Angus MacKay: An important distinction needs to be made between whether funding is increasing year on year and whether it is increasing to a sufficient extent year on year. An important and sensible debate has to take place on that. I merely make the point that a substantial uplift in capital funding was awarded to Strathclyde police force last week. That is accurate and fair. A number of other points were...
Angus MacKay: Guidance for employers was published in July. Guidance for fire authorities will be circulated shortly. That guidance will be reviewed in the light of experience.
Angus MacKay: The booklets on fire safety guidance for employers that were published on 22 July were made available to the Stationery Office and contained extremely comprehensive advice to employers. I am aware, however, of some concerns about this, and I will undertake to examine them and report back to Euan Robson.
Angus MacKay: The number of people convicted in Scottish courts between 1993 and 1997 for drug trafficking is set out in the table below. Information on the type of drug involved in drug trafficking offences is not collected centrally, although it is estimated that about half of the offences related to cannabis. Year 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 Number convicted1 902 1,177...
Angus MacKay: The Scottish Executive funds CCTV through its Make Our Communities Safer Challenge Competition. Applications are submitted to the Scottish Executive through Chief Executives of local councils and Chief Constables. I understand that no application is being considered for South Kessock for the 2000-01 round of the Competition which starts next April.
Angus MacKay: All prisons in Scotland offer drugs rehabilitation measures ranging from intensive rehabilitation programmes through to continuing support programmes for former users.
Angus MacKay: The capacity of the Scottish Prison Service to provide rehabilitation measures has been expanded. Around 5,300 prisoners will access services in this financial year; that figure is up from 1,656 in 1997-98. In addition, the SPS is examining how existing services might be expanded in the future.
Angus MacKay: On 11 August, I announced that £3 million would be made available in the financial year 2000-01 to fund the new "Make Our Communities Safer" challenge competition. Of that money, £1.5 million will be allocated to projects that address wider community safety issues. The other half will fund CCTV projects on the same basis as the previous Scottish Office challenge competition.
Angus MacKay: Yes. There is no doubt that all the research evidence in support of CCTV indicates that it has a substantial impact on the detection of crime, the ability to obtain convictions as a result of that detection and the ability of police forces to marshal the use of their resources.
Angus MacKay: None.
Angus MacKay: I can confirm that there are no prospective private finance initiative or public private partnership projects that will have any impact on service provision over the millennium.
Angus MacKay: Thank you, Presiding Officer. How long do I have to speak?
Angus MacKay: That should be more than enough time to deal with the complexities of the bill. I have listened with substantial interest—to my astonishment—to the contributions of MSPs from all parts of the chamber. Some MSPs spoke with drawn looks on their faces; others with great enthusiasm. I would like to put on record my thanks to the Scottish Law Commission and anybody else who was involved in the...
Angus MacKay: I do not think that I will get into that debate, as I might be tempted to make comments that I would regret later. Mr McLetchie referred the Wester Hailes case that he spoke about to Mr Gray, as Mr Gray was the constituency MSP. His action is an example to all the regional list MSPs in the chamber. One of the earliest points that was made today was that this is not a stand-alone bill. The...
Angus MacKay: We have made it clear that the costs of establishing the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, of increasing the size of the Scottish Crime Squad and in strengthening force drug squads will be met centrally. Consequently, no additional resources will be required by forces to recruit and train replacements.
Angus MacKay: Plans are in hand for HMP Penninghame and HMP Dungavel to be offered for sale on the open market. It is open to any organisation or individual whether or not they make a bid to purchase. There are no plans to sell HMYOI Dumfries.
Angus MacKay: There are no cuts in the Prison Service. The Prison Service budget is scheduled to increase year on year. No formal or informal discussions or approaches are taking place with regard to private organisations taking over those prisons to run them as prison facilities.
Angus MacKay: The Scottish Prison Service has engaged with a number of external bodies in producing its revised drug strategy. These have included the Medical Research Council, the Scottish Advisory Committee on Drug Misuse, directors of social work, the chief medical officer, chief constables, and over 50 community agencies.
Angus MacKay: The research currently available indicates that drug testing in prisons has not lead to a switch from cannabis to heroin. Testing on admission shows that hard drug use is common among those committed to custody. Nevertheless, I have asked the Prison Service to produce detailed proposals in relation to the possible expansion in the range and volume of rehabilitation services within Scottish...
Angus MacKay: I am pleased to note the genuine cross-party support for this motion. I will begin by placing on record my view that the speeches that we have had tonight have been thoughtful and constructive, on a painful and difficult subject. None the less, this debate has probably been the most pleasurable of any I have participated in since coming to this Parliament because of the real feeling and...