Previous Section Index Home Page

26 Jan 2005 : Column 388W—continued

Parking Spaces

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many car parking spaces are provided for those (a) working in and (b) visiting his Department. [208931]

Fiona Mactaggart: An internal survey undertaken in July 2003 showed that there were 27,146 spaces on the Home Office estate. Of these over 21,158 were at Prison Service establishments, which employ 48,133 staff.

There were 326 spaces, which were specifically reserved for visitors and a further 169 reserved disabled spaces. However, many sites do not specifically reserve spaces for visitors, so the figure is not a true reflection of the number of visitors who use our car parks.

As at 1 January 2005 there were 107 car parking spaces available in the Central London Headquarters estate. Of these six are reserved for Orange Badge holders. There are no spaces specifically reserved for visitors. The new Home Office headquarters building at 2 Marsham Street, which the Department is due to take
26 Jan 2005 : Column 389W
over responsibility for on 26 January 2005 will have 87 spaces, of which 12 are reserved for visitors, and 17 for Orange Badge holders. The numbers of spaces on the current Headquarters estate will reduce as we vacate the buildings, with 90 due to go when we vacate Queen Anne's Gate in April 2005.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many written questions for his Department were unanswered when Parliament Prorogued; and how many of the unanswered questions were tabled in each of the previous months of the 2003–04 Session. [201553]

Fiona Mactaggart: The total number of written questions for which a substantive answer was not provided before the end of Session was 245. The Department did provide substantive answers to 496 Parliamentary Questions in the four days up to Prorogation. The number of unanswered questions tabled by each month of the previous Session are provided in the table:
MonthNumber of questions unanswered

Ministers make every effort to answer questions substantively in accordance with performance guidelines and especially before Prorogation. However this is not always possible. Where right hon. and hon. Members did not receive a substantive response it is open to them to re-table their question this session.


Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which basic command units have been required to improve performance by more than the average following the publication of the National Policing Plan. [209169]

Ms Blears [holding answer 24 January 2005]: The National Policing Plan does not proscribe specific targets for any Basic Command Units (BCUs). Individual performance targets are a matter for the Chief Constable and Police Authority of a given force to agree. In agreeing Force or BCD targets regard must be had to the policing priorities as laid out in the National Policing Plan, however these do not set specific targets.

Police Forces are expected to contribute to local targets which are not specifically police owned. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships of which both
26 Jan 2005 : Column 390W
police forces and local police authorities are members, will agree crime reduction targets to which BCUs will contribute, however these are not centrally proscribed targets, neither are they the sole responsibility of the police.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue guidelines to the police in respect of restraint in a prone position for a long period or on a number of separate occasions but during the same detention; and if he will make a statement. [208737]

Caroline Flint: Guidelines on the issue of restraint techniques by police officers are a matter for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). They tell me that restraint is covered in the ACPO Personal Safety Manual.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) recently carried out a Restraint and Mental Health Review, which proposes measures to reduce the risks associated with restraint. The findings of this review are now being implemented in the Metropolitan Police and shared with ACPO

Police-Immigration Service (Joint Operations)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals have been arrested as a result of joint operations in London between the police and the Immigration Service. [209620]

Mr. Browne: Since April 2004 there have been approximately 786 joint operations with the police in London resulting in around 1,509 offenders being arrested.


Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the people working within his Department on secondment from the private sector, broken down by (a) the organisation or industry they came from and (b) the policy responsibilities they have been given. [208624]

Fiona Mactaggart: Secondments are part of the Interchange initiative, which promotes the exchange of people and good practice between the Civil Service and other organisations: public, private and voluntary. Interchange provides opportunities for civil servants to learn new skills, widen their experience and develop ideas. It also brings in skills and experiences from other sectors.

Four people are currently on inward secondment to the Home Office from the private sector. Their details are set out in the table:
NameSeconded fromReceiving Home Office UnitResponsibilities
Georgina BantonErnst & YoungPrivate OfficePrivate Secretary
Brenten CaffinPA Consultancy Services Ltd.Strategic Policy TeamProject work supporting crime reduction incentive
Joanna PlaceRoyal Bank of ScotlandImmigration and Nationality DepartmentSenior Director, Change Management and Reform
Joanna VickersShreeveportID Cards Delivery UnitLeading solutions design workstream for identity cards procurement

26 Jan 2005 : Column 391W

Street Crime

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 8 December 2004, Official Report, column 648W, on street crime, how many individuals have been (a) questioned and (b) arrested by immigration officers under joint multi-agency operations involving the Immigration Service and the police in London, broken down by ethnic group. [206823]

Mr. Browne: While officers routinely record the details of persons questioned in their individual notebooks, records of (a) the number of people questioned or (b) the number of people arrested as part of joint, police-led crime reduction operations are not kept centrally. However, locally collated provisional information indicates that between May 2003 to December 2004 the UK Immigration Service participated in approximately 424 such operations which resulted in the arrest of around 1,357 immigration offenders, including 898 failed asylum seekers.

The Immigration Service is currently exploring better ways of collecting and collating information on people questioned and arrested on joint multi-agency operations.

Yarl's Wood

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many detainees were present in Yarl's Wood on the night of 14 February 2002; how many escaped from the detention centre during the incident which was the subject of the Prison Service Ombudsman's report published on 16 November; and if he will make a statement. [206167]

Mr. Browne: A total of 385 detainees were present in Yarl's Wood on the night of 14 February 2002.

There were 23 escapes.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what part Ministers played in the preparation of the contract between the Home Office/Immigration and Nationality Directorate and Group 4 Amey International (GAIL) for the design and build of the Yarl's Wood Detention Centre; and if he will make a statement. [206169]

Mr. Browne: Ministers are not involved in the preparation of contracts either by way of choice of contractor or in the detail contained within the contract document. Ministers and other public officials may however be involved in specification and/or
26 Jan 2005 : Column 392W
consultation prior to contract tender. The Treasury Solicitors and Freshfields prepared the Yarl's Wood contract.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice Ministers (a) sought and (b) received in relation to the timescale for the project to design and build the Yarl's Wood Detention Centre. [206170]

Mr. Browne: Due to the large volume of records on this project, the answer could be obtained only at disproportionate cost however, I can say that Ministers were kept fully informed during each stage of the process including procurement of the site, construction and finally the opening and operation of the centre. These briefings covered the key milestones at each stage of the project and updates on progress.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps Ministers took to satisfy themselves that the Yarl's Wood Detention Centre opened in November 2001 was fit for purpose. [206171]

Mr. Browne: Yarl's Wood was designed to, and when completed, met all the required British standards and Building Control requirements. As Contract Administrators, PMI (later Osprey PMI) checked both the design and construction to ensure that the project was in full compliance with the requirements.

If PMI were not satisfied with a particular element of the build, a contractual notice of non-compliance was issued to the main contractor and the existence of such a notice, if not corrected, would have prevented the centre being opened.

A limited number of non-compliance notices were issued but were all checked and cleared prior to a Permit to Use (PtU) being issued to GSL All the operating procedures and contingency plans were written and approved by the Immigration Nationality Directorate prior to a PtU being issued. Ministers were informed when the centre was finally ready for use.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what performance measures relating to assaults by detainees were contained in the contract for the operation of the Yarl's Wood Detention Centre by Group 4; and if he will make a statement. [206172]

Mr. Browne: There is no mechanism for applying Performance Measures for individual assaults by detainees in the contract for the operation of the Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre (IRC).

Performance Measures are applied for incidents of concerted in-discipline whereby for any incident where three or more detainees (and/or dependent children) act together with the intention of disrupting the order and discipline of the Removal Centre, Performance Measures shall accrue. Performance points accrue for each incident. There is no restriction on the number of times this Performance Measure can be applied.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation took place between the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and Group 4 Amey International Limited on the operational implications for the Yarl's Wood Detention
26 Jan 2005 : Column 393W
Centre of his decision of October 2001 that the use of prison places for immigration detainees would cease by January 2002. [206173]

Mr. Browne: There were regular meetings between the Immigration Nationality Directorate officials and Group 4 Amey International Limited (GAIL) to discuss operational issues prior to the opening of Yarl's Wood Removal Centre.

The contract with GAIL required them to accept into Yarl's Wood whoever the Immigration Service sent to them and the Centre had facilities, including more secure areas, to assist with the management of difficult detainees.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice was given by Osprey PMI to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (a) in April 2000 and (b) subsequently about the project timescale for the building of the Yarl's Wood Detention Centre; if he will publish this advice; and if he will make a statement. [206175]

Mr. Browne: The brief given to PMI (later Osprey PMI) in April 2000, on their appointment as Consultants, was that there was a requirement to provide 1,800 additional detention places by the end of the financial year 2000–01. PMI initially advised the Immigration Nationality Directorate (IND) that the timescale was not feasible but, after discussion, it was agreed that tenders would be issued to provide the first centre at Yarl's Wood. If the marketplace in general came back with the answer that the timescale for the programme was impossible re-assessment would have to be made. In the process, tenders returned documents offering to complete the project within the required timescale by adopting a modular building solution. Following contract award, IND's contract administrator, PMI carried out continual reviews of programme and progress on Yarl's Wood and advised IND on at least a weekly basis.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the speed of the process leading up to the awarding of the contract to design, build and run the Yarl's Wood Detention Centre, further to the comments made in the report by the Prisons Ombudsman into the disturbance and fire at the centre in February 2002. [206176]

Mr. Browne: The overall timetable was always considered to be exacting, however it could only be tested by going to the marketplace. The contract tender and award process followed European public purchasing rules. All major projects are now subject to a more robust challenge and scrutiny system under the Office for Government Commerce Gateway review process and internally within the Immigration and Nationality Department by the Joint Approvals Committee (made up of senior officials) and also by the Home Office Group Investment Board.

Next Section Index Home Page