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Prisons: Mental Health Services

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Andrews: All prisons and their National Health Service partners are working to implement the improvements to mental health services set out in Changing the Outlook, a Strategy for Developing and Modernising Mental Health Services in Prisons published in December 2001. Prisoners who need in-patient treatment for mental disorder may be transferred to psychiatric hospitals. In addition, NHS-funded, multi-disciplinary, mental health in-reach teams are already in operation, or being developed, at 48 establishments in England and Wales and should be introduced at another 46 by 31 March 2004.

Heart Disease: Prevalence in Hard Water Areas

Lord Fearn asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Andrews: Most of the relevant epidemiological studies, from many countries, report that death rates from cardiovascular disease tend to be lower in areas with hard water. The explanation remains unclear. The published scientific papers on relevant studies in England and Wales include the following:

    Crawford MD, Gardner MJ, Morris JN. Water hardness, rainfall, and cardiovascular mortality. Lancet. 1972 Jun 24; 1(7765): 1396–7.

    Crawford MD, Gardner MJ, Morris JN. Changes in water hardness and local death-rates. Lancet. 1971 Aug 14; 2(7720): 327–9.

    Crawford MD, Gardner MJ, Morris JN. Mortality and hardness of water. Lancet. 1968 May 18; 1(7551): 1092

    Crawford MD, Gardner MJ, Morris JN. Mortality and hardness of local water-supplies. Lancet. 1968 Apr 20; 1(7547): 827–31.

    Elwood PC, St Leger AS, Morton M. Mortality and the concentration of elements in tap water in county boroughs in England and Wales. Br J Prev Soc Med. 1977 Sep; 31(3): 1978–82.

    Lacey RF, Shaper AG. Changes in water hardness and cardiovascular death rates. Int J Epidemiol. 1984 Mar; 13(1): 18–24.

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    Lovett AA, Bentham CG, Flowerdew R. Analysing geographic variations in mortality using Poisson regression: the example of ischaemic heart disease in England and Wales 1969–1973. Soc Sci Med. 1986; 23(10): 935–43.

    Mackinnon AU, Taylor SH. Relationship between 'sudden' coronary deaths and drinking water hardness in five Yorkshire cities and towns. Int J Epidemiol. 1980 Sep; 9(3): 247–9.

    MacPherson A, Baco J. Relationship of hair calcium concentration to incidence of coronary heart disease. Sci Total Environ. 2000 Jun 8; 255(1–3): 11–9.

    Maheswaran R, Morris S, Falconer S, Grossinho A, Perry I, Wakefield J, Elliott P. Magnesium in drinking water supplies and mortality from acute myocardial infarction in north west England. Heart. 1999 Oct; 82(4): 455–60.

    Nixon JM, Carpenter RG. Mortality in areas containing natural fluoride in their water supplies, taking account of socioenvironmental factors and water hardness. Lancet. 1974 Nov 2; 2(7888): 1968–71.

    Pocock SJ, Shaper AG, Packham RF. Studies of water quality and cardiovascular disease in the United Kingdom. Sci Total Environ. 1981 Apr; 18: 25–34.

    Shaper AG, Packham RF, Pocock SJ. The British Regional Heart Study: cardiovascular mortality and water quality. J Environ Pathol Toxicol. 1980 Sep; 4(2–3): 89–111.

    St Leger AS, Sweetnam PM. Statistical problems in studying the relative specificities of association between environmental agents and different diseases: a solution suggested. Int J Epidermiol. 1979 Mar; 8(1): 73–7.

    Stocks P. Morality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases in the county boroughs of England and Wales classified according to the sources and hardness of their water supplies, 1958–1967. J Hyg (Lond). 1973 Jun; 71(2): 237–52.

Illegal Meat Importers: Conviction Rates

Lord Rotherwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What further measures, beyond consultation with the Magistrates' Association, they are taking to tackle the conviction rates for those caught smuggling illegal meats into the United Kingdom.[HL2739]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: HM Customs and Excise, which took responsibility for anti-smuggling controls on meat from 11 April 2003, will deploy additional mobile anti-smuggling detection teams and trained dogs with particular responsibility for tackling smuggling of meat and animal products from non-EU countries. Its existing detection staff also include illegal meat in their responsibilities. Customs will

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prosecute in the most serious cases. Conviction on indictment for offences under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 attracts a higher maximum sentence than the previous legislation—seven years as opposed to two.

Lord Rotherwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will consider collecting centrally information on the number of convictions made each year for the smuggling of illegal meat.[HL2740]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: HM Customs and Excise already maintain a central database that records all smuggling convictions. This will record any

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convictions for the smuggling of illegal meat after 11 April 2003.

Lord Rotherwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the measures they are taking to combat illegal meat imports will deter potential smugglers, particularly when only a small number of those that are caught are prosecuted.[HL2741]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government believe that, by transferring responsibility to Customs for detecting illegal meat imports smugglers will face an increased risk of detection, seizure of the goods and higher maximum sentences. Measures to deter and detect smuggling will be kept under review to ensure their effectiveness, including those cases where smugglers are prosecuted.

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