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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate, for each police force in England, the number of policing plan targets (a) set and (b) achieved for (i) 19992000, (ii) 200001 and (iii) 200102; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The Government require police authorities to set targets in respect of Best Value indicators for domestic burglary, vehicle crime and, in five metropolitan areas, robbery. These five areas are: Merseyside; Greater Manchester; West Midlands; West Yorkshire; and the Metropolitan police. The information requested is not available for the years 19992000 and 200001. The information requested for 200102 is shown in the table. Targets for all other indicators may be set locally by the police authority following consultation with their communities. Performance data are published annually in police authorities' Best Value Performance Plans.
|Domestic burglary target||Robbery target||Vehicle crime|
|Police forces||No. targets set||No. targets met||Set||Met||Set||Met||Set||Met|
|Avon and Somerset||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||0|
|City of London||2||1||1||1||0||0||1||0|
|Devon and Cornwall||2||1||1||0||0||0||1||1|
|England and Wales||107||25||43||9||21||0||43||16|
(36) Have set targets for 200405.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason the target for the percentage of pre-sentence reports done within the 15-day national standard has not been met. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 11 July 2002]: Probation service national standards set out what the probation service is expected to deliver in respect of providing pre-sentence reports to the court. Performance is closely monitored and there is clear evidence of improvement in magistrates courts from 54.6 per cent. in 199697 to 79.5 per cent. in 200102. This is against a target of 90 per cent. The probation service is working with the courts to improve further performance in this area.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to improve liaison between the police and the CPS regarding the prosecution of those responsible for race hate literature; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: Following discussions in the Lawrence Inquiry Steering Group meeting in October 2001, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has issued further guidance to staff. All cases, whether submitted for preliminary advice or as files for prosecution under Part III of the Public Order Act 1986, will be considered by a small team of lawyers within the Casework Directorate at CPS headquarters, in order to ensure that best practice is followed and that there is consistency in decision making. Local Chief Crown Prosecutors will ensure that Chief
22 Jul 2002 : Column 854W
Constables are aware of this situation and of the ability of the CPS Casework Directorate to provide advice at any stage of an investigation.
The Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers will discuss other possible measures, in particular a mechanism for pooling experience concerning cases of successful prosecution, at their next bilateral meeting.
In addition, the Government have introduced, in the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, changes to the law on incitement to racial hatred which expand the coverage of the offences to include hatred against groups abroad and which increase the maximum penalty for these offences from two to seven years' imprisonment.
Hilary Benn [holding answer 11 July 2002]: The police have investigated the incident to which the hon. Member refers. They are satisfied that no crime was committed. A member of Prison Service Construction Unit also visited Wandsworth to look at health and safety aspects of the incident.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if Kainos rehabilitation units have been closed; if he will list the closure dates of such units; and if he will make a statement. 
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Hilary Benn [holding answer 11 July 2002]: Wandsworth prison has safety nets on every wing which, in addition to its other safety purposes, prevents prisoners from falling from the landings to the ground floor. Closed Circuit television (CCTV) is present in some areas of the prison, but not in the residential areas. In those areas of the prison where CCTV is present, it might contribute to the prevention of self-harm but this is not its primary purpose.
Mr. Denham: The numbers of special constables in England and Wales from 1991 to 2001 are given in the table. From 1990 to 1995, statistics on the strength of the special constabulary in England and Wales were collected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. These were compiled at the end of the calendar year until 1993, and then for the financial year 199495. Since 1995, these statistics have been collected by the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate. They are compiled at the end of March and September each year.
Figures to March 1995 supplied by HMIC, figures from September 1995 supplied by Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate
Special Constables are a key element of our police reform agenda. We are working on a package of measures designed to help reverse the decline in numbers by improving the way they are recruited, managed and
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deployed. We are particularly keen to improve liaison with employersafter all, Specials bring a wealth of training and experience in to their wider workplace. We are also publishing guidance on good practice by the end of this year. And we have set aside £300,000 to help "specials champions" drive forward initiatives to improve the recruitment and retention of specials.
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