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Customs: Manpower

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Customs officers are dedicated to (a) uncanalised and (b) intelligence-led work along the Sussex coast. (128515)

HM Revenue and Customs does not specifically dedicate staff to any particular stretch of coastline. Instead, staff are flexibly deployed on an intelligence led basis to where the risk is greatest.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) detection rates and (b) other measures in relation to illegal imports of persons and goods of the disbanding of the Maritime and Aviation Intelligence Team. (128517)

During 2005-06 HMRC undertook a review of its intelligence activity and structure. As a result of that review, the Maritime and Aviation Intelligence Team’s functions were reorganised into national hubs of expertise. Intelligence activity is now undertaken nationally by specialist operational teams who link with operational staff across the country. In this way, intelligence continues to support front line activity in HMRC and in other law enforcement agencies. No assessment has yet been made of the changes effected less than 12 months ago.