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The fact that a Disclosure is proved to be inaccurate after a dispute, often following a fingerprint check, does not automatically incur a redress award. This is because in some instances an applicants details are the same, or very similar, to those of an individual with a record on the Police National Computer (PNC). It may be that the applicants details have been used by another individual when arrested or convicted and the CRB has a statutory obligation to disclose such records where they are identified.
The Disclosure Service enables individuals to dispute the content of a Disclosure and allows them to distinguish themselves from the record on the PNC. This did not happen under the previous arrangements. The CRB scheme complies with existing treasury guidelines.
Joan Ryan: An individual may become known to the police within days of entering the country and eligible employers should therefore always be encouraged to undertake disclosure checks regardless of the length of time an individual has been resident in the UK. This applies to those who wish to obtain private hire and taxi licences.
The CRB introduced the Overseas Faxback Service in February 2003, to provide details and guidance to employers and individuals on how to obtain a certificate of good conduct or a copy of a persons own criminal record from those countries included in the faxback service. This information can be used in conjunction with the full range of pre-appointment checks to ensure that the prospective employee is suitable for the post. These pre-appointment checks are the responsibility of the employer and a CRB disclosure is only one part of that process.
Full details of this service are available on the CRBs website at www.crb.gov.uk. For those seeking general advice about the countries covered by the faxback service, the CRB also has a national rate enquiry line on 0870 0100 450 and an e-mail enquiry facility at email@example.com.
Some countries, including most in the EU, also have arrangements enabling their citizens to obtain certificates of good conduct or extracts from any existing criminal record to show to prospective employers. These may be obtained once the prospective employees have arrived in the UK but it may be advisable for them to obtain the document before leaving their home country.
Following a recent EU Council decision, the CB has, in conjunction with Home Office colleagues and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), become involved in EU initiatives to explore how criminal record and disqualification data cross EU states might be used for employment vetting and disclosure purpose. These discussions are in the preliminary stages at present and more information will become available in due course. The CRB are also in discussion with ACPO and others about seeking access to other, non-EU, overseas conviction data.
Mr. Coaker: It is an offence under the Crossbows Act 1987 to sell or hire a crossbow to a person under the age of 17 and for a person under the age of 17 to purchase or possess a crossbow. In the Violent Crime Reduction Bill currently before Parliament, we are proposing to increase this age limit to 18. Those carrying a crossbow in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse could be committing the offence of carrying an offensive weapon in a public place under section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953.
Joan Ryan: It is not routine practice to fingerprint deportees under immigration powers, as the notice of intention to deport is often served by the prison service on behalf of the immigration service. However, fingerprints will be taken if the prisoner lodges a claim for asylum or as part of the re-documentation process. Fingerprints may also have been taken at an earlier stage if the deportee had been identified as an immigration offender or under police powers at the point of charging.
Immigration legislation does not give immigration or police officers the power to take DNA samples from individuals. However, where the Immigration Service is looking to prosecute an individual, we will consider asking the police to take DNA samples on an individual case basis in accordance with their powers under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984. Under provisions in PACE, police officers may take a DNA sample from any person arrested or charged in connection with a recordable offence.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance has been issued on the releasing of information on a suspect's ethnic origin as part of a description where the public's help is sought in tracing the suspect. 
Mr. McNulty: The release of information in relation to the description of a suspect is an operational matter. The Association of Chief Constables (ACPO) Media Advisory Group provides guidance to the police on working with the media and releasing information about individual cases. The Media Advisory Group's guidance is at:
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many instances of financial fraud have taken place in each of the last five years involving credit card cheques; and what the total value was in each year. 
Mr. Coaker: The available information relates to recorded offences of cheque and credit card fraud and is published in Table 2.04 of Crime in England and Wales 2004-05. A copy of this table is available at:
The Home Office does not collect data on the total value involved. Statistics provided by the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) on financial losses were also published in section 4.6 of the volume referred to above. These are available on the website at:
Mr. Coaker: The Secretary of State for the Home Department last met representatives of the Muslim Council of Britain on the 3 May 2006. There is no formal record of the meeting. However, whenever the issue of Holocaust Memorial Day has been raised, the Home Secretary has stressed that the Government take a broad and inclusive approach towards the content and community outreach of the commemoration. Lessons about the need to confront all forms of racism and hatred, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, have been a consistent theme of Holocaust Memorial Day. The Government regret that the Muslim Council of Britain does not support Holocaust Memorial Day and we hope that in the near future they will reconsider their stance.
|Offences of homicide where the apparent method of killing was by a sharp instrument: England and Wales|
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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to allow pharmaceutical manufacturers of opiate-based analgesic medicines to import their raw materials from overseas manufacturers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Coaker: In common with other major opiate manufacturing countries, the United Kingdom does not permit importation of such base material drugs domestically manufactured and readily available. This policy is in furtherance of the aims of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 to limit international supply to what is necessary for countries' medical needs. It is adjusted to take account of treaty obligations on overseas trade with the European Union and the European Economic Association only.
Mr. Byrne: The 101 single non-emergency number service for community safety action, information and advice will be rolled out across England and Wales in a number of waves. The first wave of services have been launched in Hampshire and South Wales, with Leicestershire and Rutland, South Yorkshire and Northumbria launching in summer 2006. The next wave of areas is yet to be agreed. It is planned that the service will be available across England and Wales by the end of 2008.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many civil service staff hours have been spent on duties related to police reorganisation since 16 September 2005; and what estimate he has made of the number of staff hours which will be spent on this issue in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. 
Mr. McNulty: Six Home Office officials have been working on police restructuring since my right hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Clarke), the then Home Secretary, launched the review in September 2005. The implementation team currently includes eleven Home Office officials (full-time equivalents). No estimate has been made of the number of staff hours which will be spent on this issue in 2006 and 2007.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of his Ministers have duties related to the proposed police reorganisation in England and Wales; and how many hours these Ministers have spent on issues related to police reorganisation. 
Mr. McNulty: As the Minister of State for Policing, Security and Community Safety, I am responsible for the work relating to the proposed police reorganisation in England and Wales. I have recently begun a series of meetings with chief constables, chairs of police authorities and other stakeholders on police restructuring.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) telephone calls and (b) meetings he has had with chief constables to discuss police restructuring in England and Wales. 
Mr. McNulty: The Home Secretary had the opportunity to discuss police restructuring with senior police colleagues at the Association of Chief Police Officers conference in May, but it is not possible to identify how many telephone calls he has had.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have been convicted of a criminal offence in each of the last five years, broken down by type of criminal offence. 
Mr. McNulty: Police authorities and chief constables have responsibility for the local provision of custody facilities and the resourcing of those facilities. Chief constables have specific responsibility under section 35 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) for the designation of police stations in their area which are used for the purpose of detaining arrested persons.
Each chief officer is responsible for ensuring that all police officers and police staff working in their custody suites are suitable, capable and trained whether police staff are employed directly or through a contractor. Most forces make use of the mixed economy approach. It provides chief officers with a level of flexibility to provide staffing levels to meet local requirements while providing the overarching framework to raise standards and achieve improved custodial care.
The National Centre for Policing Excellence on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office has produced the Guidance on the Safer Detention and Handling of Persons in Police Custody. The guidance was launched on 8 February 2006. The guidance identifies the standards expected of both police officers and police staff in the handling of persons who come into police contact.
Mr. McNulty: As at 30 September 2005 there were 3,550 full-time equivalent police officers (FTE officers is less those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave) in Lancashire. As at 30 September 1997 there were 3,281 FTE officers. This represents an 8 per cent. increase over the period.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police raids on suspected terrorist sites in the past three years have been based on false information; and what the cost of the raids was. 
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of his time the Permanent Secretary of his Department has spent on police force restructuring in the last 12 months. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 May 2006]: Six Home Office officials have been working on police restructuring since the then Home Secretary launched the review in September 2005. The implementation team currently includes eleven Home Office officials (full-time equivalents).
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost of bringing protective services in the four Welsh police forces up to the level considered Fit for Purpose in the report Closing the Gap by Her Majestys inspectorate of constabulary. 
Mr. McNulty: The case submitted by the four Welsh police authorities in December 2005 identified costs and benefits of force merger, including a considerable investment to provide an uplift in protective services.
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