§ Mr. Caton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department classes as purposeful activities as set out in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. 
§ Beverley Hughes
Section 29 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 provides the necessary powers to provide and fund purposeful activities for asylum seekers supported in accommodation centres.
Such activities are likely to include training in English language, information technology and other skills training and volunteering. Other examples include sport, creative activities and practical activities like cookery or gardening. We do not intend to follow an unduly prescriptive approach to what constitutes a purposeful activity. The aim is to keep asylum seekers
Recorded crime: number of offences recorded from 1997 to 2001/02 Police force area/ offence Lancashire 19971 1997–982 1998–993 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–024 Total racially aggravated offences5 — — — 232 408 1,057 Total violent crime6 5,550 5,718 12,183 11,615 13,870 18,535 Robbery of personal property7 — — 816 866 1,044 1,437 Drug offences8 554 529 4,117 3,135 3,124 3,169 North West Region9 Total racially aggravated offences5 — — — 1,284 2,053 4,746 Total violent crime6 46,224 50,503 87,033 93,029 95,940 106,892 Robbery of personal property7 — — 9,338 10,425 11,614 13,656 Drug offences8 3,156 3,164 19,267 16,106 15,070 14,775 1 Recorded on a calendar year basis. 2 The number of crimes recorded in that financial year using the coverage and rules in use until 31 March 1998. 3 The number of crimes recorded in that financial year using the expanded offence coverage and revised counting rules which came into effect on 1 April 1998. 4 Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire implemented the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in advance of the national implementation date of April 2002. The 2000–01 and 2001–02 figures for these forces will be affected by the Standard. The NCRS and other changes to police recording practices, has had the estimated effect of increasing recorded crime statistics by at least 5 per cent. for 2001–02, which means the real increase of total recorded crime for 2001–02 is 2 per cent. compared to the published national total of 7 per cent. The impact will vary for different types of offence. 5 Racially aggravated offences became notifiable to the police on 1 April 1999. The offences covered are; other wounding, harassment, common assault, criminal damage to a dwelling, criminal damage to a building other than a dwelling, criminal damage to a vehicle and other criminal damage. 6 Violent crime is comprised of violence against the person, sexual offences and robbery. 7 Robbery of personal property was recorded separately (from total robbery) as from 1 April 1998. 8 Up until 1 April 1998, Trafficking in controlled drugs was the only drugs-related offence recorded. After this date the offence coverage was expanded to include more drugs-related offences. 9 The North West Region comprises the following police forces; Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.