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Prostitution

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the implications of the Jany v. Staatsecretaris van Justitie case of the European Court of Justice Case C 268/99 published on 11 December, with particular reference to (a) the implication of access to the United Kingdom of prostitutes from Poland and Czech Republic and Slovakia and (b) the implications of right of establishment under Article 43 of the Treaty. [24286]

Angela Eagle: This ruling, along with the cases of Gloszczuk, Kondova, Barkoci and Malik, was welcomed by the United Kingdom Government. A detailed assessment of its implications is being made but our view is that the United Kingdom can continue to apply its Immigration Rules in such cases (paragraphs 211–223 of HC 395). Importantly, the rulings support our view that those here illegally cannot benefit from the association agreements.

The provisions on self-establishment in the association agreements are subject to limitations justified on the ground of public policy. A member state is entitled to rely on the public policy limitation in relation to those seeking to establish themselves in its territory under the agreements as self-employed prostitutes where that member state has adopted measures designed to combat prostitution carried out by its own nations.

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Living off immoral earnings (pimping) and soliciting for prostitution are criminal offences under United Kingdom law and will continue to be prosecutable by the courts regardless of the nationality of the prostitute in question. We will rely on the public policy limitation to prevent Polish, Czech or Slovak nationals from establishing themselves as self-employed prostitutes in the United Kingdom under the association agreements.

The right of establishment under the Article 43 of the EC Treaty is effected by EC Council Directive 73/148, which deals with the abolition of restrictions on movement and residence within the EU for nationals of member states with regard to establishment and the provision of services. Article 8 of that directive allows member states to derogate from the provisions of the directive on the grounds of public policy. We would seek to rely on that provision should a national of a member state seek to enter or live in the United Kingdom as a prostitute.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the Immigration and Nationality Department to be able to accept e-mails from hon. Members. [24503]

Angela Eagle: In accordance with guidelines of the Office of the e-Envoy the Home Office has published its e-Business Strategy on the internet. Progress by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate towards the e-Government targets on electronic information and service provision for 2005 are set out within that strategy and in Appendix A.

The body of the strategy can be found at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ebusiness/stratmain.pdf. The appendices are at: http:///.homeoffice.gov.uk/ ebusiness/stratapp.pdf.

MORI has recently been commissioned to survey the experiences and expectations, including preferences on electronic service provision, of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's customers. In the light of that survey, in which Members of Parliament will be invited to participate, further consideration will be given to the options and time scale for receipt of e-mail from hon. Members.

People Trafficking

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how far the UK has fulfilled its commitments under the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. [23352]

Angela Eagle: The United Kingdom signed the Trafficking Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime, which requires the specific criminalisation of trafficking in human beings in December 2000.

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The Government are currently negotiating a European Union (EU) Framework Decision, which is a binding European Union instrument. It contains most of the provisions in the United Nations (UN) Protocol and in certain aspects is more wide-ranging. The Government are committed to making it a criminal offence to traffic in human beings for the purposes of labour or sexual exploitation and is currently examining suitable legislative vehicles to facilitate this and other new offences on people trafficking. Under the provisions of the EU Framework Decision, the United Kingdom will be required to have implemented the instrument within two years of its adoption.

The UK is also contributing to the EU STOP programme, which was set up by a joint action of the European Council in 1996. This programme provides support to member state organisations responsible for action against the trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children. A European Council decision of 28 June 2001 established a second phase of this programme (STOP II).

As part of a multi-faceted approach, the protocol also requires work to be done to prevent people trafficking. We are in the process of drawing up a cross-departmental strategic approach to people trafficking that will include a comprehensive programme on prevention and the care of potential and actual people trafficking victims. In the last year, the Government funded overseas projects to tackle people trafficking in Turkey, Thailand and Cambodia. We have also contributed £200,000 to an Organisation and Security Co-operation in Europe fund to help the victims of trafficking and raise awareness of the dangers among vulnerable groups.

In addition, we set up Project REFLEX last year, a multi-agency task force chaired by the National Crime Squad, to co-ordinate action against organised immigration crime, including people trafficking, and to develop the intelligence and strategic planning to underpin them. It is now well established and has already resulted in some major successes involving partners overseas, by disrupting organised criminal groups involved in bringing people to the United Kingdom.

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress is being made in relation to the recommendations in his Department's report, "Stopping Traffic", published in 2000. [23353]

Angela Eagle: The Home Office report "Stopping Traffic" assessed the extent of trafficking in women for the purposes of sexual exploitation and the law enforcement responses to the problem in the United Kingdom. In response, the Government are currently drawing up a coherent and comprehensive cross- Departmental strategy to address people trafficking on a national and international scale. The Government response will go beyond the report to address both sexual and labour exploitation of victims of trafficking and will engage a broad range of Government Departments and law enforcement agencies with interest in this area.

The Government are committed to putting in place effective measures to combat the trafficking of human beings and to penalise those engaged in this abhorrent practice. To this end, the United Kingdom has signed the Trafficking Protocol to the United Nations Convention on

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Transnational Organised Crime, which requires the specific criminalisation of trafficking in human beings. The Government are also currently negotiating an EU Framework Decision, which is a binding European Union instrument and requires the criminalisation of trafficking in human beings for the purposes of labour or sexual exploitation. Under its provisions, the United Kingdom will be required to have implemented the instrument within two years of its adoption.

Sexual Offences Review

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce legislation based on the recommendations in the sexual offences review report, "Setting the Boundaries". [23351]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Government are concerned that the law should provide clear and coherent sex offences which protect individuals, especially children and the more vulnerable, from abuse and exploitation.

The recommendations of the sex offences review to Government on reforming the law on sex offences were published in "Setting the Boundaries" in July 2000. We are currently analysing more than 700 responses received during the consultation period, which closed on 1 March 2001, and are considering how to change existing sex offences, in the light of the recommendations and the responses to the consultation exercise. We will be bringing forward legislation when parliamentary time allows.

Rape

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many rape (a) complaints, (b) prosecutions and (c) convictions there were (i) in total and (ii) in each county in England and Wales in (A) 2000 and (B) 2001. [23354]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The number of rape complaints is not collected centrally, but the available information relating to the number of recorded crimes of rape, together with the number of persons proceeded against and convicted of rape, by police force area for 2000 are shown in the table.

All the figures in the table relate to the rape of males and females. The two sets of figures shown in the table are not directly comparable as recorded crime is offence based and court proceedings are person based.

Statistics for 2001 are not yet available.

Rape—number of recorded offences and persons proceeded against and convicted by police force area in 2000

Police force areaRecorded offencesPersons proceeded against(4)Persons convicted(4)
Avon and Somerset1755913
Bedfordshire87315
Cambridgeshire104274
Cheshire833313
Cleveland45188
Cumbria2773
Derbyshire1163711
Devon and Cornwall1782915
Dorset842114
Durham60403
Essex170386
Gloucestershire90208
Greater Manchester55512144
Hampshire2849123
Hertfordshire73286
Humberside152266
Kent1785020
Lancashire1727315
Leicestershire140378
Lincolnshire682811
London, City of12
Merseyside212689
Metropolitan police2,217340110
Norfolk106145
Northampstonshire4946
Northumbria2399419
North Yorkshire54157
Nottinghamshire2555919
South Yorkshire127477
Staffordshire(5)19515
Suffolk94145
Surrey119194
Sussex257479
Thames Valley2734515
Warwickshire2562
West Mercia114205
West Midlands54615637
West Yorkshire40513541
Wiltshire7394
Dyfed Powys47255
Gwent1062510
North Wales101244
South Wales1256522
England and Wales8,5802,046598

(4) Data are given on a principal offence basis. Persons shown as convicted may have been proceeded against in earlier years.

(5) Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust at a detailed level and have been excluded from this table.

Source:

Home office Crime and Criminal Justice Unit.


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