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Government Funding

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for South-West Bedfordshire (Mr. Selous) of 25 January 2002, Official Report, columns 1185–6W, on Government funding of the voluntary sector, if she will list the grant schemes and other mechanisms by which her Department distributes funding to voluntary sector organisations. [51411]

Clare Short: The principal funding mechanisms we use to support voluntary sector organisations and civil society more generally are as follows:

In addition, DFID supports specific programmes or activities of voluntary organisations through its regional programmes, as well as, for example, our conflict and humanitarian aid budget. Voluntary organisations can also benefit from some of DFID's research funds, for example the Engineering Knowledge and Research programme. DFID funding for UK-based non-governmental organisations is typically close to £200 million per year.


Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many complaints were registered against her Department and its predecessor Departments in (a) 1990 to 1996 and (b) 1997 to 2002; how many are current; and what proportion were (i) taken up and (ii) upheld by the parliamentary ombudsman in those periods. [51585]

Clare Short: Detailed records of all complaints made against the Department are not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Details of cases taken up by the parliamentary ombudsman are contained in the ombudsman's annual reports, which are available in the Library of the House.

Departmental Public Spending

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on how the public spending plans of her Department have been affected by the Budget. [51734]

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Clare Short: DFID's budget for 2002–03 remains as announced in the 2000 Spending Review. Allocations for 2003–04 to 2005–06 will be determined through the 2002 Spending Review over the next few months.


Antisocial Behaviour

10. Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to tackle disorder and antisocial behaviour in the north-west. [47069]

Angela Eagle: The Government are taking urgent action to tackle antisocial behaviour and disorder across the country and in the north-west. This includes the new measures contained in the Police Reform Bill as well as action by Crime and Disorder Partnerships with young people to divert them away from crime and nuisance crime.

32. Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to tackle antisocial behaviour. [47094]

Mr. Denham: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Angela Eagle), earlier to the similar question from my hon. Friend the Member for Chorley (Mr. Hoyle).

37. Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been approved in Lancashire; and what recent representations he has received on their implementation. [47099]

Mr. Denham: From the introduction of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) in April 1999 to the end of September 2001 (the last point to which data are available), 16 orders had been granted in Lancashire.

A number of individuals and groups have made representations on the implementation of antisocial behaviour orders. They have been taken into account in formulating improved guidance for practitioners, which is being prepared, and the legislative changes proposed in the Police Reform Bill which include the introduction of interim ASBOs to stop antisocial behaviour more quickly; enabling county courts to make ASBOs in particular circumstances and empowering registered social landlords and the British Transport Police to apply directly for ASBOs to deal with the particular problems of antisocial behaviour they face.

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Police Patrols

14. Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he collates on the proportion of police officers involved in patrolling public places on (a) foot and (b) in vehicles. [47074]

Angela Eagle: Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary collects data on the proportion of police officers who are predominately assigned to operational patrol in uniform, either on foot or in a vehicle (including bicycles and motor cycles). Traffic and motorway patrols and dog sections are excluded from these figures. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's data do not differentiate between time spent patrolling on foot or in vehicles.

In 2000–01, 48.3 per cent. of police officers in England and Wales were assigned to operational patrol. For Hertfordshire, 54.3 per cent. of officers were assigned to this function.

However, we know from the PA Consulting report, "Diary of a Police Officer", that too much time is spent in the police station on paperwork. We are determined to find a solution to this so that officers can spend more time out of the station.

Police Stations

16. Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the role of police stations in fighting crime. [47077]

Angela Eagle: It is important that the police service responds to the needs of the public by being accessible and visible. Strategic location of police stations as part of a whole range of methods of police presence, is key to this approach .

This year we have allocated to police authorities £179 million grant and credit approval for capital expenditure with a further £20 million to be allocated specifically for premises renewal, compared with £157 million in total last year.

Police Housing

17. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy on the sale of dedicated police housing by police authorities. [47078]

Angela Eagle: The management of police property is entirely a matter for police authorities. Decisions relating to the sale of housing and other properties are not ones in which Ministers have any power to intervene. I would expect police authorities to take likely future needs into account when considering what approach offers best value.

The Audit Commission in its report entitled "Action Stations Improving the Management of the Police Estate" recommended that police forces identify and dispose of buildings that were unsuitable or had maintenance liabilities which were beyond the forces' means and rationalise their remaining estate.

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Trial Delays

18. Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to reduce delays in bringing criminal cases to trial. [47079]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Government have introduced a number of procedural reforms to ensure that criminal cases are brought before the courts with the minimum of delay. These include bringing charged cases before magistrates courts at the first available hearing; sending indictable only cases straight to the Crown court following first appearance in the magistrates court; and reducing by more than half the time taken to deal with persistent young offenders from arrest to sentence (from 142 days to 67 by December 2001).

Looking ahead, the Government are also formulating a set of exacting targets to further reduce delay; running pilot schemes involving extended court sitting hours and closer Crown Prosecution Service/police liaison prior to charge.

Her Majesty's chief inspectors of the Court Service and the Crown Prosecution Service are also conducting a national inspection of listing, to seek to identify how courts can manage their case loads most efficiently, and we look forward to making use of their findings and recommendations in order to make continued progress in reducing delay.

Police Initiatives

20. Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the number of initiatives and targets in relation to the police since 1997. [47081]

Mr. Denham: Since 1997, the police in England and Wales have been involved in a number of initiatives. Some relate only to the police, while others, such as the introduction of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships, bring together a number of partners to concentrate on those issues of greatest concern to the communities they serve.

Police authorities are required to set targets for reductions in domestic burglary, vehicle crime and, in five major cities, robbery. This month the Street Crime Action Team was set up to help deliver these robbery targets. The police service also has a key role to play in delivering Government targets relating to, for example, drug misuse and persistent young offenders.

The House is also aware of the radical programme of work being taken forward following the White Paper "Policing a new Century", much of which is contained in the Police Reform Bill.

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