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Metropolitan Police: Reports

Lord Varley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I have today placed in the Library a note of the recommendations from the report, together with the commissioner's responses and the police authority responses, which take into account the advice my right honourable friend the Home Secretary and my honourable friend the Minister of State (Mr. Michael) have received from the Metropolitan Police Committee.

Lord Varley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I have today placed in the Library a note of the recommendations from the report, together with the commissioner's responses and the police authority responses, which take into account the advice my right honourable friend the Home Secretary and my honourable friend the Minister of State (Mr. Michael) have received from the Metropolitan Police Committee.

Asylum Directorate: Instructions

Lord Varley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I am pleased to announce that a copy of the Asylum Directorate's Instructions (ADIs) is being placed in the Library. The material is subject to periodic review and revision. We shall arrange to provide the Library with any necessary amendments or new instructions as they become available.

The ADIs contain internal guidance to staff on the handling of asylum and related casework. They are being made available in accordance with the principles of openness in the White Paper on Freedom of Information and in the existing Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. A small amount of material cannot be disclosed, either on grounds of

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national security or because disclosure would prejudice the effective operation of immigration controls.

As with the Immigration Directorate's Instructions (IDIs), this information will be made available on the Internet as soon as possible. Consideration is also being given to other suitable ways of making this information available and members of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's After Entry User Panel will be consulted about this.

Youth Offending Teams: Secondments

Lord Dholakia asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether under the Crime and Disorder Bill the proposed statutory obligation on the police service, education service, health service and social services departments to supply members for youth offending teams should be met by seconding staff part time rather than full time in appropriate circumstances.[HL2763]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Crime and Disorder Bill [HL] places a duty on local authorities with social services and education responsibilities to establish a youth offending team or teams for their area. Local authorities will be required to do this in partnership with the police, probation service and health authorities, which will be under a reciprocal duty to co-operate. Each youth offending team must include at least one of each of the following: a police officer, a local authority social worker, a probation officer, a nominee of the chief education officer and a health authority nominee.

It will be a matter for each agency to determine, after local consultation, the basis on which its staff are seconded to a youth offending team. It will be possible for staff to serve on a part-time basis within a youth offending team where this is considered appropriate in local circumstances. It may, for example, enable an individual to combine service within the youth offending team with related work within his or her own agency, or extend the number of staff members, and thereby the range of skills and expertise, available to the team. Whatever approach is adopted, the overall commitment of staff and other resources which each agency makes to the work of youth offending teams and the delivery of youth justice services will, in all cases, need to be such as properly to discharge the duties placed on it under the Bill.

Firearms and Shotgun Certificates

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made, since the Answer by the Lord Williams of Mostyn on 20 January (H.L. Deb., col. 1374), with the establishment of a central register of persons who have applied for a firearm or shotgun certificate or to whom a firearm or shotgun certificate has been granted or whose certificate has been renewed, as required under Section 39 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, which came into force on 1 October 1997.[HL2836]

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Lord Williams of Mostyn: The work to establish the central database is being taken forward by a working group which has been set up under the auspices of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Administration of Firearms and Explosives Licensing Sub-Committee. The Working Group is in the process of finalising the detailed user requirement for the database. Once finalised the user requirement, which will allow better identification of the likely costs, will be submitted to the ACPO Police National Computer Steering Committee and the Police Information Technology Organisation to assess the operational priority of the database. This is expected to take place before the end of the year.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will give the number of persons currently holding a firearm or shotgun certificate on 31 December 1997 in respect of each police licensing authority in the United Kingdom, and the total number of such certificates.[HL2837]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Records are kept of the number of firearm and shotgun certificates on issue. Other than in Northern Ireland, where there is no distinction between a firearm certificate and a shotgun certificate, individuals may hold both firearm and shotgun certificates. The statistics for 1997 for England and Wales are not yet available, so the figures given relate to the position as at 30 December 1996. Within these constraints, the figures requested are given in the tables.

Firearm/shotgun certificates on issue by the Royal Ulster Constabulary as at 31 December 1997: 83,753

Firearm and shotgun certificates on issue in Scotland as at
31 December 1997 (by force area)

Police forceFirearmShotgun
Central Scotland1,0872,984
Dumfries and Galloway2,2274,985
Fife1,4563,945
Grampian5,85611,553
Lothian and Borders3,9769,183
Northern8,06010,489
Strathclyde4,74812,639
Tayside3,6847,437
Totals31,09463,215

Firearm and shotgun certificates on issue in England and Wales as at 31 December 1996 (by force area)

Police ForceFirearmsShotguns
Avon and Somerset5,29322,354
Bedfordshire1,4416,992
Cambridgeshire2,77415,133
Cheshire2,74513,384
Cleveland8792,685
Cumbria3,32510,999
Derbyshire2,54312,723
Devon and Cornwall8,52937,240
Dorset2,86612,551
Durham2,2436,873
Essex4,24120,935
Gloucestershire2,49812,064
Greater Manchester2,6759,518
Hampshire5,34422,148
Hertfordshire1,93910,025
Humberside2,88610,288
Kent4,38722,503
Lancashire2,97712,918
Leicestershire1,90511,521
Lincolnshire3,58616,315
London, City of4033
Merseyside1,6834,688
Metropolitan Police9,12333,867
Norfolk3,70921,967
Northamptonshire2,3379,725
Northumbria3,6799,661
North Yorkshire5,67919,213
Nottinghamshire1,98712,946
South Yorkshire1,7778,419
Staffordshire2,67115,161
Suffolk3,74418,487
Surrey2,59411,600
Sussex5,82822,900
Thames Valley6,85430,975
Warwickshire1,84410,161
West Mercia5,51430,706
West Midlands5,51411,033
West Yorkshire3,20911,855
Wiltshire2,80012,189
Dyfed-Powys3,75620,756
Gwent1,0527,575
North Wales2,42114,088
South Wales2,25910,866
Totals141,859637,950

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