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19 Sept 2002 : Column 24W—continued

EU Committees (Scottish Executive Representation)

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the EU Committee for the European Refugee Fund (ERF) is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. [70930]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: A date for the next meeting of the European Union (EU) Committee for the European Refugee Fund has not yet been set. It is likely that the next meeting will take place some time in the autumn.

The Committees consist of a representative of each Member State who may be accompanied by additional experts at the expense of the individual Member State. In practice, the United Kingdom is represented on each Committee by a Home Office official and an official from the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels.

Immigration and asylum matters are reserved subjects and consequently officials from the Scottish Executive have not been members of, and have not attended, the European Refugee Fund Committee. The Scottish Executive is however consulted as necessary on the policy issues arising from the implementation and functioning of the funding programmes.

Christopher Alder

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up a public inquiry into the events surrounding the death of Christopher Alder in police custody in 1998 and subsequent events; and if he will make a statement. [73306]

Mr. Denham: I would refer my hon. Friend to the letter dated 5 July that he received from my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. Until a decision about whether disciplinary proceedings are to be instigated has been taken and any disciplinary action which might emerge has been completed, it would not be appropriate to consider any request for a public inquiry.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department has taken following the killing of Mr. Christopher Alder in Hull Police Station; what representations have been received from Mr. Alder's family; what has been the response; and if he will make a statement. [6749]

Mr. Denham: I refer my hon. Friend to my letter to him of 15 August 2002, a copy of which is in the Library.

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Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued in London broken down by (a) London borough and (b) London constituency; and if she will make a statement. [72835]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 24 July 2002]: An anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) is a civil order made by a court which currently can be applied for by a local authority or the police. The table shows the number of notifications received by the Home office of ASBOs issued within Greater London by local government authority up to December 2001. Data are not collected by constituency area.

Number of anti-social behaviour orders reported to the Home Office which have been issued as from 1 April 1999 to 31 December 2001 within Greater London by local government authority

AreaFrom 01-Apr-99 to 31-May-00 (1)From 01-Jun-00 to 31-Dec-00From 01-Jan-01 to 31-Dec-01Total
Police Force Area / MCC(2)
Metropolitan Police(3) /
Local Government Authority
London Borough (LB)(5)
Hammersmith and Fulham..-22

(1) Total figure only available for Metropolitan police force area within this period. Local Government Authority not known.

(2) MCC—Magistrates' Courts Committee area.

(3) Including City of London.

(4) Greater London Magistrates' Courts Association.

(5) Only those LBs reporting an ASBO in the period shown are listed.

.. Not available.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate has been made of the success of antisocial behaviour orders in cutting (a) vandalism, (b) crime, (c) nuisance behaviour and (d) prostitution and other related activities. [26929]

Mr. Denham: The Home Office review of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) found that ASBOs are successful in reducing anti-social behaviour, and can also act as a deterrent. The review's findings indicate that graffiti and criminal damage were addressed in 36 per cent. of ASBOs, criminal behaviour was addressed in 22 per cent., noise nuisance was addressed in 28 per cent. and prostitution was addressed in five per cent.

Police Telephone Response

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average waiting time is for a telephone call to a local police station which is answered by the central answering service for Avon and Somerset Police. [73262]

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Mr. Denham: Management of call-handling in Avon and Somerset is the responsibility of the Chief Constable.

The Chief Constable has informed me that callers to the Avon and Somerset Communications Centre at Portishead, in June 2002, would have waited, on average, 30 seconds.

Detection Rates

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police authorities have the (a) highest and (b) lowest detection rates in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [73223]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is as follows.

Detection rates—2001–02

HighestDyfed Powys64 per cent.
LowestMetropolitan Police14 per cent.

The overall detection rates are not the best indicator of police performance because detection rates can be affected by a number of factors, including changes in the mix of crime types in a force area. Variations across the country remain worrying, however, and the Police Standards Unit is working with forces to address this.

Numbers of detections rose across England and Wales by 2 per cent. in 2001–02. There were rises in numbers of detections in all crime types except for fraud and forgery—for example, numbers of detections for: burglary rose by 6 per cent.; robbery by 19 per cent. and violent crime by 3 per cent. Once the increase in numbers of crimes due to changes in police recording are taken into account, the detection rate in England and Wales appears stable. Detection rates in 11 forces improved, while a further eight forces showed no change in their detection rates.

Weekend Imprisonment

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the use of weekend imprisonment in other countries. [73221]

Hilary Benn: During the review of the sentencing framework ("Making Punishments Work"—July 2002), the team looked overseas to see how other jurisdictions had handled or dealt with the issues involved in sentencing reform. Of particular interest to the review, in contemplating possible changes to the framework in England and Wales, were those jurisdictions, which had examples of flexible sentences including differing forms of intermittent custody. An analysis of the review's findings is contained in Appendix 4 to the report.

Chief Inspectors

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on pay and responsibilities for the rank of chief inspector within the police service. [72866]

Mr. Denham: It is for the Secretary of State to determine the pay of police officers of all ranks in England and Wales. In doing so, he is required to take into account any recommendation made by the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), the statutory negotiating body,

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on which all the main police organisations are represented, including the Police Federation, which represents the interests of chief inspectors.

There is a national salary scale for chief inspectors. Currently, there are five points on the chief inspectors' scale, ranging from £39,153 to £42,309 outside London, and from £40,761 to £43,911 in London. Where individual chief inspectors are placed on that scale depends on a number of factors, including when they attained the rank of chief inspector, the length of time they have spent as chief inspectors and the length of time they spent in the rank of inspector.

Under a PNB Agreement reached on 9 May, and approved by the Secretary of State, changes to the pay scale of chief inspectors will be implemented from 1 April 2003. With effect from that date, there will be only three salary points for chief inspectors, one for chief inspectors who were in post on 31 August 1994, and two for all other chief inspectors. Chief inspectors who were in post on 31 August 1994 will receive £42,711 outside London and £44,313 in London. All other chief inspectors will start on £40,362 (£41,973 in London), the first point of the scale, and then progress to £41,973 (£42,780 in London). Once they have completed a year at the top of their scale, chief inspectors will be eligible for the new competence-related payment of £1,002 a year.

Chief inspectors perform a range of duties and responsibilities, and while many of the activities are common, there will be different responsibilities for operational and detective officers. All officers in the rank of chief inspector are required to exhibit leadership and management qualities and to take on responsibility for community safety and local crime initiatives, which includes developing local crime and disorder strategies. Operations chief inspectors would be responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring local crime and disorder plans, for formulating contingency plans for major incidents, and for managing public order and major incidents. Detective Chief Inspectors would primarily be responsible for managing and advising on criminal investigations.

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