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Police Houses

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for each English police authority, how many specialist police houses have been sold in the past three years. [36620]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 22 July 2002]: The only information available relates to the sale of police dwellings. The number of dwellings sold in the past three years by English police authorities is detailed in the table.

In its report entitled "Action stations—Improving the Management of the Police Estate" (published March 1999), the Audit Commission recommended that police forces identify and dispose of buildings that were unsuitable or had maintenance liabilities which were beyond the forces' means. further it recommended that the remaining residential estate was rationalised. In some cases, for example, it may be appropriate to sell off some vacant accommodation in order to refurbish and bring back into use other accommodation.

In those areas where high housing costs are hindering recruitment and retention of police officers, allocations from the starter home initiative (SHI) will help about 1,100 police staff to buy first homes over the three years to March 2004. (In London about 550 police staff are expected to benefit from the first round allocations announced in September 2001).

We have also recently agreed with the Department of Health that the role of the national health service housing co-ordinator will be extended to cover the police service and a secondee from the police service is due to join the co-ordinator's team shortly.

Number of police dwellings sold

Police authority1998–991999–20002000–01
Avon and Somerset1988
City of London121
Devon and Cornwall1385
Greater Manchester211716
North Yorkshire118218
South Yorkshire867
Thames Valley463325
West Mercia1151
West Midlands474539
West Yorkshire91114


Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding the cyber-terrorism threat to the energy industry; and what assessment has been made of NISCC cyber-terrorism counter measures since January. [69639]

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Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 17 July 2002]: No representations from the energy industry have been received to the date concerning the threat from cyber- terrorism, but the National Infra Structure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC) keeps its assessment of the threat of electronic attack to the United Kingdom's critical national infrastructure, which includes the energy industry, under constant review.

Murder and Manslaughter Statistics

Mr. Flight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people, convicted of (a) murder and (b) manslaughter who have been released from prison or other custodial institutions, have recommitted (i) murder and (ii) manslaughter following their release in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [65203]

Hilary Benn: For the period 1992 to 2001, those people known to have recommitted homicide following release for their first offence are given in the table. The figures exclude persons who may have been convicted outside England and Wales (for whom there is incomplete information).

Offenders convicted of homicide who have committed a second homicide following release

Year second offence recordedNumber of offenders

Computer Hacking

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of computer hacking UNIRAS has recorded in 2002; and on how many occasions in 2002 his Department's computer systems have been illegally accessed by computer hackers operating (a) within and (b) outside his Department. [69640]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 17 July 2002]: Between 1 January and 12 July 2002 the Unified Instant Reporting and Alert Scheme (UNIRAS) received 21 reports of hacking incidents. No cases of computer hacking have been detected in the Home Office this year.

Road Traffic Penalties

Mrs. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department plans to publish its response to the road traffic penalties consultation; and if he will make a statement. [70975]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: We are currently in the final stages of producing the Government's response to the consultation exercise on road traffic penalties. We hope to have this published before the summer recess.

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London Probation Service

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is towards the requirement for preparation of pre-sentence reports by the London Probation Service; and if he will make a statement. [68878]

Hilary Benn: The courts have a statutory duty and right to commission pre-sentence reports where they think it appropriate to do so and the area Probation Service has a statutory duty to provide them. A pre-sentence report may take the shorter form of a Specific Sentence Report where there is reason to believe that the offender presents a lower risk or the court has a specific sentence in mind. National Standards for the supervision of offenders in the community 2000 require pre-sentence reports to be prepared within a maximum of 15 working days of the court's request. This applies in London as elsewhere in England and Wales.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) budget and (b) spending has been of the London Probation Service since 1994; and if he will make a statement. [69427]

Hilary Benn: The budget for the London Probation Service from 1994–95 is set out in the table. This is based on the original main service grant allocation issued by the Home Office. The actual spending is not available as the former Inner-London Probation Service was part of the Metropolitan Police District and has not submitted grant claim forms to the Home Office.

£ million

Financial yearBudget


1. The sum of £2.7 million in 2001–02 and £3.7 million in 2002–03 were subsequently transferred to the Department of Health for expenditure relating to Drug Treatment and Testing Orders.

2. The budgets for 2001–02 and 2002–03 exclude any provision for the Family Court Welfare Service which was transferred to the Lord Chancellor's Department from April 2001. It is estimated that such expenditure was about 7 per cent. of the budget in 2000–01.

3. The budgets for 2001–02 and 2002–03 include small amounts for small capital works and the capital charges on freehold buildings. The 2002–03 budget also includes small amounts for depreciation of fixed assets and non-reclaimable VAT.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ratio is of staff to clients operated by the London Probation Service. [69432]

Hilary Benn: The number of clients (offenders) assigned to the staff in the London probation area is currently 32,000. Given that part time staff are on average 0.5 of the overall staffing structure, this gives full time equivalent staffing of 2,402 (including administrative and headquarters staff) giving a client/staff ratio of 13.3:1.

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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) sex offenders, (b) drug abusers, (c) domestic violence offenders and (d) mentally ill persons are being dealt with by the London Probation Service. [69431]

Hilary Benn: At the end of December 2000, 1,500 offenders sentenced for indictable sexual offences and 5,400 offenders sentenced for indictable drugs offences were being supervised by the London probation area. Information on domestic violence offenders and mentally ill offenders is not available.

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