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Forged Passports

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will investigate the action taken by his Department on matters relating to a forged passport reported under the reference HQ/PC/01620000675 on 23 December 2000. [5636]

Angela Eagle: I am pleased to be able to inform the hon. Member that the passport in question has been recovered by the Immigration Service. Inquiries into the matter are continuing and I understand that the Chief Executive of the Passport Service will shortly be writing to the hon. Member with further details.

Football Clubs (Police Charges)

Mr. Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the police charges paid by each London professional football club in seasons 1999–2000 and 2000–01. [5902]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 20 July 2001]: The information requested has been provided by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and is set out in the table.

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Football ClubAmount paid in 1999–2000(31)Amount paid in 2000–2001(31)
Crystal Palace (2000)115,347.80
Crystal Palace189,361.8782,435.38
Leyton Orient55,135.2234,956.92
Queens Park Rangers74,814.5164,142.21
West Ham184,794.52193,492.31

(31) Financial years

Essex Police

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from Essex police regarding his proposals to reform police pay and conditions. [6220]

Mr. Denham: In the context of the police reform programme, I have received representations from the Association of Police Authorities (APA) and from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) regarding possible changes to police pay and conditions of service. The Essex police authority is a member of the APA. The Chief constable of Essex is a member of ACPO.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the projected number of serving constables is in the Essex police force for (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03. [6213]

Mr. Denham: Essex police have informed me that they expect to have 2,345 constables on 31 March 2002 and 2,497 constables on 31 March 2003.

Crime Survey

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of people aged 60 years or over reported, in the most recent national crime survey, that their lives are greatly affected by fear of crime. [5957]

Mr. Denham: Results from the last British Crime Survey (2000) estimated that 10 per cent. of people aged 60 and above reported that their quality of life was greatly affected because of their fear of crime.

Comparing results elicited from the most recent British Crime Survey with those from the previous sweep (1998), shows that the percentage of those aged 60 or over that reported that their fear of crime as greatly affected their quality of life has not changed.

These results were reported in "Opportunity for all. One year on: making a difference. Second annual report 2000" (Cm 4865). This has been deposited in the Library.

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Community Sentencing

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence he has collated on the likely effect of community sentences on rates of re-offending; and if he will make a statement. [6054]

Mr. Keith Bradley: Analysis of reconviction rates for different disposals shows that reconviction after community sentences does not differ greatly from that after other sentences once the underlying population characteristics have been taken into account. In recent years reconviction rates after community sentences have stayed fairly constant. However, there is a broad consensus in the research literature that some specific interventions are effective in reducing further offending, typically achieving around a 10-percentage point reduction in reconviction rates. A review of what works can be found in Home Office Research Study 187 'Reducing offending an assessment of research evidence on ways of dealing with offending behaviour'.

Five principles have been found to be key to effective work with offenders:

The National Probation Service is developing new approaches to working with offenders based on research and the principles outlined above in its pathfinder programmes.

Evidence about the effectiveness of these approaches in reducing offending is beginning to emerge but it takes time to obtain reconviction results. The main measure—reconviction rates two years after release from prison or completion of order—is typically only available some three years after the offender has been on the programme. Therefore evidence is only becoming available in 2001 for offenders who started programmes in 1998. Annexe A summarises the currently available evidence, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Victims of Crime

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to bring forward legislation relating to the rights of victims of crime; and if he will make a statement. [6101]

Mr. Denham: The Government are fully committed to meeting the needs of victims of crime and to introducing a Bill of Rights as promised in their manifesto. In February 2001, a consultation paper was issued to review the Victim's Charter, in which comments were invited on the introduction of statutory rights for victims. The consultation period ended on 15 June and a summary of responses was placed in the Library in July.

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Further detailed work is currently being carried out on victims' rights and the other possible new developments outlined in the consultation paper. I will make a further statement as soon as I am in a position to do so.

Police Housing

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision the Government have made for long-term police housing in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. [6098]

Mr. Denham: It is a matter for individual Police Authorities to determine the number and location of police houses in their force area.

Under the Government's Starter Home Initiative nearly 900 police officers/police civilians, of whom 340 are outside the Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London, will benefit from £230 million allocated to 95 schemes to help them buy their first home. The forces that will benefit from the scheme are set out in the table.

ForceNumber of homes for police officers/police civilians
Metropolitan and City552
Thames Valley171

A further 220 police officers are expected to benefit from a £20 million scheme to provide interest free equity loans of £10,000. This will be available in housing hotspots outside London.

Thames Valley Police

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many working hours were lost by Thames Valley police due to sick leave in the last year for which figures are available. [6103]

Mr. Denham: Information is not collected centrally in the form requested. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary records police sickness in days. In 2000–01, Thames Valley police lost 53,659 days due to sick leave, an average of 14.3 days per officer.

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many constables are available for ordinary duty in Henley; and how many there were in 1997. [6102]

Mr. Denham: I am told by the Chief Constable that Henley has 21.3 full-time equivalent constables. Thames Valley police is unable to make a direct comparison with 1997 because of territorial boundary changes. Henley is now a rural sector of the Southern Oxfordshire Division. In 1997 it was an outstation of Reading.

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