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Mr. Charles Clarke:
The Home Office with its Executive agencies has put in place a range of steps to support staff with mental ill health. In-house welfare officers, working in partnership with line managers and the occupational health provider, give practical and timely support to staff with mental ill health so that they are rehabilitated and remain effective at work or, where absent, make a managed return to work. The Department is introducing the HSE Stress Management Standards with the support of the Health and Safety Executive.
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Fiona Mactaggart: Drugs and alcohol-related crime are serious social problems and also contribute to the commission of other crimes. For this reason it is not always possible to determine whether a person is employed to deal with these matters specifically, as opposed to dealing with them as part of a wider issue, such as anti-social behaviour, or the support of the police. The units which are specifically tasked with addressing these issues, or which deal with directly related matters are staffed as shown in the table, but civil servants within other parts of the Home Office may also have a role to play in reducing drug and alcohol related crime and its wider effects. Additionally the criminal justice aspects of drug misuse form only one facet of the Drug Strategy and civil servants in other government departments and the government offices also play an important role in reducing the harm caused by drug and alcohol misuse. In some cases the staff within a unit can be identified as working specifically on drug or alcohol related-crime issues. Where this is possible the figure given is that of the staff so identified not the total compliment of the unit.
Area of work
Home Office Directorate and Unit
|Full-time equivalent staffing at 28 February (46) rounded|
|Crime Reduction and Community Safety (CRCSG) units below:|
|Drugs||Drug Strategy Directorate||146|
|Alcohol||Violent Crime Unit(47)||8|
|Alcohol Policy Team, Alcohol Harm Reduction Programme|
|Alcohol||Police Standards Unit(47) and Violent Crime Strategy Team(47)||7|
|National Offender Management Service (NOMS) HQ units below:|
|Drugs||NOMS Drug Strategy Unit (47)||25|
|Drugs||Prison Service Juvenile Substance Misuse Service (JSMS) Central Policy Team(47)||4|
|Drugs||National Probation Directorate(47)||6|
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2006, Official Report, column 954W, on DNA profiles, if he will break down the 139,463 people who have a DNA profile on the National DNA Database and who were perceived as (a) of minority ethnic origin and (b) white by local authority area. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 17 March 2006]: The information is not available in the form requested. The subject sample profile records held on the National DNA Database relate to police force area, not local authority area.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sanctions are available for use against private firms responsible for electronic tagging which do not meet service level requirements. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The Home Office conducts a monthly audit of the performance of the two current electronic monitoring service providers against a range of performance measures. A failure to meet the specified service levels results in financial deductions from the amount paid to them for providing the service. Since the start of the current contracts in April 2005, a total of £130,000 has been deducted from both service providers.
[holding answer 17 March 2006]: The Accession Monitoring Report for May 2004-December 2005 sets out the number of citizens from the EU Accession
21 Mar 2006 : Column 309W
countries (A8 nationals) who have applied to register with the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) during this period. This report is available on the Home Office IND website via: http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/ind/en/home/about_us/reports/accession_monitoring.html.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many home detention curfew applications were turned down in each year since 2001; how many of those were appealed against; and how many appeals were successful. 
Fiona Mactaggart: Prisoners who are held in prison service establishments and contracted prisons in England and Wales may be considered for early release under the Home Detention Curfew (HDC) scheme if they meet the statutory and administrative eligibility criteria and supply details of a proposed curfew address.
Information on the number of eligible prisoners who, according to the prison service Inmate Information System, were refused HDC in each year since 2001 is given in the table. Information on the reasons for the refusal of individual applications, and the outcome of appeals could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter from the Howard League for Penal Reform of 28 October 2005 suggesting a public inquiry into the treatment of SP, a juvenile girl. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the implications for the (a) workload and (b) case management of the Immigration and Nationality Department of the decision by the Legal Services Commission to withdraw funding for specialist support and advice on immigration matters; and if he will make a statement. 
The decision by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to withdraw specialist support funding should have a minimal impact on the workload and case management of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.
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Specialist support services form part of the LSC special projects budget that was reviewed in the summer 2005 against a number of criteria. The LSC concluded that as specialist support services provide advice in civil categories of law to other legal advisors and not directly to clients, this did not represent the most cost-effective approach to meet the increasing need for front-line advice. The LSC has therefore decided not to continue funding for specialist support from July 2006.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with (a) the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, (b) the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and (c) pro-bono law firms about the implications of the decision by the Legal Services Commission to withdraw funding for specialist support and advice on immigration matters; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: I am not aware the Home Department have had any discussions with any of the organisations mentioned on this subject. The Legal Services Commission (LSC) advise that the impact of the withdrawal of specialist support funding is expected to be minimal. A rapid expansion of the LSC's supplier base in the immigration and asylum category justified a specialist support mechanism for advisers at the time of its introduction but since then the quality of immigration and asylum advice has increased substantially. The LSC has introduced the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme, which involves the testing and accreditation of individual advisers, and which became compulsory from August 2005. Higher quality standards have obviated the need for specialist support beyond that which will still be available through the instruction of specialist counsel in a small number of specific and complex cases.
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