Previous Section Index Home Page

20 May 2004 : Column 1126W—continued

Trade Negotiations

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will publish the evidence base referred to on page 189 of the 2004 Departmental Report that aims to underpin pro-poor UK/EU trade negotiating positions. [174114]

Hilary Benn: The evidence based referred to is not a single document but includes the numerous pieces of research already published, commissioned or in the pipeline. DFID is putting together a research matrix detailing issue specific research projects funded by the Department to inform the development of pro-poor trade policies, and I will write to the hon. Gentleman very shortly with more details.
 
20 May 2004 : Column 1127W
 

Yemen

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid was given to Yemen in each of the last five years; and what plans he has to increase such aid. [173746R]

Hilary Benn: Total aid from all donors to Yemen in each of the last five years for which OECD DAC figures are available was:
$ million

Amount
1998370
1999458
2000265
2001461
2002584

DFID has provided the following aid to Yemen in each of the last five financial years:
£ million

Financial yearAmount
1999–20001.49
2000–012.73
2001–022.58
2002–035.44
2003–04(5)6.55


(5) Estimate


The amount for 2000–01 includes a one off payment of £1.52 million for pensions, and for 2002–03 a one off payment of £3.16 million for Paris Club debt relief.

DFID's share of European Community (EC) spending in Yemen from 1997–2001 was around £7 million; we have also contributed through the World Bank and the United Nations (UN).

The aid framework for DFID's programme in Yemen is increasing to £5.9 million for 2004–05 and £9.9 million for 2005–06. I will be considering allocations for future years in the light of the Government's Spending Review later this year, and progress with the Yemeni Government's use of our existing aid. The UK is also arguing for an increase in EC spending in Yemen, as the only low income country in the region.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Emergency Services' Communication Systems

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how far advanced Government plans are to ensure that police, ambulance and fire services communications systems are able to be used underground. [174679]

Ms Blears: The fire service and the British Transport Police already have radio communication facilities in the London Underground. Work commissioned by the Home Office has confirmed the feasibility of extending the new Airwave radio system to the London Underground. The implementation phase is currently under discussion. The new underground system is scoped to accommodate police, ambulance and fire requirements.
 
20 May 2004 : Column 1128W
 

Speed Cameras

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money was raised from speed cameras located at motorway construction and repair sites during 2002–03. [169940]

Caroline Flint: Information on the amount of revenue generated by speed cameras or camera location is not collected centrally.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received from (a) police authorities, (b) fire and rescue authorities and (c) health service trusts concerning the administrative costs of dealing with the paperwork generated by the contravention by their vehicles on emergency calls of speed limits captured on speed cameras. [173809]

Caroline Flint: None.

We are, however, aware of the difficulties which may arise. Home Office officials have already had very useful discussions with the Department of Health and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) with the aim of minimising the level of bureaucracy involved.

Animal Research

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information his Department collects on assaults on those working in animal research during the course of their work. [170857]

Caroline Flint: It is not possible from the information collected centrally by the Home Office to identify whether a victim of crime works in animal research. However, from regular discussions from the police and industry, we are aware that one individual who works in animal research was physically assaulted in 2001. The Government are working closely with the police and other criminal justice agencies to ensure a proper response to harassment of people working in this area.

Animal Rights Protesters

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to meet the members of Victims of Animal Rights Extremism. [172623]

Caroline Flint: I have not been invited to meet members of the Victims of Animal Rights Extremism, but I would be happy to meet them to discuss their concerns.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to establish a specific police unit for dealing with criminal activity connected to animal rights protesters. [172624]

Caroline Flint: The Home Office is funding a new unit which has recently been set up to provide a tactical coordinating role for the policing of extremist protests.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) arrests and (b) convictions there have been for criminal activity connected to animal rights protesters in each year since 1999; [172636]
 
20 May 2004 : Column 1129W
 

(2) how many animal rights protesters who have been convicted of criminal activity have been given a custodial sentence in each year since 1999. [172641]

Caroline Flint: It is not possible from the information collected centrally by the Home Office to identify whether a defendant is an animal rights protestor. However, we understand from the police that there were 117 arrests of animal rights activists during the first four months of 2004 compared with 15 arrests during the same period in 2003. The Home Office is working with the police and other agencies to improve availability of information in this area.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list visits made by each Minister in the Department to animal rights groups since 1997. [172640]

Caroline Flint: Home Office Ministers have not made any visits to extremist groups involved in the harassment and intimidation of individuals or companies licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Home Office Ministers are, however, willing to meet groups prepared to engage in reasoned debate and discussion about the use of animals in scientific procedures, whatever their point of view, provided they do not support extremist activity. Ministers have, therefore, met groups involved with the protection of animals, such as the RSPCA, as well as groups opposed to animal experimentation, such as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, the National Anti-Vivisection Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Uncaged Campaigns, Animal Aid and Naturewatch, and organisations seeking humane alternatives to animal experiments, such as the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments.

Similarly, Ministers have met a wide variety of industry and science groups with an interest in the use of animals in scientific procedures, including Amicus MSF, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the Association of Medical Research Charities, the BioIndustry Association, the BioSciences Federation, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Institute of Animal Technicians, the Japanese Pharmaceutical Group, the Laboratory Animals Breeders Association, the Laboratory Animals Science Association, the Laboratory Animals Veterinary Association, the Medical Research Council and the Research Defence Society.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans there are to make (a) harassment, (b) intimidation and (c) terrorism against companies, or conspiracy to carry out these acts, specific offences; [172642]

(2) what plans there are to change the law relating to harassment, with particular reference to harassment by animal rights protesters. [172643]

Caroline Flint: It is a key part of the Government's strategy in tackling animal rights extremism to identify new legislative powers where needed. Police must have the right powers to do the job, but legislation needs to be accompanied by robust enforcement.
 
20 May 2004 : Column 1130W
 

There is a range of legislation currently available to deal with extremism. We recently made changes to strengthen police powers to deal with intimidatory protests and office occupations in Anti Social Behaviour Act.

We are looking carefully at what further changes might be made to strengthen police powers to deal with protests outside someone's home and protecting companies from harassment.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to provide funds for the protection of businesses targeted by animal rights protesters. [172644]

Caroline Flint: The Home Office has provided the police with additional funding to assist with additional costs arising from animal rights protests. The Home Office is also funding a new unit to co-ordinate the tactical response to extremism.


Next Section Index Home Page