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Southend Census Data

Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has received regarding the reliability of the 2001 Census data for Southend in setting the local
 
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government financial settlement for Southend. [220555]

Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister received two letters during the consultation period for the 2005–06 local government finance settlement, one from Southend-on Sea borough council and one from the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East. The later of these, queried the reliability of the 2001 Census data used in calculating population estimates for Southend.

Use Classes Order (Newcastle)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place in the Library the response of Newcastle upon Tyne city council to his recent consultation on changes to the use classes order. [220275]

Keith Hill: Consultation paper responses are not routinely deposited in the Libraries of the House. In this case, due to the high number of responses to the use classes order consultation (there were over 2,500 responses) the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not plan to publish them.

However, in view of my hon. Friend's question, the response of Newcastle city council's has been made available in the Library of the House.
 
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HOME DEPARTMENT

Acceptable Behaviour Contracts

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of acceptable behaviour contracts. [219322]

Ms Blears: Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) were first pioneered by the London borough of Islington with the Metropolitan police. Their successful model has been promoted by the Home Office and adopted across the rest of the country. They are voluntary agreements between a person who has been involved in antisocial behaviour and one or more local agencies. They are not statutory orders and we currently have no plans to place ABCs on a statutory basis.

The use of ABCs and other early interventions are crucial as they show communities, and potential perpetrators of antisocial behaviour, that action will be taken against those who behave in an antisocial manner.

Antisocial Behaviour

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of how voluntary organisations co-ordinate their work with local authorities to combat antisocial behaviour amongst young people. [219320]

Ms Blears: No assessment has been made however, we are aware that voluntary organisations are working closely with local authorities in many areas, for example, youth justice agencies like NACRO and Crime Concern are delivering local work with young people involved in antisocial behaviour and offending to support them to change their behaviour.

In addition, children's charities, such as Barnardos, provide support for young people to divert them from crime and antisocial behaviour.

NCH Action for Children works with a number of local authorities delivering support and intervention packages to tackle the problems of families who are on the cusp of eviction because of their behaviour.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of antisocial behaviour orders on the prison population of young offenders. [219323]

Ms Blears: From data reported to the Home Office we know that up to September 2004, 45 per cent, (1,728) of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) were issued to juveniles. ASBOs were introduced in April 1999.

From breach data reported to the Home Office from June 2000 to December 2003, we know that 42 per cent. of ASBOs are breached. The breach rate for juveniles is 40 per cent.
 
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Those breaching ASBOs are likely in many cases to be prolific offenders—evidenced by the fact that for those receiving custody, the majority were also sentenced at the same time for other offences.

The figures show that only 30 young people in total between 2000 and 2003 were sentenced to custody for breach of ASBO alone—in all other cases, they were convicted for other offences at the same time.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding inappropriate conditions on antisocial behaviour orders. [219328]

Ms Blears: An antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) is a civil order that protects the community from acts that cause or are likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household. Orders often contain prohibitions that prohibit a person from carrying out certain acts and excluding them from certain places.

The most common behaviour tackled by ASBOs is general loutish and unruly conduct such as verbal abuse, harassment, assault, graffiti and excessive noise. The wide range of antisocial behaviour that a can be tackled by ASBOs and the ability to tailor the terms of the order to each specific case illustrates their flexibility.

It is for the courts to decide what prohibitions go into an order. Prohibitions should aim to cover the range of antisocial behaviour acts committed by the defendant and be specific to the behaviour.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of antisocial behaviour orders which are breached. [219332]

Ms Blears: From breach data reported to the Home Office from June 2000 to December 2003, we know that 42 per cent. of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) are breached.

Breach rate is not an indication of failure. What it shows is that ASBOs have teeth and if people don't abide by them there are serious consequences.

Those breaching ASBOs are likely in many cases to be prolific offenders—evidenced by the fact that for those receiving custody, the majority were also sentenced at the same time for other offences.

The figures show that only 30 young people in total between 2000 and 2003 were sentenced to custody for breach of ASBO alone—in all other cases, they were convicted for other offences at the same time.

Individual support orders (ISOs) were introduced in May 2003 and can be attached to an ASBOs for juveniles (10 to 17) to direct the juvenile to activities that can address the underlying causes of the antisocial behaviour.

Parenting orders introduced in February 2004 can be attached to ASBOs issued to those aged 10 to 15.

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children under 18 years old with learning difficulties have been given antisocial behaviour orders. [218219]


 
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Ms Blears: Information is not collected centrally about the characteristics of persons issued with an antisocial behaviour order.

Anti-terrorism Measures

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Government plans to require buildings in metropolitan areas to use laminated glass to reduce the risk of mass civilian injury in the case of domestic terrorist attack. [215351]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government have no plans to require buildings in metropolitan areas to use laminated glass although where organisations perceive their threat assessment to require it, advice and guidance is readily available to inform and support its use.

Community Support Officers

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the interim report on community support officers will be published. [219015]

Ms Blears: The interim report of the national evaluation of community support officers was published on 23 December 2004. It is available at http://www.policereform.gov.uk/publications/publications/index.html

Correspondence

Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood will receive a substantive reply to the letter to UKvisas of 26 August 2004 regarding an application made by Mr. Abdul Wali, and sponsored by a constituent Mrs. Fatema Begum. [218958]

Mr. Mullin: I have been asked to reply.

UKvisas replied to my right hon. Friend on 28 February 2005.


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