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Prison Sentences

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison sentences of five years and more were handed down in (a) 1998, (b) 1999, (c) 2000 and (d) 2001. [27894]

Beverley Hughes: The information held centrally on the Home Office Court Proceedings Database, relating to England and Wales, shows that 3,823 persons were sentenced to immediate custody for five years or over in 1998, 4,009 in 1999 and 4,033 in 2000.

Statistics for 2001 are not yet available.

Rape

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the attrition rates for reported rape offences in the last 15 years are compiled on the same basis in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in terms of the proportion of cases (a) prosecuted and (b) resulting in a conviction for rape. [27861]

Mr. Keith Bradley: I understand that neither the Scottish Executive nor the Northern Ireland Office produce attrition rates for rape offences. My officials have contacted officials in the Scottish Executive and in the Northern Ireland Office and our understanding is that were they to produce attrition rates, they would be compiled on much the same basis as those produced for England and Wales.

The number of offences recorded and detected by the police together with the number of offenders convicted or cautioned (although in Scotland a caution is a sanction following a charge being proved in court) would be directly comparable, to the extent that each country uses its own principal offence rule for statistical purposes where offenders are convicted of more than one type of offence at the same time.

Theft and Fraud

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the cost of theft and fraud to (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. [27985]

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Angela Eagle: The estimated costs of losses to the Home Office, its agencies and non-departmental public (NDPB) bodies through theft and fraud are set out in the table.

Fraud and thefts
£000

Home OfficeAgenciesNDPB'sTotal
Accounting periods
1997–98(64)113
1998–993.8114.470.1188.3
1999–2000204.3165.40.0369.7
2000–0179.884.40.0164.2

(64) Analysis between Home Office, executive agencies and non- departmental bodies cannot be provided.

Note:

Cumulative total for 1997–2001 is £835.2 million.


Refurbishment

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the cost of buildings refurbishment carried out by his Department in each of the last four years. [27967]

Angela Eagle: The Department does not maintain central records of the cost of every building refurbishment project carried out by the Department including its Executive Agencies and to provide the information requested would be at disproportionate cost. However, in central London and Croydon, the approximate position over the last three years is as follows:

£ million
1999–20006.7
2000–200135.2
2001–01(65)11.5

(65) Up to end of November 2001.


I would also refer to the response given to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms Walley) on 23 October 2001, Official Report, column 218W.

Immigration

Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications from (a) long stay and (b) indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom there were from (i) wives of UK men and (ii) husbands of UK women as at 31 December 2001. [28025]

Angela Eagle: I regret that information on individual types of cases undecided cannot be determined.

Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time was taken to process the application of a wife of a UK citizen who has been married for over 12 months and living in the UK, over the most recent 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [28026]

Angela Eagle: We do not routinely publish average processing times for individual types of application. We aim to decide all straightforward applications within three weeks, but at present it is taking up to eight weeks due to the exceptionally high number of applications received in 2001, especially in recent months, and process changes

22 Jan 2002 : Column 843W

which are being introduced to improve our longer term performance. We are working to reduce this to three weeks as soon as possible.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proportion of breached antisocial behaviour orders resulted in a custodial sentence in Staffordshire in 2001; [26926]

Mr. Denham: Information on court proceedings for 2001 will not be available until the autumn.

Metropolitan Police

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Metropolitan police recruits were undertaking the 18 weeks training and 10 weeks street duty course during each of the previous 24 months. [26942]

Mr. Denham: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has provided the following figures for Metropolitan police service recruits undertaking the 18-week training course at Hendon during each of the previous 24 months. The figures include a small number of experienced officers rejoining the service who undertake a two-week refresher course.

Year/monthNumber in training school
1999–2000
December316
January409
February357
March325
April412
May324
June368
July384
August277
September275
October394
November441
December494
2001
January576
February458
March652
April689
May783
June830
July833
August913
September685
October709
November940
December 993

Street duty courses are run locally on each of the 32 boroughs. The numbers undertaking this course are not recorded centrally and this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Football

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he takes to monitor football players and club officials travelling overseas for matches; and if he will make a statement. [27169]

22 Jan 2002 : Column 844W

Mr. Denham: This is a matter for the football authorities and their specialist security advisers. The Government are kept informed and liaise with them regularly.

Road Accidents (Breath Tests)

Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidance he issues to police officers on breathalysing drivers immediately following a road accident in which there is fatality or serious injury; and if it is normal practice to breathalyse drivers in these circumstances; [26720]

Mr. Denham: It is the policy of the Association of Chief Police Officers that all drivers of vehicles involved in a collision where police attend should be breath-tested. This has been the position since 1996. I am satisfied that the policy is applied appropriately by all police forces.

Police Numbers (Rural Areas)

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the number of police officers serving in rural areas. [26963]

Mr. Denham: The allocation of resources to rural areas is a matter for individual chief constables. This Government responded positively to the outcome of independent research into the policing of sparsely populated areas by the creation of the Rural Policing Fund to direct extra resources to rural forces.

In 2000–01 £15 million was allocated to 31 forces with more sparsely populated areas. In 2001–02 this was increased to a full-year allocation of £30 million. We are making available a further £30 million in 2002–03 to the same forces. Essex police benefit from the Rural Policing Fund and were allocated £503,710 in 2001–02. They will receive the same in 2002–03. It is for chief constables to determine how this money should be used to improve the policing of rural areas.

In addition the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) is enabling all forces to take on a total of 9,000 extra recruits, over and above their previous recruitment plans for the three years to March 2003. Essex police has been allocated 197 CFF recruits over the three years.


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