Previous Section Index Home Page

10 Jan 2005 : Column 316W—continued

Knives

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with (a) the police and (b) local authorities regarding people carrying knives. [201085]

Caroline Flint: Officials have had discussions with the police and trading standards officers as part of our review of action needed to tackle crime committed with knives.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sentences are available to judges for under-age carrying of knives. [205561]

Paul Goggins: The offence of having an article with a blade or point in a public place without good reason or lawful authority carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment. Certain knives, such as flick-knives, are categorised as offensive weapons. Possession of an offensive weapon without lawful authority or reasonable excuse carries a maximum penalty of four years imprisonment.

18 to 20 year olds can receive a sentence of Detention in a Young Offenders Institution up to the maximum period of imprisonment available in the case of an over-21 year old. Offenders under 18 can receive a Detention and Training Order of up to 24 months for either of these offences.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes to sentencing provisions the Government plans in its proposals for the under-aged carrying of knives. [205562]

Caroline Flint: We are currently considering what more needs to be done to tackle knife-related crime. This includes reviewing the current legislation and penalties to deal with the carrying of knives and other offensive weapons.

Law of Murder

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has in the forthcoming review of the law of murder to implement the recommendations of the recent Law Commission Report to distinguish between sentencing for different types of murder. [201495]

Paul Goggins: Following the statement made by the then Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett), to the House on 28 October 2004, Official Report, column 1579, on the setting up of a review of murder, we are currently considering the full terms of reference for the review and will be announcing these in due course.

Life Sentences

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women are serving a life prison sentence in prisons in England and Wales. [206205]

Paul Goggins: On 31 October 2004, as recorded on the Prison Service central IT system, there were 5,520 males and 182 females serving life sentences in prison establishments in England and Wales.
 
10 Jan 2005 : Column 317W
 

Malwina Luczak

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons the application of Dr. Malwina Luczak, Ref No. L1015769, for permanent leave to remain, which was received by the Data Processing Team NO DPT4 at Lunar House, Croydon, in September, was not processed until 14 October; which charged-leave team is handling this application; and when he expects the application to be determined. [203582]

Mr. Browne [holding answer 9 December 2004]: The application took eight working days to be forwarded to a case working team due to the influx of applications coming into the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at that time.

Dr. Luczak's application will now be decided by one of our European case working teams who will contact her if more information is required. They only deal with non-charged applications.

Miss Hajah Kamara

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons Miss Hajah Kamara, reference K472827, has not had her passport returned; and for what reasons the Royal College of Nursing has not received a response to a complaint made to the Briefing and Complaints Section which was acknowledged on 7 October. [204991]

Mr. Browne [holding answer 14 December 2004]: Regrettably, a request to return Miss Kamara's passport was overlooked and the file placed in a queue awaiting decision. She was granted indefinite leave to remain on 13 December 2004 when her endorsed passport was returned.

I am sorry that no reply has been sent to the compliant from the Royal College of Nursing. Although the letter was acknowledged on 7 October, there is no record of it on the Briefing and Complaints Section database. A thorough search has been undertaken but regrettably the letter cannot be found.

Miss Mapolisa

Mr. Page: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when Miss Mapolisa will receive the necessary paperwork showing the changed conditions that will allow her to enter employment referred to in his Department's letter of the 29 October, reference M1093836. [204976]

Mr. Browne: The paperwork relating to this matter was sent to Miss Mapolisa on the 14 December 2004.

Mobile Phones

Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will encourage the mobile industry to protect children from undesirable content and unwanted contacts online by installing filtering and blocking technology as a default option. [199955]

Paul Goggins: We do encourage the mobile industry to do whatever it can to protect children from undesirable content and unwanted contact. The major providers have been very willing to work with us in this
 
10 Jan 2005 : Column 318W
 
area, and are working toward implementation of the code of practice on new forms of content which they introduced earlier this year. Under this code operators will self-classify commercial content and will place all content deemed unsuitable for people under 18 behind access controls. Since internet content will not be self-classifiable in this way, they will offer customers the opportunity to apply a filter working to equivalent standards.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance his Department issues to police forces on the enforcement of laws relating to driving while using a mobile phone. [205599]

Caroline Flint: The new, specific offence of using a hand-held phone while driving is intended to provide a simple, objective offence, the enforcement and prosecution of which does not depend on judgments of control or carelessness. The Association of Chief Police Officers have welcomed it as a straightforward method of dealing with this dangerous behaviour. The police will enforce the offence as operationally appropriate, and no specific guidance has been issued by the Government.

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he monitors the use by Government agencies of mobile phones to track the whereabouts of individuals. [205519]

Caroline Flint: Chapter II of Part I of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provides a statutory framework for the lawful acquisition of communications data by specified relevant public authorities. Some, not all, of those authorities may acquire data about the location of a mobile phone when necessary and proportionate to achieve a legitimate aim. The exercise and performance of the powers under Chapter II of the 2000 Act is overseen by the Interception of Communications Commissioner (currently the right hon. Sir Swinton Thomas) not by the Secretary of State. The Commissioner is required by the Act to report annually to the Prime Minister about the carrying out of the Commissioner's functions. That report is laid before each House of Parliament.

Motoring Offences

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of uninsured drivers in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (i) gender and (ii) police authority region. [204721]

Caroline Flint: No estimates have been made centrally on the number of uninsured drivers.

Mr. Christopher Rodway

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the inquest into the death of Mr. Christopher Rodway to take place. [200890]

Paul Goggins: The timing of this inquest is a matter for the Wiltshire and Swindon coroner. I understand that no date has yet been fixed.
 
10 Jan 2005 : Column 319W
 


Next Section Index Home Page