Previous Section Index Home Page


Prison Sales

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans he has to sell Holloway Prison; and if he will make a statement; [29828]

Beverley Hughes: There are no current plans to sell Holloway or Wormwood Scrubs prisons.

Trial by Jury

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the future of trial by jury; [29825]

Mr. Keith Bradley: Sir Robin Auld's review of the criminal courts, the report of which was published last October, made a number of recommendations with major implications for trial by jury. The report is currently the subject of public consultation, and the Government will consider their response in the light of the views received.

New Deal (Young People)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are employed by the Department under the new deal for young people; and at what cost to public funds. [21319]

Mr. Denham: The Home Office currently employs a total of 11 people under the new deal for young people.

New deal recruits take up existing vacancies so extra costs are limited to the subsidy, where appropriate, and any additional training and development which may be needed. The costs of the latter cannot be readily identified.

Crime (Coventry)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures have been taken in Coventry to improve the protection of pensioners in their homes from burglary. [28882]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 January 2002]: Coventry is covered by our home security scheme for low-income pensioners living in areas with burglary rates above the national average. This provides security checks and additional security measures where needed for eligible pensioners, including better door locks, window locks, door chains and viewers.

24 Jan 2002 : Column 1097W

In addition, a total of over £320,000 funding has been provided for five projects in Coventry under the reducing burglary initiative. These projects, while not specifically aimed at the elderly, target local burglary problems and are of benefit to the community as a whole.

Locally, the Coventry Crime and Disorder Partnership is undertaking work on crime against older people (particularly distraction burglary) as part of its wider community safety plans and strategies.

Mobile Phone Theft

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will introduce guidelines for the mobile telephony companies to share the international mobile equipment identity code when mobiles are stolen. [28949]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 January 2002]: As part of the on-going work of the Home Secretary's Mobile Phone Steering Group, we are currently in discussion with the mobile phone industry and the police about the feasibility of setting up and implementing a shared database of stolen handset IMEI numbers.

Mr. Robert Clark

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received on the handling by the Police Complaints Authority of a complaint by Mr. Leslie Clark into the case of Mr. Robert Clark; [28872]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 January 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Clarke), in his former capacity as a Minister of State, Home Department received representations on this subject from the hon. Member and replied to his correspondence in February and April of last year.

Police (Complaints)

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints received by the Metropolitan police service from members of the public during 2000 were (a) forwarded to the Police Complaints Authority and (b) recorded initially as complaints and then reclassified and cancelled. [28875]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 January 2002]: From 1 January to 31 December 2000 there were 6,211 public allegations against the Metropolitan police service, making up 3,887 cases. Of these, 3,050 allegations (49 per cent.) have so far been referred to the Police Complaints Authority. There are 60 allegations (1 per cent.) that are shown as 'Not Resolved' or 'De-Recorded'.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to implement recommendation 49 of Setting the Boundaries to introduce

24 Jan 2002 : Column 1098W

into UK domestic law a specific offence of people trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. [29676]

Mr. Keith Bradley: Home Office Ministers are currently considering this and all of the other recommendations made to Government by the Sex Offences Review, in the light of responses to a public consultation process. The Government have indicated their intention to introduce new legislation to target the evils of trafficking in human beings. They are considering how that legislation should be framed and are examining suitable legislative vehicles.

The new legislation will also implement our international obligation in respect of trafficking, contained in the United Nations (UN) Protocol on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children for Sexual Purposes, the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime, and a European Union (EU) Framework Decision on Trafficking currently under negotiation.

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received to amend section 22 of the Sex Offences Act 1956 to make it an offence for a person to procure under 18s for the purposes detailed in sections 22(1), (a)(b) and (c) of the legislation. [29675]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Sex Offences Review recommended to Government that section 22 of the Sex Offences Act 1956 should be replaced with a range of gender neutral offences relating to the commercial sexual exploitation of a child under 18 and the trafficking of a person for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Home Office Ministers are considering this recommendation and the responses received during the consultation period in light of the Government's intention to introduce new legislation to target the evils of trafficking in human beings and the United Kingdom's international obligations in this regard.

Police Custody (Deaths)

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deaths in police custody there were in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by force; what is being done to reduce the number of recorded deaths in police custody; what action he will take as a result of responses received to the recent consultation document concerning deaths in police custody; and if he will publish, following the conclusion of the consultation, a list of those who responded to it. [27854]

Mr. Denham: Statistics for deaths in police custody for 2000–01 were published on 29 November 2001. Copies can be found in the Library. The total number of deaths in custody fell from 70 in 1999–2000 to 52 in 2000–01. Police forces are taking a range of actions to reduce the number of deaths. These include safer custody facilities, close circuit television (CCTV) monitoring and an emphasis on better care, assessment and monitoring of detainees. Work is also in hand to develop a national protocol to cover health care professionals working within the custody environment.

24 Jan 2002 : Column 1099W

The responses received to our recent consultation document concerning the definition of deaths in police custody will be fully considered before changes are introduced. I will publish a list of those who responded.

Tetra Communications System

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Tetra communications system is to be introduced in police forces nationwide; what recent discussions he has had with the Police Federation and others concerning its safety; and if he will make a statement. [28576]

Mr. Denham: Airwave, the new national communications service for the police forces, is being introduced throughout England, Wales and Scotland. It is already operational in Leicestershire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester and will be ready for service in North Yorkshire, Suffolk and West Mercia by the end of February 2002. It is planned to complete the roll-out in England and Wales by 2004, and in Scotland during 2005.

In November 2001 the Home Secretary and I met with representatives of the Police Federation to discuss their concerns on health and safety aspects of the Tetra technology used by Airwave. The Home Office has provided answers to the questions raised by the Police Federation. These can be found on the website of the Police Information Technology Organisation (www.pito.org.uk).


Next Section Index Home Page