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Police (Greater Manchester)

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vacancies there were for police officers in the Greater Manchester Constabulary in (a) 1992, (b) 1997 and (c) 2001. [156182]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The available information is set out in the table. It compares the actual number of officers in post with the police authority's budgeted provision. Information on budgeted figures has been provided, where available, by the Chief Constable.

Greater Manchester Police

YearBudgeted police numbersActual police numbers(16)Vacancies
31 March 19927,0577,0610
31 March 1997 (17)n/a6,922n/k
31 January 2001(18)(19)6,9356,86768

(16) Before 1 April 1995 actual police numbers were based on a headcount. Since April 1995 they have been counted on a full-time equivalent basis.

(17) The Greater Manchester Police budgeted figure for March 1997 was based on a headcount of 7,050. It is not therefore comparable to the actual figure which is based on full-time equivalents.

(18) Latest available published figures are currently those for 31 January 2001.

(19) The figures for January 2001 include the force's Crime Fighting Fund allocation.

I understand from the Greater Manchester Police that the vacancies at 31 January 2001 have now been filled.

Female Prisoners (Shackling)

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the shackling of a female prisoner from Highpoint to a prison officer during medical treatment recently. [155152]

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Mr. Boateng: I have written separately to the hon. Member on this issue.

Pensioners (Home Security)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many pensioner households have had Government funded and approved locks fitted to their homes; and if he will make a statement. [157587]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The "locks for pensioners" scheme that we are funding in conjunction with the Department for Environment, Transport and the Region's Home Energy Efficiency Scheme enables certain low income pensioners in high crime areas to have their house checked for security and if necessary to have additional security features such as door and window locks fitted. The scheme has been running in England for eight months and, by the end of March, almost 47,000 houses had been surveyed of which 22,441 were found to require security upgrades. So far, 21,715 of these have been referred to the registered installers and for 10,778 houses, the security upgrades are known to have been completed. The true figure will, however, be significantly higher as there can be a delay of several weeks between the work being completed and confirmation of this fact being received by the two organisations managing the scheme.

The equivalent scheme started in Wales only in February and, as yet, there are no centrally held figures for the numbers of Welsh households that have had improved security fittings as a result.

We have also funded a number of projects that provide security upgrades to burglary victims or other vulnerable people under our Reducing Burglary Initiative. We do not, however, have central records of the numbers fitted or whether the recipients were pensioners.


Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress of the review on whether deaf people should be allowed to serve on juries. [157232]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government are intending to publish a consultation paper on the implications of third party support for jurors, including the use of interpreters for deaf jurors, within the next few months.

Domestic Violence

Ms Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost to public funds of dealing with domestic violence in the last 12 months. [157547]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We have not, in the last 12 months, undertaken an assessment of the cost to public funds of dealing with domestic violence. We know that this cost is a significant one: the research study "Counting the costs; estimating the impact of domestic violence in the London Borough of Hackney" published by Crime Concern in 1998, estimated the total cost of providing services for the survivors of domestic violence in Greater London to be in the region of £278 million per annum. This gives a fair indication of the scale of the costs involved.

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The Government are determined to reduce all crimes of violence including domestic violence, which is a serious crime accounting for just under a quarter of all violent crime. Our strategy for doing so is set out in "fighting violent crime together: an action plan" which was published in January.

Crime (Blyth Valley)

Mr. Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he proposes to tackle crime in Blyth Valley. [157297]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government are committed to tackling crime effectively, not only by reacting properly when it occurs and having the appropriate measures in place to deal with the perpetrators, but by preventing it happening in the first instance.

Recorded crime statistics published on 16 January 2001 showed that overall crime had fallen by 0.2 per cent. in England and Wales in the 12 months to September 2000. This compared with an overall fall in the Northumberland police area of 5.5 per cent.--the 10th consecutive year of crime reduction in that area. Data relating to the Blyth Valley Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership showed lower than average rates of offences per 1,000 population in key areas, including violence against the person, robbery, domestic burglary and theft of and from a vehicle.

We support the Partnership in its work to develop local strategies for reducing crime and disorder. Its local initiatives to bring about overall crime reduction and tackle drug-related crime, include targeted policing, Closed Circuit Television and Neighbourhood Warden schemes.

We have recently announced £60 million funding over the next three years to support Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and £300 million to tackle drug- related problems, £220 million of which will be directed through the 376 Partnerships, to deliver community- based strategies.

Police Protection (Ministers)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total cost of police protection was for former Ministers who (a) are and (b) are no longer hon. Members for the latest 12 months for which figures are available. [157608]

Mr. Straw: We seek to ensure the most effective and efficient protective security arrangements for public figures in the light of the changing threat from terrorism and other continuing risks. It is not our policy to comment on the details of protection arrangements for individuals, as to do so could compromise their security.

Departmental Policies (Amber Valley)

Judy Mallaber: 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 Amber Valley constituency, the effects on Amber Valley of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [157132]

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

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

Targeted Policing Initiative (TPI)

Derby constabulary was awarded a total of £407,000 for two schemes under round 2 of the TPI.

Derbyshire constabulary was awarded £317,000 for a force-wide project, which included; Mapping of the drug markets, identifying key targets 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 (with other forces) was awarded £90,000 for a force-wide project, which included; Distraction burglary--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)

Amber Valley borough council was awarded approximately £127,000 for a 10-camera scheme, expanding the existing system into areas of Amber Valley's four main town centres, Alfreton, Belper, Heanor and Ripley.

Youth Offending

Amber Valley is covered by the Derbyshire Youth Offending Team (YOT). 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

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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.

Youth Service staff play a lead role in the development of preventative initiatives to support the action plans of local Crime and Disorder youth crime reduction strategies at local council level. Derbyshire Youth Offending Service was successful in being awarded "Summer Splash" funding in July 2000. The service worked with other providers from both voluntary agencies and the local district council to deliver a variety of activities in four wards of Bolsover. This resulted in a marked reduction of nuisance calls and offending in this area.

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

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

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