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7 Feb 2006 : Column 1087W—continued

Type 23 Frigate

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 24 January 2006, Official Report, column 1983W, on the Type 23 frigate, which Type 23 frigates will not be converted to operate Merlin and Lynx helicopters; and what the reasons are for not converting them. [47966]

Mr. Ingram: All Type 23 frigates are capable of operating Lynx helicopters. HMS Norfolk, HMS Marlborough and HMS Grafton will all have left naval service by the end of March 2006 and will not therefore have been modified to operate Merlin helicopters. 12 of the remaining 13 Type 23 frigates are included in the modification programme and this will enable the military requirement to be met. There is currently no operational requirement to modify HMS Argyll, but this will be kept under review.


Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) surface ships, (b) submarines and (c) auxiliary vessels are (i) available to and (ii) deployable by the Royal Navy; and what the equivalent numbers were in 1997. [48773]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is as follows:
31 January:

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Available vessels are taken to be those within the total force structure. Deployable vessels are those in Fleet time that have achieved their mandatory collective training.


Public Appointments (Vetting)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps he has taken to ensure that those appointed to public bodies have received (a) a Criminal Records Bureau check and (b) a higher level clearance where appropriate; and if he will ensure those who have not been positively vetted are not appointed. [46141]

Mr. Jim Murphy: It is for individual departments to consider whether national security vetting, or other checks, should be applied to those who are appointed to the boards of their public bodies. The Cabinet Office issues guidance on public appointments to departments in its publication 'Making and Managing Public Appointments', available on the Public Appointment Unit's website This advises departments to consider during their recruitment of appointees to public bodies whether they need to obtain a Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau because of the nature of the appointment. This will be particularly relevant to appointments to public bodies which work closely with children and vulnerable adults.

Security vetting is carried out in accordance with HM Government policy, as set out in the (then) Prime Minister's statement to the House on 15 December 1994, Official Report, columns 764–66W. It is a fundamental principle that security vetting is applied proportionately according to the requirement for an individual to have access to sensitive Government information, or sites assessed to be at risk of terrorist attack.


Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many antisocial behaviour orders were (a) issued and (b) breached in each quarter of 2005; [47972]

(2) how many antisocial behaviour orders had been issued up to the latest date for which figures are available, in respect of people aged (a) 10–17 years, (b) 17–20 years and (c) 21 years and over; and how many of those orders have so far been breached; [47973]

(3) how many antisocial behaviour orders were issued during 2004, broken down by magistrates court area. [47974]

Hazel Blears: The number of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued, as reported to the Home Office, is currently available up to 30 June 2005. In the first and second quarters of 2005, the number of ASBOs issued at all courts were 910 and 918 respectively.
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From one April 1999 up to 31 May 2000 ASBO data were collected on aggregate numbers only by police force area. From 1 June 2000 up to 30 June 2005 the number of ASBOs issued to persons aged 10–17 years is 2,801; persons aged 18–20 years is 952; and persons aged 21 and over is 2,552.

The information held centrally, on the Court Proceedings Database, as held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, 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 this period 392 persons aged 10–17, 137 persons aged 18–20, and 264 persons aged 21 and over breached their ASBO on one or more occasions.

The number of ASBOs issued in 2004 at all courts, as reported to the Home Office, is 2,660. A table giving a breakdown by age and criminal justice system area is available on the Crime Reduction website at This table gives data by quarter and year since ASBOs were introduced, up to 30 June 2005 (latest available).

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what systems are in place to communicate information to police forces on individuals who are subject to antisocial behaviour orders with conditions which apply to the whole of England and Wales. [47571]

Hazel Blears: Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) as a disposal type are recorded on the conviction page of the police national computer (PNC) although around half of the ASBOs issued are not part of a conviction. All ASBOs are recorded on the PNC which is accessible by all forces. Prohibitions are also recorded there.

Asylum Seekers

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum-seekers under the age of 18 years are detained in Government detention centres in the UK. [47066]

Mr. McNulty: Information on the number of persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers is available from a snapshot taken on the last Saturday of the quarter and is published in the Quarterly Asylum Statistics publications. The last published data show that 75 persons recorded as being under 18-years-old, who had sought asylum at some stage, were being detained in the UK solely under Immigration Act powers as at 24 September 2005.

The next available data as at 31 December 2005 will be published on 28 February 2006.
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This information is available on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training is provided to the police on identifying injury caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. [28955]

Hazel Blears: As part of the Initial Police Learning Development Programme, police recruits undertake a two and half day module in First Aid Training. Training on the general nature of poisons forms a module of the First Aid Training. The module looks at the general nature of poisons and how to spot the signs and symptoms of poisoning as well as how such an injury should be treated. There is no specific training in relation to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Chief Constables

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue guidance to chief constables so that operational decisions taken by them across England and Wales are consistent. [48403]

Hazel Blears: I do not plan to issue such guidance because chief constables have operational responsibility for the direction and control of their force. In carrying out their functions chief constables and other police officers and police staff must have regard to any statutory codes of practice or guidance, for example, codes of practice issued under section 66 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 or section 39A of the Police Act 1996. Plus, they must take into account any non-statutory guidance issued by the National Centre for Policing Excellence, the Association of Chief Police Officers and others.

Child Protection

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in Essex were given a caution for having indecent pictures of children on their computers in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [48542]

Paul Goggins: Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform for the number of offenders cautioned for possession of an indecent photograph of a child in (i) England and Wales, (ii) Essex in each of the past five years is shown in the table. It is not possible to identify those cases involving photographs on computers as the data is not collected at this level of detail.
Number of offenders cautioned for possession of an indecent photograph of a child(9) in(i) England and Wales, and (ii) Essex, 2000–04(10)

(i) England and Wales253253205162
(ii) Essex2218

'—' = Nil.
(9) Offences under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, section 160 as amended by the Criminal Justice and Services Act 2000, section 41(3). (previously 181/06)
(10) All data given refer to the principal offence only.

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