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12 Sept 2005 : Column 2585W—continued

Foreign Nationals (Detention)

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign nationals are held in prisons or other establishments awaiting deportation, broken down by (a) nationality and (b) establishment. [14689]

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Mr. McNulty: Information on the number of foreign nationals awaiting deportation is unavailable.

Information on the number of persons who were detained under Immigration Act powers, and of those the number awaiting deportation is not available. It would only be available by examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost.

The Prison Service does not record information on deportation orders on the Inmate Information System. Information on the number of persons held in prison who are the subject of a deportation order is not therefore available except by examination of individual case-files, at disproportionate cost.

Work is ongoing to improve the quality of data held on those people detained under Immigration Act powers in Prison Service establishments.

Freedom of Information

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests have been answered by the Department; and in how many cases (a) information was wholly exempted, (b) information was partly exempted and (c) the requests were answered in full. [14966]

Mr. Charles Clarke: 512 Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 requests were answered by the department in the period January to March of this year. Of these 189 were wholly exempted, 61 were partly exempted and 171 were answered in full. The remaining 91 responses related to requests where the information was not held by the department.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) is committed to publishing quarterly updates in relation to departmental performance under FOI, including information on both the volume and outcomes of requests. The first of these updates was published on 23 June 2005 and can be found both on the DCA website at and in the Library. The next bulletin is due in the autumn of this year, while an annual report is also to be published in early 2006.

Full-time Staff

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff were employed in his Department in each financial year from 1997–98; and what the payroll costs were in each year. [12094]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Details of staff numbers and payroll costs are taken from Home Office departmental reports. The only exception to this are the payroll costs for 2004–05, where the costs are taken from the pre-audit resource accounts 2004–05. Full details are supplied with the table.

The following table shows the average number of civil service staff employed in the Home Office group.
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Average number of civil service staff employed in theHome Office group

Total staff numbers

Staff numbers for 1997–98 and 1998–99 are from the Home Office Departmental Report 2002–03 (Cm 5908); the figures for 1999–2000 onwards are from the Home Office Departmental Report 2004–05 (Cm 6528). The figures give the full-time equivalent (FTE) number of permanent civil servants and are calculated on a five-quarter moving average. They include an allowance for overtime and casual appointments.

The following table shows payroll costs for the Home Office group. These are taken from the Home Office Departmental Report 2002–03 (Cm 5908) for 1998–99 to 2003–4. Figures for 1997–98 are not available. The figure for 2004–05 is from the pre-audit resource accounts 2004–05.
Payroll costs for the Home Office group


The payroll figures reported in the departmental report include costs for the Criminal Records Bureau and for the National Probation Service. They are not therefore directly comparable with the staff numbers, which include permanent civil servants employed by the Home Office and its main agencies.

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Gun Crime

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2005, Official Report, column 530W, on gun crime, if he will publish the statistics for gun crime deaths by police force area. [16097]

Hazel Blears: The number of fatalities involving firearms, excluding air weapons, between 1999–2000 and 2003–04 is shown in the table.
Fatalities involving firearms(150)(excluding air weapons) in England and Wales by police force

Police force area1999–20002000–012001–022002–032003–04
Avon and Somerset02063
Devon and Cornwall11002
Greater Manchester9101168
London, City of00000
London, Metropolitan2428443523
North Wales00000
North Yorkshire00000
South Wales00010
South Yorkshire00020
Thames Valley12004
West Mercia00000
West Midlands34798
West Yorkshire13714
England and Wales6272968068

(150)By weapons being fired, used as a blunt instrument or in a threat.

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Harmful Gaseous Substances

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department has put in place to respond to a deliberate release of harmful gaseous substances. [14786]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The emergency services, Government Departments and agencies, local authorities and other relevant organisations have contingency plans in place to enable them to provide a multi-agency response to a wide range of incidents including the deliberate release of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) substances and material. It would not be appropriate to disclose details about specific operational and technical procedures as these might be of potential use to terrorists.

The Government have published a wide range of advice for responders and consequence managers on the deliberate release of CBRN substances which can be accessed through the following website: UK Resilience (

Hate Crime

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps are being taken to protect the Muslim community from reprisals following the bombings on 7 July, with particular reference to Brent; and if he will make a statement. [16038]

Mr. Charles Clarke: It is for chief officers of police to decide how best to protect members of the public from being attacked. I understand that the Association of Chief Police Officers has issued guidance to forces reminding them of the need to pay particular attention to communicating with, and providing appropriate levels of policing to, communities which may feel vulnerable to attack following the bombings in London.

In Brent, as elsewhere, the police established a security group headed by a senior officer, the Muslim community is represented on the group, and extra patrols have also been deployed to protect and reassure communities who feel vulnerable. Police officers have received specific briefing to ensure that hate crimes are identified, recorded and investigated robustly.

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