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12 Sept 2005 : Column 2550W—continued

Automatic Number Plate Recognition

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many number plates have been logged per day on average in each month since the automatic number plate recognition system has been in place; and how many related to (a) stolen vehicles,
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(b) non-payment of vehicle excise duty, (c) expired MOT certificates and (d) absence of insurance in each case. [3957]

Paul Goggins: During the 18 month period that covered both Laser pilot exercises, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems recorded over 32 million reads. However, a detailed breakdown of these reads is not held centrally.

Badger Cruelty

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to make badger cruelty a notifiable offence. [12462]

Hazel Blears: The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 provides the required statutory protection for badgers. Offences under the Act are recordable on the Police National Computer, although they are not notifiable to the Home Office for the purposes of the recorded crime statistics.

The recorded crime statistics are restricted to offences which are indictable or triable either way and a few closely related summary offences. Although these arrangements may be changed without legislation, we do not consider that the additional workload on the police which would be entailed by a requirement to notify such summary offences would be justified.


Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will remove (a) incapacity benefit and (b) disability living allowance from the list of public funds HC 251 (as amended); [14377]

(2) for what reasons (a) disability living allowance and (b) incapacity benefits are included in the list of public funds in HC 251 (as amended). [14378]

Mr. McNulty: As a general rule, individuals with limited leave to remain in the UK are not entitled to certain income-related benefits, including disability living allowance and severe disablement allowance, because they are funded entirely out of revenue from general taxation and entitlement does not require payment of national insurance contributions. The rationale behind this is that those who have not established their right to remain permanently in the UK should not have welfare provision on the same basis as those whose citizenship or status here gives them an entitlement to benefits when in need. This is reflected in the immigration rules.

All those admitted to the UK for a temporary purpose are required under the rules to be able to maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants without recourse to a defined list of public funds. Consequently all those in the UK on limited leave generally have a condition endorsed in their passports prohibiting recourse to public funds.

There are no plans to remove disability living allowance and severe disablement allowance from the list of public funds. Incapacity benefit is not currently on the list because entitlement generally depends on the payment of national insurance contributions.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice his Department has issued on dealing with the latest forms of bio-terrorism; and if he will make a statement. [13973]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The latest Government advice on counter terrorism including bio-terrorism can be found on the following websites: UK Resilience ( and the Security Service ( More detailed advice can also be found on the Health Protection Agency website (

The Government will issue any specific advice on particular threats as and when it is needed. General advice on dealing with emergencies, can be found on the UK Resilience website and was also issued to households and businesses last year.


Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has conducted into the role that advance passenger information can provide in strengthening border security. [13211]

Mr. McNulty: The systematic capture of passenger information in advance of travel is at the heart of our multi-agency e-Borders programme, which will create a modernised and secure border for the UK.

As part of the work which led to the development of the e-Borders vision, a significant amount of research was carried out by the Immigration Service into the potential benefits that the receipt of passenger information in advance of travel could bring in improving both the effectiveness and efficiency of border control. As part of that work a comprehensive study was carried out in 2002 by an external contractor, which concluded that there were substantial benefits, including in the area of enhanced border security, to be gained from an Advance Passenger Processing system with advance passenger information at its core.

Many other countries have introduced, or are seeking to introduce, systems which aim to exploit the benefits of advance passenger information and the development of the e-Borders concept owes much to the research we have conducted into other countries' practical experience in this area.

The border agencies are already using passenger information to varying degrees and day to day experience demonstrates the benefits that having such data in advance of travel can bring. Moving forward with the e-Borders programme, project Semaphore, the pilot test bed project for the wider programme, is currently giving us the opportunity to learn more about the practical use of advance passenger information the receipt of which, even on the restricted number of routes involved so far, is already providing tangible operational benefits.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the treaty basis is for those elements of the EU borders agency FRONTEX that have been established. [15911]

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Mr. McNulty: The treaty bases for Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 of 26 October 2004 (OJ L 349, 25 November 2004) which established the European Border Agency (FRONTEX) are Articles 62(2)(a) and 66 of the treaty establishing the European Community.

On 26 April, on the basis of Article 15 of Regulation 2007/2004, the Council adopted Council Decision 8151/05 FRONT 61 COMIX 246 +COR1(en) +COR2(en) to site the agency's headquarters in Warsaw. The agency was then formally established on 1 May and two meetings of its Management Board have subsequently been held in Warsaw. The agency's executive director, Colonel Ilkka Laitinen, has been appointed on the basis of Article 20 of Regulation 2007/2004 and following the procedure set out under Article 26 of that Regulation.

British Citizenship

Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why additional documentary evidence was not requested until 22 October 2004 with regard to Application H 357963 for British citizenship. [14363]

Mr. McNulty: The case was reviewed while we were awaiting the result of our enquiries. It came to light during that review that more satisfactory evidence should have been obtained from the applicant to confirm that she met the residence requirements. This further evidence was duly sought.

Burglar Alarms

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent changes have been made to the protocols governing the police response to burglar alarms in (a) Greater Manchester and (b) England and Wales; what national guidelines exist in this area; and what recent discussions he has had with the insurance industry on this matter. [13221]

Hazel Blears [holding answer 18 July 2005]: The policy governing police response to burglar alarms in England and Wales was produced by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in 1995 and is reviewed on a regular basis. The policy ('Police Response to Security Systems') was most recently reviewed in April 2005 and is available on the ACPO website (; no substantive changes were made as a result of the review. The policy resulted from discussions held by ACPO with the private security industry and the Association of British Insurers, who continue to be consulted as part of any review.

Car Tax Discs

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cars in Lancashire have been crushed for not having tax discs in each of the last three years. [14591]

Dr. Ladyman: I have been asked to reply. The number of unlicensed vehicles in Lancashire (including Greater Manchester and Merseyside) which have been disposed of by crushing is as follows.
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