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Serious Organised Crime Agency

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made towards the establishment of the new centre for child protection on the internet affiliated to the Serious Organised Crime Agency; and if he will make a statement. [33238]

Paul Goggins: On 1 April 2005, the Home Secretary announced plans to create a new national centre to protect children from sexual exploitation and combat online child abuse. This new centre will be called Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and is on track to open on 1 April 2006.

The centre will take over the existing functions of the National Crime Squad (NCS) Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) and the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) Serious Sex Offenders' Unit (SSOU) and those functions of the NCS National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) that are focused on tackling online child abuse. It will also deliver a range of new functions. The new centre will:—receive, assess and disseminate intelligence on paedophiles and other serious sex offenders;—undertake proactive investigations into high risk targets. This will include targeting travelling sex offenders and seizing the assets from those who profit from the trade in indecent images;—provide a 24/7 cybertip line for reporting online child abuse;—deliver innovative crime prevention and crime reduction initiatives to reduce the harm caused by online abuse.

This will include public awareness and education campaigns;—manage the national database of child abuse images; and—provide information, advice, training and support. This includes specialist advice and guidance to law enforcement.

The centre will be affiliated to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and included in the SOCA governance arrangements but will have full operational autonomy. We know the only way to tackle these issues effectively is in partnership. Putting the different experts together for the first time in an operational centre will allow us to make a step change in the work we do to protect children.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the objectives are of (a) the chair, (b) the director general designate and (c) each of the four executive directors of the Serious Organised Crime Agency; and if he will make a statement. [34326]


 
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Paul Goggins: Under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, the functions of the Serious Organised Crime Agency are to: (a) prevent and detect serious organised crime, and (b) contribute to the reduction of such crime in other ways and to the mitigation of its consequences, and it is the objective of the chair and the director general to deliver them. The objectives of each of the four executive directors is an operational matter for the director general designate.

Stop and Search

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the London boroughs which have established a local monitoring group to scrutinise the use of stop and search and stop and account; and if he will make a statement. [34342]

Hazel Blears: The Metropolitan Police Authority have informed me that 23 London boroughs have indicated that they have established a local monitoring group to scrutinise the use of stop and search and stop and account. The 23 boroughs are detailed in the following list.

Borough

Terrorism Bill (Police Lobbying)

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the police forces which recommended that judicial oversight be sought during pre-trial detention every seven days, referred to by the Prime Minister on 7 November. [30333]

Hazel Blears: The content of the Terrorism Bill was discussed with the Metropolitan police, which has lead responsibility for terrorism matters, and ACPO, which speaks on behalf of all police forces in England and Wales.
 
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HOUSE OF COMMONS COMMISSION

Fire Training

Lynne Jones: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many (a) hon. Members, (b) hon. Members' staff and (c) other staff working in the Palace of Westminster have attended fire training in each of the last three years; and what proportion of the total this represents in each case. [33298]

Nick Harvey: Over the last three years the numbers attending fire safety awareness training were as follows:
MembersMembers staffStaff of both Houses and contractors working on the estate
2003–04
Number1301,386
Percentage0.32.7254
2004–05
Number622231,967
Percentage1020.293
2005–06 to date
Number011840
Percentage139

Further training will be carried out in 2005–06.

Parliamentary Estate (Lighting)

Peter Law: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone) of 30 November 2005, Official Report, column 571W, on light bulbs, whether the Commission plans to increase the use of energy efficient (a) fluorescent tubes and (b) lamps used on the parliamentary estate to 100 per cent. [35794]

Nick Harvey: Subject to aesthetic and heritage issues in the Palace, fluorescent bulbs are replaced with energy efficient equivalents during the refurbishment of each area. When light fittings come to the end of their life they are similarly replaced with energy efficient bulbs. This is not feasible in Central Lobby or St. Stephens Hall due to the age and design of the chandeliers but in all other areas the replacement programme is expected to be complete by 2007.

Project Costs

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will list the projects costing over £100,000 undertaken on behalf of the Commission since 1997; and what the cost was of each project. [34417]

Nick Harvey: I regret that I am unable to do so, in the absence of a clear definition of what constitutes a project for the purposes of this request. Within an annual Administration Estimate cash budget of over £150 million, there are many developments in the services and facilities provided which might or might not be defined as projects". There have for example been over 250 readily identifiable works and IT-related projects since 1997, many jointly funded with the House
 
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of Lords. Records of other projects and programmes are not held centrally, and compiling a comprehensive and authoritative list could be done only at disproportionate cost.

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Criminal Cases (Competitive Tendering)

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will publish the advice provided by Frontier Economics to her Department in respect of its proposals to introduce competitive tendering in criminal legal aid; and if she will make a statement. [35084]

Bridget Prentice: We will consider the future of competitive tendering including publication of any advice we have received in light of the Carter report into legal aid procurement.


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