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Mr. Blunkett: We are providing CSOs to support and work with the growing number of fully trained police officers with over 4,500 additional officers between March 2000 and January this year and 189 over the same period in Devon and Cornwall. The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has been at the forefront of arguing the case for CSOs, other forces and ACPO have also expressed their support. CSOs are a realistic and hard headed approach to providing a visible police presence in support of the police, freeing them up for other front line duties and tackling antisocial behaviour and increasing public safety.
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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Our strategy to prevent antisocial behaviour includes the introduction of Neighbourhood and Street Wardens, the Closed Circuit Television initiative and a range of sentences for juvenile offenders to prevent further offending. Measures in the Police Reform Bill will improve the effectiveness of Anti-Social Behaviour-Orders and increase the extended police family to deter people from committing antisocial acts.
Hilary Benn: The Government is investing an additional £31 million in 200102, £50 million in 200203 and £71 million in 200304 on basic skills, drug treatment, offending behaviour programmes and resettlement to help assist prisoner rehabilitation and reduce the rate of reconvictions.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is currently considering whether the classification of Cannabis should be changed from Class B to Class C, taking into account the advice he has received from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, the reports relating to the Lambeth cannabis pilot warning scheme and the findings of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is responsible for prosecuting criminal offences. Each case received by the CPS is reviewed in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. A prosecution will only be pursued if there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest.
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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The drug testing pilot programme began in three sites, Nottingham, Staffordshire and Hackney, between July and December 2001 under the relevant provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. It will run for two-years and is subject to a full independent evaluation.
Mr. Denham: The Home Office and the Women's Unit jointly published the policy document "Living without Fear: an integrated approach to tackling violence against women" in June 1999. The document set out the Government's goals for tackling violence against women which include:
to help today's children grow up in a society where violence is not part of family life and relationships are built on greater mutual respect; and
within five years to see effective multi-agency partnerships operating throughout England and Wales, drawing on good practice demonstrated in the mentioned publication.
We have provided £120 million additional capital funding for a new Safer Communities Supported Housing Fund and increased funding for Victim Support. Over £10 million has been provided for a violence against women initiative within the Crime Reduction Programme to help us identify what interventions in what circumstances are the most effective and cost-effective.
In addition, my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State (Mr. Denham) chairs a Ministerial group on domestic violence involving representatives from seven key departments which is working closely together to consider the development and implementation of preventative strategies to address domestic violence. The group has highlighted five areas for priority action as follows:
Enhanced Criminal and Civil Jurisdiction Interface
Increasing safe accommodation choices for women and children
Education and awareness training
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Hilary Benn: I am committed to improving services and support to victims of crime. That is why we have more than doubled the annual grant to Victim Support since May 1997, increased the total amount awarded by the criminal injuries compensation scheme, and delivered new services such as witness support in magistrates courts, and a national telephone helpline.
A review of the 1996 Victim's Charter is well advanced. A Bill of Rights for victims and the establishment of a Victims' Ombudsman and Commissioner are under active consideration. I am also taking forward work on setting up a Victims Advisory Panel to enable me to hear, directly and regularly, of the concerns of victims of crime.
Beverley Hughes: We have submitted a planning notification at two sites, near Bicester in Oxfordshire and at RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire. We intend to submit a planning notification with regards to Throckmorton Airfield, in the hon Member's Constituency, shortly. Further work is required on sites at AirWest Edinburgh, Sully Hospital (Glamorgan) and Hemswell Cliff (Lincolnshire) before a decision can be taken on whether to proceed to planning notifications.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many sites were considered for asylum accommodation centres before the shortlist of eight was agreed; and if he will list the other sites considered and the reasons for their exclusion. 
Beverley Hughes: We have put into the public domain the location of all sites which were considered to merit detailed assessment for the purpose of siting an accommodation centre and will continue to do so in the future. We do not consider that it would be appropriate to put into the public domain details of sites which were not considered to merit detailed assessment.
Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, (1) pursuant to his answer of 8 May 2002, Official Report, column 234W on asylum seekers, if he will define suitably qualified staff for the management of education provision in accommodation centres; 
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Beverley Hughes: I refer the hon. Member to the reply of 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 412W which my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Angela Eagle) gave to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (John Barrett). We are still in discussions with other Government Departments on the management of education provision in accommodation centres.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will respond to the public petitions presented in the House on plans for an accommodation centre for asylum seekers near Bicester. 
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long planning authorities will have to respond to notification from his Department about proposals to build an asylum accommodation centre in their area; and what timetable there will be for subsequent non-statutory planning inquiries. 
Beverley Hughes: In general, local planning authorities will have eight weeks to respond to a planning notification from the Home Office in line with the ordinary provisions contained within Circular 18/84. However, where there is an environmental impact assessment required such as in the hon. Member's constituency, this timescale would be extended by a further eight weeks.
After a planning notification has been considered, depending upon the conclusion reached by the local planning authority, it would be a matter for the office of the Deputy Prime Minister whether there is an inquiry and what the format of any inquiry would be.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long Wychavon District Council will have to consider the planning notification for the proposed asylum accommodation centre at Throckmorton after its receipt. 
Beverley Hughes: In general, local planning authorities will have eight weeks to respond to a planning notification from the Home Office in line with the ordinary provisions contained within Circular 18/84. However, where there is an environmental impact assessment required such as in the hon. Member's constituency, this timescale will be extended by a further eight weeks.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to reach a conclusion on the suitability of RAF Turnhouse as a site for an asylum seeker accommodation centre; what factors have prevented a decision being reached; and for what reasons the Killingholme and Hooton Park sites are no longer under consideration for such centres. 
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We will reach a decision as soon as possible on the suitability of RAF Turnhouse. However, immediate priority will be given to the three sites for which it has been decided to submit planning notifications.
All prospective sites were evaluated under a wide range of criteria including size, configuration, location, technical characteristics and planning considerations. The sites at Killingholme and Hooton Park were found to be unsuitable.
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