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Commission for Racial Equality

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the budget of the CRE was in 1990; and what it is in the present financial year. [66336]

Beverley Hughes: The grant in aid allocated to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in the financial year 1990–91 was £13,500,000 and is £19,900,000 for the current financial year 2002–03 (both amounts rounded to the nearest £100,000).

The CRE budget was increased to £3 million from 2002–03 to enable the Commission to deliver its new responsibilities under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.

Communications (Interception)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce legislation relating to the interception of communications and the use of computers which use selected keywords and numbers to determine which communications are intercepted. [65156]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provides for the lawful interception of communications: there are no plans to amend this legislation.

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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what controls govern the interception from within the UK of communications originating from outside the UK. [65164]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The interception of communications is governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. "External" communications, which are defined by that Act as those sent or received outside the British islands, may be intercepted under a warrant: in particular, section 8(4) of the Act provides for a warrant for the interception of external communications only. The conditions for obtaining such a warrant are set out in sections 5–8 and 15 of the Act.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) Departments and (b) organisations are allowed to intercept electronic mail. [66634]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 3 July 2002]: A warrant for the interception of communications of any kind can only be issued personally by the Secretary of State to those persons specified in section 6(2) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Those persons are:


Juvenile Offenders

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what extra resources have been made available since 16 April to fund the expected increase of remands into custody of juvenile offenders; and if he will make a statement. [66625]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 2 July 2002]: £53 million has been made available for this year to provide additional juvenile secure places, tagging of juveniles on bail and after release from custody and extension of intensive supervision and surveillance programmes.

Representation Packs

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what average delay was incurred in the last year for which figures are available before prisoners receive representation packs after they are recalled to prison; and if he will make a statement. [66617]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The Prison Service target for issuing representation packs to determinate sentence prisoners after they have been recalled to prison is five working days. During the 12 month

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period ending 31 May 2002, 76 per cent. of representation packs were issued within target. Information on the average delay in issuing these packs is not held centrally and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Bail Information Schemes

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many probation areas in England and Wales operate bail information schemes; in how many cases by probation area information on bail was provided to the courts in the last year that figures are available; in how many of these cases the court ordered conditional bail; and if he will make a statement. [66621]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 2 July 2002]: 36 areas operated bail information schemes in 2001–02, covering some 60 per cent. of magistrates courts in England and Wales. In some areas schemes will have been focused in particular courts rather than delivered as an area-wide service.

The list of numbers of bail information reports prepared by each area in 2001 is in the table. Bail information reports are only one of the reports available to the court to assist in reaching a decision on whether to order conditional bail in any case and no statistics are collected for the number of such cases.

The National Probation Directorate is currently reviewing the coverage of bail information schemes to identify the scope for increasing the number of magistrates courts covered by such a scheme and developing performance measures to monitor and improve the quality of the information provided in reports.

Number of bail information reports prepared by the Probation Service during 2001

Number
Avon1
Cambridgeshire2
Cheshire1,014
Teesside111
Cornwall9
Cumbria131
Derbyshire40
Devon91
Dorset302
Durham6
Essex3
West Mercia338
Hertfordshire28
Humberside634
Kent181
Lancashire198
Leicestershire139
Lincolnshire37
Greater Manchester715
Merseyside306
Norfolk18
Northumbria101
Thames Valley401
Somerset15
Staffordshire346
Suffolk76
Surrey228
West Sussex140
Warwickshire230
West Midlands1,302
Wiltshire62
South Yorkshire403
West Yorkshire1,991
Dyfed/Powys191
West Glamorgan9
Middlesex71
England and Wales9,870

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Judicial System (Racism)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is being done to combat racism within the justice system in the United Kingdom. [65660]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 3 July 2002]: The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 is a direct response to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. The Government brought forward amendments to the Race Relations Act 1976 to strengthen the duties placed on public authorities. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 presents both a challenge and an opportunity to public authorities. So for the first time we have placed a statutory duty on Criminal Justice System organisations to eliminate racial discrimination and also to promote race equality and good race relations when carrying out their functions.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. and noble Friend the Attorney-General and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary are responsible for the justice system in England and Wales. We have published Race Equality Schemes setting out how the new duties apply to our Departments and the action we will take to fulfil those duties.

Information relating to Scotland and Northern Ireland, is a matter for my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Security

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures have been taken in conjunction with other European states to increase security after the events of 11 September 2001. [66635]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 3 July 2002]: Heads of State and Government of the European Union (EU) endorsed an Action Plan on 21 September, following the terrorist attacks in the United States. The Action Plan sets out agreed decisions on a range of measures to combat global terrorism and to improve practical co-operation among member states. The Action Plan includes:


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