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24 Jan 2001 : Column WA13

Written Answers

Wednesday, 24th January 2001.

Motor Vehicle Exports to EU

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of United Kingdom gross domestic product is accounted for by exports of motor vehicles and components to the European Union.[HL355]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from the National Statistician, Len Cook, dated 23 January 2001.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question on exports of motor vehicles and components to the EU as a proportion of GDP (HL355).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) collects information on exports of motor vehicles and components through the Intrastat survey administered by HM Customs & Excise.

In 1999, exports of motor vehicles and other components to the European Union were 1.4 per cent of GDP (which is a net concept; in particular, it is net of imports).

Crime Reduction Targets

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of the annual performance targets set for the reduction of crime and the protection of the public were (a) met, or (b) unmet, in each of the most recent three years for which statistics are available.[HL292]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): Targets for government departments were introduced under the Comprehensive Spending Review and published in the White Paper, Public, Services for the Future: Modernisation, Reform, Accountability, in December 1998.

Progress against each of the targets set for the Home Office is summarised below.

Home Office TargetProgress at end September 2000 unless otherwise stated
To reduce vehicle crime by 30% within five years.3% reduction already achieved by June 2000.
An improvement in police efficiency of 2% a year.Best Value plans in place for all forces.
Launch the new evidence based crime reduction programme.18 of 19 initiatives underway. The last is being finalised.
Tackle domestic violence through a range of practical measures including increasing public awareness, improving agencies' response and developing an information base.Police circular issued May 2000 and successful Crime Reduction Programme bids announced June 2000.
Agree an annual target, with the UK Anti Drugs Co-ordinator, for the police to ensure efficient and effective action against drug suppliers.Targets for enforcement agencies published in the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator's National Plan. Data for the number of offenders dealt with for supply of Class A drugs presently being analysed. 9.2% more Class A trafficking groups were disrupted in 1999-2000 than in the previous year (target 5%).
Publish survey results on levels of fear of crime and set targets for improvement in specific areas.British Crime Survey (BCS) shows there has been a fall in fear of three main categories of crime, significantly for violent crime.
Reduce the time taken from arrest to sentence or other disposal.A targeted reduction of two days from charge was achieved by 31 March 2000; a new target will be quantified by 31 March 2001. Data is being collected from charge until electronic data collection is introduced across the Criminal Justice System.
Reduce the time taken from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders from 142 days to 71 days.Time has reduced to average of 92 days for quarter to 30 June 2000.
Improve the satisfaction levels of victims and witnesses with their treatment in the CJS.The target has been set to improve satisfaction by five percentage points by March 2001.
Reduce the number of terrorist incidents securing effective well co-ordinated and proportionate anti-terrorist policies.Terrorism Act passed July 2000.
Prepare new UK-wide anti-terrorism legislation.Terrorism Act passed July 2000.
Develop closer and more effective international co-operation to counter terrorism.UK signed Terrorist Funding Convention and Bombing Convention, which are ratified by Terrorism Act.
Increase the percentage of identified crime groups: under investigation; in respect of which arrests have been made; in respect of which prosecutions have been brought; and which have been dismantled.Organised Crime Notification Survey successfully launched September 2000. Target of 10% increase in three year period commencing 2001-02.
Ensure that the two-year reconviction rate for those receiving commnity sentences remains below the rate predicted for those offenders.National target published in Public Service Agreement in July 2000.
Reduce the reconviction rate for persistent young offenders.Target set to reduce rate of reconviction of all Young Offenders by 5% by 2004 compared to predicted rate.
Improve supervision programmes run by the National Probation Service and prison regimes that require offenders to face up to their offending behaviour, and introduce a system of independent accreditation covering probation as well as prison programmes.National roll-out begun of first programme, accredited in December 1999. Three other programmes went to accreditation panel in September, roll-out for training from November 2000.
Double the number of completions of accredited offender behaviour programmes (OBP) from 3,000 to 6,000 a year by 2001-02, including an increase from 680 to 1,100 in those completing sex offender programmes (SOTP).1,572 OBP to 83 STOP completions by August 2000. 45% more completions than same time period in 1999.
Reduce the proportion of discharged prisoners who are at Lvl 1 or below for literacy and numeracy skills by 15% by April 2002.Latest figures show a slight decrease in proportion of discharged prisoners below or at level 1. Remedial action is in place with the Education contractors.
Reduce the rate of positive random drug tests fromCurrent level is 12.8%.
20% target in 1998-99 to 16% in 2001-02; and to provide access to voluntary drug testing for all prisoners by April 2001.
Pilot Drug Treatment and Testing Orders; provide treatment for problem drug users in prison which is then followed through under post-release supervision; increase number of offenders entering treatment programmes as a result of arrest referral schemes and post-release supervision.Following successful pilots, DTTOs rolled out early, in October 2000. Circular and information video issued to courts.
Maintain existing performance of no escapes by high risk prisoners; and the overall rate of escapes from prison to be no higher than 0.17% of average prison population.No escapes of Category A prisoners year to date. Figures for other escapes show the level at 0.03%, performance is better than target.
Promote race equality and develop new indicators to measure improvement.Series of measures developed and in use.
Set targets by June 1999 to increase the number of people from ethnic minorities in HO and its services.Targets published.
Increase the quantity and quality of people's involvement in their community and ensure fulfilment of the vision of the Giving Age.Five demonstration projects established within local communities delivering agreed work programmes. Baselines produced.
Incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.Human Rights Act given Royal Assent October 2000.
Improve the level of public confidence in the democratic process, through the introduction of PR for European elections; by legislating for the registration of political parties; by introducing a new system of controls on political party funding; and by carrying out a review of electoral procedures and making recommendations during 1999.Legislation to regulate political party funding given Royal Assent in November 2000.
Introduce legislation providing for freedom of information.Human Rights Act given Royal Assent October 2000 and Freedom of Information Act, November 2000.
Reduce the time taken to final decision of asylum applications to six months by April 2001.White Paper published in July 1998 set out Government's commitment to make initial decisions in most new asylum cases within two months and most appeals to be heard by an adjudicator within a further four months by April 2001. This target is already achieved for families with children. The Home Office and the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) are working together to achieve these targets. The Home Office is on course to decide 70% of new substantive asylum cases within two months by April 2001. The LCD's PSA target is to deal with appeals to an adjudicator in an average of four months. The Immigration Appellate Authority is on course to meet this target for 2000-01.
Reduce fire-related deaths in the home by 20% by 31 March 2003, from an average starting point of 380 a year.Deaths reduced to 315 this year compared to target of 303 by 2003.
Reduce the number of fires by 31 March 2002 to a level lower than that currently projected on long-term trends (projected levels: 608,100 pa-633,500 pa).467,900 fires in 99/00 compared to predicted rate of 587,000.
Improve fire service efficiency by 2% a year.On course, estimated £18.5 million saving.

24 Jan 2001 : Column WA16

Shotgun Certificates: Requirement toShow Good Reason

The Earl of Shrewsbury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will provide details of all cases in the last five years in which chief officers of police have been compelled by existing law to grant shotgun certificates to persons whom they believe did not have a good reason for acquiring or possessing a shotgun; whether any danger to public safety has arisen from any of these cases; and if such

24 Jan 2001 : Column WA17

    information is not held centrally, whether they will take steps to do so.[HL295]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: This information is not recorded centrally and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. We have asked the Firearms Consultative Committee (FCC), the independent statutory body that advises the Government on firearms matters, to explore the issues surrounding the introduction of a requirement for shotgun certificate holders to show good reason for possessing shotguns.

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