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Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that the number of officers engaged in the investigation of the Jill Dando murder has fluctuated according to the progress of the investigation and the particular demands at the time. I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 15 July 1999, Official Report, column 319W, 2 November 1999, Official Report, column 114W and 21 March 2000, Official Report, column 484W. There is no record of the overall number of police officers who have been involved in the case from the start of the investigation.
A total of 10 officers are currently involved in the preparation of the court case. In addition, two officers have been dedicated to assisting witnesses and dealing with the publicity surrounding the trial.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions there were (a) in each police force area and (b) in total in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Information taken from the Home Office's Court Proceedings Database showing the number of persons convicted in (a) each police force area and (b) in total during 1999 is given in the table.
|Police force||Indictable offences||Summary non-motoring offences||Summary motoring offences||Total all offences|
|Avon and Somerset||7,531||10,921||18,467||36,919|
|City of London||581||1,753||4,122||6,456|
|Devon and Cornwall||6,930||10,178||13,908||31,016|
|England and Wales||341,995||433,610||632,856||1,408,461|
(20) Data in this table are based on a person's principal offence as persons may be convicted of more than one offence.
8 Mar 2001 : Column: 319W
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the crime clear-up rate was (a) in each police force area and (b) in total in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The information, which has been published in "Criminal Statistics England and Wales 1999", is given in the table. It should be noted that the basis for the collection of clear-ups changed on 1 April 1999, and consequently no direct comparison should be made between these figures and those for previous years. The major changes were in respect of offences "taken into consideration", with only those offences of which the police were previously aware now being counted, and clear-ups resulting from admissions of prisoners serving a sentence for another offence no longer being counted.
|Police force area||Percentages|
|Avon and Somerset||22|
|Devon and Cornwall||35|
|London, City of||32|
|England and Wales||25|
8 Mar 2001 : Column: 320W
Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if a representative of the Government will participate in the Second World Congress on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children to be held in Japan in December; and what preparations Her Majesty's Government are making in advance of the Congress. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government attach particular importance to the Second World Congress and will be represented at ministerial or official level. I understand, however, that formal invitations to the World Congress have not yet been issued. The Home Office, Department of Health and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have preparations for the Congress in hand, which will include publication of a National Plan for Safeguarding Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation.
8 Mar 2001 : Column: 321W
We are committed to improving safeguards for children and have taken firm action to help and protect the most vulnerable children in our society. This commitment is evidenced by the wide ranging programme of new child protection legislation that we have enacted and our ground breaking £885 million Quality Protects Programme to transform the management and delivery of children's social services. In addition, we welcome the work that is done by the voluntary sector to heighten awareness of child abuse in the United Kingdom.
The recently reissued "Working Together to Safeguard Children" guidance raises awareness of child abuse among all those with child protection responsibilities, and gives them the framework they need to improve safeguards for children.
Mr. Charles Clarke: We have to date received over 650 responses to the publication "Setting the Boundaries" which set out the recommendations of the Sex Offences Review to Government. Over the coming months we will be considering in detail each of the 62 recommendations contained in Volume 1 of "Setting the Boundaries" in the light of those responses.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much certified timber has been purchased by his Department over the past six months; and what proportion of total timber purchases this represents. 
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