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Mr. Maclean: I understand from the Metropolitan police that it is not yet possible to say when a report of this investigation will go to the Crown Prosecution Service; and that the American embassy has informed it that the Dixie Press has closed down.
Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the rules governing the running of Her Majesty's prisons are applicable to the running of the Campsfield and Harmondsworth detention centres.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Operating instructions for the management of immigration detention facilities, including Campsfield house and Harmondsworth, contain information which is sensitive from both commercial and security points of view. It would not therefore be proper to disclose their contents.
(2) how many children below the age of 18 years have been detained at Campsfield and Harmondsworth within the last five years; and from which countries they came to seek asylum in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: There is no lower age limit for detention at Campsfield or Harmondsworth. However, in practice unaccompanied young persons under the age of 18 are detained only in the most exceptional circumstances. Temporary admission is normally granted into the care of a suitable sponsor--usually a relative or close family friend--or the social services department.
Since November 1993, when Campsfield house opened, nine people who were, or claimed to have been, under 18 have been detained there. Of these, five have been confirmed as asylum seekers. Their nationalities were Turkish, Ghanaian, Angolan, Chinese and Cote d'Ivoirean.
The information requested is not available in relation to Harmondsworth and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The report by HM chief inspector of prisons, following his inspection of the detention facilities at Campsfield house, has not yet been finalised. Consideration to placing the report in the Library of the House will be given in due course.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to permit licensed bookmakers premises to sell national lottery tickets; if any review undertaken by him will apply to Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
I have no plans to amend the regulations issued under section 12 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 which prohibit the sale of national lottery tickets in licensed bookmakers premises. These regulations apply equally to all areas of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of dogs currently held in respect of charges under (a) the Dogs Acts and (b) the Dangerous Dogs Acts; what is the daily costs of keeping those animals in custody; how many of those animals are alleged to be pit bull or pit bull type; how many of those animals have been in custody for more than (a) three and (b) six months; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: There are presently 133 dogs held in police custody in England and Wales under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. No dogs are being held under other dogs Acts. Ninety-seven dogs are alleged to be of the type known as the pit bull terrier.
Thirty-one dogs have been held in custody for more than three months and 73 dogs for more than six months.
The daily cost of keeping dogs in custody ranges between £1.76 and £9, depending on the police force concerned.
Mr. Couchman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what conclusions he has reached on the recommendations of Mr. J. J. Rowe QC concerning the future of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989.
Mr. Howard: I have now considered Mr. Rowe's report, which was placed in the Library of the House on 17 February, and decided to accept his recommendation that the legislation should be renewed in its entirety for a further 12 months. A draft order to give effect to that is today being laid before the House.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue a leaflet for victims who have suffered from criminal activities to instruct them on their rights; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: The "Victims of Crime" leaflet is already available. It was first published in 1988 and a revised and augmented version was issued last October. The leaflet is given by the police to all victims of reported crime and tells them, among other things, how the crime
Column 657will be investigated, what will happen if the case goes to court, how they can apply for compensation, and what further sources of help and advice are available.
Later this year, we shall build on the victims charter by publishing a statement to service standards for victims of crime. This new, charter- style, document will tell victims in greater detail what they can expect of the criminal justice agencies and how they can complain if they do not receive the level of service which it specifies.
(2) how many court reports were completed by the North East London probation service during 1992 and 1993.
Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when Vafi Sita Kamara arrived in the United Kingdom; what was her age on arrival, when she first applied for asylum; what decisions were taken on her application and when; when she was detained; what was her age on detention; how long she has spent continuously in detention; and if he will make a statement on her current state of health.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) regulations or (b) guidelines govern his Department's accounting system in respect of the allocation of payments for redundancies in the data processing occurring in contract year one of the accounts and allocated over other years; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: It is assumed that this question relates to the contract with Sema Group plc awarded following the market test of Home Office administrative information technology services. The Home Office did not make any staff redundant as a consequence of this market test and the allocation of expenditure for such redundancies does not arise. All payments to the Sema Group in connection with this contract, including payments associated with their transitional and restructuring costs, will be allocated to the financial year in which the payments are made in accordance with the normal rules of Government cash accounting.
Column 658(2) what is the number of people seeking asylum who are presently detained, either awaiting a hearing or awaiting deportation.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: As at 23 February 1995, the longest currently detained person who had sought asylum has been held in detention since 14 August 1990. The individual concerned was detained following the Home Secretary's decision that his deportation would be conducive to the public good on grounds of national security. He subsequently applied for asylum, and his application was refused on 27 March 1991. My right hon. and learned Friend has given an undertaking that he should not be removed pending the exhaustion of rights of appeal before the domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights, should the individual wish to exercise these rights.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member from Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard) on 2 February 1995, Official Report, column 813, which gave the available information on the number of people detained pending an appeal or awaiting removal.
Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will publish a list of all the prisons and other establishments which people for asylum in the United Kingdom are being detained, and the numbers of detainees in each place; (2) how many of those people seeking asylum in United Kingdom and who are detained at Haslar prison have, in the past 12 months, (a) been given permission to remain in the United Kingdom as political refugees, (b) been deported to their country of origin, (c) died in detention, (d) committed suicide, (e) attempted to commit suicide, (f) applied for bail and (g) been granted bail; (3) how many people who are seeking asylum in Britain are currently held in prisons.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The majority of people detained under immigration powers are housed in immigration service detention centres at Harmondsworth and Campsfield house, or at Haslar, a Prison Service establishment run almost exclusively for this purpose. At 23 February 1995, 635 persons who had sought asylum were being detained. Of these, 268 persons were being detained in prison in the United Kingdom, including Haslar holding centre, and the remainder were being held in other immigration service detention centres. A list of the numbers of detainees in each place of detention is given in the table.
Details on persons who had sought asylum and were detained at Haslar holding centre in 1994 are not available. There were no incidents of death by suicide or otherwise among the asylum detainees at Haslar holding centre in 1994, but one person attempted suicide.
Number of persons detained who have claimed asylum as at 23\c| February 1995, by place of detention. Place of detention |Number detained ---------------------------------------------------------------- Prisons HMP Haslar |77 HMP Rochester |71 HMP Brixton |17 HMP Wormwood Scrubs |7 HMP Hull |4 HMP Pentonville |4 HMP Birmingham |28 HMP Horfield, Bristol |4 HMP Bullingdon |2 HMP Billingdon |1 HMP Blunderston |1 HMP Winchester |3 HMP Wandsworth |6 HMP Belmarsh |5 HMP Chelmsford |2 HMP Dorchester |1 HMP Armley, Leeds |4 HMP Erlestoke |1 HMP Highdown |1 HMP Liverpool |1 HMP Norwich |3 HMP Crumlin Road |1 HMP The Mount |1 HMP Whitemoor |1 HMP Bullwood Hall |1 HMP Exeter |1 HMP Greenock |4 HMP Hindley |1 HMP Holme House |1 HMP Lewes |1 HMP Manchester |3 HMP Risley |1 HMP Wayland |1 HMRC The Wolds |3 HMYOI Brinsford |5 |268 Other places of detention Campsfield House |151 Harmondsworth |95 Beehive, Gatwick |15 Queens Building |11 Newhaven |10 Dover Harbour Board |10 Stansted |5 Others<1> |70 |367 Total |635 <1> Includes other immigration service detention centres and police cells.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 9 February, Official Report, column 492, how many people were employed at Corby on data entry operation; how many were made redundant following its acquisition by Sema Group; and which organisation will be paying toward the redundancies.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: Following the award of a contract to Sema Group for the supply of Home Office administrative information technology services, staff in the undertaking were transferred to Sema Group on 1 November 1994; this included 42 data entry staff employed at Corby.
Column 660Although subsequent redundancies by Sema Group are a matter for it, we understand from the company that all data entry staff in Corby were invited on 3 January 1995 to apply for voluntary redundancy, that as a result all 42 staff are to be made redundant by Sema Group; the costs of the redundancies will be paid by Sema Group. It is the intention of Sema Group to use a subcontractor for the provision of data entry services which is in accordance with the terms of its contract with the Home Office. We understand that the subcontractor is offering similar employment locally to all staff.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The information available relates to persons removed following deportation action in respect of a breach of conditions to enter or remain. Such persons comprise mainly overstayers but also include persons working in breach of conditions. Data on such persons removed, and those who departed voluntarily when served with a notice of intention to deport, in 1984 93 are given in table 7.3 of "Control of Immigration: Statistics, United Kingdom, 1993"--Cm 2637--a copy of which is in the Library. The corresponding numbers of removals and voluntary departures in 1994 were 1,264 and 199 respectively.
|1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 ------------------------------------------------- Men |4,425 |7,006 |2,174 |5,583 |10,254 Women |1,729 |2,470 |799 |1,989 |2,881 Total |6,154 |9,476 |2,973 |7,572 |13,135
These figures exclude applications to join the special constabulary.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers are available (a) to Her Majesty's Government and (b) individual citizens to combat (i) criminals and (ii) pornographers using the Internet; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: Users of the Internet are subject to the relevant provisions of the criminal law. Thus, for example, those who use the Internet to transmit obscene material will be liable to prosecution under the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964, while those who use the system to plan criminal activities may be liable to prosecution for conspiracy. Those who believe that the system may be being used for illegal purposes should report the matter to the police.
Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers Parliament has granted local authorities on the Isle of Wight (a) to refuse pop festivals and (b) to regulate pop festivals.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 enables district councils in England and Wales outside Greater London to adopt powers requiring the licensing of outdoor musical entertainments held on private land. The grant or refusal of a licence is at the discretion of the council. Licences may be issued subject to conditions concerning safety, public hygiene and prevention of unreasonable noise disturbance. I understand that each of the two district councils on the Isle of Wight has adopted these powers.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The provision of in-cell television is something which has both operational and policy implications. It has operational implications for the way prisons are managed and it also has policy implications in terms of the privileges which are allowed to prisoners, which is properly a matter of policy concern.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the occasions since 1979 when the governors of Her Majesty's prison, Parkhurst requested the installation of geophones; and what action was taken in each case.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Chris Mullin, dated 2 March 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the number of occasions since 1979 when the Governors of Parkhurst have requested the installation of geophones and what action had been taken in each instance.
Disproportionate cost would be incurred to fully answer your Question. The issue was first raised in 1987, but at this stage, it was felt that geophones should not be installed until the major redevelopment programme at the prison had been completed. Mr. Marriott, who became the Governor of Parkhurst prison in 1990, made a number of requests for geophones to be installed around the internal perimeter fence (geophones were already in place around the Special Secure Unit).
At the time of the escape in January, geophones were being installed around the perimeter fence at Parkhurst. The Prison Service decided not to install geophones in the prison earlier because, as Ministers made clear at the time, the building work would have severely limited their effectiveness. It was those building works which dictated the timing of the installation. While building work, itself related to security, was going,on, it did not make sense to install geophones because they could not work effectively in those circumstances.
Installation of geophones around the perimeter fence will be completed in April 1995.
Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ensure that financial arrangements and support will enable each fire and civil defence authority to achieve and to maintain Home Office minimum standards in 1995 96; and if he will list those authorities which on present estimates are unlikely to meet that requirement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker [holding answer 27 February 1995]: It is for each fire and civil defence authority, in the light of the provisional criteria for council tax capping, to set a budget for 1995 96. The budget should allow it to comply with its statutory duties to provide fire cover. Where an authority is convinced that it cannot set a budget within the provisional capping limits, it can set a budget above the provisional cap and make a case to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment for those limits to be redetermined.
Sir George Young: The tax paid by any particular individual depends on their income, household type and spending pattern. Real take-home pay is what matters. Real take-home pay for a one-earner couple on average earnings with two children has risen by 40 per cent.--over £80 a week- -since 1978 79.
Mr. Nelson: The number of representations has declined in recent years. For example, in 1992 my colleagues and I received some 26 letters from other hon. Members on this issue. In 1993, we received 23 and in 1994 only one. So far this year, we have received none.
Sir George Young: Government policies provide a firm basis for lasting economic recovery and are the best way to safeguard living standards of all groups, including the least well-off. The best way to tackle inequality is, as the Government are doing, by ensuring increased opportunities, not by restricting choice and levelling everyone down.
Sir George Young: The Inland Revenue special compliance office is carrying out investigations into alleged financial irregularities in football clubs. These investigations are continuing and it is not appropriate to comment further until they are complete.
Sir George Young: In the last three months, the Treasury has talked privatisation to colleagues from Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, Romania, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad, Turkey, the Ukraine, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if Minister in his Department have on any occasion in the last seven days met representatives of (a) Messrs. C. S. M. Parliamentary Consultants Ltd., (b) Dewe Rogerson Ltd., (c) Decision Makers Ltd., (d) G. J. W. Government Relations Ltd., (e) G.P.C. (f) G.J.W., (g) Ian Greer Associates Ltd., (h) Market Access Group, (i) Politics International, (j) Westminster Communications Group, (k) Westminster Strategy, (l) Good Relations, (m) Rowland Sallingbury Casy, (n) Lowe Bell, (o) People Corporate and Political Relations and (p) Shandwick Consultants Ltd. and discussed issues relating to the clients of these companies.
Mr. Stern: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will request the Board of Inland Revenue to review its interpretation of section 360(3) (b) of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 as set out in the tax bulletin for December 1994, with special reference to the expressed interpretation of management as being of a company as a whole rather than of one particular area of the company's operations.