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Prison Service (Meat Supplies)

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (1) proportion of meat and meat products purchased by HM Prison Service is derived from (a) the United Kingdom, (b) other EU countries and (c) countries outside the EU; [61595]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 17 June 2002]: Her Majesty's Prison Service for England and Wales procures meat and meat products using contracts awarded in accordance with European Union (EU) procurement regulations and on a best value for money basis which takes account of quality of product, cost and availability. The EU regulations are designed to support fair and open competition allowing British suppliers to compete for business with other members. British suppliers have been awarded contracts under this mechanism and have access to a global market as part of their supply chain to ensure availability and the cost-effectiveness of the product at all times.

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Data available from existing contracted suppliers show the following information:

No steps have been taken by the Department to increase the proportion of meat and meat products sourced from United Kingdom (UK) producers by HM Prison Service and no direct assessments have been made regarding possible benefits or disadvantages to prisons in England and Wales from the purchase of UK produced meat. The Service has no plans to change the current situation as any move to discriminate in favour of UK producers would be deemed to be in contravention of the EU supplies directive, 93/96/EC Purchase of Goods, by disadvantaging other member states.

Information about the procurement of meat and meat products for prisoners in Scotland and Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland Office respectively.

Victim Support

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what performance indicators are utilised to describe the efficiency and effectiveness of Victim Support; when the indicators were established; and if they have been reviewed. [62716]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 June 2002]: A range of means are used to measure the effectiveness of Victim Support including two performance indicators. The first, which was established under the Victim's Charter in 1996, is that Victim Support should aim to contact victims within four working days of the necessary details being passed to them by the police. The second, established in 1999–2000, was that Victim Support should, with Home Office funding, set up a witness support service in all magistrates courts by April 2002. This was substantially achieved by the due date.

The National Audit Office (NAO) is currently looking at the work of Victim Support and the Home Office's oversight of its substantial annual grant to the organisation. The NAO's findings will be published and considered in due course.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the terms of reference and membership are of the body which replaces the Victims Steering Group; and who has been working on the terms of reference for the group. [62714]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 June 2002]: The Victims Steering Group was formally disbanded in November 2001, as it was recognised that the new services for victims in recent years, together with planned developments, required a more proactive, delivery- focused national group.

A new draft national strategy for victims and witnesses has been developed which the Government are planning to publish later in the year. Once the national strategy has been agreed, we will give consideration to the membership and terms of reference of the group or committee which is required to support, evaluate and review it.

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To complement the group, and other existing official groups or ministerial committees, we also plan to establish a Victims Advisory Panel. The panel will have the opportunity to comment on a range of policy developments and on service delivery issues, and we are currently considering how best to set it up.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if officers interviewing convicted criminals in prison on the basis that the criminal is a victim of a crime give prisoners the opportunity to be contacted by Victim Support; and how it is ensured that each prisoner receives a Victims of Crime leaflet. [62712]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 June 2002]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Bradley) to her question on 27 February 2002, Official Report, column 1388W.

It is for individual officers to determine the most appropriate course of action in the particular circumstances of the case.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the review of the Victims Charter will be completed; who and what agencies have been involved in the review; and what recent developments have been included in the review. [62718]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 June 2002]: The following Departments, organisations and victims groups have been directly involved in the review of the Victims Charter:

The work on the new benefits for victims—a bill of rights, a victims commissioner, a new complaints procedure, and new services for particular victims—is well advanced, and the Government expect to make an announcement later this year. Those leading and involved

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in the review have taken into account all new developments which impact on victims, including lessons to be learned from individual cases and important initiatives such as the street crime initiative.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action the Government have taken in response to the responses from individuals in relation to the review of the Victims Charter. [62715]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 June 2002]: Individuals who responded to the consultation exercise on the Review of the Victims Charter received a letter of acknowledgement and were advised on how the work would be taken forward. A summary of the responses to the consultation process was placed in the Library and published on the Home Office website in July 2001.

The Victims Charter Review Implementation Group was set up in October 2001 to take forward the work on the Review of the Victims Charter and has now met on three occasions. The group's work, and that of its subsidiary groups working on the Victims Ombudsman/ Commissioner and the inclusion of the victims of road traffic incidents within the scope of the revised Victims Charter, is progressing well. The views expressed by individuals during the public consultation process have been taken into account by all of these groups.


Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what percentage of visitors from overseas entering the UK in each of the past five years by visa became overstayers; [63435]

Beverley Hughes: The information requested is not available.


Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women have been extradited from the UK in each of the last three years; and to which countries they were extradited. [63584]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information requested is as follows:

Numbers surrendered

The countries to which those 139 fugitives were surrendered are as follows:

Czech Republic5
Hong Kong2
South Africa1
United States of America23

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