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24 May 2006 : Column 1830W—continued

DNA

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many DNA samples taken by police have subsequently been destroyed following a request to do so from the person from whom the DNA was taken, broken down by police authority area; and what percentage of requests to do so this represents. [72332]

Joan Ryan [holding answer 22 May 2006]: During the financial year 2005-06, the total number of subject sample profiles which were removed from the Database and the DNA samples destroyed, for all reasons, and broken down by force area is set out in the following table.

Samples may be destroyed and the profiles removed from the database for a number of reasons, for example, following notification of the death of the individual, because the sample was taken unlawfully or following a request from the individual for his/her profile to be removed. Information on the number of DNA samples which have been destroyed and the profile removed only as a result of a request to do so from the person from whom the DNA was taken, and the total number of such requests received by the police, is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


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Number of subject sample profiles removed from the DNA database in 2005-06
Police force Number of profiles removed

Avon and Somerset

1

Bedfordshire

2

British Transport Police

3

Cambridgeshire

0

Cheshire

0

City of London Police

0

Cleveland

3

Cumbria

0

Derbyshire

0

Devon and Cornwall

1

Dorset

1

Durham

0

Dyfed-Powys

1

Essex

2

Gloucestershire

1

Greater Manchester Police

3

Gwent

1

Hampshire

3

Hertfordshire

1

Humberside

1

Kent

3

Lancashire

3

Leicestershire

1

Lincolnshire

4

Merseyside

2

Metropolitan Police

42

Norfolk

1

North Wales

0

North Yorkshire

1

Northamptonshire

0

Northumbria

4

Nottinghamshire

3

South Wales

2

South Yorkshire

4

Staffordshire

2

Suffolk

0

Surrey

0

Sussex

0

Thames Valley

0

Warwickshire

0

West Mercia

0

West Midlands

4

West Yorkshire

3

Wiltshire

8

Total

111


Drug-related Crime

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug-related crimes per 100,000 population were reported in (a) Cornwall and (b) England in the last period for which figures are available. [72797]

Mr. Coaker: Routine crime statistics used for monitoring overall crime trends do not contain information on the offender’s drug habits. It is therefore not possible to provide a direct estimate of the number of crimes that are drug-related.

However, acquisitive crimes recorded by the police—to which drug-related crime makes a substantial contribution—fell by 12 per cent. in the year to April 2005 compared to the same period the year before.

Identity Card Register

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the feasibility of the integration of the proposed Identity Card Register with the IT systems of Government Departments. [66463]

Joan Ryan: The Identity and Passport Service continues to work with key Departments to fully map and plan the realisation of potential benefits that the
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National Identity Scheme will offer for their operations. As part of this work, Departments are assessing where the greatest benefits will arise through the use of the scheme and the consequences for their own systems. Indeed, not all services will require a high degree of integration between the ID Cards Scheme and other IT systems and in a number of cases, any necessary changes will be integrated in the usual planned cycle of system upgrades and technology refresh.

It is important to note that no Department will gain direct access to the National Identity Register itself. Instead, the Identity Cards Act 2006 provides that accredited Government organisations would be permitted, subject to certain conditions, to request information about an individual from the National Identity Register through a service run by Identity and Passport Service.

Knives

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research has been conducted on a system of licensing for the possession of knives in public places; and if he will make a statement. [62553]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 30 March 2006]: We have no plans to introduce a licensing system for knives. It is already an offence to have a knife in public without good reason or lawful authority.

Prisoners Abroad (Release)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what criteria the police use in deciding whether to interview newly released prisoners from foreign prisons upon their arrival in the United Kingdom; what legislation governs such decisions; and if he will make a statement; [56910]

(2) how long the police may detain prisoners released from foreign prisons upon their arrival in the United Kingdom; what recent representations he has received about the practice; what discussions he has had with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about the practice; and if he will make a statement. [56911]

Mr. Sutcliffe: There is no legislation or other requirement for foreign authorities to inform the UK Government when a prisoner is released from a foreign jail. There is an agreement between Consular Directorate (CD) and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), that CD will notify SOCA of the arrest of British nationals abroad for Serious Crimes. When a British consulate overseas is mad aware that a UK national is being deported or released from a foreign jail, details are passed from the consulate to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who in turn inform SOCA.

Law enforcement officers will determine if there is an operational need to interview the person on their return to the UK. The returnee is not required to attend such an interview unless the person is subjectto arrest and detention in connection with the investigation of an offence. The results of any interview
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are forwarded to the police force in whose area the returnee plans to reside. It is an operational matter for the chief officer of the force concerned whether further action should be taken.

Where the police are aware that an individual has received a conviction or caution for a sexual offence overseas they are advised to apply for a notification order—which will make the returnee subject to part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (the sex offenders register)—regardless of whether they believe that the person poses a risk of sexual harm or not. This mirrors the way in which sex offender registration automatically applies to offenders convicted or cautioned in the United Kingdom regardless of any risk they pose.

Prisons

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what correspondence he has had with the Prison Officers Association on industrial relations in HM Prison Service in the last 12 months; [59262]

(2) who the principal point of contact is for correspondence between his Department and its agencies and the Prison Officers Association; [59263]

(3) how industrial action is defined under paragraph 7 of the Joint Industrial Relations Procedural Agreement with the Prison Officers Association; [59264]

(4) if he will list occasions since 1994 on which his Department and its agencies have (a) taken injunctive action and (b) threatened to take injunctive action against the Prison Officers Association. [59265]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Home Secretary has corresponded on a regular basis with the Prison Officers Association (POA) in response to issues raised by them which affect the management of industrial relations across the Prison Service, including: on pay reform linked to the announcement of the Isle of Sheppey market test; the International Labour Organisation ruling on section 127 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994; Prison Service trade unions and POA industrial action. In addition, the Home Secretary has met the POA either at dedicated meetings or by attendance at joint conferences on six occasions in the last 12 months.

The principal point of contact for correspondence between the public sector Prison Service and the Prison Officers Association is Phil Wheatley, the director general.

Industrial action as defined under paragraph 7 of the Joint Industrial Relations Procedural Agreement with the POA is

There have been a total of five occasions where it has been necessary to seek injunctions and a further eight occasions where injunctive relief has been threatened in response to POA actions. Further details are contained in the following table.


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24 May 2006 : Column 1835W
Summary of injunctions and threatened injunctive action by the public sector Prison Service in England and Wales on the Prison Officers Association since 1994
Date injunction issued Date injunctive action threatened Issue

Two injunctions court hearing November 1994

1. Injunction brought against the Preston POA Branch following a lockout

2. Injunction against the POA general secretary due to a dispute about whether prison officers were or were not “workers”

June 1996

To prevent further unauthorised meetings held by POA branches in protest against staffing and cost reductions

November 1998

To prevent unauthorised POA branch meetings being held to discuss industrial action over pay

January 1999

To prevent unlawful POA branch meetings to discuss industrial action over pay

August 2000

To prevent further unauthorised POA branch meetings following decision to market test HMP Brixton and threat of industrial action

February 2002

Threat of injunction served on several prisons to prevent withdrawal of goodwill following announcement of pay award

February 2002

Injunction served on the POA National Executive Committee and HMP Holme House due to continued withdrawal of goodwill following announcement of pay award

July 2002

HMP Kingston local POA branch threat of industrial action regarding a dispute over demarcation of duties

August 2003

HMP Styal threat of industrial action by the local POA branch

January 2004

Threat of industrial action on a national scale in protest over dispute about provision of protection allocated to Northern Irish Prison Officers

May 2005

Unlawful POA branch meeting at HMYOI Onley over a dispute about the free flow of juveniles within the prison

February 2006

Release of POA circular advising POA members not to engage with the PS job evaluation and listen to improve schemes

Total: 5

Total: 8



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