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Mr. David Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions prosecutions have been brought against persons or companies under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 for communications distributed in respect of commercial purposes. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Number of persons or companies prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 for communications distributed for commercial purposes are not separately identified on the Home Office's Court Proceedings and Cautions Database.
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government published their proposals for the reform of the law on involuntary manslaughter in May 2000. Among the proposals was the creation of an offence of corporate killing to hold undertakings to account for serious wrongdoing. We are considering in detail the responses to the consultation exercise and will publish our final proposals shortly. We will legislate as soon as Parliamentary time allows.
Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to ensure that drivers prosecuted as a result of crashes in which there has been a fatality are tried in a Crown court. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Drivers who cause a fatality by grossly negligent driving, dangerous driving or careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs must currently be tried in the Crown court. If convicted of manslaughter they are liable to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment; the other relevant offences carry a
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maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment. Where a vehicle is taken without the owner's consent and causes a fatality the driver must also be tried in the Crown court and is liable, if convicted, to a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
There is currently no offence which reflects a fatality occurring as a result of careless driving. In these circumstances the driver would be charged with the summary-only offence of careless driving which attracts a level 4 fine (currently £2,500).
The Government are aware of concerns about the powers of the court to deal with fatalities that occur on the roads. Accordingly, the Transport Research Laboratory has carried out research on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions into the way in which "bad" driving cases proceed through the criminal justice system. The report is due to be published in the near future. We will then be in a better position to judge whether any changes in this area of law and its operation are necessary.
Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, for each of the last five years for which figures are available, the results of trials in magistrates courts, including cases that were withdrawn or dismissed. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Information covering the period 1994 to 1999, showing the number of defendants prosecuted at magistrates courts by type of offence and result is published in Table 6.3 of "Criminal Statistics England and Wales 1999" (Cm 5001).
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(b) other homicides were committed in England and Wales, broken down by specific offence, in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The available information relates to initially recorded offences of homicide (murder, manslaughter and infanticide) in England and Wales and is given in the table. Those offences subsequently decided at court to be murder, manslaughter and infanticide are
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also shown. The latest figures are an unreliable guide as in a large number of cases court proceedings were still pending as at 11 September 2000 when recording was closed for publication purposes. The outcome may result in some offences being reclassified when final data are available.
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|Year||Offences initially recorded as homicide(18)||Convicted of homicide(19) TotalMurderSection 2 manslaughterOther manslaughterInfanticide|
(18) A separate offence is recorded for each victim of homicide, so that in an incident in which several people are killed, the number of homicides counted is the total number of persons killed.
(19) As at 11 September 2000; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.
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The initially recorded figure includes all homicides because when an offence is discovered and recorded by the police, it is not generally known whether an offence of murder, manslaughter or infanticide has been committed.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many press releases were issued by his Department in the financial years (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000; how many have been issued in the current financial year; and what his estimate is of the total number for the current financial year. 
|Year||Home Office||Prison Service||Forensic Science Service||Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons||Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation|
It is difficult to estimate the total number of press releases likely to be issued by the end of this financial year but on current projections we would anticipate it to be in excess of 400 for the Home Office, 110 for the Prison Service and 35 on behalf of the Inspectorates.
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Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) most serious and (b) least serious discipline matter is for which Dr. Ali Dizaei has been warned of action. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis considers that it could potentially be prejudicial to reveal in this, or in any other case, the details of alleged misconduct before any decision has been taken to institute disciplinary proceedings.
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Mr. Charles Clarke: In order to obtain a warrant under section 8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to enter and search premises, a constable must satisfy a Justice of the Peace that there are reasonable grounds for believing:
The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that 14 warrants were applied for. Of these, 12 were issued at Bow street magistrates court on 15 January 2001 by District Judge Mr. Workman, one was issued at Horseferry road magistrates court on 20 January 2001 by District Judge Mr. Pratt, and one was issued at Bow street magistrates court, on 8 February 2001 by District Judge Mr. Evans. No warrants were refused. 13 warrants were executed with one warrant returned to Bow street magistrates court unexecuted.
Dr. Dizaei's home address and office at Kensington police station were both searched and papers, computer and discs were seized. The offices of the Black Police Association were not searched. The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that no matters subject to legal privilege or other matters relating to Dr. Dizaei's position as legal adviser to the National Black Police Association have been taken by police.
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me Superintendent Dizaei has been served with notices outlining criminal allegations against him. These include attempting to pervert the course of justice, deception, pecuniary advantage and fraud. Superintendent Dizaei has not been arrested.
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that the allegations into misconduct are being investigated by Commander Hayman, Director of the Directorate of Professional Standards of the Metropolitan Police Service; and criminal allegations are being investigated by Detective
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Superintendent Norman, Head of Intelligence in the Directorate of Professional Standards of the Metropolitan Police Service.
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me eight police officers have been employed on the investigation during the year 2000. However the surveillance operation would have involved an additional 13 police officers. Since January 2001, when Superintendent Dizaei was suspended, a further 21 officers have been engaged in the investigation. It is anticipated that half those police officers will resume other investigations after Easter 2001.
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