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18 Apr 2006 : Column 286W—continued

Covert Surveillance (Prisons)

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what conclusions were drawn by the study by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners on covert human intelligence sources in London prisons; what plans the Government have to respond to the issues arising from the study; and if he will place the report in the Library. [63356]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Office of the Surveillance Commissioners (OSC) concluded that the Prison Service required more robust procedures and policies for covert human intelligence sources identification and management. An action plan is being implemented.

OSC inspection reports are written for the public authority that has been inspected. It is not standard practice to share findings widely. A copy of the report will not be placed in the Library.

Criminal Law Revision Committee

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the Criminal Law Revision Committee on the issue of anonymity for the accused prior to conviction in sex offence cases. [62025]

Paul Goggins: The work of the Criminal Law Revision Committee has been superseded by the Law Commission. The Home Secretary has had no recent
 
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discussions with the Law Commission about anonymity for the accused prior to conviction in sex offence cases.

Criminal Records

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of (a) adult males and (b) adult females in England and Wales has a criminal record. [62523]

Fiona Mactaggart: The information which has been requested is not routinely produced.

Figures on the proportions of the population with a criminal history can be found in 'criminal careers of those born between 1953 and 1978' at: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hosb401.pdf. This publication focuses on samples of those born in particular years (1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973 and 1978) to estimate the percentage of the population with a criminal history. Table 1 of the publication shows that by the age of 45, 33 per cent. of males and nine per cent. of females born in 1953 had a criminal record relating to offences on the standard list"

Data Protection

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what level of security clearance is required for personnel with access to the Eurodac computer. [63824]

Mr. McNulty: The Eurodac Central Unit database is accessed via the Immigration and Nationality Directorate Automated Fingerprint Identification (APIS) system. This is an accredited system, ie it has been approved for use in security terms and fits with the Government secure systems, therefore personnel are required to have Basic Enhanced Checks (BC(E)) clearance to access the database.

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations the Government have made to the EU about the level of access to visa information service data proposed for the UK. [63825]

Mr. McNulty: UK officials attend various EU Council Working Groups in which the Visa Information System (VIS) is discussed, the main one of which is the Visa Working Group. UK officials have also met separately with EU Commission representatives to discuss the UK's access to elements of VIS data.

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what costs have been incurred to date to ensure that UK databases will be compatible with the EU Visa Information Service. [63826]

Mr. McNulty: To date, no costs have been incurred to ensure that UK databases will be compatible with the EU Visa Information System (VIS) as the form of any link between UK systems and VIS has yet to be defined.
 
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Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the total cost of implementing UK access to EU Visa Information Service data. [63827]

Mr. McNulty: The VIS Regulation is still under negotiation in EU Council Working Groups and the European Parliament. The manner of access by the UK is yet to be determined; it is therefore not possible to estimate costs at this stage.

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what differences will apply to the UK's level of access to information from the EU Visa Information Service (VIS) when it is operational, and the level of access accorded to countries to which the VIS regulations apply; and if he will make a statement. [63831]

Mr. McNulty: The VIS Regulation is still under negotiation in EU Council Working Groups and the European Parliament. The manner of access by the UK is yet to be determined; it is therefore not possible to estimate costs at this stage.

Date Rape

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many date rape cases have been reported in each of the last 12 months; where they were reported; and what assessment he has made of the use of progesterex in cases of date rape. [63360]

Paul Goggins: The information requested in relation to the number and location of date rape cases is not collected centrally. Progesterex does not exist. It has been the subject of a hoax e-mail which claims that progesterex, allegedly a drug used to sterilise horses, has been used in drug rape cases.

Deepcut Army Barracks

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was of each forensic and other outside expert contracted to assist Surrey police in their re-opened investigation into deaths at Deepcut army barracks. [62128]

Hazel Blears: The Surrey police was responsible for the management of the investigation in to the deaths at Deepcut Barracks. I will ensure that the chief constable receives a copy of the question and replies to the hon. Member directly. Copies of the letter containing the response of Surrey police will be placed in the Library.

Departmental Estate

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the future of his Department's former headquarters in Queen Anne's Gate. [62883]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.
 
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I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 8 December 2005, Official Report, column 1526W to the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (David Davis).

Departmental Leave (Stress)

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been on sick
 
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leave suffering from stress in his Department in each of the last three years; and what percentage of the total staff number this represents. [63550]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The figures from the centrally managed Home Office and the Agencies, Identity and Passport Service, and the Public Sector Prison Service Agency, are in the following table.
Number of staff taking sick leave
identified as stress(72)
Percentage of staff taking sick leave identified as stress as proportion of total staff
Home Office (including Immigration and Nationality Directorate)
1 January 2005 to 31 December 05620(73)2.67
1 January 2006 to 31 March 06200(74)0.81
Identity & Passport Service (formerly UKPS)
1 January 2003 to 31 December 03954.04
1 January 2004 to 31 December 04983.64
1 January 2005 to 31 January 051173.42
1 January 2006 to 31 March 06511.38
Public Sector Prison Service Agency(75)
2003–043,9778.4
2004–053,7517.7
April 2005 to December 052,8776.0


(72) Note on definitions. Stress as a unique category of sickness has only been recorded centrally by the Home Office since the move to the ADELPHI personnel system. For this reason precise data are unavailable for 2003–04.
(73) Total staff as at 31 December, Headcount.
(74) Total staff as at 31 March 2006, Headcount
(75) There is no clear medical definition of stress and therefore figures for the Public Sector Prison Service include all conditions of a psychological nature, a large proportion of which will have a stress element. The figures in the table reflect the total number of staff in the Public Sector Prison Service who were absent due to psychological conditions at any time during the period. A number of absences straddle more than one period and are therefore included in the table twice.



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