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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the business case for the National Offender Management Information System was completed; when a decision is expected on its approval; who will take the decision; and what the timing for implementation of the project is. 
Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 7 July 2005]: The full business case for the National Offender Management Information System was completed on 10 June 2005 and approved by the Home Office Group Investment Board on 30 June 2005. Implementation is expected to commence in July 2006 and take up to two years to complete.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether police officers outside London have operated a shoot-to-kill policy since 1997, with particular reference to armed officers operating in (a) Hertfordshire and the (b) Hemel Hempstead constituency. 
Hazel Blears: Specialised operational tactics to deal with the threat of deadly attack are operational matters for the police. The tactical options adopted by forces may differ depending on the Chief Officer's assessment of local need.
Hazel Blears: Levels of wastage of police officers from police forces remain low in comparison to other employment. Police forces have a range of pay and other incentives to retain officers in particular posts.
Hazel Blears: The deployment of officers on the beat and other operational duties is a matter for chief constables. In line with the efficiency strategy for the police service we expect the service to increase time spent on front-line policing to around 72 per cent. by March 2008. This would be a gain equivalent to more than 12,000 extra officers over the next three years.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time equivalent special constables there have been in Bedfordshire Police in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Hazel Blears: Figures for Special Constabulary strength are collected from Police forces and published annually in Home Office Statistical Bulletins. As special constables are volunteers and do not have contracted hours, figures are available only on a headcount basis.
|As at 31 March:||Number|
Hazel Blears: The design of police officer uniforms is a matter for individual chief constables and their police authorities. A national advisory specification has been provided to forces by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Chaplaincy teams play an invaluable role in the life of the prison community. They are involved in a wide range of activities including provision of worship, and religious education, courses on restorative justice, bereavement and family issues. Schemes such as community based chaplaincy draw on the link that chaplains have with their faith communities to provide ongoing practical support and encouragement to help ex offenders resettle into their communities on release. All prisons have multi faith chaplaincy teams to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of prisoners and staff.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the criteria are for the determination of whether (a) a formal and (b) an informal investigation is to be undertaken for disciplinary matters within the Prison Service; how many (i) formal and (ii) informal investigations have been undertaken into (A) prison governors, (B) prison officers and (C) other Prison Service staff in each year since 1997, broken down by allegation type; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The seriousness of an incident or the alleged misconduct of a member of staff determines whether an informal or formal investigation is carried out. Formal investigation is recommended in instances where an incident has any major consequences e.g. disorder, damage or injury; where there was serious harm to any person; or where misconduct has occurred which may require formal disciplinary action.
Central records on investigations have been maintained since 2000 but do not include information on whether the investigation was conducted into the actions of a prisoner or a member of staff. Data prior to 2000, or an analysis of only those investigations relating to a member of staff, could be obtained only by
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searching records at each establishment, which would incur disproportionate cost. Information on informal investigations is not retained or held centrally.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the instances since 2001 when prison governors have been found (a) with drugs and (b) inappropriately using the internet, and for each indicate (i) how long the investigation lasted, (ii) what disciplinary action was taken and (iii) on what basis the investigation was conducted; 
(2) how many prison (a) governors, (b) governor/manager grade staff and (c) prison officers have been (i) found with or (ii) investigated for drugs at each prison since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: Her Majesty's Prison Service does not tolerate corruption by its staff and is totally committed to eradicating this wherever it occurs. A professional standards strategy was introduced in February 2003 in order to promote and support a culture that is hostile to corruption. The strategy includes a system that enables the reporting of wrongdoing and provides support for individuals who do so. It also lays out a policy framework and practical advice for gathering information and developing intelligence on staff suspected of wrongdoing. The Prison Service also has in place robust policies setting out how wrongdoing must be investigated and how staff disciplinary matters are to be dealt with.
In order to ensure that these procedures are effective, two comprehensive reviews are currently being undertaken. The first is a review of current arrangements and performance on professional standards issues. The second is a review of the Code of Discipline with particular focus on improving the quality and timeliness of all of the service's investigations. Both reviews are due to report in December 2005.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to publish the Surveillance Commissioners' report into informant handling and the use of informers prepared for the Prison Service in 2005. 
Fiona Mactaggart: No. The Surveillance Commissioner's report is for the information and consideration of the Director General of Her Majesty's Prison Service and is not for publication. The Office of the Surveillance Commissioners supports this approach.
The title of Area Intelligence Officer has recently been changed to that of Area Professional Standards Manager (APSM). This more accurately reflects the office holder's role in dealing with prison staff, professional standards and corruption
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issues. The main role of the APSM is to assist and support local prison establishments, the Area Manager and the Prison Service's Professional Standards Unit with the development of a wide range of staff related inquiries.
Passive drug detection dogs are specialist trained search dogs which are deployed to screen people for illegal drugs. These dogs do not make contact with the person and give an indication to the handler usually by sitting in front of the person. Active search dogs are used to search areas, such as prisoners' accommodation and work off the lead.
Fiona Mactaggart: The Home Office statistical bulletin "Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2004' will be published in November 2005. A copy of the publication will be available in the Library, and supplemented by further tables on the Home Office website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/omcs.html.
The building of such prisons was considered in the report by Patrick Carter "Review of PFI and Market Testing in the Prison Service" in January 2001. Based on Prison Service estimates in 2001, the report indicated that construction costs for a 2,000 place prison built to a category B standard of security would be around £100,000 per place.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of prisoners in custody is represented by (a) foreign nationals, (b) those with limited or no command of English, (c) those from ethnic minorities, (d) those classed as vulnerable and (e) those with special needs; and if he will make a statement on provision for those groups. 
As at 30 June 2005, the proportion of the prison population represented by foreign nationals was 13 per cent. The proportion represented by those from ethnic minority groups was 25 per cent. This was as recorded on the Prison Service IT system. The information requested on the other specified categories is not centrally available.
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The Prison Service is committed to ensuring that all prisoners irrespective of nationality, race, ethnicity, disability or other circumstance are able, as far as practicable, to participate equally in prison life.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) prison staff, (b) prison governors and (c) other prison staff have been disciplined for drugs (i) possession and (ii) usage in each year since 1997. 
|Prison officers||Prison governors||Other prison staff|
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sanctions are taken against visitors to prison inmates who are found (a) to be in possession of prohibited substances and (b) dealing in prohibited substances; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: In both cases the police are asked to take action against any visitors found in possession of or dealing in prohibited substances. Any such visitors may then be banned from visiting the prison, or subjected to visiting restrictions at the discretion of the governor.
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