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2 Feb 2006 : Column 751W—continued

Arnhem Support Centre

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time was for the Arnhem Support Centre to clear entry visa applications under the new system from the receipt of the documentation from the embassy of origin in the last period for which figures are available; and what the average time was in the last period of the old system. [46147]

Bridget Prentice: I have been asked to reply.

Information from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) indicates that an immigration appeal, comprising both in-country and entry clearance cases, lodged between April 2004 and the end of March 2005 took an average of 54 weeks to be decided by an immigration adjudicator following the appeal being lodged with the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) of the Home Office, either directly by the appellant or having being forwarded to IND from the entry clearance post.

Provisional information for entry clearance appeals lodged after 4 April 2005, up to September 2005 only currently covers a low volume of appeals. It is therefore difficult to provide an accurately indicative figure for the average waiting times from appeal lodgement to a decision by an immigration judge for appeals lodged in this period. Accounting for the times allowed for the respondent to prepare the appeal bundle in entry clearance cases, it is expected that appeals are decided by an immigration judge approximately 27 or 35 weeks from the date of lodgement, dependent on the type of case. This includes time allowed for international transit of documents to and from the tribunal.

The entry clearance appeals decided prior to the commencement of the AIT were lodged with the original decision maker in accordance with the procedure rules of the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA), the appellate body subsequently replaced by the AIT. Once lodged the appeals were transferred to the IND for preparation before being forwarded to the IAA to be decided by an immigration adjudicator.

With the commencement of the AIT entry clearance appeals can be lodged either directly to the AIT or with the relevant entry clearance post. Where an appeal is lodged with the relevant entry clearance post it must be endorsed and forwarded to the AIT as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any event within 10 days.
 
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ASBOs

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young people have been taken to court for breach of antisocial behaviour orders in the last year for which figures are available. [45957]

Hazel Blears: The information held centrally, on the Home Office court proceedings database, only covers breach proceedings where there has been a conviction. antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) breach data are currently available from 1 June 2000 to 31 December 2003 for ASBOs issued since 1 June 2000. During 2003, 305 persons aged 10–17 breached their ASBO on one or more occasions.

Community Safety Partnerships

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are used to assess the effectiveness of community safety partnerships; which have underperformed against these measures; and what assistance has been given to each underperforming partnership. [46079]

Hazel Blears: The Home Office has performance management arrangements in place to measure the effectiveness of Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) in Wales and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) in England. Under these arrangements, challenging targets for crime reduction have been agreed with each CSP and CDRP and the Home Office and Government Offices/Welsh Assembly Government regularly monitor progress against them. The Home Office and Government Offices/Welsh Assembly Government also work with partnerships to support them in monitoring or improving performance. The targets are to be delivered by 2007–08.

Community Wardens

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision he has made to fund community wardens in neighbourhood renewal funding areas when the current funding period expires. [47365]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I have been asked to reply.

There are no plans to fund community wardens in neighbourhood renewal funding areas when the current funding period expires.

Companies (Ownership)

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what indications he has received from (a) companies whose headquarters are in the
 
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United Kingdom, (b) companies under the management or control of companies based in the European Union, (c) companies under the management or control of companies from the United States, (d) faith based organisations and (e) not-for-profit organisations regarding interest in bidding for contracts for the end-to-end management of offenders. [46515]

Fiona Mactaggart: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) engages with public, private and voluntary sector providers through a variety of channels. As a result some expressions of interest in providing future NOMS services have been received from all sectors. However these indications have been informal and non-specific in nature and therefore at this time, clarity as to the commercial and legal status of these organisations has not been obtained. In due course a more formal process will be undertaken, at which time it will be possible to be more specific, but in accordance with European Union procurement rules.

Designated Areas

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he had with the police in designating the area specified in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Area) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005 No. 1866). [46129]

Paul Goggins: The Home Secretary met representatives of the Metropolitan Police to discuss the area to be designated . The area is based on the operational experience of the Metropolitan Police as to where demonstrations are likely to take place which hinder the proper operation of Parliament, cause a security risk, or are a risk to the safety of members of the public .

Elder Abuse

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of cases of elder abuse that occurred in the last 12 months. [46551]

Hazel Blears: The Home Office does, via the British Crime Survey (BCS), measure levels of violence against adults (ages 16 and over) in private households. The risks of being a victim of violence are published annually by age group for men and women. The most recent figures, based on the 2004–05 BCS, showed that the overall risk of being a victim of violence was less than one per cent for both men and women aged 65 or over.

The risk of becoming a victim of violent crime was 0.4 per cent. for men aged 65–74, 0.2 per cent. for men aged 75 or over, 0.5 per cent. for women aged 65–74, and 0.5 per cent. for women aged 75 or over. In terms of domestic violence, the 2004–05 BCS indicates that the risk among men and women in these ages groups is low (0 per cent. and 0.1 per cent. among men and women aged 65–74, respectively, and 0 per cent. for both men and women aged 75 and over).

However, it is recognised that the core BCS measure of domestic violence may be an underestimate as some victims may be unwilling to report experience of domestic violence to an interviewer, and it does not cover adults living in institutions.
 
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Harmondsworth Detention Centre

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many detainees have (a) committed and (b) attempted suicide in Harmondsworth Detention Centre over the last six months; and how many of these detainees had been placed under suicide watch procedures. [47067]

Mr. McNulty: There has been one apparently self-inflicted death at Harmondsworth in the last six months.

Twenty-six detainees have self-harmed at Harmondsworth since the beginning of July 2005. Of these, five detainees were already on watch procedures prior to self-harming. Following each incident, the detainee concerned was placed on a watch.

Home Detention Curfew Scheme

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners on the home detention curfew scheme (HDCS) have sentences of four years and over; and what the exceptional circumstances were allowing entry into the HDCS in each case. [45866]

Fiona Mactaggart: Prisoners serving sentences of four years or more whose offences were committed prior to 4 April 2005 are statutorily ineligible for release under the home detention curfew (HDC) scheme. Those whose offences were committed on or after 4 April 2005 are not statutorily ineligible for release but are presumed unsuitable unless there are exceptional circumstances. No prisoners serving four years or more have been released on HDC.


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