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23 Jan 2006 : Column 1777W—continued

Criminal Records Bureau

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what details of an offence are recorded in information included in disclosures by the Criminal Records Bureau. [42572]

Andy Burnham: All Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)disclosures provide employers with information concerning individuals' offences as recorded on the police national computer (PNC), including convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. This would include the date of the conviction, the description of the offence, the disposal and the court or police force concerned. In the case of cautions, the date of the caution and the place it was issued are also included.

Where an application indicates that the position involves working with children and/or vulnerable adults, the disclosure, whether it is at the standard or
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enhanced level, will detail the nature of an individual's inclusion on the Protection of Children Act list or list 99, where the position involves working with children, or details of inclusion on the protection of vulnerable adults list where the position involves working with vulnerable adults. Where the individual is not included on either or all of those lists, the disclosure will record that fact.

An enhanced CRB check involves a further level of checking against non-conviction information which may be held locally by individual police forces. Additionally, any relevant adult or child protection list should be checked where relevant to the position applied for and if a match is found that fact is included on the disclosure.

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make changes to the Criminal Records Bureau's portability scheme with a view to reducing the financial burden placed on voluntary bodies. [42788]

Andy Burnham: The Criminal Records Bureau's Portability Service operates at no cost to the registered body network, which includes organisations belonging to the voluntary sector. Changes to the Portability Service are under consideration but not with the specific aim to reduce the financial burden on voluntary bodies.The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) remains committed to its stated support of voluntary bodies by processing free of charge disclosure checks for those who fall within the definition of a volunteer.

The primary aim of the changes is to minimise the inherent risks involved in reusing disclosures. The decision to accept 'ported' disclosures lies entirely with the employer or regulating body concerned, as does the accompanying risk of making use of potentially out of date information when assessing suitability.

Departmental Objectives

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress towards his Department's strategic objective IV. [41060]

Mr. McNulty: The Government's strategy for a comprehensive reform of the asylum and immigration process Controlling our Borders: Making Migration Work for Britain" was published in February 2004. The subsequent consultation period on the new points-based system for managed migration described in Selective Admission: Making migration work for Britain" ended on 7 November 2005.

We anticipate publishing our response in the springwith a timetable for next steps. The e-borders programme will deliver a fully integrated border control system and is planned to roll out in three stages from 2004 to 2014. We have introduced a range of legislative and operational measures which have successfully reduced the number of unfounded asylum applications and processing times.

The Department remains committed to achieving its aim of tipping the balance and the number of failed asylum seekers being removed from the UK has risen significantly. We removed three, 935 asylum seekers in
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Q3 2005, 10 per cent. more than in Q3 2004. The 'New Asylum Model' will introduce faster, tightly-managed processes for all new asylum claimants.

We have negotiated returns arrangements to assist in returning immigration offenders and are putting immigration at the centre of our relationship with all major countries from which illegal migrants and failed asylum seekers come. We continue to engage closely with other EU member states on returns and have taken part in a number of successful joint operations in this area. The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill which is currently before Parliament will provide the necessary legislative basis for those parts of the strategy which require primary legislation.

DNA Profiles

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State forthe Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 December 2005, Official Report, column 2890W, on DNA profiles, how many (a) murderers and (b) rapists who had been arrested but had not initially been charged or cautioned for an offence have been caught as a consequence of having their profiles stored on the national DNA database; and if he will make a statement. [44407]

Andy Burnham: Research carried out in January 2006 indicates that: 37 murders/manslaughters, 16 attempted murders and 90 rapes have so far been linked to people who had DNA samples taken on arrest but who were not subsequently proceeded against for the arresting offence. It is not possible at the current time to determine the outcome of the police investigation of these crimes.


Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many certificates under section 70(1) of the Extradition Act 2003 have been signed by his Department in respect of requests from the US since 1 January 2005; and how many requests have been received from the US for which a certificate has yet to be issued. [43893]

Andy Burnham: Certification of an extradition request is only carried out after the full request has been received. Usually the person concerned is not arrested until after receipt of the full request, but it is also possible in a case of urgency for the person concerned to be arrested provisionally. The requesting state can then submit the full request at a later date.

We do not comment on any cases in which arrests have not been made, as to give such information might endanger the course of justice. In the period 1 January 2005 to 18 January 2006, eight arrests have taken place in respect of extradition requests from the US which are dealt with by the Home Office. Certificates have been issued in respect of six of these cases.
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The other two cases are provisional arrest requests in which the full request has yet to be received from the US. The legal deadline for receipt of those requests has not yet passed.

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been accepted under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme in each year since its introduction; and, how many of those were unemployed on the latest date for which figures are available. [38715]

Mr. McNulty: The following table provides detail of the numbers of approvals issued under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) for each calendar year since the programme was launched. These approvals allow individuals to apply either for leave to enter or leave to remain in the United Kingdom as Highly Skilled Migrants. (These data have not been provided under National Statistics protocols. They have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.)

The increase in the number of applications approved followed a review of the programme in October 2003. This review resulted in the introduction of a number of changes to the HSMP criteria to ensure that the programme attracted a greater share of highly skilled individuals to the United Kingdom. Information is not collected to determine if a Highly Skilled Migrant is unemployed. Successful applicants have to demonstrate though that they are able to maintain themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds.

Initial grants of leave issued to Highly Skilled Migrants are limited to a period of 12 months. Only where a Highly Skilled Migrant has been able to establish that they have taken all reasonable steps to become lawfully economically active in the UK during this initial period, will an extension to their stay, for a further period of 36 months, be granted.

Identity Cards

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what role council electoral registration departments will play in the administration of the planned identity card scheme. [41239]

Andy Burnham: Currently, it is not anticipated that council electoral registration departments will have any role in the administration of the planned identity card scheme.

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