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Beverley Hughes: The communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament towards integrated management of the external borders of the member states of the European Union was deposited for parliamentary scrutiny on 17 May 2002. The communication proposes the following action in the short and medium term:
A common and operational co-ordination mechanism
Common integrated risk analysis
Inter-operational personnel and analysis
Burden-sharing between the member states and the union.
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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress towards meeting the Government's pledge to bring 100,000 more criminals to justice. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 23 May 2002]: In the year ending March 2000, 1.1 million offences were brought to justice. In the year ending March 2001, this figure was 1.02 million. The most recent data (for the year ending November 2001) shows an improvement in performance. 9,900 more offences were brought to justice than in the year ending July 2001.
Mr. Denham: Domestic violence is not separately identified in recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) collects figures from police forces on the number of recorded incidents of domestic violence. Incidents can be counted in the HMIC figures regardless of whether or not the incident is subsequently recorded as a crime, and all incidents initially recorded as domestic violence are counted regardless of the final outcome.
1998, 2000 and 2001 British Crime Surveys
The 2001 British Crime Survey estimates that there were, in total 354,000 incidents of domestic violence against women in England and Wales in 2000. This was a decrease from the previous sweep, the 2000 BCS, which estimated there were 560,000 incidents against women in the year preceding that survey (1999). This in turn was a reduction from the 1998 BCS, which estimated that there were 583,000 incidents of domestic violence suffered by women in 1997 in England and Wales.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time prisoners at Feltham (A and B) young offenders' prison spent locked in their cells each day was in (a) 1995, (b) 2000, (c) 2001 and (d) 2002 to date; and if he will make a statement. 
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|Average week day time unlocked at Feltham YOI|
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the work of the Criminal Justice Joint Planning Unit in relation to the development and testing of joint and shared performance measures and the date envisaged for the production of a set of indicators on criminal justice system priorities. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 12 June 2002]: The current criminal justice plan already contains joint objectives and public service agreement targets for the criminal justice system as a whole. These are the targets towards which the criminal justice agencies must collectively work.
The Criminal Justice Joint Planning Unit is currently working with the criminal justice agencies in Merseyside to examine the whole range of targets, investigate inconsistencies and develop a set of joint and shared performance measures for that area. Once they have been agreed, they will be further tested in a number of other criminal justice areas.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter of 8 May from the hon. Member for Northavon regarding Mr. Jason Davis and Ms Elaine Smith, a constituent. 
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he will reply to the letter to him dated 9 April from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. Rahemi Aminulah; 
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Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will provide an answer to the question tabled by the hon. Member for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton on 11 June regarding the letter to chief police officers Ref. 62195. 
Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the review of the exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy; what its findings have been; what action he plans to take; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 17 June 2002]: Applications for the exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy are rare. Each one is considered on its own merits. The review completed last year (which did not lead to any significant change of policy or practice) was conducted by means of communications between Ministers and officials, and legal advice to Ministers. The Code of Practice on Access to Government Information indicates that such internal discussion and advice is exempt from the commitments to provide information in that Code.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the outcome of the Justice and Home Affairs Council held on 13 and 14 June was; what the Government's stance on the issues discussed, including its voting record was; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Blunkett: I together with my right hon. Friend the Deputy First Minister and Minster for Justice for Scotland, and my right hon. and noble Friend Lord Filkin, represented the United Kingdom at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 13 June.
The Council noted a terrorism threat assessment document, Europol reports on security measures taken since 11 September and extremist terrorism, and a report on the current list of terrorist organisations. The Director of Europol reported on the work of the Europol Counter-Terrorism Task Force, noting that the provision of information to Europol had improved but remained insufficient and that more could be done to improve co-operation with the United States.
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of Education, Justice, Home Affairs and Health at forthcoming Councils:
During a general debate on illegal immigration and asylum, I called for the Seville European Council to deliver concrete results so that citizens could see the relevance of a European Union (EU) approach. I said that the message should not be one of fortress Europe but a coherent policy which opposed racism, welcomed legal inward migration, protected refugees and ensured that each member state accepted its responsibilities. I supported common action to work to protect the European Union's external frontier, arguing that this should be achieved through the use of joint operations at weak points in the border, extensions of the immigration liaison officer network and greater use of Europol's expertise, rather than through the establishment of a new border police. I also supported the need to complete work on common asylum measures and co-operation with third countries in a spirit of "positive conditionality", involving the provision of assistance to support returns and develop migration infrastructures.
The Council also noted a presidency report on progress made in the fight against illegal immigration, agreed conclusions on measures to be established for the prevention of and the fight against illegal immigration and the trafficking of human beings by sea and agreed a plan on the management of external borders.
Proposal for a Council regulation establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the member state responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the member states by a third-country national:
In discussing key aspects of the draft Dublin II Regulation, the majority of member states, including the United Kingdom, said that the existing Dublin Convention criteria should be taken as a starting point but that procedures should be improved and time limits shortened. Two member states with difficult external frontiers argued that they should not be penalised by virtue of their geographical position. Two other member states also opposed the proposed new criterion on tolerated illegal presence.
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penalties for trafficking in small quantities of drugs. The presidency concluded that discussions on this item would continue under the Danish presidency.
The Commission presented its proposal for a European enforcement order. This would abolish, in uncontested cases, the requirement for a court to examine the procedure by which a judgment was issued in another member state before recognising the validity of that judgment.
The presidency reported that member states had met the targets set by the Gothenburg European Council for the provision of officials and judges to international missions intended to strengthen the rule of law in third countries.
The Mixed Committee with Norway and Iceland met at ministerial level in the margins of the Council. It noted the existence of two negotiating mandates for the association of Switzerland with the implementation of the Schengen acquis, the Dublin Convention and Eurodac acquis; of a general approach on the proposal for a Decision amending Article 40 of the Schengen Convention, subject to parliamentary scrutiny reserves from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom; of conclusions concerning the new requirements for the Schengen Information System (SIS) and a technical solution for the participation in the SIS by the United Kingdom and Ireland, reflecting the partial participation of the United Kingdom and Ireland in Schengen; and of a plan on the management of external borders.
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