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16 May 2006 : Column 900W—continued

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 4 May 2006, Official Report, column 1811W, on visas, if she will define the circumstances under which a visa application would not be straightforward non-settlement; and if she will make a statement. [70471]

Dr. Howells: Straightforward entry clearance applications are defined as those when the decision to issue can be made based on the information immediately available to the Entry Clearance Officer. Non-straightforward applications are those where the Entry Clearance Officer determines that further enquiries need to be made. Non-settlement applications are those categories of entry clearance other than those where the stated purpose of the application is for the applicant to settle in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 4 May 2006, Official Report, column 1809W, on visas, (1) what procedures are followed when an applicant for a visa to enter the UK declares they have been refused protection by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees; [70732]

(2) what procedures are followed when an applicant for a visa to enter the UK declares they have been refused entry by other countries; and if she will make a statement. [70736]

Dr. Howells: All applications for entry clearance to the United Kingdom are considered on a case-by-case basis under the Immigration Rules. Information on previous refusal of entry by other countries or denialof refugee status by the United Nations High
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Commissioner for Refugees will be relevant and will be taken into consideration when a decision on entry clearance is being made.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her policy is on the issuing of visas to enter the UK to individuals who were closely associated with the previous regime in Iraq. [70739]

Dr. Howells: All applications are assessed on their individual merits and applicants must show that they meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules. Officials will check existing records for all applications and take any information held into consideration when making a decision on the entry clearance application. There is provision in the Immigration Rules for refusal on the grounds that an applicant would be considered not conducive to the public good. The degree to which an individual was associated with the former regime in Iraq could be relevant to this.

Home Department

Arrest Warrants

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrest warrants are outstanding for (a) non-payment of fines and (b) breaching the conditions of a community service order. [69731]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

In March 2006 (the last month for which data are available for England and Wales) there were 6,904 outstanding warrants issued for breaching the conditions of a community service order. Information on the number of outstanding arrest warrants for non-payment of fines is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Asylum/Immigration

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on the safe return of failed asylum seekers. [70113]

Mr. McNulty: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) is in frequent discussion with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on a wide range of issues that relate to the position of refugees and asylum seekers (including failed asylum seekers).

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the practice started whereby adult children making representations on immigration-related matters on behalf of their parents through hon. Members are no longer accepted unless the parents themselves have signed a letter authorising it. [70320]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 12 May 2006]: The Secretary of State is required by statute to ensure that
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an individual’s personal information is not unlawfully disclosed to a third party. However, it is not the policy of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) to routinely refuse to provide information to a Member in the circumstances which my hon. Friend has described and each request is considered on its own merits.

Card Durability Survey

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer to Question No. 19869, if he will publish the results of the card durability survey. [23089]

Joan Ryan: The results of the Smartcard Durability Study are available on the Identity and Passport Service website: http://www.identitycards.gov.uk/working-suppliers-publications.asp.

Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will answerthe letter to him dated 24 March from the righthon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs. S. Akhtar. [67487]

Mr. McNulty: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate replied to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on 2 May 2006.

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will answer the letter to him dated 13 March from the righthon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Dr. S. Brooskol. [67488]

Mr. McNulty: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on 28 April 2006.

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will answer the letter to him dated 13 March from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard toMr. Earl Anthony Clarke. [67489]

John Reid: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on9 May 2006.

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will answer the letter to him dated 6 March from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard toMr. Khalid Rashid Malik. [67490]

John Reid: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate replied to my right hon. Friend on2 May 2006.

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter to his predecessor dated 27 March from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mrs. Asma Asad. [69961]


16 May 2006 : Column 903W

Mr. McNulty: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on11 May 2006.

Deportation

Mr. Benton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) reports he has received and (b) assessment he has made of the treatment of Mr. Arif Dar after deportation to Pakistan; and what the evidential basis was for the assurances given to the hon. Member for Bootle as to Mr. Dar’s safety. [70763]

Mr. McNulty: Updated advice on the situation in Pakistan was received from the Country of Origin Information Service (COIS), an official government unit which specialises in obtaining country information. COIS is regularly approached for advice by the United Kingdom Immigration Service to assist in the removal process.

There is no evidence to suggest that the alleged treatment that Mr. Dar has received since his return to Pakistan is due to his removal from the UK We do not routinely monitor the treatment of returnees to any country, we would not remove them if we considered that they were likely to suffer persecution on their return.

Any assurances given regarding this case were based on the up to date information received from COIS concerning Pakistan and the objective opinion of the judiciary who joined the Home Office in believing that Mr. Dar was not likely to suffer persecution should he be returned to Pakistan.

Police

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) full-time police officers and (b) other employees of Cambridgeshire Constabulary have taken early retirement in each year since 1997. [69048]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely impact of a merger of the Norfolk constabulary with other forces in terms of (a) police officer and staff redundancies, (b) computersystems, (c) rebranding of uniforms and stationery and (d) officer relocation. [38861]

Mr. Byrne: Options involving Norfolk police force have been rigorously assessed. The options have been assessed for operational and financial viability, which includes IT changes. The case for amalgamation of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire police forcescan be found on the Home Office website athttp://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/police-reform/Force-restructuring.

Police Officer and staff matters will be an issue for any new force and authority.

Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with
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members of the Norfolk constabulary and the Norfolk police authority regarding the possible creation of strategic forces in the Eastern region. [38864]

Mr. Byrne: Following the former Home Secretary’s letter dated 22 September 2005 inviting forces and authorities to develop options for changes Norfolk police force and authority;

Norfolk police authority wrote to the Home Secretary on 11 April 2006 requesting voluntary merger with Suffolk and Cambridgeshire police forces.

Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to ensure that the Norfolk Constabulary undertakes consultation with members of the public in Norfolk in relation to proposals to merge the constabulary with other police forces; and whether he has made additional funding available to the constabulary for this purpose. [38867]

Mr. Byrne: When inviting forces and authorities to develop options for change in September 2005, the former Home Secretary requested that they consult and engage all relevant local stakeholders, including local communities, within existing budgets.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) warranted officers and (b) special constables there are in Waverley borough council; and if he will make a statement. [69559]

Mr. Byrne: Statistics by constituency are not collected centrally. Information by Basic Command Units (BCUs) where Waverley and Guildford form part of the West Surrey BCU, is available. As at 31 March 2005, there were 338 full-time equivalent police officers (including those officers on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave) and 61 (headcount) special constables.

Deployment of police officers in Surrey to basic command units is an operational matter for the Chief Constable.

Secured by Design

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department is adopting to promote the Secured by Design initiative. [69370]

Mr. Byrne: The Home Office supports the Secured By Design initiative which promotes a design-centred approach to crime prevention in the built environment.

The value of Secured By Design in offering practical advice is already recognised in a number of publications. For example, in the joint guide “Safer Places, the planning system and crime prevention” (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister/Home Office, 2004) www.odpm.gov.uk/planning, a number of good
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practice case studies involving Secured By Design accredited projects in England are highlighted.

Home Office crime prevention materials such as “Your Business, Keep Crime out of it” (Home Office, 2005) www.crimereduction.gov.uk/yourbusiness (a Welsh language version is available from the Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff) reflects Secured By Design principles and refers people to the Secured by Design website.

The Government seeks to signal the importance of crime prevention through environmental design as widely as possible. In November 2005, through the National Community Safety Plan 2006-2009 (HM Government, 2005) www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ncsp, Government Departments gave an undertaking to ensure that guidance is in place to help local authorities design out crime.

Secured By Design will have a role to play in that.

Terrorism Relief Fund

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State forthe Home Department whether the Government's£1 million endowment to the new Terrorism Relief Fund may be spent on those affected by terrorism before the establishment of the fund. [61793]

Tessa Jowell: I have been asked to reply.

Since the Budget we have been working with the Red Cross and victims groups to develop proposals for how the £1 million fund will operate. We will make an announcement soon.

UK Prisoners Abroad

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK citizens are detained in overseas gaols, broken down by country. [69364]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

On 31 March 2006, British consular officials were aware of 2,255 British Nationals detained in overseas prisons. The breakdown by country is shown as follows. These figures include detainees on remand, as well as those serving sentences.


16 May 2006 : Column 906W

16 May 2006 : Column 907W
Country Number of detainees

Antigua and Barbuda

1

Argentina

14

Australia

298

Austria

5

Azerbaijan

1

Bahrain

3

Bangladesh

1

Barbados

3

Belgium

31

Bosnia and Herzegovina

1

Brazil

37

Bulgaria

1

Cambodia

1

Canada

19

China

15

Columbia

2

Costa Rica

3

Croatia

1

Cyprus

19

Czech Republic

1

Denmark

5

Dominica

1

Dominican Republic

3

Ecuador

10

Egypt

2

Ethiopia

1

France

96

Germany

146

Grand Cayman

1

Ghana

5

Greece

11

Grenada

1

Guyana

2

Hungary

1

India

24

Indonesia

8

Iran

2

Iraq

1

Ireland

79

Italy

18

Jamaica

113

Japan

25

Israel

1

Kenya

1

Korea (South)

1

Kuwait

3

Laos

2

Lebanon

3

Luxembourg

4

Malaysia

4

Malta

5

Mauritius

1

Mexico

7

Morocco

1

Namibia

1

Nepal

1

Netherlands

37

New Zealand

10

Nicaragua

1

Norway

1

Oman

1

Pakistan

2

Panama

5

Peru

16

Philippines

19

Poland

1

Portugal

23

St. Lucia

6

St. Vincent

1

Saudi Arabia

1

Senegal

1

Sierra Leone

2

Singapore

7

South Africa

12

Spain

233

Sri Lanka

2

Sweden

18

Switzerland

6

Taiwan

22

Thailand

116

Trinidad and Tobago

16

Tunisia

1

Turkey

2

United Arab Emirates

19

USA

598

Venezuela

21

Vietnam

6

Zimbabwe

2



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