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Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign nationals have made applications this year for leave to remain in the UK; how long an application for leave to remain in the UK takes to be processed by the Home Office from the time of submission; what Department deals with overstayer applications; and if he will make a statement on special reasons that prevent a decision being made in order to complete a case within a period of six months from date of application. 
Our aim is to decide 65 per cent. of all straightforward applications on initial consideration within three weeks. Due to the exceptionally high number of applications received over the past year, and process changes which are being introduced to improve our longer term performance, it is at present taking up to six weeks to decide an application on initial consideration. We are working to reduce this to three weeks or less as soon as possible. For the same reasons some applications which need further inquiries or more detailed consideration can take up to nine months to consider. Every effort is being made to reduce this period. Information on expected processing times for general immigration cases is provided to applicants on the Immigration Nationality Directorate (IND) website at http://126.96.36.199/ default.asp?Pageld=113
Beverley Hughes: A 1998 survey found that around half of all male prisoners and a third of female prisoners had been excluded from school. A more recent survey carried out in a sample of young offender institutions between September 2001 and February 2002 found that 84 per cent. of respondents have been excluded from school. Neither survey distinguishes between prisoners in custody for a first or repeat offence.
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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the use of smart card technology in his Department and in the areas for which it is responsible; and what discussions he has had with private companies about the use of smart card technology within his Department. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 16 April 2002]: The Home Department has a number of areas of business where smart card technology may be relevantly applied. In their work on drafting a consultation paper on entitlement cards and other methods for dealing with identity fraud which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced on 5 February 2002, Official Report, column 872W, my officials have discussed the use of smart card technology with trade associations and some private companies as set out in my answer to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes) on 1 March 2002, Official Report, column 1587W.
In the Passport Service and the Criminal Records Bureau smart card technology is not currently used, however, the Passport Service is currently investigating the potential use of electronic data storage in passport books and in a card form of the passport issued along side a passport book. The primary aim of this technology would be to improve document security by the addition of a machine readable biometrics templates. Smart card technology would be one option for data storage. Other options are optical memory, 2D bar codes and magnetic strip. The use of smart card (i.e. microcomputer chip) technology would be expensive but would also provide the opportunity to develop other applications, particularly if used on a passport card. These investigations have centred on technology standards and the experience of other Governments and organisations using electronic data storage for biometric templates. There have been no direct discussions about a smart card passport design with private sector companies supplying smart card technology.
In respect of internal operational business requirements smart card technology is part of proposals currently being made by incumbent Home Office Private Finance Initiative (PFI) suppliers to support security of mobile computing.
The Home Office continues to liaise with the Office of the e-Envoy (OeE) on appropriate opportunities and uses of such technology and will respond to the proceedings and findings of the OeE Smart Card Working Group.
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Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) child safety and (b) parenting orders have been made to date in each police force area in England and Wales; how many have been (i) discharged and (ii) breached; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The number of parenting orders and child safety orders imposed in England and Wales between April 2000 and December 2001, are set out in the table. This information comes from the Youth Justice Board. I will write to the hon. Member with police force area breakdowns as soon as they are available. 40 of the parenting orders imposed following a crime by the child have resulted in breach action. Discharge and other breach statistics are not routinely collected.
|Parenting order||Child safety order|
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many substantive fixed penalties were issued against cyclists in (a) 2000 and (b) 2001, by police force, broken down by the reasons of issue. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 24 April 2002]: Available information for the year 2000, taken from a special exercise undertaken to monitor fixed penalties issued against pedal cyclists, are given in the table.
|Police force area||Carrying more than one person on pedal cycle||Cycling on the footway (pavement)||Total|
|Avon and Somerset||1||34||35|
|Devon and Cornwall||6||34||40|
|London, City of||(30)||3||3|
(30) Not available
(31) Motoring offences of driving on footway (pavement) included within cycling on the footway (pavement).
(32) October to December 2000 only
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