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Public Service Agreements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress towards the public service agreement target for the reduction in residential burglary. [17057]

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Mr. Denham: Our target is that, by March 2005, there will be:

In the 12 months to March 2001, there were 402,984 recorded burglaries; a reduction of 14.9 per cent. compared to March 1999.


Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken since October 1997 to establish a central register of persons who have (a) applied for a licence and (b) to whom a licence to carry a firearm has been granted; what consideration he has given to extending the register (i) to Northern Ireland and (ii) to Scotland; and what information will be retained on this register. [21307]

Mr. Denham: The central register is being developed by the Police Information Technology Organisation as part of the PHOENIX database on the Police National Computer (PNC). Following receipt of an agreed user requirement, a detailed impact assessment was carried out of the work which needed to be done to link the PNC to existing firearms systems in forces. Work is planned for completion in November 2002.

Section 39 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 which requires the establishment of a register, does not apply to Northern Ireland, which has separate firearms controls.

Scottish forces already have a centralised database which is likely to meet the requirements of section 39, except that it is only accessible on-line to Scottish forces. Work is in hand to determine the detailed technical issues involved in making the necessary links with PNC.

The register will record full details of all persons whose applications for grant or renewal of a firearm or shot gun certificate have been accepted or refused; and also of those whose certificates have been revoked. It will also bring to notice the details of any certificate holder who is arrested/summonsed, together with details of any subsequent conviction or other disposal.

Police Response Vehicles

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police response vehicles are available in each London borough and to the British Transport police. [20614]

Mr. Denham: The number of police response vehicles available in each London borough is set out in the table. The three British Transport police operational areas covering London (which police an area larger than that covered by the London boroughs) have 25 response vehicles.

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London boroughInstant response vehiclesArea vehicles
Barking and Dagenham42
Hammersmith and Fulham82
Kensington and Chelsea42
Tower Hamlets92
Waltham Forest83


The vehicles are classed by the Metropolitan police as 'response vehicles'. However, there are many other vehicles used in boroughs that respond to calls e.g. vans, panda cars, CID cars.

Police Corruption

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were charged with corruption in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999 and (e) 2000; and how many have been convicted of corruption offences. [20496]

Mr. Denham: The following numbers of officers were convicted of corruption in England and Wales:


The information required to provide the number of officers charged with corruption is not held centrally and to seek this information from all police forces would involve a disproportionate cost.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in the Metropolitan police are allocated to the investigation of corruption within the police service. [20500]

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Mr. Denham: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that currently there are 376 police officers and 130 civilian support staff allocated to the investigation of corruption.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the Government's strategy to tackle corruption in the police service. [20497]

Mr. Denham: Prevention and detection of corruption in the police is the responsibility of the chief officer of the police force concerned.

The Standards Unit and the refocused Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) will support the work of the Association of Chief Police Officers and the guidance it has issued on the prevention and detection of corruption in the police.

The Government will assist the police service in its fight against corruption by making changes to the complaints system. We will bring forward in the Police Bill proposals which will enable the Independent Police Complaints Commission (the replacement body for the Police Complaints Authority) to manage police investigations and to conduct its own independent investigations into alleged corruption.

Metropolitan Police

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the additional Metropolitan police officers pledged by the MPA last year were to be funded by resources from the crime fighting fund; and what was the (a) level of central Government funding and (b) amount that was left to be funded by the GLA precept. [20375]

Mr. Denham: In order to achieve a net increase in strength of 1,050 officers over the year to 31 March 2001, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) expects to have to recruit about 2,500 officers in 2001.

Of the total number of recruits, 807 will be funded through the crime fighting fund (CFF) for whom the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) will receive about £25.5 million of CFF funding. It will also receive about £17.5 million to meet the cost of 555 CFF officers appointed in 2000–01.

The cost of the remaining recruits will be met by the Metropolitan police authority from its budget. The budget provision for 2001–02 for the additional 1,050 officers was £23 million.

Home Office police grant to the Metropolitan police for 2001–02 is £1,007.5 million and the total of revenue support grant and national non domestic rates is £658.7 million. Specific grants, including the crime fighting fund, are expected to total £60 million giving a total for central Government funding of £1,726 million.

The total MPA precept for 2001–02 was £314 million.

Anti-terrorism Measures

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason he has registered the Terrorism (UN Measures) (Channel Islands) Order

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2001 of 9 October 2001 in advance of the provisions of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill being passed by Parliament. [22253]

Mr. Wills: I have been asked to reply.

The Terrorism (United Nations Measures) (Channel Islands) Order 2001 implemented, in the Channel Islands, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373/2001, which contains provisions to suppress terrorist financing. The Order was made under the United Nations Act 1946. Orders implementing the Resolution in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Overseas Territories were also made on 9 October.

Overseas Recruitment

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to enable highly skilled individuals to come to the United Kingdom to seek employment. [23252]

Angela Eagle: Currently, it is not possible for individuals, other than those with ancestral ties to the United Kingdom, to come to this country to seek and take up work in the absence of a job offer. This makes it difficult to attract highly mobile people with the special talents that are required in a modern economy. We are therefore introducing a programme specifically for highly skilled migrants which will enable them to come to the United Kingdom and seek work.

This programme is designed to allow highly skilled people to migrate to the United Kingdom in order to seek and take up work. It differs from the work permit scheme, as it does not require an employer to obtain a permit for the individual, and from the existing business routes (for example, the Innovators scheme or other business categories) in that it does not require a detailed business plan or investment in the United Kingdom. It will initially be run as a concession outside the current immigration rules.

In order to qualify, applicants will need to demonstrate that they score 75 points or more. Points can be scored in five areas: educational qualifications, work experience, past earnings, achievement in chosen field and "Highly Skilled Migrant Programme priority applications". This final area has been specifically designed to facilitate the recruitment and retention of suitably qualified overseas doctors who wish to work as general practitioners for the national health service.

I am today placing in the Library a draft version of the guidance to applicants. This includes full details on how an individual can score sufficient points to meet the standard required to qualify under this programme. Applicants will also have to demonstrate that they can continue their chosen careers and that they will be able to maintain and accommodate themselves and any family while in the United Kingdom.

Those already in the United Kingdom in a capacity leading to settlement may apply directly to the Home Office to obtain this status. We will also allow those graduating from a United Kingdom university, or completing their post-graduate medical studies, to apply while remaining in the United Kingdom, provided they have not been sponsored by their home governments.

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The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme will run for an initial period of 12 months and will come into force in January 2002. Application forms will be available from the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office websites at and respectively. Applications will be accepted by diplomatic posts overseas from 28 January 2002.

This programme represents a further step in developing our immigration system to maximise the benefits to the United Kingdom of highly skilled workers who have the qualifications and skills required by United Kingdom businesses to compete in the global marketplace. It will allow eminent scientists to base their research projects here, should encourage the movement of business and financial experts to the City of London and give those at the top of their chosen profession the choice of making the United Kingdom their home.

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