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Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers are being held in Northern Ireland in each (a) prison and (b) other location permitted to do so. 
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Angela Eagle: The latest available information on the number of persons detained under Immigration Act powers relates to 30 September 2001. As at that date, the only establishment in Northern Ireland that held Immigration Act detainees who had claimed asylum at some stage was Her Majesty's Prison Maghaberry, at which less than five such persons were being held.
Information on immigration detainees as at 31 December 2001 will be published on 28 February 2002 on the Home Office web site at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/ immigration1.html.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers have been detained for more than six months in Northern Ireland. 
Angela Eagle: The available information relates to persons detained under Immigration Act powers as at 30 September 2001. As at that date, there were no persons who had sought asylum at some stage who have been detained for more than six months in Northern Ireland.
Information on immigration detainees as at 31 September 2001 will be published on 28 February 2002 on the Home Office web site at http:// www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals seeking asylum in the UK have been located in the Buckingham constituency since the introduction of the Government's dispersal policy. 
Angela Eagle: Figures are not available by constituency for those asylum seekers accommodated by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS).
Statistics from NASS for the end of September 2001, show that 600 1 2 asylum seekers (including dependants) were being supported in NASS accommodation in the South Central region, which includes the Buckingham constituency
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people under the age of 16 years from overseas countries have entered the UK during the last 12 months and have claimed political asylum on entry. 
Angela Eagle: During the last 12 months (September 2000 to August 2001), 2,002 applications for asylum were lodged at United Kingdom ports by unaccompanied children, under the age of 18. I regret that this information is not available for children under the age of 16.
Reliable information on the number of children who have entered the United Kingdom as asylum seekers, accompanied by an adult, is not readily available and could be obtained only by examination of individual case records and is, therefore, available only at disproportionate cost.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of asylum seekers had degrees in each of the last 10 years. 
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Angela Eagle: The information is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only by examining individual case records and by consulting the asylum seekers themselves, and it is, therefore available only at disproportionate cost.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances Iranian citizens with family in the United Kingdom are allowed to visit the country. 
Angela Eagle: The Immigration Rules make provision for visits to the United Kingdom. To qualify for entry to the United Kingdom as a visitor, applications must demonstrate that they are genuinely seeking entry as a visitor for the period stated, that they have sufficient funds to support and accommodate themselves and any dependants without working or recourse to public funds, and that they will leave the United Kingdom at the end of the visit. The maximum period allowed for a visit is six months. Iranian nationals need to obtain a visa before travelling to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on the standard of proficiency in spoken English from ethnic minorities who seek citizenship of the United Kingdom should attain as a norm of acceptability. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 13 December 2001]: The British Nationality Act 1981 requires applicants for naturalisation, except where married to British citizens, to have sufficient knowledge of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic. Applicants who are able to make simple conversation and communicate well enough to deal with everyday situations are considered to meet this requirement. The requirements for British nationality, including the language requirement, are currently under review and the Government will announce their conclusions in a forthcoming asylum, immigration and nationality White Paper.
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests for legal assistance in criminal investigations were received from
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Russia in (a) 2000 and (b) to date; how many responses have been made to these requests to date; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: In 2000, 24 requests were received from Russia. Of these, seven requests were executed, eight were transferred to other authorities to execute, six remain under consideration and three were returned as we were unable to execute them. 62 requests were received in 2001. Of these, nine requests have been executed, 26 remain under consideration, 24 were transferred to other authorities to execute and three were returned as we were unable to execute them.
Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prisoners who were initially released from prison under the tagging system have committed further offences following their release from the tagging system; 
Beverley Hughes: As of 30 November 2001, a total of 42,853 prisoners had been released on Home Detention Curfew (tagging) since the scheme commenced on 28 January 1999. Of these, 893 (2 per cent.) are reported to have been convicted, cautioned or awaiting prosecution for offences committed while they were subject to the scheme. Information relating to the number of prisoners released on Home Detention Curfew and who commit offences after their period on the scheme has expired is not held centrally.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in the age groups (a) 0 to 7, (b) 8 to 13 and (c) 14 to 18 years were murdered in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and in each age group how many were killed by (i) a family member, (ii) someone known to them and (iii) a stranger. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: The information requested for England and Wales is given in the table. Data are given for currently recorded homicides. Family member includes current or former spouse, cohabitant or lover. Stranger includes those cases where the relationship is not known or where there is no suspect.
|Relationship victim to suspect||199697||199798||199899||19992000||200001|
|Age of victim 07 years|
|Someone known to them||4||11||11||0||1|
|Age of victim 813 years|
|Someone known to them||1||1||0||1||2|
|Age of victim 1418 years|
|Someone known to them||12||11||27||13||16|
As at 3 October 2001; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.
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Homicide Statistics are published annually in Chapter 4 of 'Criminal Statistics England and Wales'. Data are published on a calendar year basis up to 1997 and a financial year basis from 199798. The latest statistics relating to 200001 were published in December 2001 in 'Criminal Statistics England and Wales 2000'.
Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total number of days added to sentences on the basis of positive mandatory drug tests on prisoners was in each of the last five years for (a) cannabis, (b) opiates, (c) cocaine and (d) benzodiazepines. 
Beverley Hughes: Statistics on numbers of days added to sentence by different drug type are not collated centrally. The total number of added days awarded for prisoners found guilty of unauthorised use of a controlled drug are set out as follows:
|Number added days|
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