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23 Feb 2004 : Column 236Wcontinued
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) asylum applicants, (b) failed asylum applicants, (c) successful asylum applicants and (d) settled asylum seekers there are in Wales; and what the estimated number of illegal immigrants is in Wales, broken down by (i) police force, (ii) constituency and (iii) local authority area for each year since 1997. 
Statistics on the location of asylum seekers in the UK are linked to the available information on the support that the asylum seeker receives. Asylum seekers currently in the UK are either in receipt of support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) or from local authorities, or are supporting themselves.
Information on numbers of asylum applications and decision outcomes relating to asylum seekers in particular areas of the UK is unavailable as are statistics regarding the location of asylum seekers not in receipt of NASS support. There are no reliable figures available on the refugee or illegal immigrant population.
|As at end:||In receipt of subsistence only support||Supported in MASS accommodation|
Figures are rounded to the nearest 5.
|As at end:||Cardiff||Neath Port Talbot||Newport||Swansea||Wrexham||Other(59)|
(59) Local authorities with fewer than 20 asylum seekers in receipt of subsistence only support are grouped as 'other'.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 5 with * = 1 or 2.
23 Feb 2004 : Column 237W
|In receipt of subsistence only support||Supported in NASS accommodation|
|Alyn and Deeside||5|||
|Cardiff South and Penarth||20||420|
Figures are rounded to the nearest five and parliamentary constituencies with one or two asylum seekers resident are excluded from the table. The parliamentary constituency boundaries have been created using the November 2003 Office for National Statistics definitions.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times the Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System has been accessed by (a) Interpol, (b) the National Criminal Intelligence Service, (c) the anti-terrorism branch of the Metropolitan police and (d) metropolitan and provincial forces. 
Beverley Hughes: Locally held Immigration Service records show that the following requests were made for access to the Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System (IAFS) between January and December 2003:
|Number of requests for access to IAFS|
|Anti terrorist branch (Metropolitan police)||664|
|Metropolitan and provincial forces||230|
In November 2003 an electronic link was established between the police fingerprint database (NAFIS) and the Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System. The Police IT Organisation (PITO) have provided the following figures for searches made following the establishment of this link:
23 Feb 2004 : Column 238W
We are unable to specify the number of searches requested by NCIS, Interpol or the Anti Terrorist branch of the Metropolitan police without detailed examination of the cases concerned which would be at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Sri Lankan authorities have accessed fingerprints taken from visa applicants under the six-month pilot scheme, (a) directly through the UK authorities and (b) indirectly through Interpol. 
Beverley Hughes: The Sir Lankan authorities have not accessed fingerprints taken from visa applicants under the six-month pilot scheme, either (a) directly through the UK authorities or (b) indirectly through Interpol.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research has been conducted into links between (a) legal immigration, (b) illegal immigration and (c) failed asylum bids and levels of (i) violent crime, (ii) property crime and (iii) car crime. 
Beverley Hughes: The Research, Development and Statistics Directorate of the Home Office commissions and undertakes a broad programme of research on asylum and immigration. Within this, research is currently being developed which will explore the links between legal and illegal migration.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training is available to Immigration and Nationality Directorate caseworkers before they begin work processing asylum applications. 
Beverley Hughes: All new asylum caseworkers receive intensive training, comprising an initial 11-day course on all aspects of asylum work, 13 days in a special mentoring unit, and a 3-day intensive interviewing course (which is followed up by a consolidation workshop after 3 months in post). They receive continual support and mentoring from more experienced colleagues in a team working environment where the sharing and pooling of acquired expertise is actively encouraged. They also receive any additional training or mentoring necessitated by changes in legislation, policy and procedures, and attend developmental presentations or seminars provided by organisations such as UNHCR and the Medical Foundation. The effectiveness of the training is regularly evaluated to ensure that it continues to match the induction and development needs of new caseworkers.
23 Feb 2004 : Column 239W
Information on the number of people detained solely under Immigration Act powers at 27 December 2003 is due to be published on 24 February 2004 in the Asylum Statistics: 4th Quarter 2003 publication on the Home Office website: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.
Caroline Flint: Khat is not a controlled drug and no routine statistics are collected about its use to enable a quantitative exploration of the extent of link with crime. However, the Home Office is in the process of commissioning a small-scale study, to report in the first half of next year, which will look at khat use in specific communities and explore qualitatively whether there may be a link with use of controlled drugs or offending behaviour.
Caroline Flint: The Government have no plans at present to ban khat or to control it under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, but the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which advises on these matters, keeps its legal status under review.
The Government are also considering ways to address the problems of khat misuse as part of a wider diversity initiative to ensure that the national drug strategy meets the needs of all our communities. This will include the development of appropriate drug prevention materials and information to raise awareness about khat misuse.
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