, BRAKE, for the supply of the booklets 'Coping with grief' and

15 Feb 2001 : Column: 254W

'Procedures following a death on the road in England and Wales'. The booklets are distributed free of charge by the police to the families of those killed in road crashes.

New Prison, Peterborough

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he expects work to start on demolishing existing buildings to make way for the new prison in Peterborough; [150536]

Mr. Boateng: There has been no delay. The Prison Service carried out its own investment appraisal as to whether to demolish the existing buildings before appointing a preferred supplier to construct and operate the new prison at Peterborough. Discussions took place with the city council, demolition contractors and the consortiums bidding for the new prison. At the conclusion of these discussions it was decided that the best option was to incorporate the demolition work into the PFI construction contract.

Work on demolishing the existing buildings on the site of the new prison to be built at Peterborough is expected to commence in late 2001.

Work on demolishing the existing building on the site of the new prison to be built at Peterborough is expected to commence in late 2001.

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he expects the new prison to be operational in Peterborough; [150535]

Mr. Boateng: Details of contract costs and funding will be announced to coincide with contract signature which is expected in late 2001. The new prison at Peterborough is expected to take its first prisoners in early 2004.

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received from the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mrs. Brinton) on behalf of her constituents (a) for and (b) against the new prison in Peterborough. [150546]

Mr. Boateng: My hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mrs. Brinton) has made representations on behalf of three constituents, one of whom was against the prison proposal with the other two being respectively against the proposed location within Peterborough and the access route into the prison.


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