§ Miss Widdecombe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many designations have been made to date under section 16(1) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; and how many directions have been given under section 16(2) of that Act. 
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
The information requested is not available centrally.
Section 16 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 provides the statutory basis for truancy operations which are conducted in partnership by the police and local education authorities. Designations in accordance with section 16(1) and directions in accordance with section 16(2) are made for the period of the truancy operation only. There is no requirement on either the police or the local education authority to conduct these operations at specified intervals, or to report to Government Departments when they do so. We have, however, recommended that they jointly review the truancy problem in each local education authority area and conduct truancy operations each term as appropriate.
Section 16 operations are an important tool in helping both to reduce truancy and the potential that young people will be drawn into crime or other anti-social behaviour when they should be at school.