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Palestinian National Authority

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding is provided by the European Union to the Palestine National Authority for education. [155788]

Clare Short: The European Commission advise that since 1991 they have committed a total of 172.5 million euro to support education development initiatives with the Palestinian National Authority.

Recipient Countries

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the countries which received UK overseas aid in each year since 1990, indicating the amount of aid given in each case. [155785]

Clare Short: Since 1990 a total of 156 countries received official development assistance (oda) or official aid (oa) from the UK.

A copy of the full list of countries and amounts given in each year will be placed in the Library of the House. More information on international development is held in "Statistics on International Development 1995/96-1999/2000", a copy of which is also available in the Library of the House.

29 Mar 2001 : Column: 724W


Police Numbers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions since 2 May 1997 his Department has issued a correction to police numbers statistics. [155843]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 27 March 2001]: The statistical bulletin for the September 2000 figures was reissued on 16 January 2001 as a result of receiving revised police strength figures from the Metropolitan police. There have been three other publications where corrections to the figures for earlier periods have been made in the light of revised figures submitted by the police: figures for March 1998 were corrected in the statistical bulletin number 14/99, published on 26 August 1999, entitled "Police Service Personnel England and Wales, as at 31 March 1999", after Sussex corrected their data for that year. Revised figures for March 2000 were included in both the original and revised bulletins for September 2000, after the number of secondments to central services were corrected when double counting was discovered. This originated from the National Criminal Intelligence Service return being completed incorrectly. The revised bulletin for September 2000 was entitled "Police Service Strength England and Wales", published on 16 January 2001, and was statistical bulletin number 2/01. Figures for September 2000 had to be adjusted when the Metropolitan police reported that officers on loan to adjacent forces had been deducted from their figures twice. They also provided revised figures for ethnic minority officers. A revised bulletin for September 2000 was issued, with details as given in (2).

The forthcoming bulletin to be published in June will contain revised Northumbria strength figures for 30 September 2000 that became apparent during the preparation of the 30 January 2001 figures. It should be noted that it is a standard practice to include corrections in statistical publications when improved data are provided by data sources. Indeed, this practice is quite commonplace, although the corrections are minor in the vast majority of cases.

Voluntary Organisations

(Government Funding)

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the total amount of Government funding for voluntary and not-for-profit organisations in each of the last 10 years. [153939]

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Mr. Boateng: I will write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of my letter in the Library.

Probation Officers (Middlesex)

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many probation officers are serving in Middlesex; what his Department's target complement is; and how many served in Middlesex in each of the past five years. [155935]

Mr. Boateng [holding answer 27 March 2001]: The available information is as follows:

Middlesex probation officers in post

31 DecemberNumber of persons(8)

(8) Whole-time equivalent

Middlesex will become part of the area of the new London Local Probation Board on 1 April, and that body will determine its staffing needs. Across England and Wales it is planned to recruit over 1,000 trainee probation officers in the next 12 months.


Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were (a) aged over 65 years, (b) required major surgery and (c) had significant impairments or disabilities in each of the past five years; and what plans he has to make special arrangements for prisoners in these categories. [155674]

Mr. Boateng: The number of prisoners aged over 65 in each of the past five years is as follows:


The number of prisoners who require major surgery or have significant impairments or disabilities is not collected centrally. Prisons, and their local health authorities, are currently assessing the health needs of prisoners, identifying appropriate services to meet those needs and effective ways of delivery. The aim of the needs assessment process is to provide prisoners with access to the same range and quality of services that the general public receive.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to speed the assessment of discretionary life prisoners and to ensure greater consistency in approach, with particular reference to (a) sentence length and (b) treatment programmes for sex offenders. [155675]

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Mr. Boateng: Discretionary lifers, particularly those set a short tariff by the trial judge, are transferred from a local prison to a first stage lifer prison as soon as possible after sentencing (tariff being the minimum period the lifer is required to serve to meet the requirements of retribution and deterrence). In order to enhance the working of the current system, the Government are investing an extra £500,000 in the next financial year to fund work in local prisons with new and potential lifers. This will enable speedier assessment and identification of the risk factors which lifers need to address.

In addition, the Government are providing funding for nearly 800 extra lifer places, together with additional resources to increase the number of places available on the sex offender treatment programme. The Prison Service is also to introduce a simpler and more streamlined planning system for all life sentence prisoners which should ensure greater consistency of approach and improve the management of risk assessment and risk reduction as a lifer progresses through the system.

The Prison Service fully recognises the need to give particular priority to the needs of short tariff lifers. The aim is to manage the system so that the Parole Board can release such lifers on or near tariff expiry where it is satisfied that their risk factors have been addressed and release is consistent with the overriding need to protect the public.

S. P. Hinduja

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if Mr. S. P. Hinduja was physically present in the United Kingdom on 22 October 1993; and if he will make a statement. [156007]

Mrs. Roche: The full circumstances of Mr. S. P. Hinduja's naturalisation application are detailed in Sir Anthony Hammond's Review which was published on 9 March 2001.

The question of whether Mr. Hinduja was physically present in the United Kingdom on the date in question is covered in paragraphs 5.153 to 5.155 of the review.

Probation Directorate

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of staff in the probation directorate have operational experience. [155155]

Mr. Boateng: 23 per cent. of staff in the National Probation Directorate have operational experience. These include the national director, who is a former chief probation officer, two of the six strategic heads, and one chief probation officer, one deputy chief probation officer, thirteen assistant chief probation officers, seven senior probation officers, two principal psychologists, and a seconded chief inspector of police.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of asylum refusals from applicants from (a) Somalia, (b) Sudan, (c) Iraq, (d) Sri Lanka, (e) Congo and (f) Iran have been refused because of non-compliance in each of the last six months; and if he will make a statement. [155596]

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Mrs. Roche: A non-compliance refusal is generated when the applicant fails without reasonable explanation to make a prompt and full disclosure of material facts either orally, or in writing or otherwise to assist the Secretary of State to the full in establishing the facts of the asylum case, for example not attending an interview, and any information provided does not establish that the applicant is not a refugee. In these circumstances the application falls to be refused under paragraphs 340 and 336 of HC 395 (as amended).

A nationality breakdown of non-compliance refusals is not available prior to October 2000.

The available information is given in the table.

Nationality(1),(2),(4)Total(1),(2),(3),(4)Non-compliancePercentage of total
October 2000
Sri Lanka50021543
November 2000
Sri Lanka71531043
December 2000
Sri Lanka66518528
January 2001
Sri Lanka1,06522021
February 2001
Sri Lanka1,24515513

(9) Figures (other than percentages) rounded to the nearest 5.

(10) Non-compliance refusals (under paragraph 340 of the immigration rules and paragraph 180F prior to October 1994) are for failure to provide evidence to support the asylum claim within a reasonable period.

(11) Outcome of initial decisions only.

(12) Provisional figures.

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