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Press Releases

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many press releases were issued by his Department (a) in each month between May and December 1997 and (b) in each year from 1998 to 2001 inclusive. [59474]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is as follows.

(a) Between May and December 1997

May 64

(b) In each year from 1998 to 2001 inclusive


Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many press releases have been issued by his Department in each month of 2002. [59475]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is as follows:

Between January and May 2002

February 28

(14) To date

24 Jun 2002 : Column 701W

Domestic Violence/Sexual Attacks

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what specialist resources are available for the investigation of domestic violence and sexual attacks; what action has been taken in this area in the past three years for (a) research, (b) education; (c) crime prevention and (d) officer training; and how many staff and how many staff hours were employed in these areas, and at what cost, in each of the last three years. [60861]

Jane Kennedy: The PSNI currently has 35 Domestic Violence Liaison Officers. All received initial training in domestic violence procedures which was followed up during 2000 by a further accredited course from the university of Teesside through which each officer gained a certificate in Professional Policing (Domestic Violence). Each officer performs a minimum 40 hour week, working on a nine-to-five basis.

The work of these officers supports the front-line uniform response officers who are required to take decisive action at the scene of a domestic dispute. In addition, it is hoped that by autumn 2002 the PSNI will have completed work to enable uniform officers to access an Integrated Crime Information System (ICIS) database containing background information surrounding a potential violent incident prior to arrival at the scene.

The role of the Domestic Violence Officer is currently under review and it is intended that external agencies will be consulted as a basis of determining a multi-agency perspective on how to improve the service offered to victims of domestic violence. The PSNI makes use of research undertaken by its partners in the multi agency response to the problem.

Leaflets and posters have also been distributed by the PSNI throughout Northern Ireland on domestic violence. These have recently been translated into ethnic minority languages and are available in various areas of public contact.

All PSNI officers receive Child Abuse and Rape Enquiry (CARE) training. CARE unit detectives receive specialist training on child abuse and rape trauma syndrome. There are presently 12 CARE units, including five CARE suites staffed by a total of 85 highly trained officers. The CARE suites provide a non-threatening environment for the interview of children, comfortable interview rooms for victims of sexual offences and well equipped medical facilities where forensic medical officers can carry out examinations.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, through its CARE Co-ordinator, carries out research into the various aspects of both child abuse and sexual offending. It works in liaison with the ACPO portfolio holders in relation to the development of educational lessons within the service provision.

In addition to the staff employed in CARE units, other officers from District Command Units and CID undertake work on sexual attacks.

Due to the variety of staff who provide support in both these areas of police work information regarding the number of staff hours and staff costs could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

24 Jun 2002 : Column 702W


National Statistics

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update his answer of 20 July 2001, Official Report, column 559W, on national statistics, to cover financial year 2001; and if he will make a statement. [60417]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Matthew Taylor, dated 24 June 2002:

EU Stability Pact

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last assessed the extent to which planned public expenditure would need to be reduced to comply with the EU stability pact; and what his conclusion was. [63328]

24 Jun 2002 : Column 703W

Ruth Kelly: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) on 30 April 2002, Official Report, column 734W.

Bank Notes

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) financial advantages he derives and (b) costs he incurs from the diversity of bodies able to issue bank notes in Northern Ireland; and what bodies regulate issuing banks. [63433]

Ruth Kelly: The Exchequer benefits from not bearing the printing and destruction costs associated with non- Bank of England sterling notes in circulation. However, the Exchequer also suffers a reduction in seignorage income, as the legislation does not require the issuing banks to wholly back their note issue with Bank of England notes. The Inland Revenue Stamp Office monitors the level of issuance by these banks.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many bank notes of each denomination from each issuing bank were in circulation in Northern Ireland on the last day for which information is available. [63432]

Ruth Kelly: Values of the notes in circulation for each of the issuing banks, as at 8 June 2002, are as follows:


Bank of Ireland482,688,297278,105482,966,402
Ulster Bank257,892,50070,076257,962,576
Northern Bank267,053,976439,105267,493,081
First Trust Bank244,908,000244,908,000

(15) Value of notes of £5 and over in circulation.

(16) Value of notes of £5 and under in circulation.

Details of the denominational breakdown of notes in circulation are not provided to the authorities.

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