|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) contacts and (b) exchanges have been organised with relevant authorities in the Republic of Ireland at which issues of (a) racism and racist attacks, (b) immigration and (c) asylum seekers have been discussed; and what agreement was reached on further co-operation. 
Angela Eagle: On the issues of racism and racist attacks, the Government have frequent informal contacts with European Union (EU) representatives, including the Republic of Ireland, at international fora such as the recent World Conference Against Racism. Information on racist incidents is one of the issues discussed at the European Union Terrorism working Group, which normally meets six times a year.
The Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate hold biennial bilateral meetings with the relevant authorities in the Republic of Ireland (Asylum, Immigration and Citizenship Division, Asylum Policy Division, Immigration Policy Division, Reception and Integration Agency) on issues of concern to both countries in relation to immigration and asylum. These are held for the purpose of exchanging experience and providing an update regarding recent and prospective developments.
23 Jan 2002 : Column 939W
The United Kingdom immigration service holds regular operational meetings with the Republic of Ireland's Department of Justice and Garda Siochana (Irish police) in order to develop closer co-operation on asylum and immigration matters, including Common Travel area issues. The primary aims of the operational group are to enhance operational co-operations, improve the exchange of information on asylum seekers to prevent abuse, to deal more effectively with human smuggling and trafficking and to explore the scope for additional co-operation on the removal of failed asylum seekers to third countries via the United Kingdom.
In addition, the Irish Government have appointed a Garda liaison officer to the Irish Embassy in London who is tasked with taking forward cross border and intelligence liaison between the two countries in order to counter immigration trafficking.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will investigate the handling by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at Croydon of mail sent by recorded delivery on 26 November by Su Jin Park. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 22 January 2002]: Su Jin Park's application was posted to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) Public Enquiry Office in Birmingham. They forwarded it to IND in Croydon on 28 November 2001. Of late, it has been taking up to eight weeks to consider new applications. The reasons for this are (i) the exceptionally high number of applications received in 2001; and (ii) process changes that are being introduced. I regret that it was not possible to decide Miss Park's application before her planned departure from the United Kingdom but am pleased that she was able to travel as a result of obtaining an emergency travel document from the Korean Embassy. Her passport will now be returned to the Embassy.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the targets are for the efficient and effective operation of the Convention for the Transfer of Sentenced Persons; how these performance indicators were constructed; and how far the operation of procedures has matched these targets in each year since its coming into force. 
Beverley Hughes: The Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons sets no targets for the consideration of applications for repatriation. Since January 2001, Her Majesty's Prison Service has set and applied the following targets to those parts of the process that lie within its control. These targets were constructed to take account of the need to obtain information from agencies outside the Prison Service in support of individual applications.
23 Jan 2002 : Column 940W
During the period 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2001, the following targets were met: Applications from foreign nationals imprisoned in England and Wales, target (a) 58 per cent. and target (b) 91 per cent. Applications from British nationals imprisoned overseas, target (c) 67 per cent. and target (d) 100 per cent.
Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what special arrangements the Prison service makes over the Christmas and new year period to (a) prevent suicides, (b) prevent self-harm and (c) increase observation of at-risk prisoners. 
Beverley Hughes: The last two weeks of any year is a difficult time for most prisoners and particularly harrowing for those with suicidal thoughts. Staff are reminded of the enhanced dangers and to ensure that anti-suicide policies and procedures are firmly adhered to. There were four self-inflicted deaths in late 2001 but the overall total for the year was reduced by 11 per cent. for the second year running and the rate per 100,000 of average daily population was the lowest since 1993.
Prisons go to great lengths at Christmas and the new year to make establishments as pleasant and relaxed as possible in the prison environment. Specific arrangements will vary between prisons depending on local circumstances and available staffing levels, for example, allowing all prisoners one call on Christmas day to contact their family.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those items valued at more than £50 which have been stolen or lost from his Department in each of the last four years. 
23 Jan 2002 : Column 941W
|Computer mother board||150|
|Total value of 26 cases of theft||37,797|
|VCR taken from classroomHMP||98|
|Missing video recorded and four blank videos HMP||106|
|Theft of laptop containing inmate records during course HMP||69|
|Loss of computer discs and equipmentHMP||800|
|Loss of computer discs from Education Department HMP||992|
|Break-in at FSS outstation||3,150|
|Missing IT equipmentHMP||33,773|
|Theft of various computer items after break-in at SalfordDPAS||Not known|
|Handheld computer stolen from carHMP||400|
|Theft of laptops from storeroomHMP||20,421|
|Theft of hired video recorderHMP||80|
|Theft of CamcorderHMP||399|
|Total value of 12 Cases of theft||60,288|
|Computer keyboard stolen from office in QAG||80|
|Theft of computer equipment from Grenadier House||16,500|
|Quest Housetheft of 25 PCs, servers and equipment||110,000|
|Quest Housetheft of components from Sun Server||74,000|
|Total value of four cases of theft||200,580|
23 Jan 2002 : Column 942W
|Theft of seven laptops||31,000|
|Theft of IT equipment||100|
|Theft of two Home Office computers from ICL premises||6,000|
|Theft of computer parts||4,000|
|Laptop and projector stolen on Away Day||8,000|
|Video player stolen from locked room||100|
|Theft of modem linking franking machine to supplier||180|
|Eternet card discovered to be missing from laptop PC||80|
|Laptop stolen in house burglary||1,200|
|HMPSLaptop computer unlocatable||1,000|
|HMPSLaptop computer taken from locked cabinet||229|
|HMPSTheft of pressure washer||125|
|HMPSDictation machine gone missing||377|
|HMPSTheft of laptop computer (mugging)||2,000|
|HMPSBicycle stolen from outside prisoner's place of work||89|
|HMPSA Hewlett-Packard Laser Jet printer stolen||1,085|
|HMPSTheft of laptop, printer and mobile phone||73|
|HMPSTheft of two Video Cassettes||128|
|HMPSTheft of Industrial Hoover||200|
|HMPSPrison Service employee house burgledComputer and printer stolen||2,650|
|HMPSPrison Service issue laptop stolen from boot of car||1,000|
|HMPSTraining and Development Unit burgled||5,000|
|HMPSTheft of portable generator||340|
|HMFSIDisappearance of four laptops from locked room||9,000|
|Total value of 24 cases of theft||73,956|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|