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9 Jun 2005 : Column 654W—continued

Citizenship Ceremonies

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many citizenship ceremonies have taken place in Northern Ireland since their introduction; how many people have become British
 
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subjects as a result; and whether citizenship ceremonies taking place in Northern Ireland follow the same format as those taking place elsewhere in the UK. [2268]

Mr. McNulty: 13 ceremonies have taken place in Northern Ireland since their introduction. 216 adults became British citizens as a result of attending those ceremonies, which were also attended by 43 minors who were registered as British citizens in line with their parents.

Citizenship ceremonies taking place in Northern Ireland follow the same format as those taking place elsewhere in the UK, and are administered by the Lords Lieutenant on a rotational basis.

Class A Drugs (Teenagers)

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many teenagers in the London borough of Haringey he estimates have tried class A drugs in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [2897]

Paul Goggins: The Home Office does not have drug use data broken down to the level of individual boroughs. Neither the survey of smoking, drinking and drug use amongst secondary school children nor the British Crime Survey, which are both used to measure drug use by young people, are able to provide estimates at this level. The most recent estimates of young people's drug use at the national level can be found in the 2004 headline figures of the survey of smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England (published in March 2005) and 'Drug Misuse Declared: findings from the 2003–04 British Crime Survey' (published in May 2005).

Drug-related Crime (Haringey)

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of crime in the London borough of Haringey was deemed to be drug-related in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [2898]

Paul Goggins: Recorded crime figures are used to measure the extent of crime in local areas. Although these include statistics on drugs offences—such as possession—and on property crimes—such as burglary—they do not contain information on the offender's drug habits. It is therefore not possible to estimate from these statistics the numbers of crimes in Haringey that are drug-related.

Identity Cards

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to publish his Department's appraisal of the biometrics technology for identity cards and the cost-benefits analysis of the introduction of identity cards prior to the Second Reading of the Identity Cards Bill. [2075]

Mr. McNulty: The report of the UK Passport Service Biometrics Enrolment Trial was published on 25 May 2005. The objective of the trial was to test the processes, and record customer experience and attitude during the recording and verification of facial, iris and fingerprint biometrics. The trial was not aimed at testing the
 
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biometric technology. The latest information on costs and benefits of the identity cards scheme is contained in the Regulatory Impact Assessment which was published alongside the Identity Cards Bill on 25 May 2005. Copies of both the Biometric Enrolment Trial Report and the Regulatory Impact Assessment are available on the identity cards website www.identitycards.gov.uk.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list each category of information planned to be held on the identity card registry. [2157]

Mr. McNulty: The information that may be held on the national identity register is strictly limited by the Identity Cards Bill. It is listed in Schedule 1 to the Bill and includes name, address, nationality, date and place of birth as well as biometric information.

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to consult the Civil Registration Service on his proposals for identity cards; and if he will make a statement. [3028]

Mr. McNulty: Consultation is continuing with relevant stakeholders who have an interest in the proposals for identity cards.

Identity Checks (Heathrow)

Mark Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the performance of (a) the national automated fingerprint identification system and (b) the iris-check computer at London Heathrow airport. [1202]

Mr. McNulty: All information technology solutions provided by the Home Office are subject to review to ensure that they continue to meet the business needs and requirements for which they were established.

The last review of national automated fingerprint identification system (known as IDENT1 from 1 April 2005) was completed in April 2005.

IRIS (iris records immigration system) is being introduced as a secure, automated border entry system using iris recognition technology. IRIS has passed confidence testing and is currently being trialled and evaluated in situ at Heathrow Terminals 2 and 4. Live trials will commence later in the summer. Once completed the live trials will be evaluated before a decision is made about introducing the system to eight other airport terminals throughout the United Kingdom.

Identity Theft

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government are taking to tackle identity theft; and if he will make a statement. [2143]

Mr. McNulty: The Government have reintroduced to Parliament the Identity Cards Bill, which makes provision for a national identity cards scheme to provide people with a highly secure means of protecting their identity. The Identity Cards Bill also includes a proposed new offence of being in possession or control of false identity documents, without reasonable cause.
 
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Alongside the work on identity cards, the Home Office, in collaboration with other Government Departments and private sector organisations, has set up the Identity Fraud Steering Committee to lead a cross public/private sector work programme to tackle identity theft and identity fraud. The programme co-ordinates existing activity in the public and private sectors and identifies new projects and initiatives to reduce identity crime. The Committee has set up a website—www.identitytheft.org.uk—which explains how to keep personal information safe, how to get help if one is the victim of identity theft, and what is being done to tackle this growing crime.

The UK Passport Service has deployed a database of lost and stolen passports which is being shared with border authorities and police worldwide to prevent identity fraud. It is also piloting a system to undertake more background checks on passport applications.

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 changed the law to align the penalty associated with fraudulently obtaining a driving licence with that for fraudulently obtaining a passport and made these arrestable offences. Fraudulently obtaining either document incurs a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment.

Illegal Employment

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many employers have been prosecuted for employing people who are in the country illegally in each of the last five years. [739]

Mr. McNulty: The data contained in the table gives the number of defendants proceeded against for "Employing a person subject to immigration control who has attained the age of 16" under the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, Sec. 8, England and Wales 1999 to 2003.

Statistics on court proceedings for 2004 will be published in the autumn.
Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts under Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, Sec. 8, England and Wales 1999 to 2003(19)

Proceeded against
19994
200010
20015
20022
20032


(19) These data are on the principal immigration offence basis.


Immigration

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain from failed asylum seekers who were granted Exceptional Leave to Remain are awaiting a decision by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [54]

Mr. McNulty: 12,785 applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain made by people previously granted Exceptional Leave to Remain are currently awaiting decision in Managed Migration.
 
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