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15 Jul 1999 : Column WA55

Written Answers

Thursday, 15th July 1999.

European Parliamentary Elections

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    With reference to Article 190(4) of the European Union's treaty on elections to the European Parliament, when the Council of Ministers received the proposals contained in the European Parliament's Resolution of 15 July 1998; and what recommendations for adoption the Council made to member states.[HL3222]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Council has been considering the proposals for common principles for European Parliamentary Elections since the European Parliament adopted its resolution on 15 July 1998.

No decisions can be made until the Council receives a formal proposal from the European Parliament following the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam, which introduced Article 190(4).

European Strategic Defence Initiative

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which NATO capabilities they believe should not be duplicated within a European Strategic Defence Initiative.[HL3466]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The 4 December 1998 Franco-British St. Malo declaration made clear that, without unnecessary duplication of NATO, the European Union would need a capacity for analysis of situations, sources of intelligence and a capability for relevant strategic planning.

Caspian Sea: Mr. Morningstar

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the European Commission has been monitoring the activities of Mr. Morningstar, the United States Secretary of State's Special Adviser on the Caspian region, who has been seeking to influence various governments concerning the legal status of the Caspian sea.[HL3517]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We understand that the European Commission is aware of Mr. Morningstar's activities and has had contacts with him in the form of exchanges of views and information.

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UN: Reimbursements owed to USA

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the 107 million dollars that the United Nations purportedly owes the United States which is mentioned in a United States Senate Bill authorising part of the back payments which the United States owes to the United Nations; and whether this debt is generally recognised.[HL3612]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The sum of 107 million dollars referred to in the draft legislation approved by the United States Senate represents reimbursements owed by the United Nations to the United States for contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations. This sum is generally recognised.

Crime

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress they have made in the development of (a) a measure and (b) a target for their objective of reducing in the long run the rate of the growth of crime.[HL3487]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): A number of options for defining the measure are currently being considered and the measure and target are on course to be finalised by 31 October 1999 as noted in the Criminal Justice System Strategic and Business Plan published in March this year.

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What will be the baselines against which the achievement of the objectives (a) to reduce the level of disorder and (b) to reduce the fear of crime will be measured.[HL3488]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The baselines to be used in measuring achievement of the objectives to reduce the level of disorder and the fear of crime are still being considered.

The Criminal Justice System Strategic and Business Plan published in March this year stated that the measures would be based on supporting data from the British Crime Survey.

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made in the development of a measure for the objective of reducing the economic cost of crime.[HL3489]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Work on the measure to assess the economic costs of crime is on course for development by 31 March 2000, as noted in the Criminal Justice System Strategic and Business Plan published in March this year.

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Criminal Justice System

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made in the development of measures to assess the achievement of the objectives (a) to ensure just processes and outcomes in the criminal justice system and (b) to respect the rights of defendants.[HL3490]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Development of the measures is on course to be completed by 31 March 2000, as noted in the Criminal Justice System Strategic and Business Plan published in March this year.

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made in the development of measures to assess (a) the level of confidence in the criminal justice system and (b) the satisfaction of victims, witnesses and jurors with their treatment in the criminal justice system.[HL3491]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Work is on course for development by 31 March 2000 of the measure to assess the level of confidence in the criminal justice system.

A range of questions is being considered for new surveys to measure the satisfaction of victims, witnesses and jurors. The surveys are on course for introduction by 31 March 2000.

Crime and Disorder Act: Orders

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many (a) anti-social behaviour orders; (b) sex offender orders; (c) parenting orders; (d) child safety orders; (e) drug treatment and testing orders; (f) reparation orders; (g) action plan orders; and (h) detention and training orders have been made by the courts to date under the provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.[HL3492]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: At this stage, some of the information available centrally may not yet be complete. As far as I am aware the number of orders made in England and Wales up to 31 May 1999 (unless otherwise stated) is as follows:


    (a) Anti-social behaviour orders (implemented 1 April 1999)--one order has been granted and three adjourned.


    (b) Sex offender orders (implemented 1 December 1998)--five orders.


    (c) Parenting orders (pilot areas only from 30 September 1998)--68 orders.


    (d) Child safety orders (pilot areas only from 30 September 1998)--one order.


    (e) Drug treatment and testing orders (pilot areas only from 30 September 1998)--80 orders (up to 9 July 1999).

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    (f) Reparation orders (pilot areas only from 30 September 1998)--529 orders.


    (g) Action plan orders (pilot areas only from 30 September 1998)--335 orders.


    (h) Detention and training orders are not being implemented until April 2000.

Crime and Disorder Act: Local Child Curfew Schemes

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many local child curfew schemes have been put in place by local authorities under the provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.[HL3530]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Applying for a local child curfew is optional for local authorities, to be considered in the light of the wider crime and disorder strategies they are developing under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. No applications have yet been received.

Funding of Political Parties: Draft Bill

The Earl of Courtown asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When a draft Bill on the funding of political parties will be published.[HL3529]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: It remains the Government's aim to publish a White Paper and draft Bill in response to the Neill Committee report on the funding of political parties before the Summer Recess.

Metropolitan Police Emergency Response: Vehicle Accidents

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the light of the report made public on 5 July that accidents involving police vehicles in the London Metropolitan Police area have been occurring at an average rate of 16 a day, they will advise police authorities to continue to provide for effective readiness for immediate departures of their vehicles on receiving emergency calls but not to compete in times taken to reach destinations entailing excessive speed, ignoring traffic lights and disrupting other traffic.[HL3550]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Guidance on when it is appropriate to use rapid response by police vehicles is an operational issue for chief officers of police. The Metropolitan Police's new safe driving policy demonstrates how the force is working to reduce the number of accidents which arise during responses to emergency calls and in pursuits.

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Abnormal Loads

Lord Mason of Barnsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many applications were made to the police forces in England and Wales for permission to transport an abnormal load in each of the last five calendar years; how many were granted; and at what cost to the police forces involved.[HL3552]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Notifications to move abnormal loads of up to 150 tonnes are made to the chief officer of police for the force area concerned. The information requested is not available centrally.


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