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23 Feb 2004 : Column 231W—continued

Czech Migrants

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the content of the advertising campaign his Department commissioned from the International Organisation for Migration regarding immigration from the Czech Republic to Britain; [154151]

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Beverley Hughes: We will make an announcement on these matters shortly.

Departmental Relocation

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in his Department work in (a) the West Midlands and (b) North Staffordshire. [146909]

Fiona Mactaggart: In January 2004, the number of staff employed by the Home Office in the West Midlands was 5,856 and North Staffordshire was 176.

Disclosure Notices

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many notices imposing a disclosure requirement have been made under section 49 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. [155053]

Caroline Flint: None. Part III of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which includes the provision for giving notices under section 49, has not yet been implemented.

Driving Convictions

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions for (a) causing death by dangerous driving, (b) dangerous driving and (c) careless driving there were in each of the last five years. [154333]

Ms Blears: Information for England and Wales from the years 1997 to 2001 is given in the table. 2002 data will be available in the spring.

Findings of guilt at all courts for specific offences, England and Wales, 1997–2001
Number of offences

Causing death by dangerous driving(56)237235190210273
Dangerous driving(57)5,9265,7425,2435,1845,375
Careless driving(58)55,75852,14446,76341,32636,939

(56) Offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988, s1 as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991 s1 and Criminal Justice Act 1993 s67.

(57) Offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 s2 as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991 s2.

(58) Offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 s3, ss 12(1), 26(2), 33(3) & 168; Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 Regs. 19, 104–107 & 109.


Figures amended since publication of the Home Office 'Offences relating to motor vehicles England and Wales 2001 Supplementary tables'.

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Eulisa de Freitas

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2003, Official Report, column 1057W, on Miss Eulisa de Freitas, and following receipt of new information provided to her by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Saint Helena and disclosure that Miss de Freitas' father, holds a British passport, if the Minister of State (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-terrorism) will now meet the hon. Member for Totnes to discuss the renewal of Miss Eulisa de Freitas' British passport for a further period. [146656]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 12 January 2004]: I refer the hon. Member to my letter of 27 January 2004.

Fear of Crime

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to combat the fear of crime among elderly people. [153817]

Ms Blears: We are committed to reducing the levels of fear of crime among older people. We are addressing the misperceptions about crime by promoting the facts about crime levels and common sense precautions which individuals can take to prevent becoming a victim. In order to do this we have been working with charities such as Help the Aged and Age Concern to find new and better ways of tackling fear among the older population, as well as tackling the crimes committed against them.

A Fear of Crime Toolkit was published on the Home Office Crime Reduction website in May 2003 to provide best practice to all the practitioners who are working towards reducing fear of crime within communities and vulnerable groups.


Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ensure, following his decision not to renew the Firearms Consultative Committee, that account will be taken of the interests of legal owners of firearms for sporting purposes in his review of firearms legislation; and what measures he proposes to ensure that these interests will be represented on a future firearms advisory body. [155308]

Caroline Flint: We are currently considering the establishment of a new consultative structure and will certainly wish to ensure that all interested parties, including sports shooters, are properly represented.


Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance his Department has offered to the new President of Georgia in reforming its police force; and if he will make a statement. [154469]

Ms Blears: The UK, together with its international partners, is presently considering what assistance we can provide to Georgia. My Department has not yet offered any assistance to the new President of Georgia in

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reforming its police force. However, I will give careful consideration to any future requests for either bilateral police assistance, or policing assistance through the international community, that my Department receives.

Hillingdon Judgment

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what decision has been made regarding increased funding for local authorities affected by the Hillingdon judgment of 2003; and if he will make a statement; [153014]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 5 February 2004]: The Hillingdon judgment mainly concerns the availability of leaving care services for former unaccompanied asylum seeking children who have turned 18. Funding for leaving care services is provided by the Department for Education and Skills. My right hon. friend, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills announced on 19 November 2003 that an additional £10 million would be made available from 2004–05 to top up the existing funding for care leavers.

The Home Office provides funding for the support of unaccompanied asylum seeking children aged under 18 through an annual grant to local authorities. The unit cost rates for 2003–04 were announced in a letter from the Director of NASS to local authorities on 15 January. For those aged 16 and 17 the rate is £300 per child per week. This represents a 15 per cent. increase over the previous year. For those aged 15 and under the rate is £670 per child per week, an increase of 17 per cent.

The arrangements announced on 15 January also allow for authorities who believe they have incurred significant additional costs to seek to have their level of grant considered under special circumstances arrangements. It is not possible to specify the amounts any authority will receive until these processes are complete. I would expect authorities receiving higher numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, for example those with major air or sea ports in their area, to seek additional funding under these arrangements.

Illegal Immigrants

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who originally entered the UK illegally in 2002 and previous years were (a) granted asylum, (b) granted exceptional leave to remain and (c) removed in 2002. [152861]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 4 February 2004]: The information requested is not available. Information is not collated centrally on how many asylum applicants

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enter the UK illegally in any given year. The available information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by examination of individual case records and would be unreliable.

Overall it is estimated that 42 per cent. of total asylum applications made in 2002 resulted in grants of asylum (10 per cent.), or of exceptional leave to remain (23 per cent.) or in allowed appeals (10 per cent.), including outcomes occurring after 2002. Corresponding information on the numbers of failed asylum seekers who applied in 2002 and have subsequently been removed is not available and could be produced only at disproportionate cost by examination of individual case files.

Information on the outcomes of asylum-related initial decisions, and appeals, and removals is published in the annual statistical bulletin 'Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2002', a copy of which is available from the Library, and quarterly on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at The next publication will be available on 24 February 2004.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of how many illegal immigrants will be prevented from entering the UK in a year by photocopying air passengers' passports. [153125]

Beverley Hughes: A requirement for carriers to provide copies of travel documents would enable quicker determination of genuine identity, thereby speeding up processing times for asylum claims, which reduces detention and support costs. This would also assist with the redocumentation and removal process for those passengers who subsequently make unfounded asylum claims. The application of such a power should also deter a number of unfounded asylum applicants and illegal entrants from travelling to the UK in the first place. The proposed targeted approach of this power would allow effort to be concentrated on routes and areas of greatest concern. We are discussing with the airlines proposals for a voluntary trial scheme, whose results will help to establish how the new power would be most effective.

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