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Departmental Policies (Sandwell)

Mr. Bailey: 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 Borough, the effects of his Department's policies and actions on the Metropolitan borough of Sandwell since 2 May 1997. [158330]

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 Metropolitan borough of Sandwell or the immediate locality:

Reducing Burglary Initiative (RBI)

Under Round 1 of the RBI, Metropolitan police in partnership with Sandwell Metropolitan borough council have been awarded £60,000 and £58,000 for projects in the Yew Tree and Smethwick areas of Sandwell respectively. The Yew Tree project aims to follow resource intensive police 'Crackdowns' with a structured multi-agency approach to target hardening and crime reduction methods ('Consolidation'). Crime prevention information packs will be given to every house on the target estate, together with Smartwater property coding for identified vulnerable premises. Persistent offenders will be evicted by the local authority from the estate and promotion of neighbourhood watch schemes will be encouraged and diversionary work with young people on the estate will be carried out. The Smethwick estate will undertake a crime reduction awareness programme encouraging households to receive property marking and a home security survey. An assessment of estate design and management will be carried out, leading to initiatives to design out crime and targeted police patrol strategy, concentrating on the most prolific offenders supported by strict pre-sentence bail enforcement. The probation service will work with ex-offenders to manufacture ornamental security grilles that can be used for target hardening as part of the community service order programme.

Under round 3 of the RBI, Sandwell Metropolitan borough council was awarded approximately £371,000 in partnership with West Midland police and Sandwell local education authority for a project in North Sandwell. The proposed interventions include a programme for educating residents about preventing and tackling crime, a dedicated enforcement team to tackle the most prolific offenders, target hardening, neighbourhood wardens and designing out crime. West Midlands police in partnership with Sandwell Metropolitan borough council, Education and Life Long Learning and Sandwell Youth Offending Team have been awarded £120,000 to tackle prolific young offenders through an approach successfully used by the Brandon Centre in Camden, London.

Targeted Policing Initiative

West Midlands police in partnership with Leicester University have received £98,000 for six Neighbourhood Watch schemes across the West Midlands. This is a project based on "community safety through

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communication". Six new Neighbourhood Watch schemes will be set up and provided with radio equipment for communicating among themselves and alerting the police. The University will then study the findings and issue a manual of best practice in how to use such radio links.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

The safer Sandwell Partnership, with West Midlands police, were awarded approximately £745,000 for four schemes under round two of the CCTV initiative. These schemes are in the following areas: Darley House Enhancement; Charlemont Farm Estate; St. Giles' and Moorland Court and Friar Park Estate.

Youth Offending

Sandwell Youth Offending Team (YOT) covers the area of Sandwell in the West Midlands. The YOT works in partnership with a local Nacro (National Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders) project in the delivery of some of the Final Warning programmes. Crime Concern is running the Youth Inclusion Programme for the Greets Green neighbourhood in Sandwell. Community service is provided by the Probation Service. All service users are assessed using the Youth Justice Board (YJB) Asset assessment tool. In addition if there are concerns regarding a young person's mental health of substance use further specialist assessments are undertaken by the YOT community psychiatric nurse (CPN) or drug worker. The YOT is a multi-agency team consisting of members from: Social Service; Probation; Police; Education officers; Bail Support workers; Youth Justice workers; drug worker and a CPN.

The YOT provides the following services: appropriate adults, bail support, court reports, programmes in support of final warnings, delivery of reparation orders, action plan orders, supervision orders, community rehabilitation orders, community punishment and rehabilitation orders and young offender through care. In support of final warnings the team have used offending behaviour group work in partnership with Nacro and are also using the "Prison No Way" and "Impact Roadshow" packages. Funding has been obtained to run a particular cognitive behavioural programme (the Brandon Centre Programme) for persistent young burglars. This programme has been rigorously evaluated and shown to reduce recidivism in the target group. The YJB are providing funding for one bail support scheme and two intervention schemes. The bail supervision and support scheme has been awarded a grant of approximately £74,000 over three years making a total project investment of £376,000. This project aims to ensure that young offenders will be assessed for and, if suitable, offered bail support as well as ensuring that those remanded to local authority care are appropriately placed and supported. It is attempting to reduce the number of young people in local authority and custodial remand placements by 50 per cent. and 30 per cent. respectively.

Re-Solve implements a prevention scheme, Sandwell-Volatile Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative, which contributes to the reduction in offending behaviour by supporting local strategies aimed at addressing volatile substance abuse in Sandwell. The YJB are contributing approximately £10,500 towards this project. £256,000 is provided towards a joint local authority/WISH project. The WISH project focuses on children and young people who act in a sexually inappropriate way towards other people.

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

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

Augusto Pinochet

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what criteria Dr. Michael Denham was selected to assess the capacity of Augusto Pinochet to stand trial; which other consultants were considered; and what objections were made to his appointment. [158976]

Mr. Straw: Dr. Denham was selected because he was a consultant physician in geriatric medicine, a medical specialism which was an essential component of the medical team for the purpose for which it was appointed, and because it was established that he was of outstanding national and international reputation in that specialism and had no inappropriate personal interest in the case. No objections were made to his appointment.

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of the records of medical examinations carried out on Augusto Pinochet prepared for his Department have been made available to (a) military and (b) legal authorities in Chile. [158977]

Mr. Straw: None of the records concerned were made available directly by me or on my behalf to the authorities in Chile, nor did we receive any request to that effect.

Senator Pinochet was medically examined on 5 January 2000 for the purposes of the extradition proceedings then under way. The report was made available to Senator Pinochet and, later, to each of the four states--Spain, France, Belgium and Switzerland--that requested his extradition. Its contents subsequently received wide circulation in the world media. At the conclusion of the case I placed a copy of the report in the Library.

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