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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on measures under discussion on standardisation of arrival procedures for asylum seekers throughout the EU; and what discussions are currently on-going concerning the definition of a refugee. 
Mrs. Roche: The Government's approach to minimum standards on asylum procedures was set out in the Explanatory Memorandum dated 26 March 1999, which was a response to the Commission working document dated 3 March 1999, entitled "Towards common standards on asylum procedures". A copy of the Explanatory Memorandum was deposited in the Library.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were sent from the Greater London area to other areas of the United Kingdom in the last three months; and if he will list the areas. 
Mrs. Roche: The National Asylum Support Service is not yet responsible for providing support to destitute asylum seekers who were living in London at the time of their application for asylum. Some of those applying for asylum at ports of entry may have been placed in emergency accommodation in the Greater London area while their application for support was being considered. From 3 April until 30 June, a total of 3,212 asylum seekers, including dependants, had been dispersed under the national asylum support scheme. I am afraid that we do not hold information on how many of these were dispersed from emergency accommodation in the Greater London area. The areas to which they were dispersed are the East Midlands, North East, North West, Scotland, South West, Sussex, West Midlands and Yorkshire.
Mr. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many units of accommodation currently being paid for by the National Asylum Support Service are standing empty; and what percentage of the total numbers being paid for this represents. 
Mrs. Roche: On Friday 14 July, 4,126 bed spaces which represent 42 per cent. of all property available to the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) were being paid for but not used. The exact number of units available
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changes day by day as providers notify NASS of properties. Equally, the number of asylum seekers provided with accommodation by NASS changes daily. In order to ensure that adequate numbers of accommodation units are available to satisfy current demand, and make provision for the forthcoming roll-out of the scheme, NASS has to maintain a stock of available property. The total stock currently standing empty represents approximately three weeks of accommodation needed when the NASS scheme has been fully rolled out.
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were resident at any time in the Special Unit in C wing at Parkhurst Prison between 1 July 1991 and 1 July 1993; and if he will list for each prisoner in an anonymised form the number of (a) recorded assaults and (b) violent episodes in each of (i) the two years prior to joining C wing, (ii) during his time on C wing prior to 1 July 1993, (iii) during his time on C wing after 1 July 1993 and (iv) since leaving C wing to date. 
Mr. Boateng: The information requested can be obtained in full only at disproportionate cost. In Parkhurst C-Wing between July 1991 and July 1993 the population varied from 10 to 16 prisoners. During that period there were 217 incidents including seven fights, five assaults on prisoners, six assaults on staff, 16 verbal threats on prisoners and 37 verbal threats on staff.
Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Prison Service has to extend its recognition of religious practices and faiths; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Boateng: Prisoners of all religions are free to practise their religion, consistent with good order and discipline within prisons. The Prison Service does not recognise Scientology, the Nation of Islam and Rastafarianism as religions. There are no plans to change these arrangements.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the total number was of (a) applications, (b) applications resolved and (c) awards made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement; 
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|Financial year||Applications made||Applications resolved||Awards made||Compensation paid (£ million)||Administration costs (£ million)|
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The figures are for both the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (which dealt with applications received under the old scheme prior to 1 April 1996) and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (which deals with claims received under the new tariff scheme on or after 1 April 1996).
Expenditure on criminal injuries compensation per category of injury is not available in respect of cases settled under the old scheme. I will write to the hon. Member with the available information about categories of injury under the tariff-based scheme.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the policy since 1989 on writing annually to those of his Department's staff who are paying reduced rates of National Insurance contributions, reminding them of the rules governing the payment of reduced rates, as recommended in the Inland Revenue guidance note on reduced rate National Insurance contributions for married women. 
Mr. Straw: The validity of the certificate of election is checked when new staff join the Home Office. Action is taken if this is not in order or staff notify a change in circumstances. It is for the individual concerned to notify any change in circumstances after he or she has joined the Home Office.
Mr. Opik: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to extend the issuing of fixed penalties for speeding offences to individuals driving in the UK on non-UK driving licences; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: We have no plans at present to extend the fixed penalty system in the way proposed. Speeding is an endorsable offence which, under the fixed penalty system, puts three penalty points on an offender's licence. The courts can endorse only licences issued under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and foreign licences do not have the space for recording such endorsements. But we are in discussion with the European Union about mutual recognition issues on road traffic offences.
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prosecuting drivers for speeding offences in England and Wales since 1998 using (a) the fixed penalty system and (b) the courts; and if he will make a statement. 
(3) what plans he has to modify sections 12 and 13 of the London Local Authorities Act 1995 to make it quicker and cheaper for local authorities to use their powers; and if he will make a statement. 
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