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Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations have been made to other EU member states, to shorten the period between arrest, detention in custody and charge in their jurisdictions; 
Beverley Hughes: None. These are matters for the competent authorities in each member state, including the United Kingdom. Under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is binding on all member states, arrested or detained persons must be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power, and they are
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entitled to a trial within a reasonable time or to release pending a trial. Persons who are deprived of their liberty by arrest or detention are also entitled to take proceedings by which "the lawfulness of their detention shall be decided speedily by a court". The European arrest warrant cannot be used for the purpose of interrogating a suspect, but only for the purpose of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order.
Beverley Hughes: Gartree prison is currently undergoing a four-year refurbishment programme. The furniture craft workshop at the prison has been closed temporarily during the refurbishment period and will re-open at the conclusion of the work.
The course content of the work carried out in Gartree's workshops will be reviewed to ensure it meets the needs of life sentence prisoners who are in the early years of their sentence as Gartree now holds only life sentence prisoners.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) number and (b) percentage of criminal prosecutions resulted in a conviction in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: The following table provides the available information, extracted from the Home Office Court Proceedings Database, which relates to the number of defendants proceeded against and those found guilty in each of the years 1996 to 2000 in England and Wales.
|Defendants proceeded against||Defendants convicted||Percentage convicted|
Angela Eagle: There were 6,830 principal asylum applicants (to the nearest five) removed from the United Kingdom in the period January to September 2001 (the latest period for which information is available). Further information is given in the table.
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|Principal applicants removed||Dependants removed(64)||Total asylum seekers removed|
(63) Includes persons departing 'voluntarily' after enforcement action had been initiated against them and persons leaving under Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
(64) Data on dependants of asylum seekers removed have only been collected since April 2001.
Provisional figures, rounded to the nearest five. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
Information on the number of asylum removals is published on a quarterly basis. Information for the fourth quarter of 2001 will be published on 28 February 2002 on the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/ immigration1.html.
Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress is being made towards the introduction of an alternative to the voucher scheme of asylum support; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced that by early autumn 2002 he would have established a less divisive and more socially acceptable alternative to vouchers. That remains his intention.
Beverley Hughes: Until March 2001 data on the number of registered sex offenders were collated bi-annually on a national basis from the Police National Computer, however, this arrangement has been overtaken by guidance issued by the Home Office in respect of the statutory provisions in Section 67 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. The guidance requires information about the number of registered sex offenders in each police area to be published. This will take place from June 2002 and local systems are being put in place to deliver it. Until these systems are in place such information could only be obtained by a specific exercise by the particular police force concerned which would entail disproportionate costs.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 15 October 2001, Official Report, column 928W, on strip searches, what response he has made to the recommendation of the Searches on the Person Review concerning statistical (a) recording and (b) monitoring of strip searches. 
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Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 7 November 2001 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mrs. M. Brown. 
Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were released on temporary licence in the last year for which figures are available; on how many occasions; for what purpose; and on how many of these occasions the prisoner (a) failed to return and (b) otherwise breached the conditions of the licence. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 23 January 2002]: In the year 2000, 10,559 persons were released from prisons in England and Wales on temporary licence. Licences can be given for a short period, for example, a day to attend a funeral, or may be given several times over a longer period, for example where a prisoner is working outside of the prison and for the purpose of resettlement and preparation for release. A total of 256,837 temporary release licences were granted over the year 2000. 318 of these were failures, the inmate did not return to prison at the time that they were required to. This represents a failure rate of 0.1 per cent. of licences granted and was the lowest rate since 1991.
|Purpose||Number of releases|
|In hostel etc.||492|
|Training and education||14,043|
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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on funding to local victim support schemes which retain local autonomy while remaining part of a county-wide scheme that includes the witness service. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: The allocation of Home Office grant to victim support schemes is determined by the Victim Support Funding Panel, a sub-committee of the Victim Support Board of Trustees, in accordance with criteria agreed annually between the Home Office and the Board of Trustees.
It is Government policy that the delivery of Government funded criminal justice services should be organised on a criminal justice area basis. The grant criteria agreed between the Home Office and the Victim Support Board of Trustees have accordingly been framed in a way to encourage victim support schemes to plan their service delivery on an area basis, to achieve best use of resources through integrated planning.
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