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Free Passports

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many pensioners aged over 75 years have applied for a free passport. [223466]

Mr. Browne: Since the scheme was announced on 19 May 2004, the United Kingdom Passport Service has issued 114,504 passports free of charge to British nationals born on or before 2 September 1929.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Holocaust Memorial Day in helping to teach the lessons of the Holocaust; and what plans he has for future national commemorations of the Holocaust. [222951]

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Fiona Mactaggart: Home Office quantitative polling research in August 2004 and February 2005 show a significant increase in awareness with 77 per cent. of those interviewed in February 2005 having heard of HMD compared with 53 per cent. in August 2004. 66 per cent. agreed that events like HMD have an important part to play in combating racism and discrimination compared with 51 per cent. in August 2004.

To give a comparison, in February 2004 a BBC survey revealed only 55 per cent. of the UK's population had ever heard of Auschwitz. A new BBC survey conducted in January 2005 has shown that now 94 per cent. of the population in the UK has heard of Auschwitz. This awareness is not just superficial, with half of the UK population feeling that they now know quite a lot about the Holocaust, compared to only 30 per cent. last year. In establishing HMD the Government wanted to drive up awareness and understanding of the Holocaust. The televised national event in January, preceded by a reception for survivors at St. James's Palace in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and supported by other media programming about the Holocaust, has succeeded in this aim. Understanding the continuum of hatred and marginalisation that led from racist abuse to mass genocide will help new generations to stand up to anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance.

The 2005 commemoration provides an excellent basis for the work of the new Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which will shortly be launched and will assume responsibility for the delivery of HMD from now on.

Immigration Centres

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of physical or racial abuse at the immigration centres were reported to his Department in 2004. [220897]

Mr. Browne: Six alleged cases of physical abuse and 21 alleged cases of racial abuse were reported during 2004. All were investigated and found to be unsubstantiated. Every report or allegation of inappropriate treatment against detainees is reported to the contract monitor and investigated. All allegations of assault or inappropriate use of force, which includes incorrect handcuffing, are also referred to the police as the appropriate authority to investigate such matters.

As I announced on 8 March 2005, Official Report, column 94WS, there will be an independent inquiry by Stephen Shaw into the allegations contained in the BBC programme Detention Uncovered: the Real Story. As part of this inquiry, Stephen Shaw will be examining the processes in place for investigating reports of physical or racial abuse, and the way these are monitored. Once he has reported back and made recommendations we will be able to consider any implications for the remainder of the detention estate.

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date he expects the arrangements for transferring removal centres from the Prison Service to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to be completed. [223800]

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Mr. Browne: Arrangements are in place to complete the transfer of Dover and Haslar Immigration Removal Centres from the Prison Service to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate by 30 June 2006.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who the members of the senior management of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate are. [222965]

Mr. Browne: I refer my hon. Friend to the Home Office website, where this information is available. It can be found on structure.html?

Imprisonment (Non-UK Nationals)

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the procedures followed by his Department in respect of non-UK nationals who are imprisoned for serious offences and who have come to the end of their sentences; and what steps his Department takes to ensure the rapid repatriation of such individuals when that is the appropriate course of action. [223337]

Mr. Browne: Prison Service Order 4630 issued in September 2004 makes it a mandatory requirement for all prisons to notify the Immigration and Nationality Department Criminal Casework Team of all foreign nationals sentenced to a term of imprisonment in order to determine their liability to deportation.

Those who are convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment are liable to deportation, either if the court makes such a recommendation or if the Secretary of State considers their presence is no longer conducive to the public good. Each case is examined on its merits taking into consider a person's age, length of residency, conduct, ties to the United Kingdom, compassionate circumstances and representations before taking a decision whether to make a deportation order.

Deportation proceedings are normally initiated 12 months before the earliest point of release, but there is a right of appeal, which will inevitably delay the case. However, where a prisoner waives the right of appeal or the appeal is dismissed, the early removal scheme introduced in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides for removal up to 135 days in advance of the conditional release or parole eligibility date, with the exception of a small number of prisoners whose offence is listed in appendix 4 to Prison Service Order 6000.

Money Laundering

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many suspicious activity reports were made to the National Criminal Intelligence Service in connection with suspected money laundering, in (a) each month in 2004 and (b) to date in 2005. [222611]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 18 March 2005]: The total number of disclosures on suspected money laundering (commonly known as Suspicious Activity Reports) received by the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) in each month in 2004, and in January and February 2005 is as follows:
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Offenders (Drug Testing)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of offenders are tested for illicit drugs at the time of arrest; and what proportion of those test positive. [219123]

Caroline Flint: Drug testing on arrest is a provision within the Drugs Bill currently before Parliament. The provision builds upon the existing drug testing on charge scheme and will mean that persons who are in police detention having been arrested for a trigger offence (or an offence to which an inspector has reasonable grounds for suspecting that misuse of a specified Class A drug contributed), may be tested earlier than at present. The Drugs Bill also contains provision for those who test positive to be required to attend an assessment of their drug use and related issues. Assessment in this context has previously been voluntary on the part of the arrestee.

However, the New English and Welsh Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (NEW-ADAM) programme tested a sample of arrestees at 16 custody sites from 1998–2002. The survey, which was not nationally representative, found that 69 per cent. of arrestees tested positive for any drug and 38 per cent. of arrestees tested positive for opiates and/or cocaine/crack.

Ribble Valley

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Ribble Valley and Fulwood constituency, the effects of changes to his departmental policy since 1997 on the constituency. [221997]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Government have put in place policies in the areas of crime reduction, anti-social behaviour, policing and active communities that are yielding considerable benefits for the Ribble Valley constituency, as well as for all parts of the UK.

For example, between March 1997 and September 2004, the number of police officers in Lancashire police force increased by 297 from 3,247 to 3,544. The Government's introduction of community support officers (CSOs) in 2002 has put 117 CSOs on Lancashire streets, with funding available to recruit a further 57 by end of March 2005 to tackle crime and anti-social
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behaviour. Between 1997 and 2003–4, the Lancashire police force area has seen a reduction in recorded domestic burglary crimes of 41 per cent. and in recorded vehicle crimes of 39 per cent.

Lancashire police force is receiving £190.8 million in general grants for 2005–06, an increase of 4.31 per cent. (£7.9 million) over 2004–05. Lancashire police also gains around £0.4 million from the Amending Report for 2003–04, bringing the overall increase to 4.52 per cent. General grants funding to Lancashire has increased by 29.9 per cent. between 1997–98 and 2005–06. In addition to general grants, Lancashire will also receive around £17.4 million in specific grants funding for targeted initiatives and capital provision in 2005–06. The distribution of resources locally is a matter for the Police Authority and the chief constable.

As crime prevention requires action across communities, every area has had a local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) since 1998 which brings together the police, health services, drugs agencies and council and community representatives to decide how to prevent and deter crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Crime Reduction Programme (CRP) was a pioneering Government intervention programme which ran for three years from April 1999 in England and Wales and took an evidence-based approach to crime reduction. Grants of over £340 million were allocated to over 1,470 projects, including CCTV, under 20 initiatives that formed part of the programme. One CCTV project in the Ribble Valley CDRP area received a total of £572,151 from the CRP.

Since 2001, successive initiatives have provided direct funding to each of the 376 Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships in England and Wales. These initiatives include communities against drugs, the safer communities initiative, the small retailers in deprived areas scheme and the building safer communities fund. Since 2001, a total of £298,794 has been allocated to Ribble Valley CDRP under these initiatives. A further £2.32 million has been provided over the two years 2003–04 and 2004–05 to the Home Office regional director in the north west for CDRP capacity building across the region.

It is estimated that out of a million active offenders, 100,000 have three or more convictions and are responsible for half of all crime. There is a prolific and other priority offenders (PPO) scheme in Ribble Valley set up to target those offenders who cause a disproportionate amount of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the community.

The Government's crime reduction website provides further information on the work being done to reduce crime across the country, including information about action and results in local areas. It is available at

New legislation has given local agencies a raft of powers, from antisocial behaviour orders to local dispersal orders and crack house closure powers, to work with local people to tackle anti-social behaviour and nuisance. In Ribble Valley a total of 10 antisocial
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behaviour orders have been issued as of 17 March 2005. Local contacts for tackling anti-social behaviour can be found on

Tackling drug misuse is a priority of this Government and their policy is set out in the 10-year National Drug Strategy launched in 1998 and updated in December 2002. (A copy of the Updated Drug Strategy 2002 is held in the House Library.) Under this, the Government have invested substantially in measures to reduce the harms caused by illegal drugs, focussing on the four strands of:

Direct annual funding nationally to tackle drug misuse amounted to £1,244 million in 2003–04, rising to £1,344 million in 2004–05. Lancashire has seen a significant increase in direct funding for tackling drugs, in particular for drug treatment services and the throughcare and aftercare elements of the Drug Interventions Programme. In 2003–04 the allocation for Lancashire drug action team amounted to £5.47 million, rising to £7.61 million in 2004–05. Details of action taken to tackle drugs in the Ribble Valley constituency can be obtained from the Lancashire drugs action team, for contact details see .

The Government are working to ensure that citizens, communities and the voluntary sector are more fully engaged in tackling social problems, and there is more equality of opportunity and respect for people of all races and religions. Active community participation in England has increased by 1.5 million people between 2001 and 2003. Charities have been supported more effectively, and £125 million is being invested across the country through the futurebuilders fund in voluntary and community organisations that help provide valuable public services. Advice on ways to engage local people in helping their communities is available on the Active Citizenship Centre website

The Home Office has funded a Time Limited Development Fund (TLDF) project in the Ribble Valley, the Trinity Community Partnership (Clitheroe) Ltd. They were awarded £113,930 for three years (the project finishes 31 March 2005). The project has recruited, trained and developed mentors for young people, particularly for those excluded or in danger of being excluded from school or on the periphery of offending, and has encouraged young people to take up volunteering.

This year, 2005, is the year of the volunteer which is being delivered by the Home Office in partnership with community service volunteers and Volunteering England. This will include a whole range of events in local communities across the country that aim to celebrate the contribution which volunteers make to the quality of people's lives, and encourage more people to volunteer.
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We are particularly keen to encourage young people, black and minority ethnic groups, those with no qualifications and disabled people to get involved. More details can be found at .

Detailed information on the impact of Home Office policies across the full range of responsibilities is set out in the Home Office Annual Report and in the Strategic Plan for 2004–08, available on the Home Office website at

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