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12 Sept 2005 : Column 2594W—continued

Illegal Immigrants

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the main countries of origin of people who are in the UK illegally. [10456]

Mr. McNulty: The methodology that was used in the report published on 30 June 2005—Sizing the unauthorised (illegal) migrant population in the United Kingdom in 2001—cannot be used to make an assessment of the main countries of origin of people in the UK illegally.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the cost of transferring the UK's immigration system to one based on points; and if he will make a statement. [15119]

Mr. McNulty: The launch of the consultation exercise, on 19 July 2005, will help us shape the operational model needed to deliver a points based system, and with that the establishment of the costs of that system.

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many qualified adjudication officers have been employed in the Immigration Department in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [16098]

Mr. McNulty: Table 1 shows the approximate number of full-time equivalent staff members deployed in initial decision-making areas, in case working grades in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, in each year since September 2000. Decision-making grades are administrative officer and executive officer and equivalent grades.
Table 1

September 2000405351(151)1,0992,453
September 2001410399(151)1,3163,082
September 2002505818(152)1,8993,324
September 20034007181,2083,869
September 20043457111,3554,006
June 2005(153)9246391,7734,023

(151)ICD Croydon only.
(153)Includes appeals, which are not initial decision cases, in this figure for June 2005, only.
1.NASS is the National Asylum Support Service which makes decisions on entitlement to support which are an ancillary decision to initial asylum decisions.
2.MM is Managed Migration and the figures are for AO grade only.
3.The headcount is the actual number of people employed by the organisation, some of whom will be part time, or on career breaks. The hours of those working part time are added together and divided by normal full-time working hours to arrive at the full-time equivalent.

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Historically, immigration staff-in-post data has not been collated by job type, but by grade and directorate. These figures therefore include some staff whose work supports the caseworkers. The numbers of those who work in the Immigration Service as Immigration Officers and Assistant Immigration Officers have also been shown because decisions at points of entry are significant initial decisions. Immigration Service staff are deployed on many various aspects of immigration control and it is not possible to identify particular numbers for particular types of work.

The total number of staff employed by the Immigration and Nationality Department at the end of each financial year since 1997 is indicated in table 2. These figures include all elements of the work, not just initial decision areas.
Table 2

As at 31 MarchFull-time equivalentHeadcount


Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what decision has been reached in relation to whether the IMPACT system will contain unevaluated information and intelligence in addition to evaluated intelligence; and what the implications are of each option in terms of (a) cost and (b) the time scale of the project. [16029]

Hazel Blears: The aim of the IMPACT Programme is to deliver an effective local, regional and national information sharing and intelligence capability. This is likely to include access to both evaluated intelligence and other information, and decisions will be taken as the programme progresses as to the nature and extent of the information available. How this is to be achieved will be outlined in a business case for a long term programme of work in September that will address costs and time scale associated with each project. Full guidance to the police is being prepared on all aspects of information management and sharing.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much has been spent on the IMPACT programme to date; and what the projected total cost of the programme is. [16028]

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Hazel Blears: The total projected cost of the programme will be determined under the work to finalise the business case. A total of £160 million was allocated to the Programme in the 2004 Spending Review. To date (end June 2005) including monies spent in 2004–05 £7.1 million has been spent and committed.


Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will list (a) UK and (b) EU (i) initiatives, (ii) programmes and (iii) laws under discussion concerning improper use of the internet. [16067]

Paul Goggins: The Government have always taken the view that all legislation must be robust enough to deal with offences whether they are committed on or off line. To this end there is a variety of legislation which deals with offences which can be commissioned utilising computer systems and networks, but which contain no specific reference to use of the internet.

Initiatives and programmes under discussion on which the Home Office leads on this issue include: educating computer users about the risks of fraud committed using the internet through advice on the Home Office website on avoiding internet fraud; we have published jointly with APACS (the Association of Payment Clearing Services) a leaflet on card safety which includes a section on using cards safely over the internet; the Home Office has also created and maintains the e-tailing" mini site, which provides information to help both businesses and consumers protect themselves specifically when using the internet; and finally the Home Secretary's Task Force on Child Protection on the Internet seeks to protect children using the internet, and from abuse fuelled by criminal misuse of new technologies, and promote safe use of the internet.

In respect of legislation under discussion being developed by the Home Office, the Government and the opposition are working together to develop three new offences that could relate to terrorists' use of the internet. These are: (1) Indirect incitement—covering any method of making a message available to the public which is intended to encourage others to engage in terrorist activities, while not directly calling upon them to do so; (2) Training in terrorist methods and techniques, and in making or using hazardous substances for terrorist purposes. This offence could be used if individuals take advantage of the internet to carry out such training; (3) Acts preparatory. This would target individuals and groups involved in preparing, instigating or conspiring to commit an act of terrorism. Where the internet is used in this process, such improper use could be targeted. In all three cases, intent to cause or facilitate terrorist activities would have to be proved.

In addition, the Fraud Bill is seeking to ensure that use of computers or the internet to commit or facilitate fraud is criminalised in legislation, the Identity Cards Bill includes an offence of tampering with the National Identity Register including the unauthorised modification of its contents by electronic means, and Government will seek to make amendments to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 when parliamentary time allows.
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Within the EU the Safer Internet Programme is designed to complement legislative approaches to combating illegal and harmful material on the internet, by stimulating and supporting self-help and self-regulatory approaches. The original €38.3 million programme between 1999 and 2004: financed projects to create a safer environment via a European network of hot-lines to report illegal content; encouraged self-regulation and codes of conduct; developed filtering and rating systems; and encouraged awareness actions. The new programme, Safer Internet Plus, will run from 2005 to 2008 and has a €45 million budget. The proposed Safer Internet Plus programme aims to both build on its predecessor's achievements and meet new threats.

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