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ASSAULT

Lord Hooson asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blatch: Information about the age of adult victims of physical assault is available from the British Crime Survey. This interviews a sample of individuals aged 16 and over about their experiences of crime over the previous year, whether or not such incidents were reported to the police. Separate sweeps of the survey were carried out in 1982, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1994. Table A as follows shows the age distribution of victims of violent incidents across all five sweeps of the survey. Generally, about eight out of 10 violent incidents involved victims under 40. The proportion is slightly lower in the most recent 1994 survey, but it is too early to say whether this constitutes part of a longer-term trend.

The British Crime Survey also asks women about their experience of sexual assaults, but the survey count is likely to be a gross under-estimate of the actual number of sexual incidents. For various reasons, women may be reluctant to talk about such experiences to the interviewer. The resulting survey count is too small to provide reliable information on the age of female victims of sexual assault.

Recorded crime figures are offence-based, but some information on victims is available from a series of ad

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hoc surveys of police forces carried out between 1984 and 1989. These surveys collected information on the age of victims of violence against the person and of sexual offences. For violence against the person offences, the age distribution of victims was broadly similar between 1984 and 1989 and between males and females. Roughly 10 per cent. were aged 10-15, 70 per cent. aged 16-39, 15 per cent. aged 40 and over and in 5 per cent. of cases ages were not recorded. There was

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an increase in the proportion of victims aged 25-39 (from 27 per cent. in 1984 to 33 per cent. in 1989) with a decrease in the proportion of victims aged 16-24 (from 38 per cent. in 1984 to 34 per cent. in 1989). The results from the surveys on the age distribution of victims of rape, indecent assault on a female, buggery and indecent assault on a male are shown in the following tables.



Table A: Age distribution of victims of violent incidents: 1982, 1984, 1988,1992 and 1994 Information from the British Crime Survey

Percentage of incidents involving victims aged: 1981 1983 1987 1991 1993
Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent.
16-39 85 84 87 82 77
40-59 10 14 10 15 21
60+ 5 2 3 3 2
Notes: 1. "Violence" comprises wounding, common assault and mugging
             2. Source: 1982, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1994 British Crime Survey (weighted data); incident-based analyses.


Table B: Age distribution of victims of rape(1) offences; results from ad hoc surveys of police forces, 1984-1989

Percentage of recorded offences involving victims aged: 1984 Per cent. 1985 Per cent. 1986 Per cent. 1987 Per cent. 1988 Per cent. 1989 Per cent.
0-9 2 6 4 6 7 6
10-15 18 17 23 19 21 26
16-24 45 44 47 45 46 39
25-39 22 22 19 22 19 22
40-59 5 8 3 6 5 5
60 and over 2 2 1 1 1 2
Not recorded 5 2 3 1 1 1
(1) Number of police forces providing data: 18/1984, 14/1985-1989 (same forces each year).


Table C: Age distribution of victims of offences of indecent assault on a female(1); results from ad hoc surveys of police forces, 1984-1989

Percentage of recorded offences involving victims aged: 1984 Per cent. 1985 Per cent. 1986 Per cent. 1987 Per cent. 1988 Per cent. 1989 Per cent.
0-9 12 11 12 14 14 13
10-15 28 22 23 25 22 20
16-24 21 19 18 16 17 17
25-39 8 8 7 6 7 7
40-59 3 2 2 2 2 2
60 and over 1 1 0 1 1 1
Not recorded 27 37 37 37 38 40
(1) Number of police forces providing data: 18/1984, 12/1985-1989 (same forces each year).

Table D: Age distribution of victims of buggery offences(1); results from ad hoc surveys of police forces, 1984-1989

Percentage of recorded offences involving victims aged: 1984 Per cent. 1985 Per cent. 1986 Per cent. 1987 Per cent. 1988 Per cent. 1989 Per cent.
0-9 -- 15 12 22 15 19
10-15 -- 41 37 40 34 26
16-24 -- 31 41 27 27 29
25-39 -- 9 5 8 12 11
40-59 -- 1 2 2 1 3
60 and over -- 0 0 0 2 4
Not recorded -- 4 3 2 10 8
(1) Number of police forces providing data: 18/1984. 11/1985-1989 (same forces each year).



Table E: Age distribution of victims of offences of indecent assault on a male(1); results from ad hoc surveys of police forces, 1984-1989

Percentage of recorded offences involving victims aged: 1984 Per cent. 1985 Per cent. 1986 Per cent. 1987 Per cent. 1988 Per cent. 1989 Per cent.
0-9 -- 30 31 33 36 38
10-15 -- 55 56 50 49 45
16-24 -- 11 9 12 12 10
25-39 -- 1 1 3 2 3
40-59 -- 0 0 0 0 1
60 and over -- 0 1 1 0 2
Not recorded -- 2 2 1 1 1
(1) Number of police forces providing data: 18/1984, 11/1985-1989 (same forces each year).


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IMMIGRATION DETENTION: COST

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the cost to the Immigration Service of running detention centres in 1993-94.

Baroness Blatch: The total cost to the Immigration Service of running its immigration detention accommodation in the financial year 1993-94 was £7,466,352.

IMMIGRATION DETENTION: ACCOMMODATION

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ensure that immigration detainees charged with no offences are not held with convicted prisoners.

Baroness Blatch: The majority of immigration detainees are held in immigration detention centres. Where detainees have to be held in prisons, they are usually held with unconvicted prisoners and are accorded the same privileges. From early next year, it is intended that immigration detainees should be concentrated in only five Prison Service establishments. This will enable Prison Service staff to develop expertise in dealing with them, improve the Immigration Service's management of detainees' cases and facilitate access by legal representatives.

IMMIGRATION DETENTION: RIGHTS

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ensure that asylum seekers and others subject to detention on, or after, arrival are informed of the reasons for their detention, in writing in a language they understand, and also of their rights of appeal and to seek bail.

Baroness Blatch: All immigration detainees are informed of the reasons for detention orally, in a language which they can understand, with an interpreter present if necessary. All unsuccessful asylum applicants have a right of appeal and are given written guidance on how to exercise this right. All detainees also have information on

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how to seek legal advice and assistance, which would include advice on their right to apply for bail.

IMMIGRATION DETENTION: POWERS

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will review the justification for and use of powers to detain indefinitely (under the Immigration Act 1971) asylum seekers arriving in the United Kingdom; and whether they will seek evidence and recommendations from the UNHCR and all relevant NGOs.

Baroness Blatch: Powers of detention under the Immigration Act 1971 are used only where there is no alternative and where there are good grounds for believing that a person will not comply with the conditions of temporary admission. Once exercised, powers of detention are reviewed regularly at increasingly senior levels in the Immigration Service.

Anyone refused asylum may appeal under the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 and may apply for bail to the independent appellate authorities at any time while an appeal is pending. Bail may also be sought from the appellate authorities by any passenger who has been detained longer than 7 days pending further examination. These statutory provisions are supplemented by the general power of the courts to grant writ of habeas corpus and to grant bail in any case before them. The Government are satisfied that their detention policy does not represent a breach of the 1951 United Nations convention relating to the status of refugees or any other international obligations.


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