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Asylum and Immigration

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for indefinite leave to remain in the UK are being considered by his Department; and how many of these have been outstanding for (a) one month or less, (b) one month to three months, (c) three months to one year and (d) more than one year. [224534]

Mr. Browne [holding answer 4 April 2005]: As of 29 March 2005, there were 19,679 indefinite leave to remain cases outstanding for consideration by the immigration and nationality directorate general group in Croydon, Sheffield and the public inquiry offices. Of these, 3,066 have been outstanding for less than 30 days; 5,324 cases outstanding from one month up to three months; 10,264 cases outstanding from three months up to one year; and 1,025 cases outstanding for one year or more.

Child Pornography

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests the UK Government have made to non-EU countries requesting that child pornography websites be removed from the internet; and on what legal basis. [203677]

Paul Goggins: No such requests have been made by the Home Office. Where investigation by a UK law enforcement agency identifies a child abuse image being hosted in another jurisdiction, it will seek to notify the appropriate authority in that country of its presence so that they can seek its removal and take further appropriate action. A similar process is also undertaken by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The IWF was
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formed in 1996 following an agreement between the Government, police and the internet service provider industry that a partnership approach was needed to tackle the distribution of child abuse images online. The IWF operate the only authorised hotline in the UK for the public to report their inadvertent exposure to illegal content on the internet. The hotline provides internet users with a means of reporting potentially illegal content that are located on websites that specifically contain images of child abuse (hosted anywhere in the world), criminally obscene content (hosted in the UK) or criminally racist content (hosted in the UK). As a result of these arrangements less than one per cent. of potentially illegal content is apparently hosted in the UK. Figures for the number of instances on which such requests have been made to other jurisdictions by UK law enforcement are not collated. The legal basis for removing such sites will be dependent on the legislation in place in the particular country in question.

More generally, the Government continues to talk with our international partners about further measures which can be taken to combat the abuse of children and remove such images wherever they are hosted. The G8 countries have adopted a strategy on protecting children from sexual exploitation on the internet. As part of this strategy the UK is leading the development of an international child image database, housed at Interpol which aims to act as a global repository of images of child abuse contributing to the identification of victims and offenders and analysis of images.

The UK also leads in promoting co-operation among law enforcement agencies through the creation, by the National Crime Squad in 2003, of the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT). This is an international alliance of law enforcement agencies delivering innovative crime prevention and crime reduction initiatives to deter and prevent individuals from committing child abuse on-line offences. The VGT is engaged in a number of initiatives which compliment and support the work of existing law enforcement agencies. These include Operation Pin, a website purporting to host child abuse images but which in fact directs those searching for child abuse images to a law enforcement page. The VGT have also developed an international website ( which was launched on 26 January 2005. This acts as a gateway to a wide range of information on how to use the internet safely and links to a range of support agencies around the world that advise and support parents, children and victims of abuse.


Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter dated 2 February from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs. Waheeda Ahmed. [221909]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 1 April 2005.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of inmates in prisons in
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England and Wales were serving sentences for drug-related convictions in each year since 1975; and what the cost was of accommodating the inmates. [223702]

Paul Goggins: The population in prison establishments in England and Wales under an immediate custodial sentence for drug offences as a percentage of the total population under an immediate custodial sentence, in each year since 1976, is provided in the table. Information is not available for 1975.

The Prison Service does not collect data relating to the costs of keeping prisoners in custody by offence type, nor does it retain information readily to hand on costs as far back as 1975. However the overall cost per prisoner for 2003–04 was £25,718 in public sector prisons and £25,377 in contracted out prisons.

These figures exclude headquarters overheads, including the cost of capital on all Prison Service land and buildings plus the cost of depreciation on buildings.

Information for Scotland and Northern Ireland would be a matter for my colleagues at the Scottish Executive and Northern Ireland Office.


Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make an assessment of the way in which the transitional support scheme is working at HMP and YOI Parc. [224181]

Paul Goggins: An assessment has been undertaken of the effectiveness of the transitional support scheme in Wales. A report is expected at the end of May 2005.

Home Detention Curfew

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes have been committed by prisoners released under the Home Detention Curfew in each of the last five years. [221494]

Paul Goggins: The table sets out the number of cautions, convictions and pending prosecutions for offences committed while offenders were subject to the Home Detention Curfew (HDC) scheme over the past five calendar years, as notified to the Home Office by 14 March 2005. The table also gives the numbers of prisoners placed on to the scheme for each of the five years.

It is always a matter of concern when any prisoner who is placed on Home Detention Curfew commits an offence. However, HDC has been successful in providing prisoners with a smoother and more effective re-integration back into the community. The scheme helps prisoners resume employment or training at an earlier stage and so support themselves and their families.

Since the scheme began in January 1999, over 100,000 people have been released on HOC and 85 per cent. of those have successfully completed the curfew period without any problems at all.
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Number of prisoners placed on scheme(6)Number of offencesNumber of offenders

(6) These statistics are based on information recorded on the central Prison Service IT system. Further update and amendments may be made to records on this system in future resulting in revised figures. Figures include those sentenced to three months to less than 12 months.


Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many kidnappings there have been in (a) the Metropolitan, (b) Thames Valley and (c) Surrey police authority area in each of the last three years. [223166]

Ms Blears: The available information relates to recorded offences of kidnapping and is given in the table.
Police force2001–022002–032003–04
Thames Valley688264

Murders (Essex)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been murdered in each year since 1997 in (a) Southend and (b) Essex. [222478]

Ms Blears: Police statistics for the number of homicides include murders, manslaughters and infanticides that come to the attention of the police. Deaths that are not initially believed to be suspicious but are later re-categorised are counted in the year in which they have been recorded as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place.

The following table shows available information relating to the Southend Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership for 2001–02 to 2003–04 and homicide figures recorded by Essex police from 1997 to 2003–04.
Number of homicides

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