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Mr. Keith Bradley: The Government are committed to ending discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The law relating to homosexual offences is under review as part of the Sex Offences Review.
The review's report 'Setting the Boundaries' recommends that the present offences of buggery and gross indecency should be repealed, with separate provision made for the protection of children and for regulating sexual behaviour in public. Officials are now assessing the responses received to the consultation on the report and will advise Ministers in due course with a view to legislation when parliamentary time allows.
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his assessment of the operational effectiveness of the Lancashire Constabulary's 999 emergency call service. 
Lancashire Constabulary's local target is to answer 90 per cent. of 999 calls within 10 seconds. The Constabulary has informed me that, for the financial year 200001, they answered 86.3 per cent. of 999 calls within 10 seconds.
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In the first year of the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) the force recruited four of their CFF allocation. Based on the latest information provided by the force, North Yorkshire Constabulary expects to recruit all of their second year CFF allocation of 39 in 200102. The force has been allocated a further 25 CFF recruits in 200203.
Mr. Denham: There is no general review under way, but there are currently several strands of work focused on improving police practice in relation to mentally ill individuals. The Home Office, the Department of Health and the Association of Chief Police Officers are considering the development of national protocols covering the interaction between the police and health services in dealing with the mentally ill. The current review of the police Codes of Practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 is seeking to strengthen further protections for mentally ill detainees, particularly in terms of assessing their vulnerabilities and fitness for interview. In addition, the review of the Mental Health Act which is under way is looking to increase the emphasis on using hospitals rather than police stations as places of safety for assessing mental condition.
More needs to be done to ensure an appropriate and properly informed response to mentally ill individuals across the whole range of circumstances in which they deal with them. This recognition is increasingly reflected in improvements to police training, operational practice and working relationships with psychiatric and other health services.
Mr. Denham: I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the Wandsworth Division had three Inspector, 10.5 Sergeant and 38 Constable vacancies at the end of June. There were no vacancies in
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the ranks of Chief Superintendent, Superintendent and Chief Inspector. Most of the vacancies are due to the increase in the Budgeted Workforce Total for the Wandsworth Division on 1 April 2001.
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the referral orders for first-time offenders introduced by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 will be rolled out nationally; and when they will be available in Redcar. 
Beverley Hughes: The first phase of the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP), funded by the Home Office and managed by the Youth Justice Board, is being implemented in 22 Youth Offending Team areas from 17 July. The second phase, due to start from October, includes an ISSP scheme for the Tees Valley. This covers Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and South Tees including Redcar.
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to receive the report of the Firearms Consultative Committee on detailed implications of changes to firearms legislation in response to the use of BB and other replica guns in public; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: The Firearms Consultative Committee (FCC) has concluded its discussions on controls over imitation and replica firearms and the Chairman will be writing to me shortly with the Committee's recommendations. The Government share the public concerns about the display of imitation and replica firearms in public, particularly as a result of the events in South London this week, and will consider the FCC's advice urgently.
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Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford of 23 April concerning his constituent Mr. M. Turner of Great Leighs, Chelmsford. 
Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply to his letter of 30 May on behalf of his constituent Mrs. Murray. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) who is responsible for the allocation of places between appointing authorities to police authorities to ensure political proportionality of local authority members; 
(3) how the rules governing political proportionality of local authority appointees to police authorities apply to the number of (a) appointees of each political party from each appointing authority and (b) councillors of each party in the police authority's area, in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Police Authority; and how they applied before 7 June. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The procedures for the appointment of members of police authorities by relevant councils are set out in schedule 2 of the Police Act 1996, as amended by section 105 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.
In the case of a police authority, such as Hampshire, where there is more than one relevant council, councillor members are appointed to the police authority by a joint committee appointed by the relevant councils from among their own members.
The number of members of the joint committee and the numbers appointed by each relevant council is for agreement by the relevant councils or, in the absence of an agreement, as may be determined by the Secretary of State.
Section 105 of the Police and Criminal Justice Act 2001, which came into effect on 19 June 2001, clarifies the question of political balance on police authorities. It requires councils, or joint committees, to ensure that, so far as practicable, the proportion of members from any political party appointed to the police authority is the same as the proportion of those members on the council, or relevant councils taken as a whole. Any other places on the police authority must then be allocated to councillors who are not members of a political party.
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