Previous Section Index Home Page

12 Sept 2005 : Column 2641W—continued

Schengen Acquis

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make a statement on the application of the Schengen terms to Romania and Bulgaria. [15921]

Andy Burnham: The arrangements for the application of the Schengen Acquis to Bulgaria and Romania are set out in the Protocol to the Accession Treaty. Parts of the acquis will apply to these states from the date of accession (the relevant provisions are listed in Annex II to the Protocol). The remaining parts, in particular the provision providing for the crossing of internal borders without checks on persons, will only apply after a Schengen evaluation has been carried out and the Council is satisfied that the conditions for the application of all parts of the acquis have been met.

Schengen Information System II

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State forthe Home Department, if he will make a statement on UK participation in Schengen Information System II. [16066]

Andy Burnham: The draft legal instruments on the establishment and operation on the second generation Schengen Information System are currently under negotiation at EU working parties. These instruments constitute a development to the Schengen Acquis and UK participation will be in accordance with the Protocols annexed to the Amsterdam Treaty on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland and the Protocol incorporating the Schengen Acquis.

Security Services (Foreign Languages)

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Urdu-speaking special
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2642W
branch officers there are; how many there were on 10 September 2001; and how many Urdu speakers there are in MI5. [15054]

Paul Goggins: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Sex Offender Treatment (Wolvercote)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to provide residential sex offender treatment programmes in the community following the closure of the Wolvercote clinic; and if he will make a statement. [4993]

Mr. Charles Clarke: In September 2004, the National Probation Service launched its Sex Offender strategy. As part of the Strategy's objective to develop a range of accommodation options for sex offenders commensurate with risk and need, the National Probation Directorate undertook to develop specialised residential sex offender treatment facilities for sex offenders who require longer treatment programmes and more intensive supervision to reduce their risk. The National Probation Directorate is now seeking to identify suitable locations for such specialised treatment centres.

Sexual Offences Act

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will produce an easy-read guide to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for people with learning disabilities; and if he will make a statement. [12928]

Paul Goggins: We have been working with Respond, Mencap, the Down's Syndrome Association and the National Forum for People with Learning Difficulties to produce appropriate resources in order to help people with learning disabilities to understand the Sexual Offences Act 2003. It is hoped that the guidance will be available in the autumn.

Sickness Absence

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many days the Department has lost due to sickness in the past five years for which figures are available. [11464]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The annual report Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service" published by the Cabinet Office in November 2004 contains reported sickness absence data for the calendar year 2003 for the Department and its agencies. Table A of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the number of staff years on which that calculation is based on. Reports for earlier years are available on the Cabinet Office website.

The Department is committed to managing sick absence effectively and to putting in place the recommendations of the Managing Sickness Absence in the Public Sector" report.
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2643W

Home Department—sickness analysis

Workdays lost to sickness
20012002200320042005 (estimated)
Centrally managed Home Office(173)
UK Passport Service32,350.535,28234,16532,33633,603
Forensic Science Service(175)(176)10,09323,1909,08725,823
Public Sector Prisons(177)592,173614,150668,337628,623616,367

(173)Reports run for previous 12 months from November 2002, June 2003 and April 2004.
(174)2005 figures for Core, from PayFact estimated on 11 month basis.
(175)Reports in 2002 and 2004 are based on five months; 2003 is based on full calendar year. 2005 is at end of fiscal year.
(176)No data available.
(177)Reports based on financial years, using 225 working days and the average staff in post for year.

The Home Office is fully committed to implementing the recommendations of the joint DWP/Cabinet Office report on managing attendance in the public sector and the Group HR Board approved an action plan at its meeting in July to reduce sickness absence across the whole Department.

Sir Roy Meadows

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the implications of the decisions of the General Medical Council relating to Sir Roy Meadows for the process of accrediting expert witnesses. [14108]

Fiona Mactaggart: I am aware of the recent concerns raised with regard to the quality of expert witnesses. I have therefore instituted a consultation exercise on how best to implement a quality regulation system within the forensic science market. The decision of the GMC and the issue of accreditation with appropriate regulatory bodies will be considered as part of that process.

Stop and Search Procedures

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the revised guidelines on the stop and search procedure. [13744]

Hazel Blears: Arrangements will be made to place the Stop and Search Manual published on 31 March 2005 in the Libraries of both Houses.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) percentage and (b) numerical charge in (i) stops and (ii) stops and searches has been in each police force, broken down by ethnicity since 7 July; and if he will make a statement. [13369]

Hazel Blears [holding answer 20 July 2005]: The information requested is not available. Information on stops and searches is published for financial years. The latest available ethnic breakdown of this data, for 2003–04, was published in February 2005 in Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2004' which is available on the Home Office website at:

along with previous years' equivalent publications.
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2644W

Terrorism Act

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) legal and (b) administrative action has been taken against (i) individuals and (ii)organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000 in each year since its implementation; and if he will make a statement. [16108]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Two individuals were convicted in 2002 in England and Wales under Section 11(1) of the Terrorism Act (membership of a proscribed organisation). They were each sentenced to 2½ years' imprisonment.

A total of 30 administrative actions have been taken by Her Majesty's Treasury against groups proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000. In all cases this has involved freezing the funds, financial assets, and economic resources of proscribed groups. The authority of Her Majesty's Treasury to freeze assets is derived from the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2001 (SI 3365/2001) (which implemented UNSCR 1373 in UK law) and the al-Qaeda and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2002 ((SI 111/2002). The yearly breakdown is as follows.
Total number of actions

Next Section Index Home Page