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People Trafficking

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many safe-houses there are in the UK for trafficked children who have escaped or are found; and in which cities they are located. [75973]

Mr. Coaker: We are not aware of there being any safe houses specifically for accommodating victims of child trafficking. However, there are accommodation facilities in many locations that will cater for children in need who it is believed may have been trafficked.

Planning for children’s services is carried out on a locality basis throughout the UK. It is the statutory duty of local authorities under the 1989 Children Act to ensure that safe arrangements are in place to look after individual children at risk, including children from abroad. It is also the responsibility of the local authority to assess any risk of harm and to arrange for the provision of a suitable range of accommodation for all the children in their area. Any lone child in the UK in contact with any statutory or child welfare agency will be urgently referred to the appropriate local authority.

The Home Office National Asylum Support Service (NASS) reimburses local authorities who receive unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) into their care with a total of £140 million p.a. Partnership plans to provide safer arrangements for children who have been trafficked are being incorporated in a Home Office/DfES joint review of how local authorities accommodate children from abroad. The review will aim to deliver improvements by ensuring UASC are placed in local authority areas where specialist services are in place—including local authority social workers who can recognise and deal appropriately with UASC who may have been trafficked to the UK. The review is also designed to increase specialisation, end inconsistencies in treatment and enable the retention and development of expertise.

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many traffickers of children have been (a) charged, (b) convicted and (c) deported in each of the last five years. [75978]

Mr. Coaker: While there is no specific offence of child trafficking, prosecutions involving child victims of human trafficking have been pursued under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

The most up-to-date information provided to the Home Office by the Crown Prosecution Service, indicates that at least 12 defendants were charged in three separate
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cases that involved female victims between the ages of 15 and 18. Of these 10 were convicted and received lengthy sentences. All were recommended by the trial judge for deportation on release.

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money was seized by the Assets Recovery Agency from those offenders charged with crimes relating to human trafficking in each year since its inception. [78975]

Mr. Coaker: The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is currently investigating two cases where the alleged criminality relates to human trafficking. In the first investigation ARA have frozen assets to the value of £1.4 million. In the second case the subject is currently serving a prison sentence and the value of any potential assets has yet to be determined. ARA have not recovered money from civil or taxation cases relating to human trafficking to date.

Separately, a multi-agency task force set up to combat organised immigration crime, known as Reflex, seized criminal assets totalling £5.57 million in 2004-05. Figures for 2005-06 are not yet available.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the UN report Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns; and what steps are being taken by his Department to tackle people trafficking. [70020]

Mr. Coaker: The UN report Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns, is an informative fact based report on the process of human trafficking from source and transit countries with the aim of providing an unbiased picture of the global extent of trafficking in human beings.

The Home Office has recently conducted a public consultation on tackling human trafficking which ended on 5 April. A summary of responses report was published on 21 June and the responses obtained used to develop a National Action Plan on Trafficking which will be published later in the year. The action plan will take a comprehensive end-to-end approach covering the different elements of our anti-trafficking strategy: from prevention (including demand reduction); investigating and prosecuting the traffickers; through to protecting and supporting the victims. We will consider whether any of the information contained in the UN report can assist with the development of this action plan or with other strategies designed to combat human trafficking and the organised criminals who benefit from it.

We continue to tackle trafficking through Reflex a multi-agency task force aimed at tackling organised immigration crime. Operation Pentameter a Reflex funded multi-agency initiative involving all UK police forces and immigration service aimed at tackling the Trafficking of Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation was launched in February and has already made a real impact rescuing 84 women from traffickers and made 232 arrests.

The Home Office announced on 7 April 2006 additional funding of £2.4 million over two years to expand the provision of support services for victims of trafficking currently provided through the POPPY Scheme. Not
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only are we delivering on our commitment to continue funding for the core service (25 crisis spaces), we are also funding 10 additional step-down places


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints were made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in respect of each police force in each year since the Commission's inception; how many were (a) upheld and (b) rejected; and if he will make a statement. [77251]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 14 June 2006]: The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is responsible for the management of the police complaints system. I will ensure that the Chairman receives a copy of the question and replies to the hon. Member directly. Copies of the letter containing the IPCC's response will be placed in the Library.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hours of safety training was provided per police officer in each of the last five years. [75900]

Mr. McNulty: Under the foundation training programme delivered by the Central Police Training and Development Authority (Centrex) all police recruits received 27 hours of personal safety training under the Centrex personal safety programme. This training has now been incorporated within the Initial Police Leaning and Development Programme (IPLDP), which moves probationer training away from regional centres and back into force so that officers are trained in the community that they serve.

Under the new programme, refresher training is provided to each officer on an annual basis. Advanced personal safety training may be provided by individual forces. The nature of this training will largely be determined by the specific demands of the role being performed by the officer in question and it is not therefore possible to provide a per officer figure.


Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the availability of class A drugs in category D prison establishments; what action he is taking to reduce the availability of drugs in prisons; and if he will make a statement. [75468]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The best measure of drug misuse in prisons is provided by the random mandatory drug testing programme. The percentage positive rate for Class A drugs in category D prisons’ in 2005-06 was 4.4 per cent. A comprehensive series of measures is in place to reduce the availability of drugs, from which establishments draw, based on local need.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have (a) committed suicide and (b) been murdered while being in prison since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [77483]

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Mr. Sutcliffe: Between 1 January 1997 and 11 June 2006 there were 790 apparent self-inflicted deaths (all deaths where it appears the person may have acted specifically to take his/her own life and not only those that receive a ‘suicide’ or ‘open’ verdict at inquest) and 14 apparent homicides involving prisoners in England and Wales.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many managed moves at senior operational level in the Prison Service there were in each of the last three years; and for what reasons policy was changed in July 2005 to require all such moves to be approved by the Director of operations. [78212]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The number of managed moves at senior operational level over the period in question is contained in the following table. These figures relate to senior operational managers (senior governor grades in paybands A to D). There are no figures available before April 2004. The policy of all managed appointments at senior operational level being approved by the director of operations or the deputy director general was introduced in a Prison Service order on 5 July 2004. The order was published to advise staff of the appropriate levels of authority for the approval of managed appointments. Decisions about managed moves at this level are taken by operational directors acting as members of the Prison Service succession planning committee. There have been no changes to the managed appointment policy since this date.

Number of managed moves at senior operational level in the public sector Prison Service for England and Wales between April 2004 and May 2006
Period Number of managed moves

April-December 2004


January-December 2005


January-May 2006


Respect Areas

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to designate ‘Respect Areas’ in (a) England and (b) Wales; how those areas will be defined; and which locations he plans to designate. [77862]

John Reid: Over the next 12 months, we will be inviting areas from across England and Wales (not designating them) to demonstrate their commitment to their communities to tackling antisocial behaviour by signing up to key components of the Respect Action Plan.

Security Industry

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether security guards who have applied for but not received their Security Industry Authority identity cards will be allowed to work. [62432]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 30 March 2006]: Under licensing arrangements which came into force across
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England and Wales on 20 March 2006, security guards working as contract staff are required to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Companies that have been awarded approved contractor status by the SIA are able to legally deploy a proportion of security staff while their licence applications are being processed.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 359W, on the security industry, if he will provide the most recent figures for (a) the number of applications received for licences in the security industry, (b) the number issued and (c) the average time taken to process applications. [75350]

Mr. Coaker: As of 7 June 2006:

From April 2004 until August 2005 the SIA processed 62 per cent. within six weeks and 88 per cent. within nine weeks.

Since September 2005, there has been a backlog of applications that have been waiting to enter the system. These have added an additional time of between two and four weeks to the process, so it is now taking up to 10 weeks to process most applications.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a small firms impact test was undertaken as part of the regulatory impact assessment for the Private Security Industry Act 2001; and what guidance officials used to determine whether to undertake such a test. [71145]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 16 May 2006]: A small firms impact test was carried out as part of the approved contractor scheme regulatory impact assessment (RIA) published in February 2006, in consultation with the Small Business Service. Officials followed standard guidance on preparing regulatory impact assessments provided to all Government Departments (available on the Cabinet Office website at and liaised with the better regulation executive at the Cabinet Office and the Small Business Service in writing the RIA.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to other Government Departments on how to proceed in the event that their suppliers of security staff fail to meet the Security Industry Authority's licensing deadline of 20 March 2006. [59554]

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Mr. Coaker [holding answer 17 March 2006]: On 10 March, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) wrote to all purchasers and providers of security services in England and Wales, including Government Departments. The letter included the following advice for purchasers of security:

Departmental Staff

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people over the age of 55 years have been recruited into his Department in each of the last three years. [77436]

Mr. Byrne: The following table shows the number of people over age 55 years that have been recruited into the Home Office in each of the last three years.

Home Department: Recruitment of people over the age of 55 for three latest years
Number over the age of 55
2003-04 2004-05 2005-06

Centrally managed Home Office




UK Passport Service








Public sector prisons








(1) For year 2004-05 some data may be unrecorded centrally due to the changeover from the old Home Office personnel system (PIMMS) to the new Adelphi system (2) Non-executive director (not Home Office staff).

Teenage Drug Use

Lynda Waltho: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure teenagers are made aware of the possible dangers associated with illegal drug use. [70173]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office is working in partnership with DfES and the Department of Health to ensure young people are made aware of the effects and risks associated with drug use. The FRANK campaign targets young people and their parents with information about drugs. Young people are encouraged to get further information and advice at the comprehensive drug information website which has received over six million visits, or via the helpline which receives around 1,200 calls a day. A range of FRANK literature has been produced for young people and distributed via the helpline and stakeholders and an understanding drugs schools pack will be available for teachers at the start of the next school year.

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