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4 Apr 2005 : Column 1276W—continued

Home Detention

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2005, Official Report, column 393W, on home detention curfew, how many of the people released under the Home Detention Scheme have gone on to re-offend within (a) two months, (b) four months, (c) six months, (d) a year and (e) two years. [223585]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 23 March 2005]: Information on re-offending within the particular periods requested is not available.

Identity Theft

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps individuals can take to prevent identity theft. [224293]

Mr. Browne: The Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee, a collaboration of Government Departments and private sector organisations, has produced a website ( which offers advice on how individuals can protect their identity. This includes keeping personal information secure, keeping plastic cards safe and being careful when giving out card details, looking after important documents and destroying unwanted documents, and advice on use of passwords.

In the longer term, the introduction of ID cards issued on a more secure basis than current passports and driving licences will provide people with a highly effective way of protecting their identity from misuse.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) remedies and (b) penalties are available in the event of identity theft; and what steps are taken to restore misappropriated property used in identity theft to the owner. [224310]

Mr. Browne: It is not a criminal offence for a person simply to use another identity. However, false identities are often used to facilitate criminal activity such as deception, fraud, theft and money laundering. The Identity Cards Bill currently before Parliament includes
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a new offence of being in possession or control of false identity documents, including a genuine document that relates to someone else, without reasonable excuse. The proposed maximum penalty for this offence is two years imprisonment. It will also be an offence for a person to possess these documents with the intention of using the document for establishing registrable facts about himself, or allowing or inducing another to use it for establishing, ascertaining or verifying registrable facts about himself. The proposed maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.

Subject to the needs of any criminal investigation and prosecution, the police will make any property that comes into their possession available to the rightful owner.


Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 15 March 2005, Official Report, column 191W, on Iran, what action the Immigration and Nationality Directorate has taken to secure responses from the Iranian Government. [224304]

Mr. Browne: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) continues to encourage the Iranian embassy to issue Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) at the earliest opportunity through regular reviews of all cases with the Consul. These vary in frequency between one week and 13 weeks dependant on the case and the quality of documentation that is submitted as proof of the subject's nationality and identity.

The purpose of each review with the Consul is to secure the issue of an ETD for a subject. The Iranian embassy requires the submission of specific evidence of nationality and identity including expired passports, birth certificates, identity cards and other original official Iranian documentation. Irrespective of the number of reviews that are held with the embassy, if the required documentation is not available, then it is virtually impossible to secure an ETD to effect a removal.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications have been made by his Department to the Iranian Government for passports or other travel documentation to facilitate the repatriation of failed asylum seekers in each of the last five years; and how many have been granted in each of those years. [224203]

Mr. Browne: Applications for travel documents are not annotated with a person's immigration status. Consequently it is not possible to differentiate between the number of applications submitted to the Iranian Government/Embassy to repatriate failed asylum seekers from those required to return other immigration offenders.

Prior to 2003, there were no applications made to the Iranian Government as removals could be effected by EU letter.

In 2003, 24 applications for travel documents were submitted and three were issued.

In 2004, 60 applications for travel documents were submitted and six were issued.
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To date in 2005, five applications for travel documents have been made and three issued.

The above statistics are from internal management information and are therefore subject to change.

Knife Crime

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many knife attacks, including those which did not result in homicide, were reported in each year since 1995. [222650]

Ms Blears: The number of offences involving knives is not separated out in the recorded crime statistics. Therefore no information is available on knife offences causing serious or minor injury. The Homicide Index holds details on the number of homicides where the apparent method of killing was the use of a sharp instrument. The available information from 1995 to 2003–04 is given in the table.
Number of homicides(62)involving the use of a sharp instrument


(62)As at 22 October 2004; these figures relate to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence as homicide and are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.

Migrant Workers

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Department's records identify the top 10 employers of migrant labour. [219957]

Mr. Browne: No. The Home Office holds records that can identify the top 10 employers who have applied to take on individuals from outside of the European Economic Area under the work permit scheme and those who use the seasonal agricultural workers scheme. These do not, however, include those employers who employ people from overseas who have permission to work in the UK under other schemes.

Ministerial Private Office Telephone Numbers

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to inform the House authorities of the new telephone numbers for ministerial private offices in his Department; and if he will make a statement. [221472]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Notifications have now been sent to all Members in both Houses.

Motor Vehicle Seizure

Ms Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Police Reform Act 2002 in regard to the seizure of motor vehicles. [221514]

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Caroline Flint [holding answer 21 March 2005]: Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, which came into effect in January 2003, gives the police a power to seize vehicles being driven off-road without authority or on-road inconsiderately or without due care and attention if they are at the same time causing alarm, distress or annoyance.

The police welcomed the new provision in principle. They have been gradually developing policies and practices to ensure its best use, and we are aware of a number of instances where it has been employed effectively. With the Association of Chief Police Officers and practitioners on the ground we have been looking at whether there is any need for further clarification of the power, guidance on its use or amendments to the secondary legislation governing its technical aspects.

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