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Police Pay

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will define working at the sharp end, as quoted in the Home Office police briefing, January 2001. [48289]

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Mr. Denham: The briefing note stated that "we want to bring in a new scheme to target extra rewards at those working at the sharp end of public service, doing the most difficult and demanding jobs". On 9 May, the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) agreed a package of reforms to police pay and conditions of service, including such a scheme.

Under the special priority payment scheme, it will be for chief officers and police authorities to draw up local schemes, taking account of national criteria and any guidance issued by the Home Secretary. They will also have to consult local staff associations.

Posts may qualify for payment where they:

Officers in qualifying posts will receive a one-off payment at the end of the year of not less than £500 and not more than £3,000 normally, although exceptionally payments of up to £5,000 may be made.

In the first year of the scheme's operation (2003), forces will have to spend a minimum of 1 per cent. of the force's annual basic paybill for all ranks up to and including chief superintendent, rising to 1.5 per cent. in the second year and 2 per cent. in the third year.


Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy where family ties are claimed to the UK in third country cases. [72780]

Beverley Hughes: The policy on the exercise of discretion in safe third country cases where family ties to the United Kingdom are claimed is that potential third country cases would normally have their asylum claims considered substantively in this country where:

(a) an applicant's spouse is in the United Kingdom;
(b) the applicant is an unmarried minor and a parent is in the United Kingdom;
(c) the applicant has an unmarried minor child in the United Kingdom.

The policy in (a) would not be applied in cases where a marriage was contracted after the applicant's arrival in the United Kingdom. In all cases "in the United Kingdom" is to be taken as meaning with leave to enter or remain or on temporary admission to this country as an asylum seeker prior to an initial decision on their application.

Discretion may be exercised according to the merits of the case where:

(d) a married minor was involved but the criteria in (b) or (c) above were otherwise fulfilled. (We would be less likely to consider cases under (c) than (b) under these circumstances).
(e) the applicant was an elderly or otherwise dependent parent;
(f) the family link was not one which would normally be considered but there was clear evidence that the applicant was wholly or mainly dependent on the relative in the United Kingdom and that there was an absence of similar support elsewhere.

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I would expect cases falling into this latter category to be rare.

Factors which might influence the exercise of discretion in these cases, such as language, cultural links or the number of family members in the United Kingdom may have a bearing, but there would need to be a compelling combination of such factors to ensure the exercise of discretion in favour of an applicant.

Cases citing family ties which would not normally be considered and which did not display any of the features, which engaged the exercise of discretion, would not normally be considered substantively. This means that a brother, who was not dependent on his sibling(s), would not normally have his case considered here, no matter how strong his cultural or linguistic links with the United Kingdom.

The intention of the policy is to re-unite members of an existing family unit who, through circumstances outside their control, had become fragmented. However, I emphasise that where the relationship did not exist prior to the person's arrival to the United Kingdom, the policy would only be applied in the most exceptionally compelling cases.

I am satisfied that this policy complies with the United Kingdom's obligations as regards the European Convention on Human Rights and that it is consistent with our obligations under the Dublin Convention, as set out in Article 1 of Decision 1–2000 of the Committee set up by Article 18 of the Dublin Convention concerning the transfer of responsibility for family members in accordance with Article 3(4) and Article 9 of the Convention.

Public Protection

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the first multi-agency public protection annual report; and if he will make a statement on the publication of local area reports. [72778]

Hilary Benn: I am today publishing the first Multi-Agency Public Protection Annual Report (MAPPA) annual report, a copy of which is being placed in the Library. Local police and probation areas will from tomorrow begin to publish their own reports, and these will provide the public with information on the number of offenders covered by the arrangements.

The work done in the past year by the Multi Agency Public Protection Panel in managing risk has contributed to a higher level of public protection from potentially dangerous offenders in the community.

Our aim is that the MAPPA process should be transparent and that members of the public should be able to see what is being done on its behalf. That is why the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 requires each area to publish a report detailing the work it has done in the past year. That is also why I announced last month that members of the public were being invited to apply to sit on the boards overseeing these arrangements in five pilot areas.

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In seeing the information which these reports now make available for the first time, I hope the public will be reassured by the work being done on their behalf.

Nuclear Installations (Policing)

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the cost of policing nuclear sites from terrorist attacks for the years (a) 1999, (b) 2000, (c) 2001 and (d) 2002. [70891]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply.

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary's annual reports provide overall outturn for financial years 1999–2000 and 2000–01 which were £20.6 million and £21.2 million respectively. The annual report for 2001–02 has not yet been published. The figures are not broken down since the Constabulary's responsibilities include protecting material and sites from theft and sabotage.

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the costs of his proposals to create a civil nuclear constabulary. [70892]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply.

As affirmed in the White Paper "Managing the Nuclear Legacy" the Government intend to separate the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary from the UKAEA and reconstitute it as a stand-alone force, overseen by a statutory Police Authority, in order to make it independent of the nuclear industry and provide improved governance arrangements. The constabulary's role, which has remained broadly unchanged since its inception in 1954, is to protect specified nuclear sites and escort sensitive nuclear material in transit. It is not envisaged that reconstitution will affect its size, role or the locations where it serves.

Estimates of the costs associated with setting up and operating the constabulary as a standalone force are included in the report of the quinquennial review of the UKAEA which was placed in the Libraries of the House in November 2001. The estimated costs comprise (at 2000–01 levels):

Retail Crime

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 14 May 2002, Official Report, column 605W, on retail crime, if he will list for each regional crime reduction director the amount spent on business crime reduction in 2001–02. [69807]

Mr. Denham: The following table sets out the amounts spent by regional crime reduction directors on business, (including retail) crime reduction initiatives in 2001–02 and shows these as a proportion of their total spending on

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crime reduction initiatives. These figures do not include funding spent on non-specific schemes, such as town centre close circuit television, which will usually benefit businesses in the areas where they operate and which will often have been identified as a priority in consultation with the business community.

The Home Office does not record the amounts spent on retail crime partnerships in each of the 376 statutory crime and disorder partnerships.

Column 1Column 2Column 3
RegionSpend on business crime, including retail crime, projects in 2001–02 (£)Column 2 as a proportion of annual spending of regional crime reduction directors in 2001–02 (Percentage)
East Midlands221,0641.4
North East262,7182.4
North West952,1623.9
South East251,5001.4
South West94,5490.7
West Midlands469,1992.6
Yorkshire and Humber325,1281.7

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 14 May 2002, Official Report, column 605W, to the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Lepper), on retail crime, if he will list for each regional crime reduction director the annual budget for crime reduction in (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03. [69808]

Mr. Denham: The information is as follows:


Region2001–02 (Expenditure)2002–03 (Budget)
East Midlands15,93813,277
North East11,06310,081
North West24,49627,729
South East18,40921,487
South West12,82617,102
West Midlands18,29718,504
Yorkshire and Humberside19,34623,593

Funding covers measures and interventions under a range of programmes; the Crime Reduction Programme, Safer Communities Initiative, Communities Against Drugs, Partnership Development Fund (interim allocation for 2002–03), Security for Small Retailers in Deprived Areas.

Crime Reduction Directors also work with their Colleagues in the Government Offices for the Regions and the National Assembly for Wales to ensure that crime

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reduction is reflected in the delivery of other Departments' programmes. Total funds spent on combating crime in the regions go wider than those administered through Regional Crime Directors.

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