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Community Orders

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the scope for increased use of community orders for young women who have committed non-violent crimes as their first offence. [28765]

Beverley Hughes: The Government believe that serious, dangerous and persistent offenders should be sent to prison. However, it may not be the best, or most effective, option for less serious offenders, whether men or women, who can often be better dealt with in the community. The Government believe that greater use

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should be made of community punishments for some non-violent offenders, such as those convicted of theft and handling or fraud.

We are committed to seeing a reduction in the number of women who are sent to prison and to ensuring that the courts have available to them a full range of community punishments, designed using the what works principle, which are effective, strictly enforced and in which the courts and the public can have confidence.

Child Protection Policies

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library copies of the child protection policies operating at (a) Oakington, (b) Tinsley House, (c) Yarl's Wood, (d) Harmondsworth and (e) John Gavell immigration detention and reception centres. [29593]

Angela Eagle: I shall arrange for copies of the relevant documents to be placed in the Library.

Surrey Police

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason Surrey police receives the lowest per-capita grant. [30262]

Mr. Denham: Grant for police authorities is distributed on the basis of a formula which is intended broadly to reflect the relative needs of police authorities.

Family Visitor Appeals

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to reform the fee charges for family visitor appeals; and if he will make a statement. [28928]

Angela Eagle: We await the results of the review of family visitor appeals, which ends this month. We will consider the future of the scheme, including the fees, in the light of the review team's report.

Environmental Appraisals

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the last occasion was on which he requested an environmental appraisal before making a policy decision. [29009]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 21 January 2002]: To date no such request has been made. However, the Department's policy checklist states that policy proposals should be considered in relation to Government objectives on achieving sustainable development, and the standard format for policy submissions includes a section on environmental considerations.

EU Arrest Warrant

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the EU arrest warrant will be included in the Extradition Bill; when he expects the Bill to be published; whether the agreed text of the EU arrest warrant covers the offence of xenophobia; whether a United Kingdom citizen could be arrested under the EU arrest warrant for an alleged act which is not an offence under UK law; and whether the EU arrest warrant can be

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used to arrest a United Kingdom subject in the United Kingdom for an alleged offence committed from within the United Kingdom's boundaries. [29404]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Government have made their commitment to an Extradition Bill clear, and it will be brought before the House in the usual way; the Bill will include provisions to implement the Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between member states.

The text of this Framework Decision, which was provisionally agreed at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 6 December 2001, includes in the list at Article 2(2) for which the dual criminality test has been abolished, the generic heading of racism and xenophobia.

In respect of any warrant, the offence for which surrender is sought will be framed by the issuing judicial authority under its national law. The generic headings listed at Article 2(2) relate to conduct for which there are criminal sanctions in all the member states of the European Union (EU), although the definitions of the offences do not match precisely. Where the issuing judicial authority includes an offence on the warrant which does not fall under one of the headings at 2(2), the dual criminality test may be applied by the executing judicial authority.

Article 4(7) of the Framework Decision provides that the executing judicial authority may refuse to execute the European Arrest Warrant:

The Framework Decision, therefore, contains protection against the surrender of a fugitive, of any nationality, from the United Kingdom for an alleged offence committed in the United Kingdom which is not an offence under our law. The Government's position will be finalised in the Extradition Bill.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the agreement reached on the EU arrest warrant. [29817]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: At the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union on 6–7 December 2001 all member states bar Italy reached provisional agreement on the European arrest warrant; on 11 December, Italy indicated that it too could accept the text. Agreement was subject to national parliamentary scrutiny reservations entered or retained by five member states, including the United Kingdom (the others were Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland). The European Parliament is being reconsulted on the European arrest warrant, and the Council will need to consider its opinion, expected in February, before the European Arrest Warrant can be adopted.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 8 January

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2002, Official Report, column 777W, on CCTV, how many applications have been received from schemes in the Buckingham constituency; and what was the outcome in each case. [30119]

Mr. Denham: Two applications for funding have been received from the Buckingham constituency, both for the Buckingham Town Centre Close Circuit Television (CCTV) system.

Under Round 2 of the CCTV Challenge Competition (1996–97), the Home Office provided part funding of £9,500 towards the installation of the system.

Under Round 2 of the Crime Reduction Programme CCTV Initiative (2001), a bid seeking £151,045 to upgrade the system was not successful.

Crime Reduction

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 8 January 2002, Official Report, column 778W, what progress has been made in meeting the crime reduction target. [30122]

Mr. Denham: National crime reduction targets are: to reduce vehicle crime by 30 per cent. by 2004, and, by 2005, to reduce domestic burglary by 25 per cent, and robbery in our principal cities by 14 per cent.

The latest published recorded crime statistics show that in the 12 months to March 2001, thefts of and from vehicles had reduced to 968,447 offences, a reduction of 10.1 per cent. against the 1998–99 baseline; domestic burglary had reduced to 402,984, a reduction of 14.9 per cent; but robbery had increased to 68,447, a rise of 13 per cent.

We remain determined to reduce robbery rates, and the 12 month increase is half the 26 per cent. rise in the previous year. The robbery figures relate to the following police forces: Metropolitan Police Service, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.

Crime (Gwent)

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were recorded by Gwent Police in (a) 1998, (b) 1999, (c) 2000 and (d) 2001 as (i) violent crime, (ii) burglary, (iii) thefts of vehicles, (iv) thefts from vehicles, (v) drug offences and (vi) total crime; and what the percentage of each change was each year. [30154]

Mr. Denham: Recorded crime figures are published in financial years, with the most recent available figures being for the year ended March 2001. The information for the years from 1 April 1998 is given in the table.

The number of recorded crimes will be affected by changes in the public's willingness to report crime and police recording practices, as well as the real extent of crime. For example, the British Crime Survey has shown that, in England and Wales as a whole, victimisation for the violent crime in the survey which is comparable to recorded crime decreased by 19 per cent. between the 1999 and 2000 calendar years, whereas comparable violent crime recorded by the police increased by 9 per cent.

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Recorded crimes for Gwent—number of offences and percentage change

Percentage change
1998–991999–20002000–011998–99 to 1999–20001999–2000 to 2000–01
Violent crime11,98014,49314,882213
Theft from vehicle6,1455,7145,035-7-12
Theft or unauthorised taking of motor vehicle3,6013,3933,074-6-9
Drug offences2,4472,2142,196-10-1
Total recorded crime58,73860,13256,7282-6


Violent crime is comprised of violence against the person, sexual offences and robbery

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