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13 May 2004 : Column 573W—continued

Small Retailers

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much has been spent through the Small Retailers in Deprived Areas initiative in each year since 2001, broken down by region; [172429]

(2) what targets are in place to measure and assess projects undertaken as part of the Small Retailers in Deprived Areas scheme; [172430]

(3) when he will publish the review of the Small Retailers in Deprived Areas scheme. [172431]

Ms Blears: The £15 million from the Capital Modernisation Fund for the Small Retailers in Deprived Areas initiative was made available as follows; 2001–02—£3 million; 2002–03—£6 million; and 2003–04—£6 million. A small amount was set aside for administration and evaluation, with the regional allocations as follows:

East Midlands236,060471,052471,0521,178,164
North East248,530496,244496,2441,241,018
North West470,670942,209942,2092,355,088
South East246,500493,580493,5801,233,660
South West194,300389,604389,604973,508
West Midlands333,210666,182666,1821,665,574
Yorkshire and Humber327,410655,882655,8821,639,174

All the funding, other than a small amount in the region of £250,000 due to slippage on some projects in 2003–04, has been fully disbursed. This equates to 1.7 per cent. of the total capital allocation.

Individual projects are developed by local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships in conjunction with Regional Home Office Directors. Part of this process is
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to ensure adequate local targets have been set and systems put in place to measure performance against them.

The evaluation of the scheme will pull out key best practice and learning points from eight case studies, plus four other regional sites. The evaluation will examine ways in which the scheme has impacted upon businesses, such as changes in levels of retail crime; fear of crime among businesses and their customers; business viability; partnership working; and improved security behaviour among businesses.

We hope to publish the full evaluation of the Small Retailers scheme later this year.

Stolen Goods

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the role of (a) pawnbrokers and (b) shops dealing in second hand goods in providing a market for stolen goods; and if he will make a statement. [172400]

Ms Blears: In 1998, Dr. Mike Sutton produced, on behalf of the Home Office, a report entitled 'Handling stolen goods and theft: a market reduction approach'. This identified five distinct markets for stolen goods, one of which was commercial outlets such as pawn brokers and second hand goods shops.

Under the Targeted Policing Initiative (part of the Crime Reduction Programme, which ran from 1999 to 2003), we provided funding totalling around £1.4 million to projects in Stockport, Kent and West Mercia aimed at reducing the market in stolen goods. The second hand goods trade was just one of several distribution channels for stolen goods that these projects targeted. In particular, the Stockport and Kent projects used local legislation, which regulates second hand goods outlets. Under the terms of the Kent and Medway Acts 2001, Kent and Medway Councils must also present the Home Office with a report on the working provisions of the Acts by 1 December, which will subsequently be laid before Parliament.

The Home Office has also commissioned the University of Kent to evaluate the effectiveness of these and similar pieces of legislation and we are planning to lay a summary of the results of this research before Parliament at the same time.

We are also aware of further research that is being undertaken into thieves' preferred method of disposing of stolen property and we will be looking to see what this adds to our existing knowledge.

Our programme of work to drive down the market for stolen goods includes, amongst other things, activities aimed at those pawn brokers and other second hand goods outlets that deal in stolen property.

Stolen Vehicles

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to make the drivers of stolen vehicles that have been immobilised remotely and which   cause an accident legally responsible for any liability. [172048]

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Ms Blears: There are no plans to bring forward such legislation.

Although the remote stopping of moving vehicles is technically possible, achieving this in a way that is safe and secure is some way off. Further research is being conducted into this technology and this will include the examination of legal liability issues.


Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of undetected stowaways entering the UK in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [160372]

Mr. Browne: There is no official estimate of the number of clandestine entrants to the UK.

Illegal entry action is initiated against those people who are detected having entered or attempting to enter the country clandestinely or by means of deception, either verbal or documentary.

The available figures include those people who were identified as having entered the country clandestinely, they are not separately identifiable as such information would only be available by examination of individual case-files at disproportionate cost.

Wormwood Scrubs

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures have been taken to identify and interview members of staff of HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs who were employed in the months leading up to and including the day of the death of John   Boyle in December 1994, who may have witnessed or been involved in bullying and abusive behaviour. [155659]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 2 March 2004]: Mr. Boyle's death at HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs in December 1994 predates current Prison Service policy for investigating deaths in custody and, from the information currently available, there is no evidence to suggest that an investigation was conducted. However, staff working on the Segregation Unit on the day of Mr. Boyle's death were asked to submit incident reports at the time. A coroner's inquest into Mr. Boyle's death, for which several members of staff were called as witnesses, returned an open verdict in May 1995.


Animal Welfare

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health   what guidelines his Department issues for experimentation on non-human primates in order to improve cures to illnesses shared by primates and humans; and what plans he has to introduce alternatives to the use of primates in medical research. [170995]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, no animals can be used in scientific procedures if alternatives are available and primates can only be used if no other species are suitable
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and readily obtainable. Every effort will continue to be required to minimise primate use and find alternatives where practicable. The United Kingdom legislation regulating animal experiments is widely regarded as the toughest in the world. The Government's policy is never to allow the use of great apes.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has established the Centre for Best Practice for Animals in   Research (CBPAR) as part of its continuing commitment to high standards in laboratory animal use   and welfare. Following consultation with vets, scientists, experts in primate welfare, and animal welfare organisations, CBPAR has developed guidelines on best practice in the accommodation and care of primates used in scientific procedures. These guidelines have now been published and will shortly be available on the MRC website at

Baby Food

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what evidence he has collated of a link between consumption of high sugar content baby foods   and obesity in children; and if he will make a statement; [170252]

(2) what plans he has to require baby food labelling to show prominently the sugar content; [170253]

(3) what representations he has received on the labelling of baby foods to show sugar content. [170254]

Miss Melanie Johnson: We have not collated evidence of a link between consumption of high sugar content baby foods and obesity in children.

Labelling rules for baby foods are agreed at European Union level. The presence of sugar added as an ingredient to baby foods must be declared as an ingredient—as part of the list of ingredients appearing on the product label.

Additional specific labelling requirements for these foods require the actual amounts of certain nutrients present, such as protein, fat and carbohydrate, to be declared. However, a declaration of the actual amounts of sugar present is not mandatory and there are no plans to introduce such a requirement at this time.

There have been no representations on the labelling of sugar content for baby foods over the past year.

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