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16 Feb 2006 : Column 2359W—continued

Public Order

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department held with the Metropolitan Police prior to the demonstrations on 3 February and 4 February to discuss response tactics; and if he will make a statement. [50461]


 
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Hazel Blears: Operational tactics to deal with demonstrations are a matter for the police. There was no contact between the Home Office and the Metropolitan police before the protest outside the Danish Embassy on 3 February.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) Tyne and Wear, (d) the north east and (e) England and Wales in each year since their inception; and how many people have since broken the conditions of their order in each case. [51949]

Hazel Blears: Information on antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued at constituency level is not collected centrally. A table giving a breakdown by the local government authority area in which prohibitions are imposed within ASBOs is available on the crime reduction website at www.crimereduction.gov.uk. This table gives data by year since ASBOs were introduced up to 30 June 2005 (latest available). ASBO breach data held centrally only cover breach proceedings where there has been a conviction. These data, at criminal justice system area level only, are currently available from 1 June 2000 to 31 December 2003 for ASBOs issued since 1 June 2000. The available information is given in the table.
The number of antisocial behaviour orders breached, as reported to the Home Office, by period and area, from 1 June 2000 to 31 December 2003(52)

Period
June 2000 to December 2000200120022003June 2000 to December 2003
Northumbria criminal justice system area1101315
The north east region(53)112304458
England and Wales14 118118240609793


(52) Breaches are counted in this table on a persons basis, i.e. where the order has been breached on more than one occasion within the same period, a person is counted once only within that period.
(53) Comprising Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland criminal justice system areas.

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Student Visas

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the members of the taskforce on student visa changes; and whether the taskforce will consider the residence reporting requirements which apply to a number of countries. [51359]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 14 February 2006]: In a statement on 1 November 2005 the Home Office, other Government Departments and stakeholders represented on the Joint Education Taskforce made a joint commitment to ensuring that the UK retains its position as a world leader in international education and maintains effective systems for regulating immigration.

This statement, available on the IND website, also listed the existing members of the taskforce. The requirement for students of certain nationalities to register with the police arises is not for immigration purposes and therefore the Home Office has no plans to discuss this at the taskforce.
 
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Terrorism

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to teach (a) police and (b) civilians how to recognise improvised explosive devices. [50849]

Hazel Blears: Police training is primarily a matter for the relevant chief constable. However, there are national arrangements in place for the accreditation of police search advisers. This includes specialist training on the recognition of improvised explosive devices.

There are no plans specifically to teach civilians how to recognise improvised explosive devices. The focus is instead on raising public awareness about suspicious behaviour and suspect packages and alerting the relevant authorities as necessary.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what (a) purposes and (b) projects the (i) Metropolitan Police Service specific grant, (ii) regional specific counter-terrorism grant and (iii) specific counter-terrorism capital grant will be used. [50850]

Hazel Blears: The new specific CT grant will provide the police service with a dedicated and specific funding stream to ensure that it is effectively resourced to counter the international terrorist threat and domestic extremism. It will include a range of capabilities including intelligence and investigation and protective security. As you will appreciate we cannot comment on the specific projects and programmes undertaken by the police service on counter terrorism activity for security reasons.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the effects police force amalgamations and restructuring will have on counter-terrorism funding and its distribution to each police force. [50851]

Hazel Blears: The Government remain committed to ensuring that the police service has the necessary resources to meet its CT commitments. The creation of strategic forces will help free up resources to reinvest in counter-terrorism and other protective services.

Moreover, the additional police counter-terrorism funding, which amounts to £173 million over the next two years, announced on 25 January 2006, Official Report, column 57WS, will further strengthen the police service's intelligence and investigative capability both in the capital and across the rest of the service.

Counter terrorism and tackling domestic extremism will continue to be a priority under the new force structure and funding arrangements will be in place to reflect these priorities.

Traffic Wardens

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police forces in England and Wales employ traffic wardens. [51228]

Hazel Blears: 30 police forces in England and Wales employed a total of 1,291 traffic wardens on 30 September 2005. We do not maintain data on the number of parking attendants employed by local authorities.
 
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Urination in Public

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will increase the penalty for urinating in public. [48359]

Fiona Mactaggart: There is no specific national offence of urinating in the street. Infringement of local authority byelaws can result in police caution or prosecution in the courts. Courts may impose a fine. Nationally, this behaviour may in appropriate circumstances be dealt with as an incident of being drunk and disorderly under section 91 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress under section five of the Public Order Act 1986.

Both these offences are included in the penalty notice for disorder scheme which enables the police to issue fixed penalty notices for incidents of low level, nuisance crime. Under the scheme a person committing either of these offences may be issued with a fixed penalty of £80. The Respect Action Plan, launched by the Prime Minister on 10 January, stated that this higher tier penalty will be raised to £100 later this year.

Visas

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people from (a) the Democratic Republic of Congo, (b) Nigeria and (c) the US have been refused leave to enter the UK for the purpose of family reunion in each of the last five years. [50660]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

The figures requested are given in the table as follows:
As at February:
Nationality/ Year2001–022002–032003–042004–052005–06
Democratic Republic of Congo156885552
Nigeria30010
US00011

The statistics given represent the numbers of nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and the US who have been refused a visa to enter the UK for the purpose of family reunion in each of the last five years. UK visas, the department with responsibility for entry clearance matters arising overseas, does not hold statistics on the numbers of people who may have been refused entry by an Immigration Officer at a UK port of entry.

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many successful appeals there were on visa refusal decisions by (a) Nigerian, (b) Pakistani, (c) Ghanaian, (d) Australian and (e) United States nationals in each of the last five years. [50662]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs, which has responsibility for the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT), has provided the figures in the table for
 
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the number of successful entry clearance appeals by Nigerian, Pakistani and Ghanaian nationals for the period 4 April—30 September 2005.
NationalitySuccessful appeals
Nigerian30
Pakistani90
Ghanaian44

Figures are only available for this period because prior to the AIT being created on 4 April 2005, the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) did not categorise figures for entry clearance appeals separately.

Figures for Australian and United States nationals are not available because the AIT's reports on promulgation by nationality of the appellant, only concentrates on the top 20 countries.

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what average time an entry clearance officer took to make a decision on a visa application in the last period for which figures are available. [50670]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

UKvisas does not calculate the average time it takes an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) to make a decision on an entry clearance application. However, three of UKvisas' public service agreement (PSA) Targets indicating the length of time a Visa Section should aim to resolve an application, were met in financial year 2004–05. They are as follows:


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