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Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) local authorities and (b) police services have applied to introduce a local child curfew; how many local child curfews have been introduced; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Denham [holding answer 28 January 2002]: No applications have been received to impose child curfew schemes under section 14 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Sections 48 and 49 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which took effect on 1 August 2001, extended the upper age limit to 15 and allowed the police, as well as local authorities, to initiate schemes. Local areas are assessing the implications of these changes and we know that local consultation is taking place in some of them. Applications to establish curfews are a discretionary matter for local authorities and the police, to be considered in the light of local needs and wider strategies to deal with disorder in their areas.
Mr. Denham: There are already strict laws in place to control the use and possession of air weapons including age limits for acquisition and possession and controls on their possession in a public place.
We are aware that some air pistols which operate on the air cartridge system have been found to be readily convertible to fire live ammunition. We are currently in discussion with the importers and the Forensic Science Service, considering what needs to be done to establish the full extent and nature of the problem and how to tackle it.
Mr. Denham: Following a recommendation from the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) on 8 February 2001, the previous Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) approved a new allowance of £1,000, from 1 April 2001, for officers in Hampshire appointed on or after 1 September 1994, and not in receipt of housing allowance.
Any case for increasing the allowance for officers in Hampshire would first have to be made in the PNB. However, it should be noted that the Police Arbitration Tribunal, in rejecting a Staff Side claim for a wider regional allowance, confirmed the PNB agreement of 8 February, including the allowance of £1,000 for qualifying officers in Hampshire.
The PNB is the statutory negotiating body for police pay and conditions of service. Representatives from the Association of Police Authorities, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Police Federation sit on the board, as well as the Secretary of State. The process of negotiation, which led to the joint recommendation on 8 February, will have afforded Hampshire Police Authority and the Chief Constable of Hampshire the opportunity to comment on the proposed new allowance for officers in Hampshire.
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Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment the Government have made of the effectiveness of legislation prohibiting and punishing human trafficking; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Government consider that effective legislation to criminalise and punish trafficking in human beings is an important component of any strategy to tackle this crime. This must also encompass effective enforcement, alongside support and assistance for victims, and prevention and education.
United Kingdom (UK) Ministers were among the first to sign the Trafficking Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and are committed to implementing its measures, one of which is the introduction of trafficking offences. To take measures forward, the European Union Framework Decision on trafficking in human beings has been provisionally agreed by representatives of all European Union member states and will be adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council as a legally binding document in the near future. We will introduce legislation to introduce criminal offences into UK law as soon as parliamentary time permits.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of his policy on signing the 1990 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: Under the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) recruitment initiative, Essex police has been allocated a total of 197 recruits over and above the force's previous recruitment plans for the three years to March 2003.
The force was unable to recruit any of its CFF allocation of 70 officers in 200001, but was allowed to carry-over the allocation into 200102. The force currently expects to recruit at least 127 CFF officers this financial year.
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We have also announced the creation of a task force, chaired by Sir David O'Dowd, Her Majesty's retiring Chief Inspector of Constabulary, to consider the steps necessary to deliver a significant increase in the capacity of police officers to provide a visible presence in the community.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the ratio between police officers of less than a year's experience and those of more than a year's experience in each police authority area. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ratio is between the average earnings of (1) a superintendent and the average house price in (a) Surrey, (b) London, (c) Yorkshire and (d) Tyne and Wear; 
(3) what the ratio is between the average earnings of a police officer with 10 years' service and the average house price in (a) Surrey, (b) London, (c) Yorkshire and (d) Tyne and Wear. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ratio is between the average earnings of a chief inspector and the average house price in (a) Surrey, (b) London, (c) Yorkshire and (d) Tyne and Wear. 
The current national pay scale for Chief Inspectors is £38,124 to £40,773. The scale for a Chief Inspector serving in the Metropolitan police or City of London police forces is £39,729 to £42,378. An individual's salary will be determined by his length of service in the rank.
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Depending upon the force to which he belongs, and his length of service, a chief inspector may be entitled to housing allowance or transitional rent allowance. A Chief Inspector in London will, if appointed before 1 September 1994, get London weighting of £1,773 a year and a London allowance of £1,011 a year.
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