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Northern Ireland: Children with Autism

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

17 Nov 2005 : Column WA162
 

Lord Rooker: I met with the noble Lord on 3 October and I can report that policy and services for children and adults with autism are currently being examined under the Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability (N.I.), commissioned by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. The review will recommend how future service delivery should be managed and funded.

In addition, the Department of Education plans shortly to instigate a strategic review of special educational needs provision. The review will include an examination of issues relating to the provision of classroom assistants for all children with statements of special educational need including those with autism and will examine their training needs and effective deployment.

Northern Ireland: Children with Dyslexia

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: It is not possible for the education and library boards to isolate the total resources made available regarding special arrangements for children with dyslexia, as this will depend on the needs of the individual child.

From 2004–05 to 2007–08 additional resources of some £1.3 million will have been provided to the education and library boards specifically to address dyslexia related issues including training teachers in identification techniques and teaching strategies, provided in school by suitably qualified teaching staff.

DE has also been involved in producing classroom resources to support positive interventions for these children:

Northern Ireland: Drug Seizures

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

17 Nov 2005 : Column WA163
 

Lord Rooker: The number of seizures and quantity of drugs seized by the Police Service of Northern Ireland in 2000–01 and 2004–05 are contained in the table below.
Drug Seizures by PSNI

1 April 2004 to
13 March 2005
1 April 2000 to
31 March 2001
Drug SeizedNumber of seizuresAmount seizedNumber of seizuresAmount seized
Cocaine:
Powder8721.3 kgs271.7 kgs
Wraps32400
LSD:
Doses71,1349117
Microdots27,0122201
Amphetamine:
Powder14779.1 kgs513.9 kgs
Wraps324816

Data relating to the prosecution and conviction rates in respect of drug offences at all courts are currently available up to the year ending December 2003 and are contained in the table below.

Prosecutions and Conviction Rates for Drug Offences at all courts 2000 to 20031


YearProsecutionsConvictionsConviction Rate (%)2
200073264989
200153947087
200245541S91
200356849888




Source: Northern Ireland Office






Information relating to the number of prosecutions for drug offences in the Crown Courts in 2004–05 is contained below.
Persons proceeded against in respect of drugs offences in the Crown Courts 2004–05

YearNumber of Persons Proceeded AgainstNumber of Persons Convicted of at least one offenceConviction Rate3
2004-0524322496.6




1Figures are collated on a principal offence basis, thus, where a person is being dealt with for more than one offence at the same court sitting, only the most serious offence (that attracting the most severe court penalty) is included in the statistics.


2Conviction rate based on number of guilty findings as a proportion of all proceedings resulted in each calendar year.


3Calculation of conviction rate excludes cases withdrawn.






Northern Ireland: Festivals

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

17 Nov 2005 : Column WA164
 

Lord Rooker: The consultant was Colin Stutt Consulting who was paid a total of £51,780.53.

Northern Ireland: Fuel Laundering

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Government are fully committed to tackling the problem of oils fraud in Northern Ireland. In September 2000 Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs began to increase the number of officers in Northern Ireland. Since January 2001 160 customs officers have been deployed to break up criminal gangs behind oils fraud, especially laundering plants, and are actively working under the umbrella of the Organised Crime Task Force with a range of agencies to tackle non-compliance in the fuel sector.

In 2002 the Government announced the introduction of a UK Oils Strategy for tackling the problem. The strategy consists of a range of additional measures to help combat the problem including stronger regulatory regimes to control the sale and distribution of rebated fuel, a central intelligence unit to drive operational activity against fuel smugglers and launderers and the application of new technology.

The latest available data indicate that deliveries of legitimate road fuel to Northern Ireland have increased for the third year in a row after five preceding years of decline which is a clear indicator that the illicit market is shrinking and that the UK Oils Strategy is having a positive effect.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Government's strategy for tackling the problem of oils fraud in Northern Ireland is threefold. First, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs have deployed extra resources in Northern Ireland. Since January 2001, 160 Customs officers are involved in the work to break up criminal gangs and laundering plants.
 
17 Nov 2005 : Column WA165
 

Secondly, those officers are actively working with a range of agencies to tackle non compliance in the fuel sector under the umbrella of the Organised Crime Task Force.

Thirdly, the UK Oils Strategy is being fully applied including the implementation of the Registered Dealers in Controlled Oils scheme to control the sale and distribution of rebated fuel, the introduction of a central intelligence unit to drive operational activity against fuel smugglers and launderers and investment in new technology.

The latest available data indicate that deliveries of legitimate road fuel to Northern Ireland have increased three years running which is a clear indicator that the illicit market is shrinking and that the Government's strategy is having a positive effect.

Data relating to the period 2004/05 will appear in the annual report of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs which will be published in mid December.


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