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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what directions overriding a note of dissent by an accounting officer have been given by the boards of non-departmental public bodies within his Department since May 1997. 
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to renew passports for those aged over 75 free of charge; and if he will estimate the cost of this. 
Mrs. Roche: There are no plans for a policy to renew passports for those aged over 75 years free of charge. Fees for passports are set to recover the full cost of providing the service and if such a policy were to be implemented, the estimated annual cost would be £5.2 million, equivalent to a £1 increase in the passport fee.
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(3) how many policemen were on patrol in cars on a typical Saturday evening in London in the last 12 months; 
(4) how many policemen were carrying out administrative duties on a typical Saturday evening in London in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 26 January 2001]: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that the information is not immediately available. I shall write to the right hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions since 2 May 1997 each Minister in his Department personally received an inquiry from an hon. Member about an actual or prospective application for naturalisation; in how many such cases the inquiry was made by an hon. Member who was at that time a Minister of the Crown; in how many cases the inquiry was made on behalf of someone who was not a constituent of the hon. Member concerned; and if he will make a statement. 
I and the Ministers in my Department receive a large number of representations, oral and written, from Members of both Houses of Parliament about a wide range of immigration matters: most of those, in respect of Members of the House of Commons, relate to constituents; some do not.
Mr. Straw: As at 31 December 2000, the number of applications for British citizenship (whether by registration or naturalisation) yet to be decided was 73,000; compared with 84,000 on the same date in 1999.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what dates (a) his Department received an application for naturalisation from (i) Mr. G. P. Hinduja and (ii) Mr. Srichand Hinduja, (b) each application was determined and (c) the outcome was notified to the applicant. 
Mr. Straw: Mr. S. P. Hinduja and Mr. G. P. Hinduja first applied for British citizenship on 21 February 1990. Their applications were decided on 3 April 1991 and they were notified of the outcome on 18 April 1991.
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Mr. G. P. Hinduja next applied on 5 March 1997. His application was granted on 4 November 1997 and he received final notification of this when his certificate of naturalisation was sent to him on 5 November 1997.
Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 26 January 2001]: Up to the end of September 2000, the latest date for which such figures are available, one anti-social behaviour order had been made in the North Wales police area.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers serving in the Metropolitan police force have (a) up to five years, (b) up to 10 years, (c) up to 15 years and (d) up to 20 years service. 
|Length of service||Number of officers|
|Up to 5 years||4,810|
|From 5 up to 10 years||4,064|
|From 10 up to 15 years||5,171|
|From 15 up to 20 years||4,557|
The figures exclude officers currently seconded to Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire under the transitional boundary arrangements.
Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the per capita level of expenditure on drug-related law enforcement in the (i) UK, (ii) Netherlands and (iii) USA in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Precise data on expenditure on drug-related law enforcement are not available. The launch of the Government's drugs strategy, "Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain" (Cm 3945) in April 1998 included the estimate that total Government expenditure for 1997-98 was in the region of £1.4 billion. Of this, 62 per cent. was estimated to be spent on drug-related law enforcement.
Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) arrested and (b) imprisoned on charges related to cannabis in the (i) UK, (ii) Netherlands and (iii) USA in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
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Information is not collected centrally on arrests either for drug-related offences or for drug offences such as unlawful possession. Similarly, the number of people actually received into prison on such charges is not collected centrally. The closest information collected on this topic is the number of offenders given sentences of immediate custody by the courts. The latest figure available is for 1998--5,398. Further details are given in Table S2.28 of the Supplementary Tables volume of the Home Office bulletin "Drug Seizure and Offender Statistics, United Kingdom, 1998" a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which public and private local bodies are always notified by the NASS of the individual addresses of accommodation into which asylum seekers have been placed. 
Mrs. Roche: The regional consortia and police authorities in the appropriate dispersal areas are notified by National Asylum Support Service (NASS) on a weekly basis of allocated accommodation addresses. A consolidated list is despatched at the end of each month. In addition, allocated accommodation addresses are routinely notified to the appropriate local health and education authorities when NASS allocates asylum seekers to accommodation in their areas.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many units of accommodation procured by the NASS since 1 April 2000 have been procured by the NASS-contracted accommodation providers entering into sub-contracting arrangements with other organisations or individuals. 
Mrs. Roche: The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) has entered into contracts for accommodation services with private sector providers, registered social landlords and local authority consortia. It is a feature of all these contracts that accommodation is provided either from providers own housing stock or through sub-contracts. NASS does not maintain records of the number of units provided through sub-contracts. All accommodation is required to comply with NASS contract specification and is inspected to ensure compliance.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if NASS allows contracted accommodation providers to place persons who do not form a single household into houses with less than six bed spaces in which all facilities are shared. 
Mrs. Roche: National Asylum Support Service (NASS) may allocate persons who do not form a single household to properties with less than six bed spaces in which all facilities are shared. All property used by NASS that is shared by persons who do not form a single househould must comply with houses in multiple occupation registration and licensing schemes wherever they exist.
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Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff are allocated to the NASS Performance Monitoring Inspection Team; how many of these staff are engaged in personally inspecting accommodation and support arrangements; and where they are based. 
Mrs. Roche: The current staffing level of the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) Performance Monitoring Inspection Team is one Head of Inspections, four Team Leaders, 15 Inspectors and six support staff.
All staff other than the six support staff are engaged in personally inspecting the accommodation and the support services that contractors are required to provide to NASS service users. At the present time, the Performance Monitoring Inspections Team is based at Quest House in Croydon.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many units of accommodation have been procured by NASS since 1 April 2000; and how many asylum seekers have been placed into this accommodation since then. 
Mrs. Roche: As at the end of December 2000, 26,700 1 units of accommodation were contracted by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS), of which 16,600 1 units were allocated to asylum seekers and their dependants.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what targets have been set for the proportion of asylum seeker accommodation to be inspected by the NASS Performance Monitoring Inspection Team; and if these targets relate to accommodation of a particular bedspace size. 
Mrs. Roche: The National Asylum Support Service Performance Monitoring Inspection team has no formal targets for the proportion of asylum seeker accommodation to be inspected; however, regular reviews of the management practices in place at accommodation providers are undertaken together with independent property inspections to ensure that accommodation services are provided to the required standard.
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