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7 Mar 2011 : Column 853W—continued

Older People: Concessions

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) women and (b) men aged 65 years received (i) free bus travel, (ii) free prescriptions and (iii) winter fuel payments in the latest period for which figures are available. [44855]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available. Such information as is available is as follows:

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average monetary value of (a) free bus travel, (b) free
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prescriptions and (c) winter fuel payments to a (i) woman and (ii) man aged 65 years in the latest period for which figures are available. [44856]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available. Such information as is available is as follows:

(a) There is around £1 billion a year spent on concessionary travel. The monetary value to each person issued a concessionary travel bus pass could be estimated to be, on average, approximately £100 per annum.

(b) The Department of Health does not collect the information requested on prescription charge exemptions.

(c) For winter 2010-11 most women and men aged 65 years will receive a winter fuel payment of up to £250 depending on their household circumstances. Some eligible people who live with another qualifying individual will receive the winter fuel payment at the shared rate of £125. This includes the temporary increase of £50 for winter 2010-11.

Pension Service: Post Offices

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with Post Office Ltd on piloting a document verification service for the Pension Service. [41100]

Steve Webb: As set out in the Government policy statement "Securing the Post Office Network in the Digital Age" published on 9 November 2010, the Pensions Disability and Carers Service have been working closely with the post office on plans to pilot a new document verification service for pensions customers. Plans are advancing and I expect the initial pilot to be up and running in the spring.

Pensioners: Poverty

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners have been lifted out of poverty in (a) Coventry South constituency and (b) the UK since 1997. [43293]

Steve Webb: The most commonly used measure of pensioner poverty relates to those with incomes below 60% of contemporary median income, After housing costs. Estimates of the number of pensioners who have been lifted out of poverty are not available, as each year different households are surveyed to produce low income statistics that are published in the Households Below Average Income series. However, information is available about the net change in the number of pensioners with incomes below 60% of contemporary median income.

(a) Pensioners in Coventry South constituency

The Households Below Average Income figures only allow a breakdown of the overall numbers in poverty at Government office region level. Therefore, information is available for the west midlands Government office region, but not available for the Coventry South constituency. Three-year averages are used to report regional statistics as single-year estimates are subject to volatility. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000 and percentages to the nearest whole percentage point.

In the three-year period 1997-98 to 1999-2000 there were around 300,000 pensioners in the west midlands with incomes below the 60% contemporary median
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(equivalent to 28% of pensioners in the region). The latest information relates to the period 2006-07 to 2008-09 in which there were around 200,000 pensioners in poverty (16%).

Between the periods 1997-98 to 1999-2000 and 2006-07 to 2008-09, there has been a reduction of around 100,000 pensioners in the west midlands Government office region with incomes below 60% of the contemporary median income. This equates to a 12 percentage point reduction in pensioner poverty.

(b) Pensioners in the UK

At a national level, we do not need to use the three-year averages and can use the individual yearly figures. However, figures for 1997-98 cover Great Britain only, as Northern Ireland data did not become available until the following year.

In 1998-99 there were around 2.9 million pensioners in poverty in the UK, which equates to around 29% of all pensioners. The 2008-09 UK figures show that around 1.8 million pensioners were in poverty, equating to 16%.

Between 1998-99 and 2008-09 the number of pensioners in the UK with incomes below 60% of the contemporary median income reduced by 1.1 million.


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Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the number of pensioners living in poverty in Dartford constituency in each of the last five years. [44107]

Steve Webb: The most commonly used measure of poverty relates to those with incomes below 60% of contemporary median income, after housing costs.

Estimates of poverty, published in the households below average income series, only allow a breakdown of the overall numbers in poverty at Government Office Region level. Therefore, information is available for the South East of England Government Office Region, but not available for the constituency of Dartford.

Three-year averages are used to report regional statistics as single-year estimates are subject to volatility. Numbers of pensioners are quoted to the nearest 100,000 and percentages are quoted to the nearest whole percentage point.

The following table shows the number and percentage of pensioners living in households in the South East of England with incomes below 60% of contemporary median income, after housing costs, for time periods that cover the last five years.

Three year period Number of pensioners (million) Percentage of pensioners

2004-05 to 2006-07

0.2

16

2005-06 to 2007-08

0.2

16

2006-07 to 2008-09

0.2

16

Notes:
1. These statistics are based on households below average income (HBAI) data sourced from the Family Resources Survey (FRS). This uses disposable household income, adjusted using modified OECD equalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.
2. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response.
3. The reference period for households below average income figures are single financial years. Three survey years have been combined as regional single year estimates are subject to volatility.
4. Numbers of people in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest 100,000, while proportions have been rounded to the nearest percentage point.
5. Disposable incomes have been used to answer the question. This includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax, payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes.
6. The household level poverty threshold is defined as the 60% of median equivalised disposable household income.

Pensions

Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress he has made on proposals for a single flat-rate pension. [43202]

Steve Webb: The Government are currently looking at options for simplifying the state pension system-no decisions have yet been made.

Post Office Card Account

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the Coalition agreement, page 13, what steps he has taken to implement the proposal to ensure that direct debit discounts are available to Post Office Card Account holders. [41099]

Steve Webb: We are awaiting the outcome of new research exploring the options for all consumers to have the opportunity to benefit from direct debit discounts.

Officials from all interested Departments are working closely to steer the direction of the research, which will explore the possibilities for a commercially viable business model for a new account, which would be designed to meet the needs of low-income consumers by supporting positive financial management, smoothing expenditure and enabling access to better value services and products.

Remploy

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions his Department has had with trade unions representing Remploy employees on the future of the company. [43182]

Maria Miller: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 26 January 2011, Official Report, column 389W.

Remploy: Voluntary Redundancy

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employees of Remploy took voluntary redundancy in the last 10 years. [43183]


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Maria Miller: The number of people who have taken voluntary redundancy in the last 10 full financial years is contained in the following table:

Number

2000-01

211

2001-02

14

2002-03

33

2003-04

11

2004-05

7

2005-06

4

2006-07

3

2007-08

1,346

2008-09

452

2009-10

1

Source: Remploy.

Social Fund

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what funding his Department has allocated to social fund (a) budgeting loans, (b) crisis loans and (c) communicare grants for each of the next three years. [43504]

Steve Webb: HM Treasury allocates funding for the social fund. The budget for the discretionary social fund is allocated annually and the details for 2011-12 will be announced in a written ministerial statement shortly.

Social Security Benefits

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of (a) men and (b) women aged (i) 60, (ii) 61, (iii) 62, (iv) 63, (v) 64 and (vi) 65 years are in receipt of (A) guarantee credit, (B) housing benefit and (C) council tax benefit. [44272]

Steve Webb: In response to part (A), the gender and age caseloads of pension credit (guarantee credit) are as follows:

Table 1: Claimants of pension credit (guarantee credit) aged 60-65 in GB-May 2010
Number of claimants

All Males Females

All aged 60-65

499,280

274,410

224,870

60

64,950

34,780

30,170

61

82,970

46,160

36,810

62

92,500

52,420

40,080

63

102,020

58,210

43,820

64

85,140

48,520

36,620

65

71,700

34,320

37,380

Notes: 1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest ten; figures may not sum to totals due to rounding. 2. Figures include those in receipt of savings credit alongside guarantee credit. 3. Figures are for claimants only and exclude partners of recipients. 4. Populations of benefit units (households) by age are not available, and so proportions cannot be provided. 5. The age condition for eligibility for pension credit has increased alongside state pension age for females since April 2010 as part of the Equalisation of Pension Age. Source: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data.

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In response to parts (B) and (C), the gender and age caseloads of housing benefit and council tax benefit are as follows:

Table 2: Single claimants of housing benefit in GB-November 2010

Female (single) Male (single)

All

2,436,560

1,369,060

60

24,350

22,370

61

25,840

23,130

62

27,240

24,290

63

29,880

26,380

64

27,300

23,490

65

24,700

20,320

Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE).

Table 3: Couple claimants of housing benefit in GB-November 2010

Number

All

982,720

60-64

80,210

Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE).

Table 4: Single claimants of council tax benefit in GB-November 2010

Female (single) Male (single)

All

2,925,090

1,414,750

60

30,690

24,590

61

33,670

26,300

62

36,380

28,230

63

41,000

31,740

64

38,340

28,620

65

35,730

24,210

Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE).

Table 5: Couple claimants of council tax benefit in GB-November 2010

Number

All

1,442,060

60-64

146,910

Notes: 1. The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple. 2. The figures have been rounded to the nearest ten. Totals may not sum due to rounding. Proportions are rounded to one decimal place. 3. Housing benefit figures exclude any extended payment cases, An extended payment is a payment that may be received for a further four weeks when they start working full time, work more hours or earn more money. 4. Age groups are based on the age on the count date (second Thursday in the month). Age breakdowns are given for single recipients by single year of age. Age bands for couples are based on the age of the oldest person. Single year of age is not readily available. 5. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. The data is available monthly from November 2008, and November 2010 is the most recent available. 6. Housing benefit and council tax benefit are both household benefits. Populations of households by age are not available, and therefore proportions cannot be calculated. Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE).

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of suspected fraud were reported to the National Benefit Fraud hotline in 2009-10; how many such cases (a) were referred to the Fraud Investigation Service and (b) resulted in a (i) prosecution and (ii) conviction with a custodial sentence. [44443]

Chris Grayling: Every call to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline is examined by the Department. Where there is enough evidence to indicate potential benefit
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fraud the case is passed to either the Fraud Investigation Service for further investigation or to our customer compliance teams in Jobcentre Plus who will scrutinise the relevant benefit claim and make adjustments to entitlements as necessary.

In 2009-10, 253,708 cases of suspected benefit fraud were reported to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline of which 46,258 were referred to the Fraud Investigation Service for further action.

Information on the number of these reported fraud cases referred from the National Benefit Fraud Hotline that were prosecuted and convicted with a custodial sentence is not available. However, in 2009-10 8,198 cases were prosecuted for fraud against DWP benefits of which 7,040 received a criminal conviction. A total of 1,340 of these convictions resulted in a custodial sentence of which 929 were suspended.

Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations

Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average fee paid to ATOS for carrying out a work capability assessment was in the latest period for which figures are available. [43523]

Chris Grayling: Information relating to the average fee paid to Atos Healthcare for carrying out a work capability assessment is commercially sensitive and release of this information would prejudice the interests of Atos Healthcare and the Department's future dealings with Atos Healthcare or other service providers.

Social Security Benefits: Payments

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to announce the award of the contract for processing green giro payments. [41101]

Steve Webb: The Minister for Employment, my right hon. Friend the Minister of State (Chris Grayling) announced the outcome in a written ministerial statement on 3 March 2011, Official Report, column 43WS.

State Retirement Pensions

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the implementation of proposals to increase the state pension age on the average monetary value of (a) free prescriptions, (b) free bus travel and (c) winter fuel payments for a (i) woman and (ii) man currently aged 56 years over their lifetime. [44865]

Steve Webb: Under proposals current before Parliament, men and women aged 56 in 2011 will reach state pension age in 2021 rather than in 2020 as under current legislation. The age at which pensioner benefits can be received is already set to increase in line with the female state pension age. The information requested is not available. Such information as is available is as follows:

State Retirement Pensions: Age

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) public awareness campaigns and (b) consultation his Department has undertaken for individuals affected by his plans to bring forward the increase in the pension age for women. [44245]

Steve Webb: The information requested is as follows:

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department made of the required implementation period for changes to the retirement age to allow individuals sufficient time to adjust their financial arrangements. [44246]

Steve Webb: The notice period given to individuals affected by bringing forward the increase of state pension to 66 has to be balanced against the need to ensure that the state pensions system is sustainable and fair to each generation. In order to address the rapid increases in life expectancy, it will not be possible to give a notice period similar to those given for previous increases in state pension age.

The increase to 66 will be phased in so that people whose state pension age increases most will have a longer notice period.

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information his Department holds for benchmarking purposes on the experience of other countries who have increased their pension age. [44247]

Steve Webb: Information on other countries which already have a State Pension age of 66, or will have done so before the UK's current legislated timetable, is in the Government's White Paper 'A sustainable State Pension: when the State Pension age will increase to 66'.


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State Retirement Pensions: Females

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of limiting increases in women's state pension ages to a maximum of 12 months in addition to the timetable set by the Pensions Act 2005 in each financial year to 2015-16. [42066]

Steve Webb: Women's state pension age is already increasing from 60 to 65 by 2020 under the Pensions Act 1995. Under the Pensions Act 2007, the state pension age for both men and women is due to increase to 66 between 2024 and 2026, followed by two further increases at 10-year intervals.

As the proposed changes to women's state pension age contained in the Pensions Bill do not start to take effect until April 2016, there can be no additional cost to the public purse in each financial year to 2015-16.

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of retaining the existing state pension age for women to determine the age of eligibility for pension credit in each financial year to 2015-16. [42067]

Steve Webb: The qualifying age for pension credit is already increasing from 60 to 65 by 2020 along with the existing women's state pension age under the Pensions Act 1995. It is currently around 60 and three months.

The cost of retaining the current women's state pension age (around 60 and three months) as the qualifying age for pension credit is in the table:

Increase in spend on pension credit

£ million (2010-11 prices)

2011-12

69.1

2012-13

212.7

2013-14

359.7

2014-15

506.0

2015-16

649.5

Total

1,797.0


Voluntary Work and Charitable Donations

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department has a policy to encourage its employees to (a) volunteer and (b) donate via payroll giving. [43248]

Chris Grayling: The information is as follows:

Volunteering

The Department is very proud of its commitment to volunteering. Staff are consistently encouraged to engage in their community. The Department has been running its volunteering scheme-Community 5,000-for around four years. It has recently doubled its commitment by encouraging staff to sign up to 10,000 volunteering days a year. The Department's senior management are leading the way actively taking part and encouraging others to join in.

For many years, the Department has also granted a set amount of paid leave for staff to serve as magistrates and school governors. Many staff take up this opportunity.


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Donations via payroll giving

DWP operates a flexible payroll giving scheme which provides the opportunity for all employees to give regularly on a tax-free basis to charities and good causes of their choice.

Employees can give money on a regular basis to a charity, or charities by tax-free deductions from their pay. The donations are made from gross pay. Employees may contribute to a maximum of four registered charities (or other organisations registered as charitable by HM Revenue and Customs). They have the option to make monthly donations or a one-off deduction. The minimum donation for both is £12.00 per annum and there is no maximum limit.

Home Department

Crime Levels

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of trends in the levels of crime recorded by the British Crime Survey since 1997. [44041]

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of trends in the levels of crime recorded by the British Crime Survey since 1997. [44053]

Nick Herbert: The two main measures of crime-the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime-provide either a partial or confusing picture of trends in crime since 1997. That is why I have asked the National Statistician to lead an independent review of how they are produced and we await her report later in the year.

This Government believe that it is crucial for the public to have the information they need to hold local services to account. The new police.uk website gives communities access to monthly street level crime and antisocial behaviour data-in line with our commitment to greater transparency across public services.

Antisocial Behaviour

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to publish the outcome of the Government's review of antisocial behaviour powers. [44044]

James Brokenshire: We published a consultation document which outlined the findings of the review of antisocial behaviour powers on 7 February 2011.

Our review of the current tools and powers found that they are bureaucratic and do not work effectively. For example, the most recent statistics on ASBOs showed that 56% have been breached; many more than once.

Police Services

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what definition of the term front line her Department uses in relation to police services. [44046]

Nick Herbert: Frontline officers and staff are generally those directly involved in the public crime fighting face
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of the force. This includes neighbourhood policing, response policing and less visible functions such as criminal investigation.

Police Numbers: Crime Levels

Siobhain McDonagh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research her Department has commissioned and evaluated on any relationship between numbers of police officers and levels of crime. [44056]

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research her Department has commissioned and evaluated on any relationship between numbers of police officers and levels of crime. [44062]

Nick Herbert: The Government believe that police forces can make savings while protecting the frontline. We do not accept that reducing costs will cause an increase in crime. What matters is how resources are used and how officers are deployed.

Asylum Seekers: Glasgow

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of attempted suicide by asylum seekers in Glasgow were reported to her Department in the last 12 months. [44063]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency received four reports of attempted suicide by asylum seekers in Glasgow over the last 12 months.


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The UK Border Agency takes very seriously the need to respect and provide for the mental health needs of vulnerable individuals seeking asylum in the UK. Throughout their asylum application, all individuals receive the same free access to NHS services and additional support that is available to the general public.

Injuries

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) physical assaults, (b) verbal assaults, (c) injuries and (d) serious injuries have been reported by (i) Metropolitan police force officers, (ii) Nottinghamshire police force officers and (iii) all police officers in England and Wales in each year since 1997. [43721]

Nick Herbert: Information on verbal assaults is not available centrally. The offence classification of 'Assault on a constable' was added to the Police Recorded Crime series from 1 April 1998, however the type of assault cannot be separately identified as the data collected are on an aggregate basis and does not cover assaults with injury.

Separate data on the numbers of police officers on duty who were assaulted and resulting injury for Metropolitan police, Nottinghamshire, and the total for the 43 police forces in England and Wales from 2005-06 to 2007-08 and 2008-09 to 2009-10 are provided in tables A and B respectively. Police officer assault numbers for 2004-05 and previous periods were published by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and can be seen in the HMIC annual report, available in the Library of the House.

Table A: Assaults( 1) on police officers on duty, 2005-06 to 2007-08
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Police force area Fatal injury Serious injury Minor or no injury Fatal injury Serious injury Minor or no injury Fatal injury Serious injury Minor or no injury

Metropolitan police

0

228

2,168

0

237

2,060

0

210

1,912

Nottinghamshire

0

2

221

0

3

221

0

1

168

England and Wales total(2,3)

3

423

11,592

0

506

10,993

1

502

10,890

(1) Provisional data collated on behalf of HMIC. Serious assaults are those for which the charge would be under sections 18 and 20 of the offences Against the Person Act 1861. Other assaults include those with minor or no injury. Recording practices may vary over time and between forces.
(2) Cleveland were not able to provide data for 2005-06. Cumbria were not able to provide data for 2006-07 and 2007-08, North Yorkshire and South Wales were not able to provide data for 2005-06 to 2007-08
(3) Derbyshire in all years and Devon and Cornwall in 2005-06 only were not able to separately identify the degree of assault.

Table B: Assaults( 1) on police officers on duty, 2008-09 to 2009-10
2008-09 2009-10
Police force area Fatal injury Serious injury Minor or no injury Fatal injury Serious injury Minor or no injury

Metropolitan police

0

179

1,941

0

177

1,720

Nottinghamshire

0

0

177

0

0

110

England and Wales total(2,3,4)

1

439

9,882

0

381

7,794

(1) Provisional data collated on behalf of HMIC. Serious assaults are those for which the charge would be under sections 18 and 20 of the offences Against the Person Act 1861. Other assaults include those with minor or no injury. Recording practices may vary over time and between forces
(2) Data on 'minor or no injury' for Cleveland were not available for 2008-09.
(3) Cumbria and North Yorkshire were not able to provide data for 2008-09.
(4) Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Hampshire and North Yorkshire were not able to provide data for 2009-10.

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Anti-Terrorism Control Orders

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to publish draft legislation and guidance on terrorist protection and investigation measures prior to seeking parliamentary approval for the extension of arrangements for control orders. [43277]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 4 March 2011]: We will introduce the legislation as soon as possible. It was not practical to introduce the Bill before the debates on renewal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005.

Asylum: Domestic Violence

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what provision her Department makes for the accommodation of asylum seekers with children who have experienced domestic violence; [43402]

(2) what provision her Department makes to assist married or partnered asylum seekers who have experienced domestic violence. [43403]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency guidance for supported asylum seekers who experience domestic violence is set out in Policy Bulletin 70: Domestic Violence. Requests for assistance from domestic violence victims and their dependants are dealt with promptly with safe and secure accommodation offered immediately. The UK Border Agency will support the victim with their decision to report the incident(s) to social services and/or the police. A case conference may be convened, if appropriate, or local protocols enacted involving relevant corporate partners to agree an action plan, subject to the permission of the victim.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to encourage greater use of automated number plate recognition technology by police forces better to facilitate the policing of (a) offences related to driving while uninsured or untaxed and (b) other road traffic offences. [44282]

James Brokenshire: Automatic number plate recognition technology is an effective and valuable tool that plays an important role in dealing with the menace of uninsured or untaxed vehicles and other road traffic offences, as well as a wider range of criminal matters by targeting criminals through their use of the roads. The police service is already well aware of the value of ANPR, but decisions on when and how to use that technology are operational decisions for individual police forces in the context of dealing with the full range of local policing issues.

Citizenship

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deprivation of citizenship orders have been issued in each of the last five years. [43724]


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Damian Green: In the last five years, deprivation orders have been issued against a total of nine individuals.

This information has been provided from local management information and is not a National Statistic. As such it should be treated as provisional and therefore subject to change.

Counter-terrorism Review

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the oral statement of 26 January 2011, Official Report, column 306, on the Counter-terrorism Review, when she expects to introduce the legislative proposals required to implement the outcome of the Counter-terrorism Review. [44030]

Nick Herbert: The Protection of Freedoms Bill, which was introduced on 11 February, is being used for the changes to terrorism stop and search, local authority use of investigatory powers and pre-charge detention. The draft emergency 28 day pre-charge detention Bills (Draft Detention of Terrorist Suspects (Temporary Extension) Bills) were published as a Command Paper at the same time.

The Government intend to introduce legislation replacing the control order regime as soon as possible. In the interim, we are seeking to renew the control order legislation (Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005) until the end of the year to allow time for new legislation on the replacement regime to be considered.

On the wider question of communications data, the Government intend to ensure that as far as possible, they are only accessed through the revised regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. We will bring forward specific legislation to this effect in a future communications data Bill.

Counter-terrorism: Finance

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the new funds recently announced for surveillance of terrorist suspects will be distributed to (a) the Special Branch and (b) SO13. [43031]

Nick Herbert: We do not provide detailed breakdowns of what money we provide for specific security activities as this would provide detailed information about our capabilities and techniques which could undermine national security.

Crime: Victims

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people in England were a victim of crime in each year from 1997 to 2010; [42996]

(2) how many people in England were a victim of serious crime in each year from 1997 to 2010. [42997]


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Nick Herbert [holding answer 28 February 2011]: There are two main sources of official statistics on crime in England and Wales: police recorded crime and the British Crime Survey (BCS).

The BCS provides an estimate of the number of crimes where the victim was an adult resident in households and published figures are available for England and Wales on trends since 1997 in the annual statistical bulletin "Crime in England and Wales 2009/10" (Tables 2.01 and 2.02), a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library. However, the main BCS crime count does not include all crimes experienced by victims resident in households, with homicide and sexual offences notable omissions. In addition, child victims and other victims not resident in households have previously been excluded from the survey.

The police recorded crime series covers all crimes reported to the police but is restricted to the subset of crimes that are notifiable and has been affected by changes in levels of public reporting, police recording practices and also policing activity. Published figures are available for England and Wales on trends since 1997 in the annual statistical bulletin "Crime in England and Wales 2009/10" (Table 2.04).

The annual statistical bulletin provides detailed breakdowns of crimes by offence types but there is not an official classification of "serious crime".

Crimes of Violence: Women

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government is taking to tackle violence against women and girls. [44233]

Lynne Featherstone: The ambition of this Government is to end all forms of violence against women and girls. 'Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls', published in November 2010, sets out the Government's guiding principles in this area over the spending review period, including a commitment from the Home Office to provide £28 million of funding for specialist services.

A detailed set of supporting actions together with a full response to Baroness Stern's review into the way rape complaints are handled by public authorities will be published on International Women's Day, on 8 March.

Departmental Food

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects her Department to meet the Government's commitment to source food that meets British or equivalent standards of production. [43317]


7 Mar 2011 : Column 868W

Damian Green: The Home Office do not contract directly for food supplies but procure catering services through wider FM or operating service contracts. We have as part of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) led initiatives in this respect contacted the relevant suppliers and have received some initial responses indicating that the proportion of food already procured that meets British standards is in the region of 70% to 100%. However, as this does not cover all the suppliers or all food groups, we will be working with the suppliers to continue to understand exactly what proportions do meet British production standards and what potential there is to increase this percentage.

The Home office will be contributing to the DEFRA led report on this matter which is planned for June 2011.

Departmental Official Residences

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of residences used by Ministers in her Department in the latest period for which figures are available. [43218]

Damian Green: No costs have been incurred by the Department on official residences since May 2010.

Departmental Pay

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to ensure that her published departmental organisational chart includes the names and responsibilities of all staff paid over £58,200 per annum in her Department and in the non-departmental public bodies and agencies for which she is responsible. [43533]

Damian Green: The level of salary disclosure in organisational structure charts already helps enable the public to hold Departments to account for their use of public funds. There are no current plans to extend the scope of salary disclosure when structure charts are updated.

Departmental Public Bodies

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what expenditure (a) her Department and (b) each public body sponsored by her Department incurred on engaging external audit services in each of the last three years; and to which service providers such payments were made in each year. [43749]

Damian Green: The external audit fee costs recorded in the published annual Home Office Resource Accounts were:


7 Mar 2011 : Column 869W

7 Mar 2011 : Column 870W
£000
Financial year
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10

(a) Home Office and agencies

911.0

979.0

1,064.0

(b) NDPBs

IPCC

38.0

41.0

45.0

ISA

10.0

30.0

40.0

NPIA

180.0

155.0

162.0

OISC

17.0

22.0

27.0

SIA

27.5

31.0

46.0

SOCA

211.0

142.0

153.0

Home Office, agencies and NDPBs consolidated

1,394.5

1,400.0

1,537.0


The only supplier of external audit services to the Home Office, Home Office agencies, and Home Office non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) is National Audit Office (NAO).

It should be noted that:

The Home Office and agencies record a notional (ringfence/non-cash cost) in their accounts for external audit fee costs.

Departmental Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what regulations her Department introduced between 18 November 2010 and 8 February 2011. [42080]

Nick Herbert: The following statutory instruments in the form of regulations were introduced between 18 November 2010 and 8 February 2011.

Detention Centres

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many stateless persons (a) are resident in the UK, (b) are lawfully resident in the UK, (c) are held in immigration detention because they (i) have no leave to remain and (ii) are subject to removal proceedings after having served a prison sentence and (d) are serving sentences in UK prisons. [43393]

Damian Green: The Office for National Statistics do not have the information necessary to make an estimate of the number of stateless people in the UK. Estimates of the UK population by nationality are available from the Annual Population Survey but there is no coding for stateless persons. Published tables are available on the Office for National Statistics website at:

According to internal UK Border Agency management information, there are currently no stateless persons in immigration detention. Additionally, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) do not separately record the number of stateless persons in prison in their published statistics.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the time taken in transferring immigrants diagnosed with a mental illness from detention centres to appropriate healthcare settings; and what steps her Department is taking to reduce the time taken in such transfers. [43429]

Damian Green: All detainees have access to secondary health care services, including mental health provision. Responsibility for providing secondary health care treatment for immigration detainees rests with primary care trusts, including the hospitalisation of those with acute mental health illness. There have on occasion been unacceptable delays in such detainees being provided with a bed, and the UK Border Agency has therefore been working with the Department of Health and Ministry of Justice's Mental Health Unit to refine processes so that primary care trusts deliver treatment promptly.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has for the publication of responses to the consultation on her proposals for student visas. [42095]

Damian Green: A consultation on the student immigration system closed on 31 January. Responses to the consultation are currently being considered. The results of the consultation, including an overview of the consultation responses, and an impact assessment will be published in due course.

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who were granted settlement in 2010 initially entered the UK on student visas. [43263]

Damian Green [holding answer 2 March 2011]: The UK Border Agency published research entitled "The Migrant Journey" in September 2010, which provides a breakdown of those granted settlement in 2009 by their original route of entry. The report is available in the Library of the House.

The UK Border Agency is currently planning to update the data in this report, once the data has been finalised, the relevant datasets combined and checked,
7 Mar 2011 : Column 871W
and the analysis undertaken. The updated statistics for 2010 will be made available later this year once this work has been carried out.

Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many students from outside the EU were granted visas to study at each (a) privately- and (b) publicly-funded further education institution that had been (i) awarded and (ii) not awarded highly trusted status by the UK Border Agency in the most recent year for which figures are available. [43489]

Damian Green: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Hacking

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether data losses have been reported to her Department by the security services as a result of computer hacking by media organisations in the last 12 months. [42235]

Nick Herbert: No data losses have been reported to the Home Office by the security services as a result of computer hacking by media organisations in the last 12 months.

Hizb ut-Tahrir

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent consideration she has given to the proscription of Hizb ut-Tahrir under the Terrorism Act 2000. [41384]

Nick Herbert: The Government do not normally comment on whether an organisation is, or is not, under consideration for proscription. However, Hizb ut-Tahrir is an organisation about which the Government have significant concerns and their activities are closely monitored.

Homicide

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the homicide rate was in each of the last 10 years. [44811]

Nick Herbert: Available information is from the Homicide Index as at 28 September 2010. It relates to offences currently recorded as homicide in England and Wales and was published in table 1.01 of the latest homicide chapter, which is available online at:

The following table shows the number of homicides per million population for each year in the period 2000-01 to 2009-10. Data are shown according to the year in which offences were initially recorded as homicide; this is not necessarily the year in which the offence took place or the year in which any court decision was made. Data for 2010-11 are scheduled to be published in January 2012.


7 Mar 2011 : Column 872W
Rate of currently recorded homicides( 1) : 2000-01 to 2009-10( 2) -England and Wales, recorded crime
Offences per million population
Year( 2) Number

2001-02

15.2

2002-03(3)

17.9

2003-04

14.6

2004-05

14.7

2005-06

13.3

2006-07

13.3

2007-08

13.8

2008-09

11.8

2009-10

11.3

(1) As at 28 September 2010; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.
(2) Data are shown according to the year in which offences were initially recorded as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the offence took place, or the year in which any court decision was made.
(3) Calculation includes 172 victims of Dr Harold Shipman.

Housing Benefit: Fraud

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to allow local authorities to access police data systems for the purpose of reducing housing benefit and council tax fraud. [44873]

Nick Herbert: There are arrangements already in place by which a Government Department or other public body may make request to the Association of Chief Police officers (ACPO) for access to police data systems for the purposes of crime detection or prevention.

Human Trafficking

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to announce the Government's strategy on human trafficking; and if she will make a statement. [44274]

Damian Green [holding answer 4 March 2011]: Combating human trafficking is a key priority for the Government. We are committed to tackling organised crime groups which profit from this human misery and to protecting victims. We intend to publish our new strategy on human trafficking in the spring.

Illegal Immigrants: Employment

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many civil penalties have been imposed on employers for employing illegal workers since the introduction of the provision; and how much was (a) levied and (b) collected in each quarter since the introduction of the provision. [43916]

Damian Green [holding answer 3 March 2011]: Since the introduction of the illegal working civil penalty regime on 29 February 2008 to 31 January 2011, a total of 5,661 notices of liability for a civil penalty have been issued to employers.

The following table shows the amounts levied and collected in each quarter since the first penalty was issued in May 2008 under Section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.


7 Mar 2011 : Column 873W
£
Quarter Amount levied Amount collected

2008

April to June

3.44 million

15,000

July to September

4.70 million

322,000

October to December

3.14 million

508,000

2009

January to March

5.43 million

465,000

April to June

4.46 million

649,000

July to September

8.60 million

907,000

October to December

4.37 million

1.22 million

2010

January to March

5.80 million

1.46 million

April to June

5.47 million

1.61 million

July to September

4.47 million

1.70 million

October to December

3.20 million

1.80 million

Note: This data is derived from local management information and is therefore provisional and subject to change. It is important to note that the amount levied does not represent the recoverable value of illegal working civil penalties debt, since civil penalties may be reduced, cancelled or increased after consideration of objections submitted to the CPCT and reduced or cancelled after consideration of Appeals submitted to the county courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Sheriff's Courts in Scotland.

Immigration Controls

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to consult on proposals to reduce levels of net migration through routes other than student visas. [44049]

Damian Green: We have already set out our approach this year to economic migration. We will shortly announce proposals for reforming the student visa system, following consideration of responses to our recent public consultation. We will launch further consultations on settlement and the family routes later this year.

Immigration: Heathrow Airport

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long on average immigration queuing times for (a) EU and (b) non-EU nationals were at Heathrow airport in each of the last 12 months; what targets have been set for such queuing times; how frequently these targets have not been met in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will take steps to publish regular information on queuing times for immigration. [43738]

Damian Green [holding answer 3 March 2011]: The national target set out in the UK Border Agency business plan for passenger clearance is to clear 95% of European economic area (EEA) passengers within 25 minutes and 95% of non-EEA passengers within 45 minutes. The performance against those targets for Heathrow over the last 12 months is set out in the following table:


7 Mar 2011 : Column 874W

Percentage of EEA queues within target waiting time Percentage of non-EEA queues within target waiting time

February 2010

100.0

99.3

March 2010

99.9

98.8

April 2010

99.7

96.7

May 2010

99.9

98.5

June 2010

99.5

94.6

July 2010

99.2

91.3

August 2010

99.5

97.3

September 2010

99.3

87.4

October 2010

99.5

96.1

November 2010

99.4

97.1

December 2010

99.5

96.1

January 2011

99.4

95.2


The monthly performance target was not met for non EEA passengers on three occasions over the 12 month period.

Performance against passenger clearance targets will be published at a national level from April 2011 onwards as part of the Government's Transparency Framework.

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she last met Lord Macdonald of River Glaven QC. [42094]

Mrs May: I last spoke to Lord MacDonald of River Glaven QC on 25 January 2011.

Members: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall North of 12 January 2011 on correspondence from the Chair of the West Midlands police authority. [39513]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 10 February 2011]: I responded to the hon. Member's letter on 21 February 2011. A copy of the letter has been placed in the House Library.

Missing Persons

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate she has made of the number of police forces which are complying with the Police Code of Practice for Missing Persons Data. [44164]

Nick Herbert: As of 3 March 2011 the number of Home Office police forces who are complying fully with both aspects of the code of practice is 19.

These figures reflect data held centrally on that date. The data are management information and have not been formally assessed for compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Operation Viper

Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has for the future funding arrangements for Operation Viper. [44206]

Nick Herbert: We plan to set aside specific grant funding to ensure that the collaborative response to
7 Mar 2011 : Column 875W
organised crime is maintained throughout England and Wales. A decision will be made shortly on how the funding allocated for this purpose will be disbursed.

Police: Accountability

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how she plans to redistribute funds from the Neighbourhood Policing Fund following the introduction of police and crime commissioners; [41885]

(2) what assumptions her Department has made for business planning purposes of the likely change in the number of police community support officers in each police force area in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13. [42098]

Nick Herbert: The Government believe that police community support officers are a part of the policing family providing a visible, uniformed presence on our streets. We have maintained the Neighbourhood Policing Fund for a transitional period until the introduction of police and crime commissioners (PCCs) except for London, where the Metropolitan Police Authority will have full autonomy over this funding from 2011-12.

From 2013-14 the Neighbourhood Policing Fund (NPF) will be subsumed into the police main grant and PCCs will have full discretion over this funding.

Police: Defamation

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision her Department makes for (a) financial and (b) other support for police officers who take legal action as a result of experiencing defamation in the course of their duties. [42199]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office does not allocate funding to the police for this purpose and does not provide any other support to officers under these circumstances. This is a matter for the relevant police authority.

Police: Demonstrations

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the proportionality of the use of CS gas by police officers against protestors in Oxford street on 29 January 2011. [42964]

Nick Herbert: A decision to use CS spray rests with the individual officer in line with the legal framework which provides that a police officer may only use such force as is reasonable or necessary in order to prevent crime, or effect or assist in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders.

Police: Finance

Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to revise the funding formula for grants to police authorities; and if she will make a statement. [44526]

Nick Herbert: The Department for Communities and Local Government led on an overarching consultation
7 Mar 2011 : Column 876W
during the summer of 2010 on technical improvements to the means by which funding is allocated to all local authorities. This included the police allocation formula (PAF), which is used to allocate funding to police authorities.

All police authorities, forces and policing partners were able to submit representations setting out their views on the proposed changes. Home Office Ministers took into consideration all representations made as part of this consultation, as well as recommendations from the police allocation formula working group. They decided to make three technical changes to the formula:

There are currently no plans to review the formula further.

Police: Length of Service

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in each police force had served 30 or more years as of 1 January 2011. [42346]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 28 February 2011]: The available data are provided in the table which shows the number of police officers in each police force area with 30 years service or more, as at 31 March 2010. The length of service for police officers for 2011 is not yet available.


7 Mar 2011 : Column 877W
Police officers in each police force area with 30 years service or more on 31 March 2010( 1)

Number

Avon and Somerset

47

Bedfordshire

26

British Transport police

244

Cambridgeshire

16

Cheshire

(2)-

Cleveland

60

Cumbria

17

Derbyshire

67

Devon and Cornwall

52

Dorset

20

Durham

36

Dyfed-Powys

24

Essex

79

Gloucestershire

11

Greater Manchester

64

Gwent

15

Hampshire

72

Hertfordshire

40

Humberside

26

Kent

78

Lancashire

50

Leicestershire

34

Lincolnshire

16

London, City of

31

Merseyside

122

Metropolitan police

1,154

Norfolk

7

Northamptonshire

17

Northumbria

34

North Wales

21

North Yorkshire

12

Nottinghamshire

57

South Wales

53

South Yorkshire

20

Staffordshire

40

Suffolk

13

Surrey

35

Sussex

41

Thames Valley

64

Warwickshire

11

West Mercia

81

West Midlands

198

West Yorkshire

126

Wiltshire

29

Total

3,260

(1 )This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
(2) Cheshire is unable to provide length of service figures.

Police: Liverpool

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will assess the likely effects of her proposals to reduce the police grant on the level of crime in Liverpool. [41939]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 28 February 2011]: The Government do not accept that reducing costs will cause an increase in crime. What matters is how resources are used and how officers are deployed.

Police: Mass Media

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reports she has received on the use of private investigators by media organisations to follow serving police officers in the course of their duties; and if she will make a statement. [42195]

Nick Herbert: We have received no such reports.

Police: Public Order

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to produce standard national guidelines on policing public order events. [43730]

Nick Herbert: The Association of Chief Police Officers published updated guidance on public order policing in December 2010. The Government are currently considering
7 Mar 2011 : Column 878W
the Policing Public Order Report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in February 2011.

Police: Voluntary Work

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of (a) people who volunteered and (b) hours given by volunteers in police services in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [41975]

Nick Herbert: There were 16,772 special constables (headcount) in the 43 forces of England and Wales as at 30 September 2010. Data on the hours of duty performed by special constables for 2009-10 are not available centrally.

The Home Office does not collect figures on any other voluntary police staff other than special constables. The latest provisional police service strength statistics relate to 30 September 2010 and were published on 27 January 2011. They are available at:

Full annual statistics for 31 March 2011 are expected to be published in July 2011.

Policy: Bureaucracy

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to implement the recommendations of the report by Jan Berry on Reducing Bureaucracy in Policing. [43722]

Nick Herbert: We are already implementing recommendations from Jan Berry's report on Reducing Bureaucracy in Policing, including returning certain charging decisions to the police, a more proportionate approach to inspections, and revising the police performance development reviews. We are continuing to take forward work that will reduce unnecessary police bureaucracy.

Sponsors

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many regulations sponsored by her Department have been (a) introduced since 18 November 2010 and (b) revoked since 2 February 2011. [44365]

Nick Herbert: The following statutory instruments in the form of regulations have been made by the Department on or after 18 November 2010.

S.I. No. S.I. Title Made date

2010 No. 2807

The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (No. 2) Regulations 2010

21 November 2010

2010 No. 2826

The Police Authority (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2010

24 November 2010

2010 No. 2851

The Licensing Act 2003 (Premises licences and permitted temporary activities) (Forms and notices) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

29 November 2010

2010 No. 2958

The Immigration (Biometric Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

13 December 2010

2010 No. 3018

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 (Exemption) (Aviation Security) Regulations 2010

20 December 2010

2010 No. 3030

The Police Authority (Amendment No. 3) Regulations 2010

21 December 2010

2011 No. 230

The Police Federation (Amendment) Regulations 2011

4 February 2011

2011 No. 300

The Police Act 1996 (Equipment) Regulations 2011

9 February 2011

2011 No. 448

The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2011

18 February 2011

2011 No. 544

The Immigration (Accession and Worker Registration) (Revocation, Savings and Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2011

24 February 2011


7 Mar 2011 : Column 879W

The following statutory instruments in the form of regulations are revoked by the Department since 2 February. None of the revocations are yet in force.


7 Mar 2011 : Column 880W
(1) Regulations revoked (2) References (3) Extent of revocation (4) Revoking instrument

The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2010

S.I 2010/1144

Regulation 3(a)

S.I 2011/544

The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006

S.I. 2006/1003

Paragraph 7 of Schedule 5

S.I 2011/544

The Accession (Immigration and Worker Authorisation) Regulations 2006

S.I. 2006/3317

Paragraph 1 of Schedule 2

S.I 2011/544

The Accession (Immigration and Worker Authorisation) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

S.I. 2007/475

Regulation 3

S.I 2011/544

The Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

S.I. 2007/928

The whole Regulations

S.I 2011/544

The Accession (Worker Authorisation and Worker Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

S.I. 2007/3012

Regulation 3

S.I 2011/544

The Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2009

S.I. 2009/892

The whole Regulations

S.I 2011/544

The Accession (Worker Authorisation and Worker Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2009

S.I. 2009/2426

Regulation 3

S.I 2011/544


Telecommunications: Databases

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent progress she has made on the Intercept Modernisation Programme; and if she will make a statement. [42550]

Nick Herbert: The Interception Modernisation Programme was a programme under the last Government. As made clear in the strategic defence and security review, the Government will continue to build on an existing programme of work to preserve the ability of the law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to obtain communications data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework. We will legislate to ensure this is compatible with the Government's approach to civil liberties and use of communications capabilities. As set out in the Home Office's structural reform plan, details of this legislation will be announced in Parliament in due course.

Telephone Tapping: Newspaper Press

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will request a report from the Metropolitan Police Commissioner on how many current and former hon. Members are listed in the evidence file for the News of the World telephone hacking inquiry held by the Metropolitan police. [42196]

Nick Herbert: No. The Metropolitan police investigation is ongoing. The police have recently said that in the light of fresh evidence they have identified some individuals who had previously been advised that there was little or no information held by the MPS relating to them and that they are taking urgent steps to notify these individuals of developments. They have undertaken to contact anyone else who may be identified as a possible victim in the light of the ongoing consideration of the evidence.

Terrorism: Biological Weapons

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent reports she has received on the development of biological weapons by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement on the Government's preparedness for a biological attack; [42330]

(2) what measures are in place to respond to a biological attack by international terrorists; and whether such measures include the stockpiling of vaccines; [42331]

(3) what types of biological terrorist threat she has assessed as posing the greatest risk to the UK; [42332]

(4) whether emergency service personnel are routinely vaccinated against potential biological terrorist threats; [42333]

(5) what her policy is on the vaccination of emergency services personnel as part of the preparedness plans for the London 2012 Olympics. [42334]

Nick Herbert: Reports on development of biological weapons by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan would be classified. The Home Office works across Government to examine all available information and intelligence. The risk that different types of biological terrorist threats pose to the UK and the response that is appropriate to those risks is regularly reviewed and re-assessed.

The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (ATCSA) 2001, Part 7, legislates the security of dangerous substances that may be targeted or used by terrorists and covers biological agents which pose the greatest risk to the UK. Schedule 5 of the Act lists the biological pathogens
7 Mar 2011 : Column 881W
and toxins to which the provisions of Part 7 apply. This covers both human and animal pathogens and not only the wild-type or 'intact' micro- organisms and toxins, but also genetic sequences derived from or coding for such substances. Selection of materials has been dependent upon a number of factors and is undertaken by a team of government and academic experts.

Over the past six years, the UK has built up capability to prepare for a CBRN terrorist attack. Initial programmes are largely complete, however we are currently undergoing a programme of work to review and potentially augment and improve this capability.

A wide range of possible incidents or attacks has been considered. Following this process, the UK Health Departments have established an appropriate stockpile of vaccines, medical countermeasures and specialist equipment to be used to protect and treat the public. For reasons of national security, it would be inappropriate to specify what particular countermeasures are held and where they are located.

Government have taken steps to protect emergency service personnel against such threats. A cohort of frontline health workers has been vaccinated to deal with any initial suspected or confirmed cases of smallpox. No additional plans are in place specifically in response to the impending London 2012 Olympics, although risks are regularly reviewed based in part on the threat level in the national risk assessment (NRA).

There is no current plan to make a statement on these issues due to the classified nature of much of the information in this area.

Terrorism: Coventry

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were convicted of terrorist offences in Coventry in (a) 2009 and (b) 2010. [42869]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office does not collate statistics in this way. However, the Home Office does publish statistics on arrests and outcomes under the Terrorism Act 2000 (Operation of Police Powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and Subsequent Legislation: Arrests, Outcomes and Stops and Searches). The link to the last edition of the publication is provided as follows:

Third Sector

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what account she has taken of the Compact between the Government and Civil Society in policy development. [42601]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office considers the role of the Compact to be central to the relationship between the Department and civil society organisations. We strive to ensure that Compact principles are firmly embedded within Home Office policy development, not only when engaging with our stakeholders, but also in exemplifying better financial management of grants. A senior Home Office official has been identified to act as 'Compact Champion' for my Department. This role extends beyond the core Home Office to its agencies
7 Mar 2011 : Column 882W
and other related statutory partners and we are keen to ensure steps are taken, at key opportunities to reinforce Compact compliance issues with those partners.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department has taken to support the big society initiative. [42643]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office is fully supportive of the big society vision. It is clear that communities are safer places when local people are actively involved in maintaining order and have a say in how they are policed and how other services are provided. Baroness Newlove was appointed the Government's Champion for Active, Safer Communities in October 2010 and she will be making recommendations to Government about what needs to change in order to encourage and support more people to get actively involved in keeping their communities safer.

The Government have also taken steps to ensure that there is more information in the hands of the public. Through the Police.uk website we have recently given communities across England and Wales easy access to street level crime and antisocial behaviour data for their area, alongside key neighbourhood policing information, such as details of their local neighbourhood policing team, details of their next beat meeting and how to get involved.

We are replacing police authorities with directly elected police and crime commissioners. Police and crime commissioners will give accountability at the police force level and regular beat meetings will give direct accountability in neighbourhoods.


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