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Commission for Racial Equality

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last met the chairman of the CRE; and if he will make a statement. [60569]

Beverley Hughes: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary last met with the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Gurbux Singh, on 29 May 2002. They have regular meetings to keep each other updated on issues of current and mutual interest with regard to race relations and equality. They also met on other occasions during the year.

Performance Targets

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the performance targets that his Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies are required to meet, apart from those set out in the public service agreements for 1999 to 2002 and 2001 to 2004; and if he will specify for each target (a) who sets it and (b) who monitors achievement against it. [60472]

Beverley Hughes: The supporting targets to the public service agreements (PSAs) are the service delivery agreements (SDAs). These are listed in full alongside the PSAs they support on the Home Office Website ( These were set during the Spending Review process in consultation with Her Majesty's Treasury and key stakeholders. These are reported on regularly internally and on a quarterly basis to Her Majesty's Treasury.

Other Home Office targets are listed in the published Home Office Business Plan, which can also be viewed in full on our website. The Business Plan for 2002–03 will be published on the 13 June. Progress on targets listed in here, that are not PSAs and SDAs, is reported to the Permanent Secretary and the Home Office Group Executive Board on a regular basis. The Business Plan targets are set in relation to the agreed PSA and SDA targets and also in consultation with Directors and key stakeholders within the core Home Office and within

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agencies, NDPBs and local delivery areas. In addition, as part of the regular stocktake process between my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and my right hon. friend the Prime Minister, we provide a progress report on specific targets to the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit.

Due to the number of additional targets that are contained within the SDA and the Business Plan, it is not possible to list them all here.

Asylum Seekers

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average delay was between disposal of the appeal as defined in section 94(4) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and issue of papers granting leave to enter or remain as a refugee with respect to persons who won their asylum appeals in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [60536]

Beverley Hughes: The information requested is not available and could only be obtained by examination of individual case records thereby incurring a disproportionate cost.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were in prisons run by the Scottish Prison Service, broken down by establishment, on 1 May; and how many are being held. [60821]

Beverley Hughes: The latest available data for asylum detainees are for 30 March 2002. At that date there were no asylum seekers detained solely under Immigration Act powers in Scottish prisons. Data for asylum seekers charged or convicted of a criminal offence are not available.

When detention is necessary, the Government are committed to pursuing a strategy of detaining both immigration offenders and asylum seekers in dedicated removal centres. Prisons are used for a small number of detainees who cannot be managed within the immigration removal estate.

Information on Immigration Act detainees as at 29 June 2002 will be published on 30 August 2002 on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at rds/immigration1.html.

Leave to Remain

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for leave to remain in the United Kingdom were outstanding at the end of each (a) month since June 2001 and (b) June since 1997. [60831]

Beverley Hughes: Statistics on the number of outstanding applications for leave to remain are not currently available.

Refugee Applications

Mr. Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many residents of Glasgow, Cathcart constituency are awaiting a decision on their application for refugee status; [62145]

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Beverley Hughes: Asylum applications data are not available at regional level except by port (for those applications made at port—these accounted for 36 per cent. of applications in 2001). Corresponding information on initial decision outcomes and cases outstanding relating to persons in particular areas of the United Kingdom is also unavailable. The requested information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by examination of individual case records.

Animal Experiments

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much public money the Government have invested in the marmoset experiment programme at Cambridge University; and if he will make a statement; [61114]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 13 June 2002]: I will write to the hon. Member.

Prison Population

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the percentage change in the (a) prison population and (b) the number of notifiable offences in (i) 1979 to 1994, (ii) 1994 to 1999 and (iii) 1999 to 2002; and if he will make a statement. [60138]

Hilary Benn: The percentage changes over the requested time periods for England and Wales are given in the table.


Change in average prison populationChange in number of notifiable offences(30)
1979 to 1994+15.4+107.1
1994 to 1999–2000+32.8+0.9
1999–00 to 2000–01-0.5-2.5
2000–01 to 2001–02+4.6(31)

(30) Data showing the number of notifiable offences has been collected for financial years since 1999, and is shown as such. Prison population data has been given to match.

(31) Not available.

The percentage change in the average prison population from 1999 to 30 April 2002 (latest available data) was 9 per cent. The equivalent data are not available for the number of notifiable offences.

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Baton Rounds

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many baton rounds were discharged by the British Army (a) in each year since 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2002 and (b) from 1 April 2002 to 24 May 2002. [60762]

Mr. Ingram: I have been asked to reply.

The number of baton rounds fired by the Army since 1 April 1999 are set out in the table.

YearBaton rounds fired
1 April 1999 to 31 March 20000
1 April 2000 to 31 March 20016
1 April 2001 to 31 March 200215
1 April 2002 to 24 May 200214

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the guidelines under which the British Army operates when firing baton rounds in their support of PSNI operations. [60761]

Mr. Ingram: I have been asked to reply.

The armed forces are deployed to Northern Ireland to provide military support to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which has primacy for security matters in the Province. Soldiers carry out their role using the same practices and procedures that are applicable to the rest of the British Army wherever they may be deployed in the world. While these practices and procedures may be different to those of the police, they are of a commensurate standard.

There are differences between the guidelines for the police and the Army on the use of baton rounds which stem entirely from the differences in their respective operational structures and practices. There are no plans to bring the guidelines exactly into line with the regime governing the use of those equipments by the police.

Soldiers are trained in the use of baton guns and when deployed are issued with guidelines about their use. Baton rounds may be fired, if authorised by the Army commander at the scene, when absolutely necessary to protect against physical violence. However, in exceptional circumstances where a soldier is required to act in self defence the use of a baton round does not require the commander's authority, but the soldier must be satisfied that the force used is proportionate to the threat. In all circumstances soldiers are trained to use no more force than is absolutely necessary.

If a baton round is fired, a Baton Log Report, giving details of the incident, is completed and forwarded, through the chain of command, to HQNI. If a member of the public wishes to lodge a formal complaint about the Army firing a baton round this can be done through the police who will conduct an investigation.

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