Previous Section Index Home Page

Departmental Policies (High Peak)

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effects on the High Peak constituency of his Department's policies and actions since May 1997. [156784]

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 2000-01, is available in the Library. 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,

5 Apr 2001 : Column: 253W

cannot be matched in the way requested, although set out are examples relating to the High Peak constituency or the immediate locality:

Targeted Policing Initiative

Derbyshire Constabulary were awarded £317,000 under round two of the Targeted Policing Initiative for a project which includes: mapping of the drug markets, identifying key routes and routes of supply, analysing information about the market and the production of an individual strategy for each market. The mapping of drug markets will allow for the creation of a dynamic approach to tackling the problem.

Derbyshire police, in partnership with other forces, were awarded £90,000 under round two of the Targeted Policing Initiative for a project focusing on distraction burglary. The project will undertake research into the distraction burglary problem, its true extent, how offenders target victims and how offenders can be deterred once they have selected a potential target.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

High Peak borough council was awarded approximately £61,000 for a three-camera scheme covering Whaley Bridge town centre. The scheme aims to reduce the number of assaults by 11 per cent. and burglary and criminal damage by 20 per cent. over three years. It also intends to reduce the fear of crime in the town centre.

High Peak borough council has two bids shortlisted for further consideration totalling over £192,000 under round two of the initiative. These bids, if successful will be to extend the Buxton CCTV system and to provide a High Peak Mobile CCTV system.

Youth Offending

High Peak is covered by the Derbyshire Youth Offending Team (YOT). The Government have introduced multi-agency YOTs to deliver local youth justice services and work with young offenders and those at risk. These teams have been in operation across the country since 1 April 2000.

The Derbyshire YOT is providing Appropriate Adult services for young people when interviewed by police and has dealt with 242 requests for their services between April and December 2000. The Derbyshire YOT is utilising the ASSET assessment system in order to ensure intervention work is effectively targeted at the personal, family, social, educational and health problems that contribute to the causes of a young person's offending behaviour. The health staff attached to the YOT are carrying out basic assessments of young offenders for substance misuse and, where appropriate, referring them on to specialist substance misuse services for young people.

The police officers seconded to the Derbyshire and Derby City YOT have delivered 50 training sessions on the final warning scheme to over 1,200 police officers in order to ensure consistency of police assessment and referral to the YOTs. More than 12 community reparation schemes have been established throughout Derbyshire in order to allow the YOTs to deliver victim-offender mediation services. There is a wide range of activities available to meet the needs of the young person and provide opportunities for further development through accredited training and skills.

5 Apr 2001 : Column: 254W

Derbyshire is benefiting from the Youth Justice Board's (YJB) development fund which has awarded grants of approximately £613,000 over three years for two bail support schemes and two intervention programmes in the county.

The Derbyshire YOT also received funding from the YJB and the Home Office Crime Reduction Programme to run a Splash scheme during the summer holidays in 2000. The scheme provided various activity schemes for young people most at risk of offending in four wards of Bolsover. This resulted in a marked reduction in nuisance calls and offending in the local area.

The Derbyshire YOT is also benefiting from funding from the National Lottery to operate a community sports initiative in Clay Cross. The initiative is currently being implemented.

More generally, all of the policies of the Home Office will impact on the residents of High Peak to a greater or lesser extent. For example:

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

Wandsworth Police

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the robbery/burglary squad at Wandsworth police was abolished; and for what reason. [156171]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The deployment of resources and arrangements put in place to fight crime are operational matters for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and the Divisional Commander for the Wandsworth Division.

I understand from the Commissioner that the Wandsworth Division's Robbery/Burglary Squad was reformed on 1 March 2000 into a new Crime Squad with the objective that it should concentrate on proactive investigation of robbery and burglary by the application of intelligence led methods. I am told that the Wandsworth division's more proactive approach to robbery and burglary has resulted in a number of suspects being arrested and remanded into custody, and that there has been a notable drop in offences as a result.

Asylum Support

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what range of payments in cash and in kind is made available to (a) asylum seekers awaiting determination of their claim and (b) asylum seekers who are granted admission to the United Kingdom by way of (i) grants, (ii) loans and (iii) specific access to social security payments. [155551]

5 Apr 2001 : Column: 255W

Mrs. Roche: The new support arrangements for destitute asylum seekers under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 came into force on 3 April 2000. Under these arrangements the Home Office has taken over responsibility for supporting and accommodating asylum seekers.

Those asylum seekers in receipt of benefits, prior to 3 April 2000 will be transitionally protected and will continue to be eligible to claim Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. However, benefit is not payable to asylum seekers appealing against the refusal of refugee status. Asylum seekers who no longer qualify for social security benefits, and who have no other means of support, will be eligible for assistance from the National Asylum Support Service.

Under the new arrangements, asylum seekers receive support from the National Asylum Support Service in kind (vouchers), with a small cash allowance to meet incidental expenses. Where accommodation is provided the cost of this, and utilities are met centrally.

The Home Office also pays grants to local authorities (within fixed unit cost limits) to enable them to provide accommodation and essential living needs to asylum seekers under the interim arrangements. It is for local authorities to decide the best way to provide support to asylum seekers, within the terms of the interim scheme.

Those asylum seekers whose applications are determined favourably and who are awarded refugee status or exceptional leave are eligible for social security benefits. Those who are awarded full refugee status may qualify for a retrospective payment of Income Support, calculated as the difference between the benefit they would have received and the support paid to them by the National Asylum Support Service. Refugees will also be eligible for a backdated payment of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for any unmet rent and council tax liabilities while their asylum application was determined.

Youth Offending Teams

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) evaluation and (b) multi- disciplinary inspection of the work of individual youth offending teams has been undertaken; if he will publish the evaluation results to date; what plans there are for further inspection of youth offending teams; and if he will make a statement. [156996]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The operation of youth offending teams and the programmes they run are subject to a range of independent evaluation and monitoring commissioned and operated by the Youth Justice Board. Interim evaluation reports will be published this spring on intervention programmes and bail support schemes. The Sheffield University evaluation of the piloting of youth offending teams in 10 areas from October 1998 has been published as a Home Office Occasional Paper and is available in the Library.

Two youth offending team inspections have been carried out by multi-disciplinary inspection teams who are considering their reports. The Youth Justice Board is considering the future conduct of inspection and its monitoring functions.

5 Apr 2001 : Column: 256W

Next Section Index Home Page