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Victims Charter

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General when the Victims Charter was last revised. [35963]

Mr. Keith Bradley: I have been asked to reply.

The Victims Charter was last revised in 1996, and is currently under review. A new Charter, or equivalent document, will take account of recent developments, and will reflect the Government's success in improving support and services for victims.

Crime Statistics

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will make a statement on how the balance of serious crime and minor crime changed since 1992 as a percentage of total crimes committed. [35948]

Mr. Denham: I have been asked to reply.

According to the British Crime Survey (BCS), the proportion of violent crime was 18 per cent. in 1991, 20 per cent. in 1993 (there was no survey undertaken in 1992), and 20 per cent. in the year 2000. The British Crime Survey also shows that the number of violent offences has decreased by 28 per cent. between 1993 and 2000.

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Prison Service Medal

Mr. Cawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will publish the Royal Warrant for the Northern Ireland Prison Service Medal. [37658]

Dr. John Reid: I am pleased to inform my hon. Friend that the Royal Warrant for the Northern Ireland Prison Service Medal was published today and I have placed copies in the Libraries of the House.

I am delighted that the staff of the Northern Ireland Prison Service are being recognised for the invaluable work they have carried out on behalf of the community over the last 30 years, often at great personal cost.

Twenty nine officers have been murdered and others, and their families, subjected to threats and intimidation. Despite that they have continued to act professionally and have provided an invaluable service to all the people of Northern Ireland.

Saville Inquiry

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much public funding has been

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provided to the legal representatives of the families appearing at the Saville Inquiry, broken down by each (a) barrister and (b) firm of solicitors involved. [34444]

Mr. Browne: The payments made to the legal representatives appearing at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry on behalf of the families or the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) are set out in the following

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table. The figures include VAT, where that is paid, and, in most cases, expenses as well as fees.

The figures represent the position as at 12 February 2002. The prospective Judicial Review on Barristers' fees and the prospective judgment of the Senior Costs Judge on Solicitors' fees could affect the level of payments already made in respect of the period of work covered.

Period covered
Payments made (£)FromTo
Senior counsel representing the families(19)
Lord Gifford309,944October 1998September 2001
Arthur Harvey398,855July 1998November 2001
Michael Lavery215,317November 2000December 2001
B. J. MacDonald(20)142,101September 1998September 2000
P. T. MacDonald(21)65,800April 1998June 1999
Michael Mansfield296,857March 1999October 2001
Elish McDermott105,309March 2000June 2001
Seamus Treacy(22)370,301March 1998June 2001
Senior counsel representing NICRA
Sir Louis Blom-Cooper190,647December 2000December 2001
Junior counsel representing the families
John Coyle213,931September 1999May 2001
Fiona Doherty92,967October 2000May 2001
Ciaran Harvey165,969December 2000November 2001
Richard Harvey101,463October 2000March 2001
Brian Kennedy303,498July 1999November 2001
Philip Magee(23)83,175June 1998September 2000
Kieran Mallon361,005March 1999December 2001
Brian McCartney319,512July 1998June 2001
Karen Quinlivan84,169March 1999June 2000
Patricia Smyth241,096October 1998September 2001
Michael Topolski(24)139,940November 2000June 2001
Junior counsel representing NICRA
Paddy O'Hanlon101,106November 2000January 2001
Solicitors representing the families(25)
Barr and Co.170,061February 1999August 2001
Brendan Kearney531,452July 1999November 2001
Desmond Doherty and Co.553,320November 1998December 2001
MacDermott and McGurk529,944November 1998December 2001
Madden and Finucane4,511,193January 1998November 2001
McCann and McCann183,834October 1998December 2001
McCartney and Casey535,084November 1998December 2001
Solicitors representing NICRA(26)

(19) In addition, the following senior counsel have represented/are representing some of the families but have yet to submit fee claims: Kevin Finnegan, Eoin McGonigal, Declan Morgan and Reg Weir.

(20) Left the case (as a junior) in September 2000 and rejoined the case (as a senior) July 2001.

(21) Left the case June 1999.

(22) Having started as a junior in March 1998, became a senior counsel in September 2000.

(23) Left the case September 2000.

(24) Left the case June 2001.

(25) Includes payments made in respect of witness statement-taking work.

(26) The firm of solicitors representing NICRA, Francis Keenan, has yet to submit a claim for payment.

Health and Safety (Computers)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many employees in his Department who regularly use computers have taken up the provision of a free eye test; and how this service is advertised to (a) current and (b) new staff. [36684]

Dr. John Reid: 115 officers who regularly use computers have taken up the provision of a free eye test since 1 April 2001.

As eyesight testing procedures are revised staff are notified by an internal circular.

New staff are advised of the provision of free eye tests at the induction session, which takes place within two weeks of an officer joining the Department.

IT Contracts

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the total expenditure of his Department on IT systems and support in each year

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from May 1997 to date; how many IT contracts have been let in each of those years; of the other main contracting party in each of those contracts, how many have been (a) companies whose registered office is in (i) England and Wales, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Northern Ireland and

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(b) foreign companies; and what are the names of the companies falling within category (a). [33672]

Dr. John Reid: The following table relates to contracts exceeding £50,000.

Year England and Wales Northern IrelandTotal IT systems and support expenditure (£)
1997–98Ramick Computing (NI) Ltd.3,048,148
1998–99Bull Information Systems Ltd.2,030,657
HCP Electronics
EDC Communications
1999–2000Compaq Computers Ltd.4,050,710
Hallmark Solutions (NI)
Core Systems
Sanderson (NI) Ltd.
2000–01Pecaso Ltd.5,848,049
Photobase (UK)
Elite Training
2001–02PA Consultants Ltd.(27)2,686,083
Partnerships UK
Compaq Computers Ltd.
ICS Computing Ltd.

(27) Estimate, figures unavailable until the end of this financial year

No contracts have been let to companies in Scotland or abroad except a contract with Microsoft (2000) where the contract office is Dublin.

Police Service

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on progress with the Public Service Agreement target of increasing Catholic representation in the police service. [24834]

Jane Kennedy: The response from the Catholic community to the recruitment competitions for the Police Service of Northern Ireland has been very positive. At present this is enabling the chief constable to appoint significantly greater numbers of recruits on a 50 per cent. Catholic 50 per cent. non-Catholic basis than was envisaged by the Independent Commission on Policing. The recruitment arrangements will be kept under regular review, with regard to the progress made towards achievement of a police service which is representative of the Northern Ireland community.

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