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Departmental Policies (Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East)

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [153284]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office is working to build a safe, just and tolerant society in which the rights and responsibilities of individuals, families and communities are properly balanced, and the protection and security of the public are maintained. Detailed information on the impact of Home Office policies across the full range of responsibilities is set out in Home Office annual reports. A copy of the most recent report, "Home Office Annual Report 1999-2000", is available in the Library. The next annual report will be published shortly. Information on recorded crime and policing is also published. "Recorded Crime England and Wales, 12 months to September 2000" and "Police Service Strength England and Wales, 30 September 2000" can be found in the Library. The recorded crime statistics include information on recorded crime by basic command unit and crime and disorder partnerships.

The impact of Home Office policies and actions is not normally examined by constituency and the statistics which the Department collects, such as recorded crime, cannot be matched in the way requested although set out are examples relating to the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency or the immediate locality:

Reducing Burglary Initiative

Cleveland police, in partnership with Redcar and Cleveland borough council, received £12,300 under round two of the reducing burglary initiative, for a scheme in New Skelton, Cleveland. Interventions include target hardening of relatively modern local authority housing, which is predominantly occupied by single young females.

Targeted Policing Initiative

Closed circuit television (CCTV)--Redcar and Cleveland borough council, in partnership with Cleveland police, were awarded £114,200 for two schemes under round two of the CCTV initiative;

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Guisborough CCTV partnership scheme was awarded £43,700 for a five-camera project covering Guisborough town centre. The town centre has problems of alcohol-related violence, shoplifting and vehicle crime. The scheme aims to reduce vehicle crime by 30 per cent. over three years and other types of crime by 10 per cent. in that time.

Saltburn CCTV partnership was awarded £70,500 for a six-camera project covering Saltburn town centre. The town centre has problems of alcohol-related crime, shoplifting and vehicle crime linked to drug dependency. The high level of anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime are recurring issues for the town. The scheme aims to reduce vehicle crime by 30 per cent. over three years and other types of crime by 10 per cent. in that time.

Neighbourhood Warden schemes

The William Sutton Trust was awarded £152,300 for a community wardens scheme in Middlesbrough South-West. The scheme will cover the Linthorpe estate in Saltersgill, and aims to reduce property crime, crimes against the person and car crime.

More generally, all of the policies of the Home Office will impact on the residents of Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East to a greater or lesser extent. For example:

Information on the Home Office and its policies is also published on its website

Dr. Ali Dizaei

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what involvement he has had in the case of Dr. Ali Dizaei; [152396]

Mr. Straw: The suspension of Dr. Dizaei is a matter for the Metropolitan police. It has been the longstanding practice of successive Governments neither to confirm nor deny whether a warrant authorising interception of communications exists, or has existed, in any specific case.

Police Deployment

Mr. Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress in (a) reducing administration in the police service and (b) ensuring police officers spend more time on operational duties. [151709]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Last year we issued a revised "Manual of Guidance for the Preparation, Processing and Submission of Files" designed to remove unnecessary

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paperwork. Of 40 forms which officers may fill in before submitting Crown Prosecution Service files, we have removed 11 and are phasing out another six. This, combined with improved communications and new technologies, will ensure that officers maximise time spent on front-line policing.

Crime and Disorder Audit

Mr. Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that chief executives of local authorities and local police divisional commanders in England and Wales have agreed timetables and arrangements for completing the new crime and disorder audit, with the full participation of their local partners and the community, to have a fresh local strategy in place by April 2002. [151712]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The timetable for completion of local audits is a matter for individual crime and disorder reduction partnerships. We have provided an extensive programme of support over the past two years to assist partnerships in the audit and strategy process. This has been complemented by the appointment of crime reduction directors in the regions of England and in Wales. They are working with partnerships to ensure that they have the necessary support to complete the audit process and develop local strategies by April 2002.

Burglary (Disadvantaged Communities)

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to reduce burglaries in disadvantaged communities. [151721]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Under the reducing burglary initiative, which is part of the crime reduction programme, we have to date granted a total of around £24 million to 246 projects in areas or communities with the highest burglary rates. These communities all have high rates of burglary, and many of them are also among the most deprived areas of the country.


Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the review of extradition he announced on 2 March 2000. [153494]

Mr. Straw: I have today published a consultation document entitled "The Law on Extradition: A Review" and copies have been placed in the Library.

I announced the review to Parliament in the course of my statement on Senator Pinochet on 2 March 2000, Official Report, column 571W. It is the outcome of an exercise started in 1997 to consider the legislative requirements of two European Union conventions on extradition. However, it developed into a much more extensive inquiry, following the adoption at Tampere in October 1999 of the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions by the member states of the European Union.

The consultation document makes far-reaching proposals in relation to all aspects of current extradition law and practice. The greatest changes are proposed in respect of the United Kingdom's procedures for dealing with extradition requests received from member states of the European Union and Schengen states. Our present

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procedures for dealing with extradition requests from these states contain cumbersome controls and outdated requirements, some of them derived from 19th century extradition legislation. Such procedures are no longer necessary, nor do they provide an efficient means to deal with the growing difficulties caused by organised and international crime. For these extradition partners a simple backing of warrants procedure is proposed. This would replace the current multi-staged system in which all extradition requests are examined by both the Secretary of State and the courts, with a single, streamlined hearing before a district judge (Sheriff in Scotland). The documentation required to support an extradition request would also be significantly simplified, to reduce the current burdens placed on our European partners in their efforts to bring fugitives to justice. The proposals retain a statutory right of appeal in order to ensure that fugitives' rights are protected, but also propose that the grounds for appeal be tightened to eliminate time-consuming delays where fugitives appeal on grounds which are not relevant, or are more properly for consideration by the court of trial.

The simplified requirements of a backing of warrants scheme would put the mutual recognition principle into practice in the field of extradition. Mutual recognition may be defined as the judicial decisions of one jurisdiction being recognised as valid in another, with the minimum of formality.

The review recognises that while major reforms are required to our extradition procedures in respect of our closest neighbours, there is also a clear operational need to reform the procedures for dealing with requests from our extradition partners outside the European Union. Here a final decision in the case by the Secretary of State would be retained, but there would be a significant reduction in the present duplication of my role and that of the courts in deciding cases, with the aim of making extradition quicker and simpler, while protecting fugitives' fundamental human rights.

The consultation period for the review proposals is three months. Copies are being made widely available to people and organisations with a professional interest in the subject. Members of the public will be able to apply for a copy from the Home Office, or obtain one from the Home Office website at jcu/jcu.htm.

Many of the proposals in the document will require primary legislation to implement, which would take place when the legislative timetable allows.

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I welcome comments on the proposals.

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