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30 Jan 2006 : Column 200W—continued

Deportation

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many charter flights have been used to deport illegal immigrants and overstayers in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) destination, (b) date of the flight and (c) cost. [26437]

Mr. McNulty: The immigration and nationality directorate has been using charter flights to effect removals on a regular basis since March 2001. From that time there have been a total of 320 charter operations including a small number of flights operated with other EU member states. The flights have resulted in the removal from the UK of 12,956 individuals who had no permission to remain here. Full details of dates and destinations are provided in the following table.

The cost of charter operations has been:
Cost of charter operation (£)
2002–031,968,025
2003–041,226,972
2004–051,779,204

Figures for 2001–02 are not available as they were not separated from other public expense removal costs.
DestinationCharter totalsIndividuals
Kosovo2339,785
Romania281,296
Austria575
Athens11
Kinshasa18
Czech rep15793
Poland6355
Others816
Afghanistan9343
Azerbaijan590
China2110
Iraq115
Angola118
Vietnam136
Joint charter with Germany to Togo and Benin14
Joint charter with Italy to Nigeria17
Joint charter with Holland to Cameroon24
Total12,956







 
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DNA Profiles

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances the police are permitted to retain DNA profiles obtained with consent from (a) the victims of crimes and (b) witnesses to crimes; and (i) for how long and (ii) subject to what conditions these profiles may be retained. [46013]

Andy Burnham: A victim or witness to a crime may be asked to consent to provide the police with a DNA sample for elimination purposes as part of the investigation into that crime. They may also consent to their DNA profile being retained on the National DNA Database. In both cases, under section 63 of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984, as amended, their consent must be in writing. Once given, consent to the retention of their sample and DNA profile cannot be withdrawn.

Samples and DNA profiles are normally retained until the individual's 100th birthday or until the notification of death and may only be used for the purposes of prevention and detection of crime, the investigation of an offence, the conduct of a prosecution or for the purposes of identifying a deceased person or body part.

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances the police may retain DNA profiles; and for how long these profiles may be retained. [46014]

Andy Burnham: Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, as amended, the police may retain DNA samples taken from persons who have been arrested for, informed they will be reported for or charged with a recordable offence and detained in a police station. The police may also take and retain DNA samples from persons convicted of a recordable offence. The samples may only be used for the purposes of prevention and detection of crime, the investigation of an offence, the conduct of a prosecution or for the purposes of identifying a deceased person or body part.

DNA samples are normally retained until the person is 100-years-old or notification of death.

Drug Dealers

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional funding has been made available to police forces to deal with regional drug dealers; and if he will make a statement. [42777]

Hazel Blears: Tackling regional drug dealers is part of core police business and funding for these operations is met from within general grant allocations. The Government has put significant extra resources into the police service in England and Wales over the last few years. On a like-for-like basis, Government grant and central spending on services for the police will have increased by 56 per cent. or almost £4 billion between 2000–01 and 2007–08.
 
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It is a matter for each chief constable and police authority to decide how best to deploy the available resources across the force area, taking into account operational priorities and objectives.

We recognised that capacity in this area needed to be developed and in 2001 provided short-term funding of £6 million to three regional drugs units to develop expertise in tackling cross-regional drugs-markets, in order to disseminate the lessons learned. These were Operation Middle Market (West Midlands), Merseyside Middle Market Unit and Tarian Regional Taskforce (South Wales).

The creation of the Serious Organised Crime Agency in April 2006 will provided enhanced capacity and support to local police forces in tackling serious organised crime at the regional and national level.

Furthermore forthcoming police force restructuring will ensure that forces have the capacity, capability and resilience to effectively deal with regional drug dealers and similar criminality.

Early Release Scheme

Jeremy Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences have been committed by offenders released under the Government's early release scheme during periods they would otherwise have served in custody. [42083]

Fiona Mactaggart: Since the scheme was introduced in January 1999 and for the period ending 30 November 2005, 120,837 offenders have been placed on Home Detention Curfew. Of these, 4,341 offenders have been notified to the National Offender Management Service as having been either cautioned or convicted or awaiting prosecution for 7,506 offences committed while they were subject to the scheme.

Faith Communities

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the publications his Department has produced relating to faith communities since 1989. [35351]

Paul Goggins: Since 1989, five publications have been produced by the Home Office which relate in their entirety to faith communities. However, during this period there have also been numerous publications with occasional references to faith communities in a wider context.

The five publications, focusing entirely on religious issues and listed on the Home Office Library catalogue are:


 
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Festivals

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2005, Official Report, column 987W, on festivals, how much funding his Department made available to fund the (a) Eid/Diwali celebration on 14 November and (b) the internal staff event on 8 November. [37683]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 19 December 2005]: The Home Office funded (a) the external Eid/Diwali celebration on 14 November and (b) the staff event held on 8 November to celebrate Ramadan and Eid at a cost of £8,933 and £7,557 respectively.
 
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