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Asylum Support

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average (a)set-up costs and (b) weekly revenue costs of units of accommodation supplied by local authorities under NASS arrangements are; and what projections he has made of annual increases in those costs. [99077]

I am unable to give details of prices paid by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) for accommodation due to its commercially sensitive nature. Any disclosure of this kind could have an adverse effect on future contract negotiations for accommodation.Each contract has within it a contract price review mechanism that is linked to the rate of inflation and it is expected that any increases of this type will be offset by efficiency savings made within NASS as a whole. NASS is committed to maintaining unit costs at current levels or below representing an annual efficiency saving equivalent to inflation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to hold (a) tribunals, and (b) interview sessions in the region of dispersal for asylum seekers dispersed under NASS arrangements. [99096]

Asylum appeals to an adjudicator are listed into hearing centres around the country based on location of the appellant. Cases are listed by postcode in accordance with a list agreed with the judiciary. When fixing the venue, reasonable travelling distance, ease of journey and waiting times in the area are all taken into account to enable the case to be dealt speedily. The Immigration Appeal Tribunal's workload arises in consequence of hearings at the adjudicator tier. Each claimant is offered the facility to attend a hearing in the same region of the country in which the Adjudicator hearing took place. The claimant's representative may ask for a hearing elsewhere or in London.

Recorded crime: number of offences recorded, by main offence groups—Derbyshire
199711998–9921999–20002000–012001–02
Violence against the person5,3408,50910,0199,2369,946
Sexual offences528556546527651
Robbery (total)3965045847731,029
Burglary (total)17,30216,72015,53614,99716,564
Theft and handling of stolen goods34,66836,74236,02333,78037,022
Fraud and forgery1,3084,2004,7394,6704,719
Criminal damage13,38714,31615,20714,99717,125
Drugs offences3—1,6891,6591,3741,635
Other offences8631,2231,3371,3141,150
Total73,79284,45985,65081,66889,841
1Recorded on a calendar year basis.
2The 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.
3 Before 1 April 1998 the only drug offence recorded was "trafficking", which was included in the Other Offences group.

Note:

Numbers of recorded crimes will be affected by changes in reporting and recording. Derbyshire adopted the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) on 1 April 2002, when it was introduced across England and Wales, and therefore will not have affected the 2001–02 figures given in the table.

Substantive asylum interviews are normally conducted in Croydon and Liverpool taking account, where possible, of the geographical location of the applicant. We have no current plans to extend these arrangements to other NASS dispersal regions.