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Written Answers

Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 30 January 2008

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Flood Control: Planning Permission

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to amend the Environment Agency's powers to influence planning decisions relating to sites at risk of flooding. (181107)

I have been asked to reply.

There are no proposals to amend the Environment Agency's powers to influence planning decisions on sites at risk of flooding. On 1 October 2006 we made the agency a statutory consultee for development proposals in flood risk areas1. On 1 January 2007 we introduced a planning direction2, which prohibits a local authority from granting permission for major development in a flood risk area, to which the agency maintains an objection, without first sending details to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to consider whether it should be called-in for decision. We believe that these two measures provide the agency with sufficient powers to influence planning decisions on sites at risk of flooding. We will keep under review how these arrangements are working.

1 The Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Amendment) (No.2) (England) Order 2006.

2 The Town and Country Planning (Flooding) (England) Direction 2007.

Sustainable Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the Government’s waste minimisation efforts in light of the recent evidence given by his Department’s Director of Sustainable Consumption to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee. (176547)

Waste prevention and reuse are key parts of DEFRA’s Waste Strategy for England 2007. The Government are committed to achieving the target in the Strategy of reducing household waste not re-used, recycled or composted from over 22.2 million tonnes in 2000 by 29 per cent. to 15.8 million tonnes in 2010 with an aspiration to reduce it to 12.2 million tonnes in 2020—a reduction of 45 per cent. This is a challenging target, but we are confident that it can be met through measures planned and already in place.

In 2004-05 we had the first ever fall in the overall amount of municipal waste created. In the two years since then, we have seen only a 0.5 per cent. growth—far lower than historic trends.

Waste Disposal: Hazardous Substances

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much hazardous waste was produced in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by primary source; and if he will make a statement. (183099)

[holding answer 29 January 2008]: The table shown gives the tonnages of hazardous waste produced in the UK in 2006 (the most recent period for which figures are available), broken down by primary source.

This information is available from the Environment Agency’s website using the free online ‘hazardous waste interrogator’ web-tool.

Source

Tonnage

Mining and Minerals

38,281

Agricultural and Food Production

1,350

Wood and Paper Production

3,790

Leather and Textile Production

2,551

Petrol, Gas and Coal Refining/Treatment

27,368

Inorganic Chemical Processes

128,767

Organic Chemical Processes

2,093,000

MFSU Paints, Varnish, Adhesive and Inks

117,886

Photographic Industry

20,495

Thermal Process Waste (inorganic)

156,189

Metal Treatment and Coating Processes

134,325

Shaping/Treatment of Metals and Plastics

72,784

Oil and Oil/Water Mixtures

879,961

Solvents

24,035

Packaging, Cloths, Filter materials

61,108

Not otherwise specified

557,287

C and D Waste and Asbestos

705,307

Healthcare

142,305

Waste/Water Treatment and Water Industry

654,939

Municipal and Similar Commercial Wastes

215,339

Unclassified

Total

6,037,068

Wales

Aviation

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what (a) first-class and (b) other flights he has taken since 28 June 2007; and on each occasion (i) how many staff travelled with him and (ii) what the cost of the travel was. (182881)

No first-class flights have been taken by the Secretary of State since 28 June 2007.

In November 2007 standard return flights were taken from Cardiff to Belfast, at a total cost of £254.02. One official accompanied the Secretary of State.

Carbon Trust's Carbon Management Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department has adopted the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management Programme. (182940)

My Department has not adopted the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management Programme.

As a small Department we have taken full advantage of the Carbon Trust's small and medium sized Business Toolkit. This resulted in a full Carbon Trust survey and follow up action plan in 2006. All actions points raised have been implemented together

with the introduction of a robust recycling programme.

My Department offset 307.70 tonnes of emissions, through PURE, the Clean Planet Trust, in 2006-07.

The Wales Office is currently establishing a sustainable development strategy to further assist in further reducing emissions.

Departmental Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) press and (b) communications officers his Department employed in each of the last 10 years. (182504)

In each year since it’s creation in July 1999, the Wales Office has employed three press and communications officers.

Departmental Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department is on course to meet the commitment in the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate targets to increase recycling figures to 40 per cent. of waste by 2010. (182905)

The Wales Office is currently establishing a sustainable development strategy to ensure targets are met.

We already have a robust recycling programme for white paper, mixed paper, cans, glass, plastic, cardboard and shredding. This amounts to 5,913 kgs from April to September 2007.

A system is being implemented to record the weight of rubbish disposed of by the office, to enable the percentage recycled to be calculated. This will enable us to determine whether the target is being met, or whether more needs to be done to ensure that it is.

Official Engagements

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many days he spent in Wales on official business in each of the last 12 months; (182865)

(2) what his official engagements were in December 2007.

Ministers and civil servants meet many people as part of the process of policy development and advice. It is not normal practice to disclose details of such meetings.

Renewable Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department is on course to meet the commitment in the Sustainable Operations on the Government estate targets to source at least 10 per cent. of its electricity from renewables by 31st March 2008. (182904)

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Aldershot

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what the estimated cost of security is at (a) Olympic Village and (b) Army Training Camp for the GB team at Aldershot (i) prior to the 2012 Games and (ii) during the Games; and from what budget this is charged. (181092)

The Home Secretary is responsible for a safe and secure London 2012 Games. The multi-agency Olympic Security Directorate, headed by the Security Coordinator AC Ghaffur, is coordinating national cross-agency operational safety and security planning.

Security of the Olympic Village during the construction period, including the costs, is the responsibility of the private sector developer and is being fully co-ordinated within the overall security approach. The private sector developer's security costs are a matter for them.

During the operational period of the games LOCOG, working with the Olympic Security Directorate on planning, is responsible for ensuring security of the village and meeting the core costs of delivering this out of its £2 billion privately funded budget.

Members of the Great Britain London 2012 squad, and their support staff, based at Aldershot Garrison in the run-up to the Games, will benefit from the high levels of security inherent in a military site. Additional on-site security measures will be met by the British Olympic Association. The scale of charges that the BOA will pay is a matter for them.

Olympic Games 2012: Consultants

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much has been spent on consultants in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. (180166)

To date the total cost incurred for consultants employed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in preparation for the 2012 Olympics is £2,400,115. The total expenditure on consultants by the former Olympic Programme Support Unit (OPSU) is £1,167,447. The functions of OPSU were transferred to the DCMS on 14 September 2007.

In my previous answer to the hon. Member for Faversham and Mid-Kent, (Hugh Robertson) dated 16 October 2007, Official Report, column 977W, I stated that £50,494,000 had been spent on consultancies providing core services by the Olympic Delivery Authority in 2006-07. In the financial year 2007-08, to date, a further £94,272,290 has been spent on similar work, central to the delivery of facilities and infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This reflects the increasing pace of the project.

Around £100 million of the total figure relates to contracts with three companies (EDAW, Ove Arup and Atkins) which have been integral in the start-up and development of the ODA, and in delivering the key milestones around planning and preparing the park to enable the programme to be on track and hitting milestones. They have therefore been important partners in the delivery programme.

All ODA expenditure on consultants is within the baseline budget announced in December 2007. This budget was subject to a process of rigorous review to ensure that it was fully aligned with scope, programme and risks, and is subject to monthly monitoring by the Government Olympic Executive.

Olympic Games 2012: Pay

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what the 10 highest salaries are of staff working on preparations for the 2012 Olympics whose salaries are paid from the public purse. (180307)

The following table shows the 2007-08 salaries of the 10 highest paid staff working directly on the preparations for the 2012 Olympics in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and paid from the public purse. It does not include staff employed by the ODA's Delivery Partner, and the ODA's contractors.

Position/organisation

1Salary (£)

Chief Executive, ODA

372,600

Director of Construction, ODA

258,750

Director of Finance and Corporate Services, ODA

253,624

Director General, Government Olympic Executive

220,000

Director of Design and Regeneration, ODA

207,000

Director of Transport, ODA

207,000

Director of Property, ODA

207,000

Director of Infrastructure and Utilities, ODA

207,000

Director of Build and Finance, Government Olympic Executive

180,000

Director of Communications, ODA

175,950

1 The figures are for basic salary only, and do not include for any performance related bonuses, taxable benefits and pension contributions. These additional benefits will be calculated at the financial year-end and detailed in the annual reports and accounts of the Department and the ODA which are laid before the House.

Olympics 2012

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what the timetable is for a decision on whether the Lee Valley Regional Parking Authority will take over as the legacy vehicle for the Olympics. (176501)

Decisions on the long-term ownership and management arrangements for the Olympic Park will be taken during 2008. In the meantime, the London Development Agency is acting as interim legacy client for the Park.

Northern Ireland

Crimes of Violence: Belfast

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons have been arrested in connection with the incident in which two young men were publicly paraded with placards on the Shankill road, Belfast, on 11 January 2008; and what assessment he has made of whether there was a paramilitary involvement in that incident. (182412)

I have been advised by the PSNI that no persons have as yet been arrested in connection with this incident and inquiries into this matter continue. An assessment as to the possibility of paramilitary involvement is still being considered. All acts of criminality should be dealt with through the proper authorities and the criminal justice system and I urge anyone with information in relation to this incident to contact the PSNI.

Police Service of Northern Ireland: Emergency Calls

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average time taken by the Police Service of Northern Ireland in each district command unit was to respond to (a) emergency and (b) routine calls from members of the public in each of the last five years. (180862)

As the PSNI does not record average response times for emergency and non-emergency calls for each DCU, the information requested is not available.

The Northern Ireland Policing Board target is for the PSNI to record the percentage of emergency calls responded to within a 15 minute baseline target.

As at the 18 January 2008 for the financial year to date, the number of emergency response calls where arrival time was available, responded to within 15 minutes, was 79.5 per cent.

The Northern Ireland Policing Board is committed to working with the PSNI to improve response times to emergency calls—the 2007-10 Policing Plan contains a target to increase the percentage of emergency calls responded to within 15 minutes by 2 per cent. points.

An important aspect of improving performance in this area will be the development of an automated system utilising the Barracuda Radio System to streamline the recording of arrival on site for both emergency and non-emergency calls and work is currently ongoing.

Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the fiscal deficit in Northern Ireland was in each of the last three years for which figures are available; what it is projected to be for the next three financial years; and if he will make a statement. (182457)

The Department of Finance and Personnel published their Draft Regional Economic Strategy for Northern Ireland in January 2007. That document contains estimates of the fiscal deficit for Northern Ireland and can be found at:

http://www.dfpni.gov.uk/res_final_draft_january_2007.pdf

No centrally collated data is available for the fiscal balances for Northern Ireland.

Rape

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will provide a break-down by age of persons convicted of rape or attempted rape in Northern Ireland in the last 10 years. (180632)

The following table gives the number convicted of rape or attempted rape broken down by age group.

Data cover the calendar years 1996 to 2005 (the latest available years) and are collated on the principal offence rule; so only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

Number convicted of rape or attempted rape by age group 1996-2005

Age group

10-17

18-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60 and over

Missing1

Total

1996

0

3

2

1

4

4

0

1

15

1997

0

2

3

9

4

3

0

0

21

1998

1

2

2

5

4

3

1

0

18

1999

0

1

2

2

2

0

1

0

8

2000

0

0

1

2

4

2

1

0

10

2001

0

3

1

4

3

5

1

0

17

2002

0

2

2

3

2

1

0

0

10

2003

1

1

1

2

1

3

1

0

10

2004

0

1

3

3

3

5

3

0

18

2005

1

0

0

1

3

1

2

0

8

1 Missing data relate to those offenders for whom age information is not available.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) male and (b) female members of staff in his Department were issued with personal digital assistants in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. (181353)

86 people in my Department are currently issued with personal digital assistant devices. Of these, 36 are female and 50 are male. We do not hold this information broken down by year.

Of the 86 people issued with personal digital devices, 14 are based in the Government Olympic Executive, of which five are female and nine are male.

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on travel (a) within and (b) outside the UK for officials in each of the last 10 years; and what percentage of his Department’s overall expenditure was spent on such travel in each such year. (181526)

The travel and subsistence costs within and outside UK incurred by the Department’s officials in each of the last 10 years is set out in the table.

The costs are expressed as a percentage of the Department’s gross administration cost.

Financial year

Officials’ UK travel and subsistence costs (£)

Percentage of gross administration cost

Officials’ overseas travel and subsistence costs (£)

Percentage of gross administration cost

2006-07

193,620.21

0.37

297,832.07

0.57

2005-06

293,203.28

0.60

287,546.56

0.58

2004-05

166,500.58

0.39

279,710.59

0.66

2003-04

194,638.95

0.47

235,210.16

0.57

2002-03

248,802.18

0.68

195,442.41

0.54

2001-02

246,203.14

0.42

129,164.75

0.22

2000-01

147,239.27

0.37

188,337.76

0.48

1999-2000

141,325.38

0.36

193,742.97

0.50

1998-99

80,852.42

0.23

151,307.28

0.43

1997-98

67,874.95

0.32

175,061.96

0.82

Departmental Visits Abroad

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many overseas visits by officials in his Department took place in each of the last 10 years; which countries were visited; and how much was spent on such visits in each such year. (181610)

The Department’s management information systems does not routinely collect information about the number of overseas visits and countries visited by officials. The data relating to these can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The overseas travel and subsistence costs incurred by the Department’s officials in each of the last 10 years is set out in the table.

Financial year

Officials’ overseas travel and subsistence costs (£)

2006-07

297,832.07

2005-06

287,546.56

2004-05

279,710.59

2003-04

235,210.16

2002-03

195,442.41

2001-02

129,164.75

2000-01

188,337.76

1999-2000

193,742.97

1998-99

151,307.28

1997-98

175,061.96

Intimidation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many cases of bullying have been reported in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last 12 months. (182836)

There have been no cases of bullying reported in DCMS or The Royal Parks Agency within the last 12 months.

Licensed Premises

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate his Department has made of the number of licensed premises in England and Wales that have a terminal hour, on at least one day of the week, after 11 pm. (176713)

The Department does not hold detailed information on the licensed hours of the 177,200 licences and certificates that were in force in England and Wales on 31 March 2007. The actual closing times of a premises may, in any case, be earlier than the terminal hours granted on its licence. Data from the on-licensed trade suggest that 60 per cent. of outlets stop selling alcohol by 11 pm and that, on average across all on-licensed premises, closing times have increased by approximately 20 minutes since the Licensing Act 2003 came into effect.

Olympic Games 2012: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what payment is being made to Fast Track for the contract to help raise £100 million from the private sector to help fund athletes in the run up to the 2012 Olympics in London. (183120)

The Department and UK Sport are currently in discussion with Fast Track about the contractual arrangements for the project to raise £100 million from the private sector.

We do not expect that public funding will be used to pay for this project.

Planning Permission: Playing Fields

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2008, Official Report, column 1167, on planning permission: playing fields, what the reasons were for the figures for 2005-06 not being published in 2007 as referred to in his answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1296 on playing fields; and when he expects the figures to be published for (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07. (182699)

[holding answer 28 January 2008]: Sport England will be providing more extensive and revised information about planning applications for 2005-06 and retrospectively (2003-04 and 2004-05). The figures were not fully validated and finalised in time for publication last year as originally intended. We intend to publish these figures shortly. It is currently expected that figures for 2006-07 will be published later in the year.

House of Commons Commission

Departmental Travel

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission (1) many overseas visits were made by House of Commons staff in each of the last 10 years; which countries were visited; and what the cost of the visits was in each year; (181457)

(2) how much was spent on travel by officials of the House (a) within and (b) outside the UK in each of the last 10 years; and what percentage of the House’s overall expenditure was spent on such travel in each such year.

House of Commons staff travel within the UK and abroad chiefly when accompanying groups of Members on select committee visits, on delegations to international assemblies, on bilateral visits or for conferences. The cost of the staff element of official travel with Members cannot be disaggregated from the total, which amounted to some £2.65 million for UK and overseas visits in 2006-07. There have also been a small number of overseas visits by individual officials, mainly for the purpose of strengthening democratic institutions in other countries.

Scotland

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the (a) start date, (b) original planned completion date, (c) current expected completion date, (d) planned cost and (e) current estimated cost is for each information technology project being undertaken by his Department; and if he will make a statement. (180579)

The Scotland Office is an integral part of the IT systems of the Scottish Executive and does not undertake separate IT projects.

Power Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of output Hunterston B Power Station was producing at the end of December 2007. (182661)

Information on individual power station output is not held in the form requested.

Hunterston B Power Station has an installed capacity of 1190 MW. According to publicly available information from its operators, British Energy, the station is currently operating at a reduced level of 70 per cent. of full output, but on average generates sufficient electricity to supply almost half the households in Scotland.

The recent announcement that its life will be extended by five years to at least 2016 is very welcome, given its continued importance to Scotland's energy supply mix.

Defence

Afghanistan: Military Decorations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the criteria are for award of the (a) ISAF medal and (b) Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan; for what reasons the ISAF medal may not be worn; and if he will make a statement. (180909)

The Operational Service Medal (OSM)—Afghanistan was instituted to recognise service in Afghanistan and in support of operations in that country from 11 September 2001. The qualifying criteria were initially published in Command Paper 5939 in September 2003 and amended in Command Paper 6935 in October 2006. Copies were placed in the Library of the House.

Subsequently, NATO offered their ISAF medal to coalition troops taking part in NATO operations in Afghanistan from 1 June 2003. Qualification for the medal is completion of at least 30 days continuous or accumulated service.

One of the key principles laid down by the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals is that permission will not be given for UK citizens to accept a foreign award if they have received, or are expected to receive, a UK award for the same service.

As the NATO medal now covers the same service as the national OSM—Afghanistan and thereby contravenes the ‘double medalling’ rule. UK personnel who are given the medal may retain it, but may not wear it.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to send the six Merlin helicopters recently procured from Denmark to Afghanistan. (174486)

The six Danish Merlin helicopters will increase the operational capability that can be delivered by our Merlin fleet. Merlin helicopters are currently deployed in Iraq. We are currently examining the balance of our helicopter force levels across theatres, including the deployment of Merlin helicopters to Afghanistan, subject to operational requirements.

Armed Forces: Asthma

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will review the medical criteria for acceptance into the armed forces of people with asthma; (179755)

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that people with asthma are not automatically rejected upon application to the armed forces.

[holding answer 17 January 2008]: It is essential that all recruits to the armed forces are operationally effective, and the medical tests that they undergo on recruitment are designed to ensure this. Examining medical officers will consider each applicant on his or her own merit and apply their clinical judgement individually. Because of its potentially adverse effect on performance and respiratory fitness, and because of the requirement for long term access to respiratory medication, and possible associated medical care, candidates who have a current wheezing condition will in almost all cases be rejected. Candidates who have been free from symptoms and off all treatment for a period of at least four years may be considered for employment, subject to further assessment of their respiratory function.

We do review the medical standards for entry to the armed forces on a regular basis, and update them as appropriate. The guidance on respiratory conditions was last reviewed and updated in September 2006.

Armed Forces: Inquests

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on legal representation for military inquests in each year since 2003. (179679)

A coroner's inquest is a non-adversarial fact-finding inquiry and in the majority of inquests MOD does not instruct a legal team. However, MOD as an interested person, does, in a minority of cases consider it would be of assistance to have Counsel present, particularly where deaths have occurred in complex and unusual circumstances and to assist the coroner in undertaking his statutory function.

The amount spent by the Department on legal representation for military inquests in the UK and overseas each year since 2003 is as follows:

£

2003

9,357.12

2004

61,841.16

2005

76,265.40

2006

276,589.91

2007

736,228.07

These figures include external legal advice on inquest related matters as well as costs for representation at inquests. The increase in costs in 2006 and 2007 reflect the increased volume of inquests held in Oxfordshire following the provision of additional resources to clear the backlog of inquests into operational deaths overseas.

Armed Forces: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the peace establishment was of the (a) 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, (b) 1st Battalion Irish Guards, (c) 4th Battalion The Rifles and (d) 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery before its deployment to Iraq; what the strength was of the battalion on deployment; how many reinforcements to the battalion were received from (i) the regular Army, (ii) the Territorial Army and (iii) the regular Army Reserves; how many of all ranks remained in the UK (A) on recruitment duties, (B) as physically unfit to deploy and (C) in barracks in reserve; and what the battalion’s battle casualty replacement policy is. (182384)

The following table provides the information requested.

2R Welsh

4 Rifles

1RHA

1IG

Peace Establishment prior to deployment

760

670

559

633

Strength on Deployment

522

587

388

409

Level of reinforcement from Regular Army

45

0

0

0

Level of reinforcement from Reg. Reserves

1

0

0

0

Level of reinforcement from Territorial Army

36

2

27

0

Unit personnel left behind on recruiting duties

27

21

8

0

Unit personnel physically unfit to deploy

21

20

30

23

Rear Party Strength1

79

95

102

93

1 Figures for Rear Party strength exclude those personnel listed as physically unfit to deploy or on recruiting duties.

With regard to Battlefield Casualty Replacement policy I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 7 January 2008, Official Report, column 50W, which applies across the Army.

Armed Forces: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Department's budget is for the longer separation allowance. (177539)

The spend on longer separation allowance (LSA) for financial year 2006-07 was £119 million. For financial year 2007-08 this is forecast to be around £105 million.

LSA forecasted spend is dependent on the circumstances of individuals deploying (i.e. precise time spent deployed, marital status).

Armed Forces: Qualifications

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of members of each service enrolled for courses leading to additional (a) military-related and (b) non-military-related qualifications in each of the last five years for which figures are available; how many successfully completed the courses; and if he will make a statement. (182793)

The majority of personnel, when not on operations or leave, are engaged in some form of military-related training, much of which is accredited for delivering civilian qualifications, but the information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The following table sets out the take-up of non-military related courses, expressed as a percentage of service strength, by personnel undertaking personal development using financial support provided through the armed forces learning credits schemes. Data on course completions are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Percentage

FY

Royal Navy

Army

Royal Air Force

Total

2002-03

6.8

17.1

12.0

13.7

2003-04

6.6

21.7

12.7

16.3

2004-05

7.3

22.3

15.6

17.6

2005-06

8.2

23.6

16.1

18.6

2006-07

9.1

24.5

11.7

18.2

Note:

All years include the use of Standard Learning Credit, FY/05 onwards also includes the use of Enhanced Learning Credits introduced with effect from 1 April 2004.

Armed Forces: Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has established a cross-UK forum of devolved administrations, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and his Department as part of the Tri-Service Schools Liaison Policy; and if he will make a statement. (179553)

We have established a cross-UK Service Children’s Education Forum that brings together the MOD, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the devolved administration education authorities. The forum first met in April 2007 and meets twice a year to consider key issues facing service children, particularly relating to their movement around the UK and between UK and overseas as part of the service community.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the recommendations contained in the Defence Committee report, Educating Service Children (HC (2005-06) 1054), have been implemented; and if he will make a statement. (180433)

I have written to the hon. Member in response to him raising this matter during the Armed Forces Personnel debate on 10 January 2008, Official Report, column 617. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library of the House.

Armed Forces: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 878W, on Armed Forces: Training, if he will list each type of aeroplane and helicopter from which British service personnel have made airborne jumps in the last five years. (181204)

The types of fixed and rotary wing aircraft from which British service personnel have made airborne jumps while completing service training or display activities in the last five years are shown in the following list. Records for British service personnel, who have completed jumps from foreign military aircraft, are not held.

Fixed Wing

Hercules C130 all marks

Islander

Skyvan

CASA 212

Cessna 206

Cessna Caravan

De Havilland Twin Otter DHC-6

Douglas DC3 Dakota

PAC 750

Pilatus Porter

Rotary Wing

Agusta A109

Bell 212

Chinook HC2/2a

Lynx HAS3/8

Lynx AH7/9

Puma HC1

Sea King HC4

Sea King HAS6CR

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 897W, on departmental official hospitality, what records were kept of entertainment or hospitality received by past or present members of (a) the Defence Council, (b) the Defence Management Board, (c) Defence Equipment and Support, (d) Defence Estates, (e) Science, Innovation and Technology TLB, (f) Central TLB and (g) Defence Export Services Organisation in each of the last three (i) financial and (ii) calendar years. (175596)

[holding answer 7 January 2008]: Ministers, members of the senior civil service and commanding officers are required to keep Hospitality Books in which are recorded details of all hospitality offered to themselves or members of their staffer unit and whether an offer of hospitality has been accepted or declined.

Detailed departmental rules governing the way in which Crown servants are to react to offers of gifts, reward, or hospitality from outside organisations are set out in a statement of civilian and service personnel policy. Hospitality Books are audited by senior officials and military officers.

Departmental Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his Department’s properties in Scotland have been declared unfit for habitation. (182536)

The information requested is not held centrally and it will take time to determine what information could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

I will write to my hon. Friend at the earliest opportunity.

Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to ensure that blood transfusions given to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are screened effectively before use. (179644)

For use in routine transfusions, deployed UK military hospitals maintain stocks of blood sourced from UK National Blood Service (NBS) donor centres, which screen and test their donors according to nationally mandated standards. For most patients, this licensed blood is all that is used for their trauma care.

However, in circumstances when standard blood stocks might not be appropriate where the properties of whole fresh blood are needed, an emergency blood transfusion from donors at a field hospital on or near the battlefield can be the only way of saving lives of gravely wounded UK personnel.

To enable blood to be obtained in such an emergency, UK field hospitals have an Emergency Donor Panel (EDP), consisting of a group of pre-screened volunteer donors who are available to donate blood at short notice. The volunteer donors will have been screened for suitability in accordance with UK NBS guidelines prior to deployment. Prior to donating at an EDP, a further check is made through use of a health questionnaire and an examination of the veins. Blood samples are taken to confirm the blood group, and for retrospective testing by the UK NBS to confirm that the blood transfused remained free from Transfusion Transmitted Infections.

Coalition partners in both Iraq and Afghanistan have their own procedures in place for pre- and post-screening of blood obtained from their equivalent of an EDP. If a seriously-injured UK casualty is being treated in a coalition medical facility, they may be given a life-saving transfusion of such blood for the same reasons as apply in a UK field hospital, and using the same procedures as would be used to treat one of their own nationals. We co-operate closely with coalition partners in developing world-class life-saving combat medical care work, and in reviewing procedures where appropriate.

Transport

Birmingham New Street Station

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the works to be completed at Birmingham New Street railway station are estimated to cost; and how much of this is expected to be met from public funds. (180244)

Costs are subject to ongoing commercial negotiations by Birmingham city council and Network Rail. However, £128 million of Network Rail funding has already been committed in their Strategic Business Plan. Birmingham city council has bid for a £160 million contribution from the Department for Transport through the regional funding allocation. A separate bid for £100 million has been made by Advantage West Midlands to the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Centro has pledged a further £10 million. The total cost includes several contributions from the private sector.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much extra capacity for train movements will be created by the works to be completed at Birmingham New Street railway station; what plans there are to (a) create new platforms and (b) lengthen existing platforms; and if she will make a statement. (180245)

Additional train capacity at New Street, and across the network, will be provided via longer trains. The Department has already committed to provide the extra carriages required.

Additional passenger handling capacity at New Street will be provided by improvements to the station, proposals for which are being led by Birmingham city council and Network Rail.

These improvements will deal with passenger growth at New Street for the foreseeable future without the need for new or longer platforms. Proposals for New Street also provide improved station access, environment, interchange and wider regeneration benefits.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what processes are in place to ensure that staff of her Department and its agencies have only the security access to data required to do their job. (176934)

The guiding principle used by the Department and its agencies for access to data is that of ‘Need to know’, consistent with the Cabinet Office Manual of Protective Security.

The Department and its agencies make use of both physical and electronic controls to restrict access to sensitive data including user identification, password protection and access restrictions based on user roles.

In addition to the basic checks performed for all personnel, a number of roles require users to have been security cleared to the appropriate level, consistent with the sensitivity of the data to which they require access.

The Department takes data security extremely seriously and is actively participating in the Cabinet Secretary’s review of this matter.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) male and (b) female members of staff in her Department were issued with personal digital assistants in each year since 2001; and if she will make a statement. (181367)

The following figures represent the number of personal digital assistants (PDAs) issued to male and female staff in the Department for Transport and Agencies for each year since the Department was set up in 2003:-

20032004200520062007 (includes 08 to date)Comments

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

DfT(C)

0

0

0

0

0

0

46

23

132

52

PDAs only officially issued from 2006 onwards

DVLA

3

8

0

8

0

Cannot split between male and female as allocated to teams rather than individuals.

HA

44

5

81

11

0

0

8

2

0

0

Figures are PDA current distribution - initial allocations not recorded

DSA

15

3

0

0

0

0

3

2

2

0

MCA

n/a

n/a

3

3

27

4

88

13

109

16

Figures are the position at the end of the year, which may vary from those originally issued, due to PDAs changing users.

VOSA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

VGA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

GCDA

0

0

0

0

0

0

12

2

0

0

All now withdrawn for policy review.

Totals (excludes DVLA)

59

8

84

14

27

4

157

42

243

68

Grand total = 706 plus 19 unallocated.

DfT policy is to provide personal digital assistants (PDAs) to appropriate staff where there are clear business benefits.

Driving Standards Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of the reasons for variations in pass rates between driving test centres; and if she will make a statement. (180500)

The Driving Standards Agency has identified that the following factors are influences on practical test pass rates:

The age/gender of the test candidate—in general, younger candidates have a higher pass rate, and males have a higher pass rate than females.

The socio economic background of the test candidate—likely to be linked to more money available to invest in driving lessons and greater opportunities for private driving practice, such as access to a family vehicle etc.

The prevalence of these factors varies between individual test centres, resulting in pass rate variances.

Driving Under Influence

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work is being undertaken in her Department to assess the appropriate minimum blood alcohol concentration level for drivers. (180664)

No work is being undertaken in the Department for Transport to assess an appropriate minimum blood alcohol concentration level for drivers. Controls over drinking and driving are based on the “prescribed limit” for drivers which represents the maximum permissible alcohol concentration for motorists.

The most recent assessment of the possible effect of a change in the legal alcohol limit was included in the 1998 consultation paper “Combating Drink Driving: Next Steps”.

We explained in the report of the second three-yearly review of our Road Safety Strategy (February 2007) that we will keep the alcohol limit under review. But our first priority is to ensure effective enforcement of the current limit so as to tackle those who are the most seriously impaired.

Copies of the 1998 consultation document and the 2007 review report are in the Library of the House.

Durham Green Developments Ltd.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations her Department has received from Durham Green Developments Ltd., in relation to planning and transport, in the last 36 months. (176369)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to his question on 22 January 2008, Official Report, column 819W, in respect of Durham Green Business Park. There have been no other representations.

Eurostar: Waterloo Station

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will ensure that platforms 21 to 25 at Waterloo International continue to be available for trains after they are handed back by Eurostar. (180662)

It is primarily the railway infrastructure outside Waterloo that limits the number of trains that can use the station rather than the number of platforms. Therefore the need is to run longer trains rather than more trains. So we are planning a large scheme to make all the platforms long enough to accommodate 10 and 12 car trains and to modify the junction layout on the approaches to the station. Such a scheme would allow the use of up to 50 per cent. longer trains than currently use the short platforms and would result in a large increase in capacity. The scheme is likely to require the use of all five platforms at Waterloo International. The scheme also presents opportunities at Waterloo International to reconfigure the passenger circulation space and the interchange with other transport modes, and to better integrate the station into the surrounding area. Such an ambitious scheme requires very detailed planning to make the most of this unique opportunity.

In order to make the best use of the facility in the meantime, the Department is working closely with Network Rail and Stagecoach South Western Trains to finalise the design and costs of the partial conversion of Waterloo International to accommodate some domestic services. Therefore some services could use platform 20 of Waterloo International from the timetable change date in December 2008.

First Great Western: Complaints

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints she has received on the operation of the First Great Western franchise. (183049)

In the last 12 months Ministers and officials at the Department for Transport have received several hundred e-mails, letters and phone calls regarding various aspects of First Greater Western operations.

Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many vehicles over 25 years of age pay vehicle excise duty for all or part of the year; (178834)

(2) how many vehicles have free historic vehicle tax discs.

The numbers of licensed vehicles over 25 years of age at the end of 2006 and registered in Great Britain were as follows:

Number of licensed vehicles (thousand)

All vehicles

723

Exempt from vehicle excise duty—historic vehicle

307

Exempt from vehicle excise duty—other reasons

232

Not exempt from vehicle excise duty

183

The data given above include vehicles where the year of manufacture is not known.

Network Rail

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the terms are of the binding commitment between her and Network Rail referred to in paragraph 1.4.10 of the White Paper The Future of Rail, Cm 6233, dated 15 July 2004; (180880)

(2) what steps she has taken to use her powers of determination or enforcement under the binding commitment between her and Network Rail referred to in paragraph 1.4.10 of the White Paper The Future of Rail, Cm 6233, dated 15 July 2004.

The July 2004 White Paper proposed a binding arrangement between the Secretary of State and Network Rail. This would combine existing regulatory requirements, imposed, monitored and enforced by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), together with a new Department for Transport (DFT)—Network Rail Reporting Requirement setting out their working relationship.

Under the binding arrangement, at the outset of a periodic or interim review, the Secretary of State has the sole responsibility for specifying the high level outputs that she wants the railway to deliver in England and Wales, and the Government funds available for their delivery. The independent ORR assesses whether the two are consistent and determines the outputs required of Network Rail, and the funding necessary to deliver them in the most efficient way. The ORR then monitors Network Rail to ensure it is delivering the Secretary of State’s requirements.

The DFT—Network Rail Reporting Requirement was drawn up in conjunction with the ORR and published in November 2005. It sets out the arrangements for effective communication between Network Rail and the Secretary of State; and aims to ensure that the Department is kept properly informed of Network Rail’s progress in delivering the agreed high level outputs. It falls to Network Rail to deliver within this strategic framework; and for the ORR to continue to have sole responsibility for enforcement in the event of non-compliance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what powers of binding determination and enforcement are exercised by the West Coast Project Board. (180882)

The West Coast Project Board is an advisory panel that has no powers of binding determination and enforcement. Constituted of cross-industry senior level representation, its purpose is to address industry barriers that threaten the delivery of planned timetable improvements on the West Coast from December 2008.

Railway Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the stations code will be brought into effect in each region. (180883)

Adoption of the stations code, an industry initiative to improve the complex contractual arrangements at stations, is a matter for Network Rail and the individual train operating companies involved. An industry working group is working towards facilitating implementation of the stations code including agreeing a timetable for implementation on a phased geographical basis.

Railways: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents have occurred involving a motor vehicle striking (a) rail infrastructure and (b) railway bridges; and if she will consider reclaiming the costs of repair from drivers in those instances where the cause of the accident was negligence. (183050)

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has provided the following statistics on train accidents due to road vehicle incursions:

Trains colliding with road vehicles not at level crossings

Trains colliding with road vehicles at level crossings

Trains running into fallen debris (bridge parapet etc.) following a road traffic accident

2002

6

16

0

2003

1

30

1

2004

5

20

0

2005

6

21

1

2006

11

14

2

A rail infrastructure manager, such as Network Rail, could seek damages against a motorist who caused an accident.

Railways: Birmingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had with Network Rail on the major engineering works scheduled for the Birmingham area between 29 February and 2 March 2008, with particular regard to the avoidance of disruption for travellers; and if she will make a statement. (178826)

The Government have no power to intervene in Network Rail’s operations. However, the Secretary of State met with Iain Coucher, chief executive of Network Rail, on 3 January to inform him that the disruption to rail services from the engineering over-runs over the Christmas/new year period, particularly on the West Coast Main Line at Rugby, was unacceptable; and to seek his assurance that such delays would not be repeated and that lessons will be learned.

Railways: Subsidies

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what subsidy has been provided from the public purse per passenger for rail travel in each of the regions in England in each of the last five years. (181753)

The Department does not hold the information in the form requested. However, details of subsidy paid, and premiums received split between each passenger franchise to a subsidy or premium per passenger kilometre level are available in National Rail Trends which is published by the Office of Rail Regulation. Copies of this document are available in the Library of the House.

Railways: Theft

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have been successfully prosecuted in the latest 12 month period for which figures are available for stealing copper and other metal from the railway network; and if she will make a statement. (183023)

This information is not held by the Department for Transport but by the British Transport police who can be contacted at: British Transport police, 25 Camden road, London NW1 9LN, e-mail: mail to:

parliament@btp.pnn.police.uk

Road Works

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the statutory Network Management Duty introduced in the Traffic Management Act 2004 on the co-ordination and management of road works in each local traffic authority area. (182653)

In 2006, local transport plans produced by local authorities outside London were assessed to determine how authorities performed in each category of the network management duty.

The assessment found that the average mark across these authorities for the Works Management category was “Fair” but the average for all categories was “Good”.

The full assessment can be found on the Department for Transport's website at the following address:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/tmaportal/tmafeatures/tmapart2/assessnmdltp

The Department has recently commissioned a three year evaluation contract which aims to determine the effectiveness in mitigating congestion and disruption of different parts of the Traffic Management Act including Network Management and works in the highway. The conclusions will become available towards the end of the contract period.

Roads: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will draw up a road safety strategy for 2010 and beyond. (175821)

Department for Transport officials have begun preliminary discussions with key road safety interests about the new road safety strategy, with a view to wider public consultation later this year.

Shipping: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is taking to improve maritime safety standards following the sinking of the Flying Phantom. (182175)

The incident involving the sinking of the Flying Phantom is being investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will consider any recommendations published in the MAIB’s final report.

Home Department

Animal Experiments: Cosmetics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason her Department prohibits the granting of licences to test the safety of cosmetics and their ingredients using animals. (181047)

The Government secured a voluntary ban on testing cosmetic finished products and ingredients on animals in the United Kingdom in November 1997 and this position has been maintained. The ban was pursued because we believe that there is inadequate justification for the use of animals given the benefits of these products and the alternative tests available.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many post-conviction antisocial behaviour orders were issued in each constabulary area in the last period for which figures are available; what assessment she has made of the variation in bureaucratic procedures used by constabularies for post-conviction antisocial behaviour orders; how many pages each constabulary’s application form runs to; and if she will make a statement. (182583)

Data on antisocial behaviour orders on conviction broken down by constabulary area are not yet available but are due to be published in the spring. Police forces devise their own application forms for antisocial behaviour orders and no assessment has been made of the variation in their procedures. It is therefore not possible to say how long the forms are.

Bail

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrests for breach of bail conditions were made in each police area in the last year for which data is available. (182301)

[holding answer 25 January 2008]: The data collected by the Ministry of Justice on arrests are broken down by offence group and therefore do not specifically identify arrests for breach of bail conditions.

Cocaine

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crack houses have been closed down in each of the last 12 months; and under what powers they were closed down. (182776)

The official published figures are released on an annual basis as follows:

2003-04: 94 ‘crack house’ closure orders

2004-05: 286 ‘crack house’ closure orders

2005-06: 342 ‘crack house’ closure orders

The Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 introduced the power for courts to issue orders for the closure of premises where Class A drugs and serious nuisance and disorder are a problem. The provision commenced on 20 January 2004.

The data for 2006-07 will be published spring 2008.

Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences of (a) violence against the person, (b) sexual offences, (c) robbery, (d) burglary, (e) theft and handling of stolen goods, (f) theft from the person, (g) theft from shops, (h) theft of vehicles, (i) theft from vehicles, (j) fraud and forgery, (k) criminal damage and (l) drug offences were recorded in each (i) UK police force area and (ii) settlement type as defined by the Rural and Urban Area Classification in each of the last 10 years. (181993)

[holding answer 25 January 2008]: Information at police force area level is published annually for the following offence groups: violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, burglary, theft and handling stolen goods, fraud and forgery, criminal damage and drug offences.

Figures for 1997 to 2006-07 are provided in the individual volumes of the annual publication “Crime Statistics, England and Wales”.

Statistics for theft from the person, thefts from shops and thefts of and from vehicles are published annually for individual police force areas from 1997 to 2000-01 in table 3.1 of “Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, Supplementary Volume 3”.

Statistics for these four offences from 2001-02 onwards are given in the following tables.

Copies of all the publications referred to above should be available in the Library.

The Home Office does not receive recorded crime data at the detailed geographic level as defined by the Rural and Urban Area Classification.

Table 1: Recorded offences of theft from the person 2001-02 to 2006-07

2001-02

2002-031

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Avon and Somerset

2,120

2,554

2,149

1,657

1,540

2,282

Bedfordshire

111

1,094

1,311

1,214

1,601

1,298

British Transport Police

n/a

13,096

12,112

10,543

9,953

9,943

Cambridgeshire

689

1,087

976

892

846

930

Cheshire

500

861

947

869

1,499

1,498

Cleveland

606

932

1,023

1,057

1,129

1,148

Cumbria

126

188

210

179

215

161

Derbyshire

1,835

2,301

2,180

1,885

1,785

1,668

Devon and Cornwall

735

1,712

1,677

1,676

1,583

1,688

Dorset

629

1,063

945

825

814

767

Durham

436

404

387

277

399

492

Dyfed-Powys

29

24

75

148

122

128

Essex

1,449

1,810

1,783

1,420

1,272

716

Gloucestershire

772

925

942

837

882

823

Greater Manchester

7,475

8,809

7,610

5,304

5,305

5,262

Gwent

195

375

409

465

449

535

Hampshire

1,039

1,699

2,396

2,135

2,085

2,059

Hertfordshire

1,146

2,185

2,298

2,767

2,882

2,417

Humberside

1,478

1,817

1,890

1,440

1,768

1,632

Kent

841

1,217

1,163

1,212

1,626

1,303

Lancashire

2,067

1,566

1,802

1,688

1,670

1,525

Leicestershire

1,455

1,799

1,784

1,676

1,765

1,820

Lincolnshire

296

506

536

487

470

392

London, City of

256

295

266

293

323

438

Merseyside

2,191

3,885

3,659

3,800

3,751

3,274

Metropolitan Police

48,510

51,876

46,217

42,047

42,677

37,969

Norfolk

477

750

725

626

607

753

Northamptonshire

692

937

987

1,029

1,190

1,105

Northumbria

1,615

2,965

2,648

2,299

1,863

1,275

North Wales

535

561

463

377

280

262

North Yorkshire

864

1,341

1,448

1,030

1,058

807

Nottinghamshire

3,744

3,924

3,420

2,663

2,526

2,595

South Wales

814

2,536

2,802

2,614

2,405

2,296

South Yorkshire

1,904

2,681

2,326

2,284

2,560

2,699

Staffordshire

1,382

1,478

1,348

1,260

1,322

1,229

Suffolk

477

575

632

773

779

698

Surrey

609

805

829

576

582

466

Sussex

2,481

2,830

2,923

2,902

3,650

3,339

Thames valley

3,683

5,018

4,425

4,266

4,148

4,178

Warwickshire

342

394

359

416

439

408

West Mercia

972

1,125

990

721

723

757

West Midlands

8,202

6,287

5,319

3,674

3,348

2,949

West Yorkshire

7,954

9,470

8,082

7,036

7,248

6,165

Wiltshire

449

731

681

742

728

716

England and Wales

114,848

148,488

137,154

122,081

123,867

114,865

Table 2: Recorded offences of theft from shops 2001-02 to 2006-07

2001-02

2002-031

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Avon and Somerset

9,106

8,410

8,658

8,087

8,655

9,423

Bedfordshire

3,663

3,724

3,708

3,384

3,741

3,617

British Transport Police

n/a

1,543

1,439

1,382

1,594

1,545

Cambridgeshire

4,024

4,420

4,165

3,630

3,760

3,845

Cheshire

4,599

5,542

5,638

5,132

6,267

6,554

Cleveland

6,916

6,207

5,039

4,344

4,924

4,652

Cumbria

2,795

2,571

2,505

2,507

2,686

2,271

Derbyshire

5,022

5,455

4,852

3,810

3,550

3,246

Devon and Cornwall

5,853

7,126

6,730

7,214

7,431

7,416

Dorset

3,180

3,480

3,238

3,308

3,543

3,530

Durham

3,575

2,996

2,709

2,392

2,565

2,339

Dyfed-Powys

1,427

1,390

1,533

1,513

1,455

1,444

Essex

7,149

8,336

8,306

8,489

9,607

9,329

Gloucestershire

3,670

3,816

3,854

3,108

3,354

3,347

Greater Manchester

16,648

16,399

15,489

13,343

14,396

14,827

Gwent

3,085

2,878

2,970

2,806

2,960

2,894

Hampshire

9,311

9,784

11,276

11,195

11,670

11,693

Hertfordshire

4,421

5,474

5,536

5,960

6,101

6,587

Humberside

8,111

8,114

7,676

6,643

6,112

6,762

Kent

7,943

8,394

8,411

8,495

9,991

10,164

Lancashire

8,050

7,781

8,579

8,254

8,655

8,564

Leicestershire

4,846

4,778

4,497

4,428

4,871

5,067

Lincolnshire

3,504

3,517

3,091

3,098

3,390

3,263

London, City of

755

939

982

836

737

770

Merseyside

9,777

9,710

8,662

8,340

9,327

9,623

Metropolitan Police

42,522

41,999

40,116

39,764

41,040

36,944

Norfolk

3,440

3,730

3,877

3,668

3,814

4,122

Northamptonshire

3,451

3,948

3,983

3,747

3,676

3,527

Northumbria

10,565

10,911

9,577

8,775

8,364

9,378

North Wales

3,669

4,020

3,739

3,051

3,111

3,401

North Yorkshire

4,303

4,604

4,966

3,607

3,725

3,629

Nottinghamshire

10,129

9,578

9,421

7,648

7,129

6,907

South Wales

6,726

6,988

7,114

6,586

6,971

6,757

South Yorkshire

7,638

8,214

7,607

6,591

8,028

7,588

Staffordshire

6,411

5,889

5,531

5,064

5,664

5,951

Suffolk

3,072

3,289

3,150

2,856

3,101

2,681

Surrey

3,665

3,680

3,827

3,622

3,416

3,702

Sussex

8,157

6,988

7,077

7,738

8,403

8,229

Thames valley

11,191

11,350

11,175

10,897

10,923

11,542

Warwickshire

2,464

2,235

2,307

1,918

2,009

2,030

West Mercia

6,433

5,895

6,211

5,745

5,457

5,706

West Midlands

20,053

18,352

17,524

14,344

15,464

14,918

West Yorkshire

12,735

13,858

13,974

11,368

11,782

11,935

Wiltshire

2,542

2,569

2,516

2,440

2,580

2,585

England and Wales

306,596

310,881

303,235

281,127

295,999

294,304

Table 3: Recorded offences of theft of a motor vehicle 2001-02 to 2006-07

2001-02

2002-031

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Avon and Somerset

12,181

11,983

8,705

7,070

6,280

6,108

Bedfordshire

3,873

3,111

2,834

1,965

2,185

1,882

British Transport Police

n/a

1,357

1,201

811

541

457

Cambridgeshire

2,941

3,638

3,307

2,720

2,265

2,347

Cheshire

4,625

4,503

3,994

3,599

3,503

2,935

Cleveland

4,797

4,468

4,463

3,616

2,901

2,256

Cumbria

1,115

1,244

1,060

1,101

1,087

948

Derbyshire

3,832

4,062

3,571

2,785

2,693

2,525

Devon and Cornwall

3,392

3,907

3,396

3,256

3,058

3,025

Dorset

2,499

2,276

2,199

1,767

1,499

1,395

Durham

2,712

2,423

2,369

2,088

2,134

1,889

Dyfed-Powys

841

833

795

727

619

588

Essex

7,505

7,664

7,283

6,419

6,253

5,629

Gloucestershire

1,828

1,977

2,264

1,949

1,706

1,451

Greater Manchester

31,969

26,252

21,870

18,794

17,001

14,877

Gwent

2,610

3,046

3,507

3,189

2,694

2,633

Hampshire

6,506

6,278

5,822

4,871

4,394

4,726

Hertfordshire

3,810

4,287

4,323

3,445

3,361

2,821

Humberside

6,501

7,607

7,619

6,096

4,857

4,067

Kent

7,237

7,138

6,749

6,181

6,438

5,650

Lancashire

6,154

5,585

5,231

4,514

3,849

3,738

Leicestershire

4,604

4,576

3,986

3,506

2,566

2,772

Lincolnshire

1,885

2,101

1,932

1,833

1,690

1,608

London, City of

380

334

226

97

74

75

Merseyside

15,081

13,081

11,403

9,354

7,161

6,198

Metropolitan Police

62,112

58,405

55,158

48,026

43,463

37,599

Norfolk

1,888

2,288

2,173

1,851

1,577

1,468

Northamptonshire

3,758

3,817

3,642

3,415

2,896

2,731

Northumbria

7,837

6,981

6,445

5,189

4,748

3,883

North Wales

1,949

2,087

2,038

1,740

1,486

1,607

North Yorkshire

2,349

2,623

2,672

2,097

2,154

1,585

Nottinghamshire

7,714

8,782

8,014

6,284

4,798

4,609

South Wales

11,557

11,844

9,793

7,336

6,896

6,484

South Yorkshire

8,294

10,241

9,621

8,005

7,648

7,481

Staffordshire

5,637

4,463

4,209

3,470

3,411

3,235

Suffolk

1,693

1,606

1,459

1,645

1,264

1,408

Surrey

2,881

3,110

2,947

2,413

2,229

2,205

Sussex

5,442

5,992

5,313

4,379

3,626

3,353

Thames valley

10,255

9,111

8,753

7,651

6,829

6,384

Warwickshire

2,118

2,282

2,125

1,919

1,751

1,696

West Mercia

3,336

3,371

3,432

3,179

2,629

2,340

West Midlands

25,385

23,598

23,217

17,091

14,482

12,249

West Yorkshire

23,765

22,867

19,473

13,961

10,455

9,469

Wiltshire

1,267

1,308

1,265

1,328

1,031

1,024

England and Wales

328,115

318,507

291,858

242,732

214,182

193,410

Table 4: Recorded offences of theft from a vehicle 2001-02 to 2006-07

2001-02

2002-031

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Avon and Somerset

28,610

24,266

20,303

16,936

15,629

15,942

Bedfordshire

8,852

8,323

7,337

6,448

6,735

6,949

British Transport Police

n/a

4,982

4,742

4,070

4,100

3,884

Cambridgeshire

9,804

9,707

7,365

6,449

6,080

6,429

Cheshire

8,820

9,400

8,850

8,011

8,181

7,370

Cleveland

9,454

9,826

8,030

6,510

6,035

5,598

Cumbria

3,368

3,509

3,054

2,840

2,091

1,897

Derbyshire

12,471

12,730

10,787

7,418

7,174

7,490

Devon and Cornwall

14,157

15,470

13,205

11,734

10,786

10,380

Dorset

7,310

7,141

6,404

4,813

5,144

3,863

Durham

5,086

5,023

4,704

3,415

3,952

4,240

Dyfed-Powys

1,209

1,195

1,530

1,604

1,250

1,417

Essex

13,356

13,906

13,757

12,334

13,781

12,736

Gloucestershire

6,312

5,763

6,143

4,810

3,992

3,812

Greater Manchester

42,806

41,022

37,414

31,178

35,802

39,189

Gwent

4,406

5,286

5,416

5,394

5,656

4,972

Hampshire

15,353

15,985

14,947

11,668

13,446

15,140

Hertfordshire

10,453

12,315

11,916

9,664

9,145

8,376

Humberside

14,843

14,881

13,810

11,187

10,748

9,694

Kent

13,361

13,676

12,492

11,713

12,387

11,772

Lancashire

14,861

13,289

11,468

10,822

10,521

10,458

Leicestershire

11,749

11,410

10,030

7,868

7,413

7,748

Lincolnshire

4,897

5,756

4,571

4,074

4,115

3,810

London, City of

511

360

357

156

178

156

Merseyside

14,901

14,973

14,961

13,893

14,997

12,806

Metropolitan Police

112,146

114,987

103,899

88,164

94,309

92,137

Norfolk

7,909

8,451

6,223

4,440

3,812

4,030

Northamptonshire

7,577

8,051

9,069

7,161

6,267

6,356

Northumbria

12,573

13,283

11,644

10,836

10,846

9,545

North Wales

5,712

6,006

5,575

3,609

2,671

2,697

North Yorkshire

5,822

6,947

6,844

4,379

4,589

4,635

Nottinghamshire

20,818

22,227

20,303

16,476

17,741

15,965

South Wales

14,324

18,579

17,289

15,456

16,538

16,221

South Yorkshire

20,427

20,948

19,573

16,199

17,962

17,704

Staffordshire

12,314

10,094

9,576

7,800

7,646

7,682

Suffolk

5,222

4,676

4,323

3,818

4,017

3,990

Surrey

6,513

6,879

6,973

6,830

6,793

7,385

Sussex

15,798

15,116

13,463

10,787

9,856

9,220

Thames valley

31,525

28,518

26,710

23,385

22,426

22,119

Warwickshire

5,899

6,195

5,131

4,725

4,520

5,200

West Mercia

9,725

9,705

8,702

7,764

7,123

6,525

West Midlands

38,239

37,240

33,894

25,380

24,910

27,082

West Yorkshire

41,671

41,340

36,287

24,525

22,557

24,566

Wiltshire

3,997

4,243

4,185

3,617

3,318

3,676

England and Wales

655,161

663,679

603,256

500,360

507,239

502,663

n/a = Not available.

1 The National Crime Recording standard was introduced in April 2002. Figures before and after that date are not directly comparable.

Crime: Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether each individual instance of money stolen through the cloning of debit and credit cards is counted as a distinct crime in local police crime statistics; and if she will make a statement. (182269)

[holding answer 25 January 2008]: From 15 January 2007 a revised system of recording plastic card fraud was introduced with agreement from the Association of Payment Clearing Services, Association of Chief Police Officers and police forces. The first stage was the introduction of a less bureaucratic method of recording crimes based on the numbers of accounts defrauded as opposed to the number of individual fraudulent transactions on an account; this also reflecting the fact that in most cases the financial institution where the account is held stands the financial loss rather than the separate parties to individual transactions.

The 2nd stage introduced from 1 April 2007 was to give financial institutions a network of single points of contact within each police force where they can report cheque and plastic card fraud which will appear in local police statistics.

Where individual account holders or traders are not refunded moneys lost through fraud on plastic cards by their financial institution, they can also report the matter to police, where it must appear in local police statistics on crime based on the number of accounts defrauded.

Full guidance issued to both police and financial institutions is contained within the Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime (which is a public document available online at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/countrules.html

under Classification 53C.

Crime: Victims

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance is given to police forces on the requirement to record the ethnic origin of victims of crime before crime numbers are issued. (182294)

The National Crime Recording Standard and Home Office Counting Rules provide guidance to forces on how they record and classify crimes. There is no requirement under either of these policies for police to require the ethnic origin of victims of crime before crime numbers can be issued.

Crimes of Violence: Females

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research the Respect Task Force has conducted on violence against women. (182676)

The Respect Task Force has not undertaken any research (nor planned any future research) which specifically relates to violence against women.

Criminal Records Bureau

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken was by the Criminal Records Bureau to process a records check in 2007, broken down by police force area. (170025)

Data concerning the average time taken by the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) to complete a Disclosure by police force area are not collated by the bureau.

The CRB operates to a set of published service standards (PSS) which include to issue 90 per cent. of Standard Disclosures within 10 days and 90 per cent. of Enhanced Disclosures within 28 days. The CRB has exceeded the PSS for Standard Disclosures for several years and has exceeded the PSS for Enhanced Disclosures since April 2007.

Forces performance can be affected by a number of factors; the volume of cases sent to a force to process in any given month, the number of staff available to process the checks and the IT resources on hand to forces. With these variables, performance can fluctuate within individual forces from one month to the next.

The CRB has been supporting those forces that have encountered problems in meeting their targets by a range of measures including the provision of additional resources, monitoring performance, providing demand forecasting data and assistance in introducing new IT initiatives.

A revised service level agreement came into effect in April 2006 between the CRB and the 43 police forces of England and Wales. This new agreement, which was agreed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) places an additional focus on delivery and the responsibilities of chief officers and ACPO to ensure that the obligations within the service level agreement are met. Monthly performance figures for each of the police forces for their part of the disclosure service are now published on the CRB website at:

www.crb.gov.uk

Domestic Violence: Asians

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate she has made of numbers of Asian women subject to domestic violence in the (a) UK, (b) North East and (c) Tees Valley in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. (182535)

The Home Office does not routinely collect this data. However, the Government is aware of the specific issues faced by black and minority ethnic victims of domestic violence (including forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour based violence), and is currently developing a cross-Government work plan (in conjunction with the Association of Chief Police Officers) to take forward work in this area.

Forced Marriage

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of forced marriages which took place in the (a) UK, (b) North East and (c) Tees Valley in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. (182534)

The Forced Marriage Unit was established in 2005 as the Government's one stop shop for dealing with domestic and international aspects of forced marriage casework, policy and projects. Recognising the need to prevent forced marriages from taking place in the UK, in 2007 the Unit issued specific guidelines for registrars.

The Forced Marriage Unit received 5,000 enquiries and handled approximately 400 cases in 2007, 167 of which involved repatriation to the UK. We do not collate statistics on where forced marriages take place, but a new system to capture data on cases is being implemented this year.

Identity Cards

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans her Department has to publish the Gateway review on identity cards carried out by the Office of Government Commerce; and if she will make a statement. (169582)

[holding answer 29 November 2007]: There have been a number of Gateway reviews on identity cards, the National Identity Scheme and/or specific projects within the scheme.

The Identity and Passport Service has no current plans to publish the reports on the Gateway reviews.

National Identity Register

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she expects that data on the National Identity Register will be required for audit purposes by the National Audit Office. (174006)

The National Audit Office has full access to all Identity and Passport Service data as our external auditors. The type of data required to routinely audit Identity and Passport Service accounts however, is unlikely to specifically include National Identity Register data.

Once the National Identity Register is established, the Identity and Passport Service and the National Audit Office will agree what data may be required for audit purposes.

Passports: Lost Property

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 90W, on passports: lost property, how many such passports were reported as lost in the post in each year. (179764)

The figures given in the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 90W, on passports: lost property, for passports reported lost are drawn from reporting arrangements introduced in December 2003, which allow passport holders to advise us of passport losses and thefts. It is not possible to identify the number lost in the post from this data.

The numbers of passports lost while on delivery from IPS for the last five years are as follows:

Number

2001

2,541

2002

2,982

2003

3,593

2004 (February 2004 to January 2005)

601

2005 (February 2005 to January 2006)

1,018

2006 (February 2006 to January 2007)

727

2007 (February 2007 to October 2007)

586

Prior to 2004 new passports were delivered by Royal Mail (standard first class mail) but February 2004 saw the introduction of Secure Delivery, with the delivery of passports undertaken by Secure Mail Services, a courier service. All losses are added to the database of lost or stolen passports, and further measurers are in hand to reduce losses still further.

Police

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 28 November 2007, Official Report, column 468W, on police, how many police constables left the service in each age band in each of the last 10 years. (172181)

[holding answer 10 December 2007]: The available data which have been collected from 2002-03, are for police officers who leave the force from 2002-03 onwards, and are given in the following table.

Police officer leavers (headcount) by age from 2002-03 to 2006-071

Headcount

2002-03

25 and under

743

26 to 40

2,889

41 to 55

3,877

Over 55

279

2003-04

25 and under

740

26 to 40

2,720

41 to 55

3,440

Over 55

301

2004/052

25 and under

570

26 to 40

2,430

41 to 55

4,012

Over 55

319

2005-06

25 and under

551

26 to 40

2,629

41 to 55

5,333

Over 55

320

2006-07

25 and under

475

26 to 40

2,548

41 to 55

4,962

Over 55

322

1 Number of officers who leave during the reporting period. Period runs from 1 April to 31 March.

2 Data are not available for Leicestershire for 2004-05.

Note:

The majority of the these police officers leave due to retirement.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in each police force are aged (a) under 25, (b) between 25 and 34, (c) between 35 and 44, (d) between 45 and 54, (e) between 55 and 59 and (f) over 60. (183053)

Police officer age is collected within specific age bands only, and the available data are given in the table as follows.

Numbers of police officers (headcount)1 in post as at 31 March 2007 by age group

25 and under

26 to 40

41 to 55

Over 55

Avon and Somerset

251

1865

1,358

14

Bedfordshire

138

643

434

8

Cambridgeshire

104

764

548

5

Cheshire

165

1,283

811

3

Cleveland

130

918

708

2

Cumbria

88

635

572

4

Derbyshire

143

1,050

879

10

Devon and Cornwall

188

1,843

1,544

18

Dorset

99

829

621

9

Durham

76

932

707

6

Dyfed-Powys

50

664

496

2

Essex

517

1,592

1,267

21

Gloucestershire

96

690

559

5

Greater Manchester

606

4,283

3,144

20

Gwent

86

838

575

13

Hampshire

322

2,151

1,463

15

Hertfordshire

287

1,243

702

4

Humberside

169

1,104

989

15

Kent

451

2,078

1,218

29

Lancashire

258

2,039

1,366

3

Leicestershire

178

1,240

855

8

Lincolnshire

73

599

572

9

London, City of

46

433

385

7

Merseyside

387

2,055

2,022

17

Metropolitan police

2,503

16,872

11,943

208

Norfolk

90

852

663

4

Northamptonshire

93

707

538

1

Northumbria

196

2,131

1,691

6

North Wales

88

832

700

2

North Yorkshire

144

895

652

0

Nottinghamshire

172

1,334

959

14

South Wales

151

1,905

1,295

17

South Yorkshire

204

1,767

1,344

13

Staffordshire

169

1,297

877

15

Suffolk

103

743

534

4

Surrey

155

1,106

732

o

Sussex

339

1,751

1,066

13

Thames Valley

441

2,264

1,599

23

Warwickshire

104

554

412

1

West Mercia

163

1,244

1,034

11

West Midlands

755

4,731

2,862

40

West Yorkshire

591

2,995

2,180

23

Wiltshire

66

645

557

4

1 Headcount figures; full-time and part-time officers are counted individually as one officer. This differs from the main officer count which is on a full-time equivalent basis. The figures include officers on career breaks and maternity/paternity leave.

Police Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 November 2007, Official Report, column 680W, on police stations, what information her Department holds on the number of stations that have closed. (173146)

Information on the number of police stations opened and closed in England and Wales has been collected centrally from police authorities via a yearly survey. Due to the changes in the use of police buildings it has proved to be difficult to obtain comprehensive information as to the number of police stations in use and of the number opening and closing in any year.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) police stations there were in each parliamentary constituency in (i) 1997, (ii) 2001, (iii) 2005 and (iv) 2006. (178562)

The information requested is as follows.

(a) Information on police numbers is published annually in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin series “Police Service Strength, England and Wales.” The bulletins are available in the Library of the House, and can be downloaded from the publications link within the Research Development and Statistics directorate website located at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/index.html

The available data are at the police force level and are given in the table.

(b) The management of the police estate and allocation of resources are matters for each police authority and the chief officer, who are responsible for assessing local needs. The Home Office does not have reliable data submitted by all forces on the total number of police stations.

Police officer strength1 (FTE)2 by police force as at 31 March 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2006

Police force

31 March 19973

31 March 20014

31 March 20055

31 March 20065

Avon and Somerset

2,989

2,994

3,384

3,389

Bedfordshire

1,094

1,036

1,215

1,198

Cambridgeshire

1,302

1,296

1,402

1,430

Cheshire

2,046

2,002

2,186

2,174

Cleveland

1,459

1,407

1,676

1,677

Cumbria

1,144

1,048

1,232

1,230

Derbyshire

1,791

1,823

2,070

2,046

Devon and Cornwall

2,865

2,934

3,369

3,493

Dorset

1,284

1,354

1,450

1,485

Durham

1,461

1,595

1,718

1,699

Essex

2,961

2,897

3,190

3,279

Gloucestershire

1,133

1,173

1,291

1,289

Greater Manchester

6,922

6,909

8,041

7,959

Hampshire

3,452

3,438

3,725

3,707

Hertfordshire

1,759

1,922

2,104

2,126

Humberside

2,045

1,917

2,230

2,224

Kent

3,260

3,319

3,586

3,599

Lancashire

3,248

3,255

3.551

3,583

Leicestershire

1,949

2,032

2,283

2,250

Lincolnshire

1,196

1,202

1,221

1,213

London, City of

859

703

876

869

Merseyside

4,230

4,081

4,317

4,269

Metropolitan Police

26,677

24,878

30,710

30,536

Norfolk

1,432

1,420

1,544

1,557

Northamptonshire

1,177

1,157

1,267

1,317

Northumbria

3,677

3,857

4,048

3,983

North Yorkshire

1,338

1,305

1,543

1,636

Nottinghamshire

2,323

2,275

2,502

2,477

South Yorkshire

3,159

3,197

3,265

3,255

Staffordshire

2,211

2,129

2,280

2,272

Suffolk

1,174

1,133

1,313

1,300

Surrey

1,620

2,066

1,915

1,922

Sussex

3,085

2,855

3,044

3,092

Thames Valley

3,695

3,703

4,114

4,229

Warwickshire

926

926

1,011

1,032

West Mercia

2,040

1,951

2,367

2,351

West Midlands

7,113

7,423

8,056

8,097

West Yorkshire

5,209

4,815

5,631

5,644

Wiltshire

1,154

1,120

1,222

1,219

Dyfed-Powys

1,005

1,055

1,174

1,182

Gwent

1,243

1,274

1,438

1,467

North Wales

1,369

1,444

1,652

1,617

South Wales

2,976

3,154

3,281

3,263

1 This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items.

2 Full-time equivalent excludes those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

3 Boundary changes on 1 April 1996 transferred resources for the policing of the Rhmney Valley from South Wales police to Gwent police.

4 Boundary changes on 1 April 2000 transferred some resources from the Metropolitan police to Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey police forces.

5 Comparable strength (excludes those on career breaks, or maternity/paternity leave). The Police Numbers Task Force (2001) recommended that a clear presentation was made of the numbers of staff employed by police forces including those seconded into the force and those on any type of long or short term absence. These new calculations were first used in 2003, and are not comparable with data prior to March 2003. The data from 2003 onwards used here are termed comparable because they have been calculated on the old basis to allow comparison.

Police: Firearms

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have received injuries from firearms while on duty (a) in England and Wales and (b) broken down by police force area in each year since 1997. (176074)

Data on crimes recorded by the police in which a police officer on duty was injured by a firearm (excluding air weapons) from 1997-98 up to and including 2005-06 and are given in the table.

Crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in which a police officer was injured by a firearm (excluding air weapons), by police force area 1997-98 to 2005-06

Police force area

Total injuries

1997-98

London Region

2

Northamptonshire

1

Nottinghamshire

1

West Midlands

2

England and Wales total

6

1998-99 1

Devon and Cornwall

2

Greater Manchester

3

Leicestershire

1

London Region

5

England and Wales total

11

1999-2000

Avon and Somerset

1

Cheshire

1

London City of

1

Staffordshire

1

West Midlands

4

England and Wales total

10

2000-01 2

Greater Manchester

5

London Region

1

South Yorkshire

2

England and Wales total

8

2001-02

London Region

1

Staffordshire

1

Warwickshire

3

West Midlands

5

England and Wales total

10

2002-03 3

Gloucestershire

1

London Region

6

Northamptonshire

2

West Midlands

3

England and Wales total

12

2003-04

Cheshire

1

Devon and Cornwall

1

London Region

7

Nottinghamshire

1

West Midlands

2

West Yorkshire

2

England and Wales total

14

2004-05

Avon and Somerset

2

Devon and Cornwall

1

Greater Manchester

7

Hampshire

1

Humberside

1

London Region

9

West Midlands

2

England and Wales total

23

1 There was a change in counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998.

2 Numbers of some recorded crimes may have been inflated by some police forces implementing the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard before 1 April 2002.

3 The national Crime Recording Standard was introduced on 1 April 2002. Figures for some crime categories may have been inflated by this.

Police: Industrial Action

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contingency plans are in place for security in circumstances in which industrial action is taken by the police; and if she will make a statement. (174393)

Police: Interpreters

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance is issued to police forces on the provision of (a) sign language interpreters and (b) lipspeakers for hearing-impaired people detained or questioned by the police. (177213)

Guidance is contained in the “National Agreement on arrangements for the use of interpreters, translators and language service professionals in investigations and proceedings within the criminal justice system”. Annex C and D of the National Agreement give detailed guidance on how to source the appropriate language service professionals when a registered one is not available and how to identify the right mode of communication with a person who has a hearing impairment. Copies of the National Agreement have been placed in the Library. Additional guidance is issued in individual force areas at the discretion of the chief officer.

Police: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the maximum number of new police officers is that can be trained by each English police force in 2007-08. (175578)

It is currently estimated that a total of 5,455 new recruits will undertake police officer training in England between 2007 and 2008. The Metropolitan Police Service also plans to recruit 1,072 additional police officers during the same period, although this figure is variable. Such estimates are dependent on a number of factors based on funding, the number of applicants meeting the strict selection criteria and the capacity of forces to recruit and develop individuals.

Security Industry Authority

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what procedures the Security Industry Authority uses to validate previous addresses of licence applications who have lived abroad in any part of the preceding five years; (175541)

(2) how the Security Industry Authority (SIA) validates information supplied by applicants for an SIA licence who have been resident in the UK for less than 12 months; and how many applications for an SIA licence from such applicants have been refused because information supplied proved inaccurate since the SIA was established.

Information on the procedure to establish previous addresses and other information provided in licence applications can be found on the website of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and in the SIA’s booklets “Get Licensed” and “SIA Licence Application Form Guidance Notes”. Both documents are available on the SIA website at:

http://www.the-sia.org.uk/home/about_sia/publications/publications_licensing.htm

All applicants for the SIA licence must provide an address history with no gaps and include overseas addresses (where appropriate) covering a five year address history for the purposes of a Criminal Record Bureau check. In addition applicants must provide identification documents. At least one document must show a current address, at least one must show the applicant’s date of birth and at least one must include photo ID.

If the applicant has lived overseas or they have spent six continuous months or more outside the UK, they must provide evidence of a criminal record check from the relevant country or countries which is subject to checks by the SIA.

If applicants do not provide a full five-year address history the SIA will return the application form to them. If this information is not forthcoming a licence will not be issued to the applicant.

The SIA does not keep information on the numbers of refused applications for an SIA licence from applicants who have not been resident in the UK for more than 12 months.

Violent Crime Action Plan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to publish the violent crime action plan. (182853)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the violent crime action plan will include proposed primary legislation. (182855)

The tackling violence action plan will contain a wide range of proposals to tackle violent crime. It is possible that some may involve legislation but no final decisions have yet been made.

Duchy of Lancaster

Tony Blair

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether Tony Blair has sought access to Government papers for work on his memoirs; and if he will make a statement. (181081)

The Ministerial Code sets out the rules in relation to the clearance of memoirs and access to official papers. As has been the practice under successive administrations, any discussions between former Ministers and the Cabinet Secretary, including requests for access to papers, are undertaken on an in-confidence basis.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Education: Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which academic courses undertaken by prisoners had the 10 (a) highest and (b) lowest pass rates in the latest period for which figures are available. (180306)

Specialised Diplomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what mechanisms he plans to employ to train teachers to prepare pupils studying for the new school diplomas; where he expects such training to be delivered; what organisations in the (a) public and (b) private sector he expects to deliver such training; and if he will make a statement. (180441)

My colleagues in the Department for Children, Schools and Families are providing a nationwide programme of free training and support to prepare staff in schools and further education (FE) colleges to teach the first five Diplomas and functional skills.

This work is being delivered through eight partner organizations from the school and FE sectors. These are the national college of School Leadership (NCSL), the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL), the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK), the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA), the Specialist Schools and Academies trust (SSAT), the National Assessment Agency (NAA) and the Secondary National Strategies (SNS).

To prepare teachers and lecturers to deliver Diplomas, QIA and SSAT offer a three-day training package to all Diploma practitioners, which covers the Diploma model, employer engagement, and is developed in conjunction with Sector Skills Councils. The training events are delivered in a range of venues with at least one of the days delivered on site in a relevant occupational setting. The face-to-face training is supplemented by a range of electronic and hard copy materials and access to local teacher development networks.

We are also working closely with the awarding bodies that will be offering diploma qualifications to ensure that their offer of support to schools and colleges complements this range of training.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Capital Punishment

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of Afghanistan to stay the execution of the death sentence imposed on the journalist Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh charged with insulting Islam. (183312)

The Government were concerned to hear about the case of Sayed Parwez. We are opposed to the death penalty for any crime. We fully support the right to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial. We are pursuing the matter in Afghanistan through the EU and UN. The office of the UN Special Representative in Afghanistan has already called publicly for a review of the case.

Afghanistan: Civil Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funds are available to facilitate the training of the next generation of Afghan civil servants in the UK or the US; and how many individuals have participated in such a scheme. (182191)

The Government are funding a number of projects to train Afghan civil servants to develop the necessary skills to support a stable and functioning administration in Afghanistan. Some attend courses in the UK, although the majority receive training in Afghanistan. Programmes under way with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funding include the following:

in 2005-06 the Chevening programme spent £83,156 on seven Chevening scholars from Afghanistan (two part-funded by co-sponsors), of whom at least three were civil servants. The FCO also spent approximately £100,000 funding five Chevening fellows of whom three were civil servants. In 2006-07 the FCO spent £148,402 funding 10 scholars (two part-funded by co-sponsors), of whom five were civil servants. In 2007-08 the FCO has committed £330,788 for 13 scholars (one part-funded), of whom six are civil servants;

in 2008 the joint FCO-Department for International Development-Ministry of Defence Stabilisation Aid Fund has proposed a programme for 20 Afghan civil servants at the UK National School for Government. The fund has provisionally allocated £176,000 for this and related follow-up activities; and

the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team, led by the UK, has funded the pilot establishment of a civil service training centre in Lashkar Gah. £60,000 was provided for the first six-month period (August—February 2008) from the UK Quick Impact Projects Scheme, and 60 Afghan civil servants have so far received training there.

United States training is a matter for the authorities in the United States.

Afghanistan: Detainees

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Canadian Government on Omar Khadr’s detention at Guantanamo Bay and his forthcoming hearing before a military commission. (178828)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not discussed the case of Omar Khadr, who is a Canadian citizen, with the Canadian Government.

British Overseas Territories: Wildlife

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which wildlife species in Her Majesty's Overseas Territories exist solely in captivity. (183031)

There are no wildlife species native to Her Majesty's Overseas Territories that exist solely in captivity.

Christmas

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department's agencies spent on (a) Christmas cards and (b) postage of Christmas cards in each year since 1997. (182440)

Statistics on the purchase and postage costs of Christmas cards are not collected and could not be collated without incurring disproportionate cost.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) start date, (b) original planned completion date, (c) current expected completion date, (d) planned cost and (e) current estimated cost is for each information technology project being undertaken by his Department and its agencies; and if he will make a statement. (180568)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is running a wide range of information technology-enabled projects. Some are managed centrally, while others are initiated and managed by the holders of devolved budgets both in the UK or at posts overseas. For those centrally managed projects, and groups of projects marshalled together as programmes around a significant business change, the requested details are shown in the following table.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Current information technology projects > £2 million

Start date

Original planned completion date

Expected completion date

Originally planned costs (£ million)

Estimated costs (£ million)

Future Firecrest (AIM)1

February 2005

February 2012

February 2012

332.0

347.0

FCONet 32

March 2006

June 2007

February 2008

3.5

< 3.5

EDRM (eRecords/iRecords)3

September 2004

March 2010

March 2010

26.5

12.4

FCO Web Platform4

July 2005

November 2008

November 2008

13.5

9.7

Secure Video Conferencing

April 2007

March 2008

March 2008

2.5

2.5

Managed Reporting Service

January 2007

January 2008

January 2008

2.5

2.4

FTN (FCO Telecommunications Network) private finance initiative implementation and service 2000-105

May 2000

May 2010

May 2010

180.0

240.0

Ocean (Telecommunications reprocurement)6

October 2007

May 2010

May 2010

> 72

UKvisas Biometrics

May 2005

December 2007

March 2008

121.7

45.5

1 The cost of Future Firecrest has been increased by the obligation to implement central Government security policies instituted after the Future Firecrest contract had been agreed.

2 Exact final project costs are being calculated, and are known to be less than the £3.5 million budget, but are not available at the time of writing.

3 The scope of iRecords has been reduced in the light of financial constraints.

4 The scope, and hence costs, were reduced on examination of the full business case.

5 FTN is a service, chargeable by usage. The additional cost reflects a demand that has increased significantly since the original estimates of traffic volumes were drawn up in 2000. Unit costs have been reduced, but this is obscured in the headline figure.

6 The scope, and hence the cost, of Ocean will be determined shortly; the cost of the procurement is likely to exceed £2 million.

7 To be determined.

Note:

Implementation of the Prism system, reported on in previous answers, was completed in May 2006, two months later than originally planned, and the implementation programme was closed at the end of March 2007 following the recommendation of an Office of Government Commerce Gateway Review.

Foreign Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what bilateral summits the Government intends to participate in 2008. (181039)

To compile a schedule of projected Ministerial and senior official travel for 2008 would be disproportionately costly.

Iran: Bahai Sect

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what diplomatic steps are being taken towards the government of Iran on the human rights of the Baha’i community in Iran. (183413)

We regularly raise our concerns about the treatment of Baha’is with the Iranian authorities, both bilaterally and through the EU. Most recently, the EU presidency raised concerns about the treatment of Baha’is in a meeting with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 22 January. The presidency specifically raised the case of a group of Baha’is recently arrested in Shiraz, including three individuals who were at the time imprisoned in the detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. We understand that this group has since been sentenced for “anti-regime propaganda”.

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution about the human rights situation in Iran in December last year, expressing very serious concern about increasing discrimination against religious and other minorities in Iran, including in particular “attacks on Baha’is and their faith in state-sponsored media, increasing evidence of efforts by the state to identify and monitor Baha’is and prevention of the Baha’i faith from attending university and from sustaining themselves economically”. The UK, through the EU, co-sponsored this resolution.

The Government continue to press the Iranian authorities to take seriously their international human rights obligations, uphold the right to freedom of religion and belief, as described in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and address the discrimination suffered by Iranian Baha’is.

Iran: Religious Freedom

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the safety of members of the Baha’i faith in Iran; and if he will make a statement. (178746)

We continue to be very concerned by the treatment of religious minorities in Iran, including Baha’is.

The Baha’i faith is not recognised under the Iranian constitution and as a result Baha’is routinely face discrimination and persecution. In recent years Baha’is have been subject to arbitrary arrests, confiscation of property and restrictions on employment. Denial of access to higher education has been a long-term problem for Baha’i students. We are also concerned about reports that Iranian newspapers, including hard-line Keyhan, have been carrying out a propaganda campaign against the Baha’i community.

We are concerned by the recent sentencing of 54 Baha’is for “anti-regime propaganda”. The EU presidency raised concerns about the treatment of Baha’is in a meeting with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 22 January. They specifically raised the case of this group and requested the Iranian government to abandon all proceedings against them.

The Government continue to press the Iranian authorities to take seriously their international human rights obligations, uphold the right to freedom of religion and belief, as described in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and address the discrimination suffered by Iranian Baha’is. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and raise our concerns about the treatment of Baha’is with the Iranian authorities, both bilaterally and through the EU.

Iraq: Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) with reference to his Department’s email, dated 25 January 2008, copied to the hon. Member for Billericay, on Coalition Information Centre documents, what the (a) origin, (b) recipient and (c) date of dispatch was in relation to each document referred to; (178786)

(2) further to the decision of the Information Tribunal of 22 January 2008, if he will reconsider his Department’s decision not to release documents relating to the Iraq dossier passed to and from the Coalition Information Centre in 2002 requested by the hon. Member for Billericay.

We continue to consider the information which the hon. Member requested to be exempt from disclosure for the reasons given to him in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s reply to his request of 13 September 2007.

USA: Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans there are for the UK to be associated with 26 November 2007 US/Iraq Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship; whether discussions have been held with US and Iraqi counterparts on this matter; and if he will make a statement. (174794)

We are in close contact with the US and Iraq as they formulate their views on the detail and structure of their long-term relationship following the US/Iraqi declaration of principles. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in his statement to the House on 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 23, a decision on the next phase of our military presence will be taken in Spring 2008. We will ensure that future civilian assistance, and any future military assistance, to Iraq is based on a sound legal and political footing.

Uzbekistan: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Uzbekistan; and if he will make a statement. (178652)

The overall human rights situation in Uzbekistan remains bleak, although there have been some positive steps over the last 12 months. On 1 January 2008, Uzbekistan abolished the death penalty and introduced a limited form of ‘habeas corpus’. The EU and Uzbekistan have established a human rights dialogue. These developments are outweighed, however, by continuing concerns in other areas. We continue to receive reports of violations of freedom of expression, religious freedom and the right to a fair trial. Civil society and the media remain under strict control. At least 14 human rights defenders are in prison; others suffer harassment and pressure that has forced some to leave Uzbekistan, or cease their activities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2008 Annual Human Rights Report contains a fuller analysis of the human rights situation in Uzbekistan.

We repeatedly and regularly register our concerns about individual cases and the human rights situation in general with the Uzbek authorities, both bilaterally and with EU partners. In Tashkent, the EU discussed a range of human rights issues with senior representatives of the Uzbek Government at the first session of the EU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue in May 2007. In October 2007, EU Foreign Ministers called on Uzbekistan to demonstrate progress in key areas of human rights by May 2008. There will be another session of the dialogue in 2008 and a seminar on media freedom. The EU special representative for Central Asia, Pierre Morel, visits Uzbekistan regularly and raises human rights concerns with the Uzbek Government.

Our embassy in Tashkent also maintains regular contact with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and activists throughout Uzbekistan. We have helped hon. Members to make contact with NGOs in Uzbekistan to work on human rights issues and have helped to develop the capacity of NGOs, including to report on human rights violations. We will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and make our concerns clear through a critical, but constructive, dialogue with the authorities. In November 2007, we funded an NGO to attend the UN Committee on Torture’s examination of Uzbekistan.

Visas: Entry Clearances

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the average length of time was for the processing of visa applications at each issuing post in the last five years for which figures are available. (181627)

As the information requested is lengthy I will arrange for it to be sent to the hon. Member and for copies to be placed in the Library of the House. The hon. Member will also wish to note that we are only able to provide figures for the years 2006 and 2007, as figures for previous years are not available.

Leader of the House

Departmental Information Officers

To ask the Leader of the House (1) how many (a) press and (b) communications officers her Office employed in each of the last 10 years; (182513)

(2) how much her Office paid in bonuses to press and communication officers in each of the last 10 years; and what the (a) highest and (b) lowest such bonus was in each of those years.

Press office services are provided by the Cabinet Office Communication Group.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Watson) on 29 January 2008, Official Report, column 248W.

Members: Pay

To ask the Leader of the House what the cost was of publishing the report of the Review Body on Senior Salaries on its review of parliamentary pay, pensions and allowances in 2007. (178781)

The cost of publishing the report of the Review Body on Senior Salaries on its review of parliamentary pay, pensions and allowances 2007 was £14,804.

Treasury

Child Benefit: Easington

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many single mothers were in receipt of child benefit in Easington constituency in the last period for which figures are available. (182917)

The information requested is not available. The child benefit system does not keep up to date information on whether a recipient is a single parent or part of a couple as it does not affect entitlement.

Child Benefit: Personal Records