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Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much of the £11 million allocated for running costs and service development work in 2001–02 in respect of new places in the Prison Service High Security estate has been reallocated to other key Home Office priorities. [22091]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 13 December 2001]: The initial allocation in 2001–02 for running costs and service development was £11 million. This figure was

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necessarily an estimated projection of likely spend for the year because of the ground-breaking nature of this work. Project spend is carefully monitored and regular forecasting exercises are carried out.

Latest projections show that £5.67 million will be spent within this financial year, and £5.33 million reallocated to other key Home Office priorities.

Police (North Wales)

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were employed in North Wales in each of the last 10 years; and how many he estimates will be employed over the next five years. [17957]

Mr. Denham: The historic information requested is set out in the table. At 31 March 2001 North Wales police numbers were at record levels. In addition, North Wales police employed 498 civilian support staff at 31 March 2001.

Year as at 31 MarchPolice officers in post(15)

(15) Full time equivalents

(16) Estimate

The Chief Constable of North Wales police has provided the estimates for 2002 and 2003, but is unable to make an estimate for later years.


Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many errors in fingerprint identification have been discovered in (a) the UK and (b) the Greater Manchester area in the last five years. [16950]

Mr. Denham: This information is not collated nationally.

During the last five years over 75,000 crime scene submissions have been received in the Greater Manchester Police Fingerprint Unit, which have produced nearly 19,000 identifications. In the last five years, two cases in which a person who was incorrectly identified.

Greater Manchester Police Fingerprint Unit has an excellent reputation and performance record and has taken all practical steps to mitigate the risk of any further occurrences.

Terrorist Prison Sentences

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are serving a prison sentence (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in Northern Ireland for acts of terrorism. [20437]

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Beverley Hughes: The number of people serving a prison sentence in the United Kingdom for acts of terrorism is not held centrally. If a person commits an act of terrorism, they are generally charged and convicted of an offence relating to the effect that the act has had. For example, if people are killed as a result, the prisoner is likely to be convicted of murder.

The latest figures show that between 1 January 2000 and 18 February 2001, 46 people were detained in Great Britain under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 of whom 26 were subsequently charged with an offence. Nine were charged with an offence under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 and 17 were charged with other offences (14 for kidnapping, including hijackings). Further information is contained within the Home Office Statistical Bulletin 'Statistics on the Operation of Prevention of Terrorism Legislation', 16/01, Great Britain 2001. This bulletin is available at the web address:

The request for information on prisoners in Northern Ireland should be directed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Anti-crime Strategies (The Elderly)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what strategies are in place to protect the elderly from becoming the victims of burglary and violent crime; and if he will make a statement. [19360]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 3 December 2001]: The Government's Crime Reduction Strategy, which was published in November 1999, set out what we are doing to tackle various crimes including domestic burglary. Our publication "Fighting violent crime together: an action plan" sets out what we are doing to tackle violent crime. Neither is specifically targeted at elderly victims; crime statistics show that the elderly are generally at lower risk of victimisation. However, various initiatives have been aimed specifically at preventing elderly people becoming victims of these types of crime including:

The Government approach to tackling violent crime includes:

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Charity Check

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will withhold grants to charities which do not comply with good practice as laid down by Charity Check. [20182]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 3 December 2001]: No. Charity Check is self-appointed to the role it aims to play in the control of fundraising. The Charity Commission is the regulatory body for charities and in the case of collections being made for charitable purposes the Commission has powers under the Charities Act 1993 to look into instances where it appears that funds raised for charitable causes may be at risk.

Police Service (Devon and Cornwall)

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations were closed in Devon and Cornwall, in each year since 1997; and what plans he has to help rural communities benefit from locally-based police. [17276]

Mr. Denham: I understand from the chief constable that the numbers of police stations closed in Devon and Cornwall since 1997 are as follows:

Year Number
1 April to 22 November 20010

Police authorities are now required to undertake public consultation before closure of police stations in their area.

The Government fully recognise the special needs of rural policing, and the demands of delivering a high quality service to communities with a low population density. £15 million was made available in 2000–01 to enhance the policing service in rural areas. Financial provision for future years has been included in the SR2000 settlement. Forces that police sparsely populated areas benefit from a further £30 million in 2001–02, and similar provision exists for 2002–03 and 2003–04.

Devon and Cornwall was allocated more than £1.5 million Rural Funding in 2000–01, and £3.1 million for the current year. These sums are greater than the allocations to any other force area.Police authorities which are allocated a share of the fund are required to publish a statement in their Annual/Best Value Policing Plans on how the money has been, and will be, spent.

In addition, the White Paper "Policing a New Century", published on 5 December, set out plans for increasing the accessibility of the police service to the public.

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Rough Sleepers Unit

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what communications (a) his Department and (b) affiliated organisations have had in the last four years with the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions and the Rough Sleepers Unit concerning rough sleeping headcounts in London. [22051]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 10 December 2001]: Regular contact is made between officials, but I am not aware of specific communication over the rough sleeping headcounts. I am also aware that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has met with Louise Casey.

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