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4 Feb 2003 : Column 245W—continued

Asylum Support

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department of those who have not been deported following a refusal to grant asylum and failing their appeal, what proportion were not at the place of residence recorded by the Home Office when the Department tried to deport them. [95132]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 3 February 2003]: Information on the proportion of asylum seekers who were not living at the place of residence is not recorded by the Home Office and could be obtained only by examination of individual case files at disproportionate costs.

There are different methods of apprehending those who have no entitlement to stay in the United Kingdom. In addition to home visits, they may receive written notice of Removal Directions or be apprehended during the course of enforcement/police operations.

Asylum Support Fraud

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 27 January (refs 91210, 91211 and 91212), when NASS support will become subject to payment through the Application Registration Card; what payment arrangements apply at present; and what measures to prevent fraud have been taken in respect of the present arrangements. [95221]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 3 February 2003]: Payment of financial support via the application registration card (ARC) began on 5 August 2002. To date over 37,000 main applicants (50 per cent of the total of main applicants supported) are using their ARC as a means of payment. The transfer to payments using an ARC are being introduced on a phased basis and we are aiming to complete the transition by the Spring of this year. Until the transfer is complete some asylum seekers will continue to receive their support on presentation of a personal Receipt Book at their designated Post Office. Making payments via an ARC provide a more secure method of payment. The process requires Post Office counter staff to undertake a photo Identity check which is proving to be an effective control. The system also allows for detailed electronic records of all transactions including the location, time and nature of every transaction (whether successful or unsuccessful).

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Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 27 January, Official Report, columns 705–7W, how many fraud investigations were undertaken prior to April 2002, and what the outcomes were; and if he will make a statement about the arrangements to prevent asylum support fraud since the establishment of NASS in April 2000. [95222]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 3 February 2003]: The National Asylum Support Services (NASS) became operational on 3 April 2000. Between that date and 31 March 2002 NASS investigated 1,467 suspected cases of fraud. NASS did not begin to keep a central record of the outcome of investigations until June 2001. Between June 2001 and 31March 2002, 176 support claimants had their NASS support terminated following a fraud investigation.

NASS Investigations Section was formed in October 2000 and became fully operational until May 2001. In addition to investigating referrals the Section conducts visits (both announced and unannounced) to supported asylum seekers to establish continued eligibility for support and also works with other government departments to tackle fraud. This work will be devolved to NASS regional offices as part of the current regionalisation programme.

The introduction of Application Registration Cards (ARCs) containing photographs and biometric data is aimed at further reducing the opportunities for fraud.

Children in Custody

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children there were in (a) custody and (b) secure accommodation in September in each year since 1997; and how many of those in custody were aged (i) under 14, (ii) 14 to 16 and (iii) 16 to 18. [94485]

Hilary Benn: The information requested is in the attached tables. Information on those in custody outside Prison Service establishments prior to 1 April 2000 was only collected on Local Authority Secure Units, and was based on a snapshot as of 31 March each year.

Children in custody by age group and type of accommodation 30 September 2000

Age groupLocal authority secure unitsPrison service establishmentsSecure training Total centres
Under 14401959
14 to 162269781061,310
17 to 18141,88021,896


YJB custody statistics

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 7 January 2003, Official Report, column 140W, to the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton) on children in prison, how many children were held in prison, broken down by (a) type of offence, (b) gender, (c) ethnicity, (d) age and (e) length of sentence in each of the last five years. [91754]

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Hilary Benn [holding answer 20 January 2003]: The data requested is given in the following table.

Gender breakdown all custody types


(24) The figures are taken for June of each year

(25) The figures have been revised following quality checks

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 7 January 2003, Official Report, column 140W, to the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton) on children in prison, what his Department is doing to establish what offences were categorized as (a) other and (b) not recorded. [91755]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 20 January 2003]: The offences categorised as 'other', for prisoners aged under 18 on 31 October 2002, are shown in the table.

For statistical purposes offences are grouped in standard ways for presentation because there are too many offence codes to list them separately and the figures for many offences would be too small for meaningful analysis. For prison statistics the 'other' offence group corresponds to the 'other' offence group used in crime and court statistics to which have been added offences from the criminal damage and motoring

groups because historically these have been small components of the prison population.

The number of offences categorised as 'not recorded' for the prison population under sentence has declined. From 1990 to 2000 there has been a decrease of 74 per cent.

Juveniles in Prison Service establishments by offence type, 31 October 2002

Other offence typeNumber of persons
Breach of Court Order49
Criminal Damage46
Immigration Act 19715
Driving Under the Influence9
Other Criminal Offences40
Other Motoring Offences108
Perjury, Libel, Pervert Course of Justice3
Threat, Disorderly Behaviour13
Violent Disorder24

Civil Servants

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many civil servants have been employed by (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental bodies in each year from 1994–95 to 2002–03; and if he will make a statement. [92376]

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Mr. Blunkett: The figures can be found in "Civil Service Statistics", published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office for the Government Statistical Service annually and placed in the Library.

Deputy Director General of Policy (Home Office)

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the remarks made by the Deputy Director General for Policy in the Home Office at a conference in London on asylum with respect to the Coniston Hotel. [95543]

Beverley Hughes: He made no such remarks at last week's Refugee Council Conference and has not commented publicly on this issue.

Drug Offenders (Lincolnshire)

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding was made available for the rehabilitation of drug offenders in each year from 1997 to 2002 in (a) Boston and Skegness, (b) Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, (c) the East Midlands and (d) England. [94226]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Prior to the introduction of the pooled treatment budget in 2001–02 information on the level of treatment spend at local level was not collected centrally.

The total spend on drug treatment reported by East Midlands Drug Action Teams (DATs) in 2001–02 are as follows:


AreaTotal reported treatment spend 2001–02
Lincolnshire DAT (area includes Boston and Skegness)3,881
Nottinghamshire DAT3,832
Derbyshire DAT2,213
Leicestershire DAT1,439
East Midlands21,040

The pooled treatment budget, introduced in 2001–02, provides significant additional funding for the treatment of people with drug problems, including offenders. Drug Action Teams use pooled treatment budget allocations, together with additional resources from health and local authorities and other sources, to fund treatment provision in their areas.

The level of pooled treatment budget funding allocated to the specified areas in 2001–02 and 2002–03 was as follows:


AreaPooled treatment budget 2001–02Pooled treatment budget 2002–03
Lincolnshire DAT (area includes Boston and Skegness)1,7881,883
Nottinghamshire DAT9871,811
Derbyshire DAT1,3761,849
Leicestershire DAT8961,177
East Midlands9,05212,955

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