Previous Section Index Home Page


15 Dec 2003 : Column 634W—continued

Criminal Justice System

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the responses to the British Crime Survey questions on public confidence in the criminal justice system, broken down by criminal justice board area. [140596]

Paul Goggins: The responses to the British Crime Survey (BCS) questions on confidence in the criminal justice system from the 2001–02 BCS were published in the Crime in England and Wales 2001–02: Supplementary Volume in January 2003. Chapter 8

15 Dec 2003 : Column 635W

contains the information about confidence, and table 8.04 contains the figures broken down by Local Criminal Justice Board area.

The equivalent data for 2002–03 are due to be published in January by the Research, Development and Statistics Directorate at the Home Office in the upcoming supplementary volume to the 2002–03 British Crime Survey. The final title for this publication is still being decided.

In the meantime the confidence data for 2002–03 were made available to Local Criminal Justice Boards in July 2003 in the guidance document "Improving Public Satisfaction and Confidence in the Criminal Justice System". The document is available on the CJS website at: www.cjsonline.org.

Foreign Seafarers

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedure there is for verifying that there are no qualified or experienced workers available when work permits are issued to foreign seafarers. [140670]

Beverley Hughes: The usual requirement is that the employer must demonstrate that they have been unable to fill the vacancy with a suitably qualified worker from the resident labour force. Employers will normally be required to provide evidence that they have advertised the post in an appropriate medium and the grounds on which they considered resident workers who applied for the post to be unsuitable. These requirements are waived only in respect of intra-corporate transfers, board level posts, inward investment posts and those occupations where Work Permits (UK) has established, on the basis of independent labour market information, that there is an acute shortage of suitably qualified resident workers. The latter do not include seafarers.

Immigration Control

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK immigration officers are in post working at (a) French ports, (b) Belgian ports and (c) other European ports on matters concerning immigration control. [142160]

Beverley Hughes: No UK immigration officers are in post in French ports but officers are currently deployed to French ports on a daily basis. There are 200 officers across three operational grades who are based in Cheriton near Folkestone and who are liable to work in the UK control zone at the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles where the UK Immigration Service provides 24-hour coverage.

There are 125 officers across three operational grades based at Waterloo International who perform duties in Lille Europe, Paris Gare du Nord, where the UK Immigration service covers all UK-bound Eurostar services. Officers based at Waterloo also assist the Belgian Immigration authorities in an advisory capacity at the Gare du Midi in Brussels.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many potential illegal entrants to this country have been discovered at French ports in the last 12 months; and what steps have been taken against them. [142161]

15 Dec 2003 : Column 636W

Beverley Hughes: The French authorities do not publish figures of illegal immigrants discovered at Channel ports.

French policy is to remove illegal immigrants discovered in the Calais area, and take them to other parts of France to be processed where possible, thus disrupting contact with illegal networks. French police continue to arrest and imprison facilitators.

In addition, the UK and France have together taken vigorous action to combat illegal immigration to the UK following the closure of the Red Cross centre at Sangatte. Initiatives include the deployment of high-tech freight searching equipment to Calais, and British immigration officers working in an advisory capacity alongside the French Police aux Frontieres (PAF) at the port of Calais. Plans are under way to allow British immigration officers to exercise their full control powers at the ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Boulogne, as they already do at the Channel Tunnel. PAF officers will similarly be able to operate their controls at Dover.

Indicative management information suggests that the wide range of measures now in place in Calais and Coquelles has resulted in over 6,000 people being prevented from travelling to the UK from these points in the first nine months of this year.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many heat detector machines are installed at (a) Dover, (b) Folkestone, (c) Portsmouth, (d) Cheriton and (e) other UK ports. [142164]

Beverley Hughes: The Immigration Service does not use heat detector machines however, it does deploy and operate a range of detection technology to detect clandestine entrants.

Heartbeat detectors and a gamma ray scanner are deployed at Dover. This technology is not employed at Folkestone, Portsmouth, Cheriton or any other UK ports, although x-ray scanners operated by Customs are routinely deployed at UK ports. Additionally, carbon dioxide detectors and body detection dogs, are deployed by the UK immigration service on an intelligence led basis by mobile teams operating at various UK ports in line with current threat levels in support of local immigration freight searching activity.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the last 12 months heat detector machines at (a) Calais, (b) Coquelles and (c) Dover have broken down or malfunctioned. [142165]

Beverley Hughes: The Immigration Service does not employ heat detector machines in the detection of clandestine entrants. However it does deploy and operate a range of detection technologies to detect clandestine entrants including heartbeat detectors, gamma ray scanners, carbon dioxide detectors and Passive Millimetric Wave Imagers (PMMWI), technology that relies on naturally occurring background radiation to produce images indicating human presence in lorries. The equipment receives quarterly maintenance checks to ensure continued effectiveness. During the past 12 months occasional minor technical problems have been

15 Dec 2003 : Column 637W

encountered. But these have been resolved, either by remote support or by prompt site attendance of an engineer.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many heat detector machines are installed at (a) Calais and (b) Coquelles; and what the corresponding figures were in October 2002. [142166]

Beverley Hughes: The Immigration Service does not employ heat detector machines in the detection of clandestine entrants. However it does deploy and operate a range of detection technologies to detect clandestine entrants.

In October 2002 one heartbeat detector was in operation in Calais. There are now three heartbeat units in operation at the port together with two PMMWs (Passive Millimetric Wave Imagers), technology that relies on naturally occurring background radiation to produce images indicating human presence in lorries. This equipment has been loaned by the UK Immigration Service to the Calais port operator and is operated by their staff.

At Coquelles the Immigration Service operate a heartbeat detector and carbon dioxide detectors within the UK Control Zone. Carbon dioxide detectors have been in operation since before October 2002 while the heartbeat detector has been in operation since May 2003.

Oakington Reception Centre

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what duties there are upon those released from Oakington Reception Centre in each of the last two years to report to the police or other authorities; and how many such persons have breached such duties. [142159]

Beverley Hughes: Oakington receives asylum claimants who are entitled to reside in the countries on the fast track suitable list. This list contains the 24 Non-Suspensive Appeal (NSA) designated countries and others which are believed to be suitable for a rapid decision-making process.

15 Dec 2003 : Column 638W

The outcome of claims from those on the NSA designated list will normally be removal if they have been served with a clearly unfounded certified decision to refuse asylum. An appeal may be submitted only from abroad.

Non-NSA claimants who receive negative decisions may be detained further at a Removal Centre or granted Temporary Admission pending the outcome of any in-country appeal. Over the period referred to in the question, the network of reporting facilities and the number of those leaving Oakington who have been required to report has grown, but any restrictions are dependent upon the circumstances of the individual case.

The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Information on Oakington and other asylum statistics is published quarterly. The most recent publication covering the third quarter of 2003 is now available on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www. homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1 .html


Next Section Index Home Page