|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
|Offence group||19992000(14)||hw2>200001(14)||Percentage change|
|Violence against the person||37,922||38,230||1|
|Theft and handling stolen goods||98,727||89,035||-10|
|Fraud and forgery||11,889||10,449||-12|
|Total recorded crime||255,487||238,449||-7|
(14) Years ending March
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the ability of police officers to cross police authority boundaries when pursuing suspected criminals. 
Mr. Denham: There is no restriction on police officers crossing police boundaries when pursuing suspected criminals. Guidance issued to police forces by the Association of Chief Police Officers advises that when police officers cross boundaries in such circumstances they should hand over the pursuit as soon as possible to the police force whose area they have crossed into.
8 May 2002 : Column 228W
Mr. Denham: We have not made a detailed assessment of the costs of introducing a certification regime for air weapons, but as there are an estimated 4 million air weapons in circulation it is clear that the resource implications for police firearms licensing departments would be very substantial.
Mr. Denham: Tackling antisocial behaviour calls for a cross-Government approach. Among the many actions we are taking are the introduction of community safety officers and measures in the Police Reform Bill to enhance the effectiveness of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs). We are also consulting on further measures to deal with the problems of antisocial tenants and of abandoned vehicles.
Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to public spending was of the diversity training programme within the prison service; and how long it will take for all relevant prison staff to have completed the programme. 
Beverley Hughes: Support from the prison service has largely been advisory for this staff support network. A small amount of funding (less than £2,000) has been given towards the cost of leaflets and posters.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many men held in prisons in England and Wales who are serving a sentence of over five years were charged with offences involving (a) violence and (b) non-violent crime. 
Beverley Hughes: The table shows the number of males who were serving sentences of over five years in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales on the 31 March 2002, broken down by offence group.
|Offence group||Number of prisoners|
|Violence against the person||6,126|
|Theft and handling||137|
|Fraud and forgery||76|
|Offence not recorded||73|
8 May 2002 : Column 229W
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cars have been stolen in the past two years for which figures are available; and what steps he is taking to reduce the incidence of car theft. 
Mr. Denham: During the year 19992000 there were 374,686 recorded thefts and attempted thefts of motor vehicles in England and Wales and 338,796 during 200001. The information available does not distinguish between cars and other motor vehicles.
The Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team (VCRAT) was set up in September 1998 to develop and oversee the implementation of initiatives to meet the Government's target to reduce vehicle crime by 30 per cent. over five years. They published their proposals for achieving the target on 22 September 1999.
The main proposals include improved security on new and used cars; improved car park security; better policing and community responses which target prolific offenders and crime hotspots; and new procedures at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 took forward VCRAT recommendations for regulation of the motor salvage industry and controls on the supply of vehicle number plates and we expect to implement these provisions progressively between August 2002 and April 2003.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason the Prison Service's application for planning permission to extend HMP Albany was made under emergency procedures. 
Beverley Hughes: The prison population has risen considerably, and on 30 April 2002 was provisionally estimated at 70,578, an increase of 7.5 per cent. (nearly 5,000 prisoners) on the number held in April 2001. Because of the urgent need to provide additional accommodation at existing prisons, including Albany, applications for planning clearance have had to be submitted under the special urgency procedure of Department of the Environment Circular 18/84 which gives the local planning authority 14 days from the date of receipt to submit any comments.
Planning clearance was requested on 11 April 2002 from the Isle of Wight council for the construction of Albany prison of one, two storey 40-place ready to use unit with a single storey ancillary building, within the secure perimeter of the prison. The council advised us on 24 April 2002 that their Development Control Committee had resolved to raise no objection to the proposal. The Prison Service will be writing separately to the hon. Member with further details of their proposals.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evaluation he has made of the quality of the consultation by the CRE on the draft code of practice on the duty to promote racial equality; how many consultees in each category responded; and what proportion they represented of all consultees. 
8 May 2002 : Column 230W
Angela Eagle [holding answer 30 April 2002]: The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) issued about 45,000 consultation packs to all listed public authorities and a range of voluntary sector organisations for information. The consultation pack was accompanied by a consultation feedback questionnaire which could be returned both via surface mail or completed on-line.
We are aware that of the 8,000 packs sent to parish councils, at least 27 were received only shortly before or even after the end of the consultation period. This was unacceptable. All parish councils who contacted the CRE to complain were given a two week extension and could respond until 15 March 2002.
In terms of clarity 85.6 per cent. of respondents found the draft statutory code mainly or completely clear. 82.8 per cent. of respondents found the draft code fairly or very easy to understand and 77.4 per cent. of respondents found the draft code either very or fairly easy to follow.
A range of promotional and consultative conferences with public and voluntary sector organisations complemented the written consultation exercise. The conferences and seminars were favourably received and were used to both inform the public sector of the new duty and to receive feedback and clarify issues raised in the consultation pack.
|Categories by sector||Number of responses||Percentage|
|Non-departmental public bodies||27||2.8|
(15) Includes parish councils
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|