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19 July 2006 : Column 551W—continued

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Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 877W, on human trafficking, how many people were convicted for offences related to human trafficking in each of the last five years, broken down by category of offence. [84928]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 13 July 2006]: Dedicated trafficking offences came into force in 2004 under the Sexual Offences Act and then the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004. Prosecutions were made under offences in the Immigration Act 1971. There was one conviction in 2003 under that piece of legislation.

In 2004 three people were convicted of related trafficking offences; these offences included:

In 2005 32 people were convicted of related trafficking offences; these offences included:

2006 12 people were convicted of related trafficking offences these offences included:

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up a national police taskforce to tackle trafficking of (a) women for the sex trade and (b) children used for (i) begging, (ii) child labour and (iii) as prostitutes. [80659]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 27 June 2006]: We fully recognise the need for a coherent nationwide strategy to combat the trafficking of human beings.

To this end we launched the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) on 21 June. The establishment of UKHTC came as a result of the success of Operation Pentameter, a national police led
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multi-agency operation which aimed to tackle trafficking for sexual exploitation and which led to 234 people being arrested. Of these, 132 people have been charged, to date, with offences connected to trafficking.

Following on from the success of Operation Pentameter the UKHTC will support the overarching aim of moving the United Kingdom to a leading position in relation to the prevention and investigation of trafficking in human beings. It will also become a central point for the development of police expertise and operational co-ordination.

Identity Cards

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress is being made in introducing identity cards; and if he will make a statement. [85527]

Joan Ryan: The Identity Cards Act 2006 provides the statutory basis for a national identity cards scheme and received Royal Assent on 30 March 2006. The Government are committed to the rapid introduction of identity cards but, as we have always made clear, this is an incremental process. Identity cards will be implemented in a phased way, starting with biometric residence permits for foreign nationals in 2008 and rolling out to United Kingdom nationals thereafter.

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his Answer to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael), of 15 February 2006, Official Report, column 2128W, on the cost of identity cards, how much has been spent in each financial year. [85645]

Joan Ryan: Total figures in each financial year for the costs of developing the identity cards scheme are as follows:

£ million









(1 )Provisional expenditure in April and May 2006.

Identity Fraud

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were charged with identity fraud in each of the last 10 years; and how many were convicted. [86262]

Joan Ryan: The Government takes the problem of identity fraud very seriously. There is no single offence of identity fraud. On 7 June 2006 we brought into force sections 25 and 26 of the Identity Cards Act 2006 which created new criminal offences of being in possession or control of false identity documents. These offences relate to a wide range of identity documents, including passports, driving licences, ID
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cards and immigration documents. The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment for an offence of possession with intent to use the document for establishing registrable facts about another person, such as name, address, date of birth and other personal details, and two years imprisonment for possession without reasonable excuse. Investigation of offences under these provisions are already underway and statistics on the number of prosecutions and convictions will be published in due course.

There is also a range of other criminal offences to combat identity fraud. These include, for example, the offences in the Theft Acts of 1968 and 1978 of obtaining property by deception (property includes money), obtaining services by deception and obtaining a money transfer by deception. The number of these offences that were committed using a false or stolen identity is not recorded centrally. However, identity theft and identity fraud questions were incorporated into the British Crime Survey in 2005 and the results should give us more information on the number of victims and the types of fraud that are being committed.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding has been allocated to tackle identity fraud (a) in 2006 and (b) over the next five years. [86352]

Joan Ryan: There is a wide range of activity within the Home Office, Identity and Passport Service, other government departments, law enforcement agencies and the private sector to tackle identity fraud. This includes our plans for identity cards and the improvements we continue to make to the security of the UK Passport which are now issued with a digital facial image.

The Home Office established the Identity Fraud Steering Committee (IFSC) in 2003 to work with public and private sector organisations, to identify and implement cost-effective measures to counter identity fraud, and to co-ordinate the activity in this area.

In addition to all the above, in the current financial year, a budget of £200,000 has been specifically allocated within the Identity and Passport Service to fund identity fraud reduction activity, such as our campaign to raise awareness among the public of how they can protect themselves against identity fraud and what to do if they become a victim. Funding for future years has yet to be allocated.

Islamist Terrorism

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to tackle Islamist terrorism; and if he will make a statement. [85477]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 17 July 2006]: The United Kingdom faces a continuing threat from individuals who believe they can advance their aims by committing acts of terrorism here in the UK and against our citizens and interests abroad. The
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Government's counter terrorism strategy—known as CONTEST—was published on 10 July and explains the framework we have implemented to tackle terrorism in the UK.

The key to preventing terrorism is not only improved security and legislative arrangements: these alone will not defeat terrorism. A key focus of Government are to engage in genuine and meaningful dialogue with the Muslim communities and to tackle difficult issues.

Mini Motorcycles

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) cautions and (b) arrests were made for the illegal use of mini motorcycles in the London Borough of Enfield in each of the last three years; and how many such motorcycles were seized in the borough in each year. [85887]

Mr. McNulty: The information is not held centrally.

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how often the police have used their powers to seize unlicensed mini-motors being misused on public land under the Police Reform Act 2002 and the Road Traffic Act 1988; [85908]

(2) what assessment he has made of the merits of encouraging greater use of antisocial behaviour orders to tackle misuse of unlicensed mini-motors on public land; [85907]

(3) whether he has estimated how many young people possess a mini-motor or off-road vehicle. [85909]

Mr. McNulty: The information is not collected centrally.

Muslim Brotherhood

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which organisations with links to the Muslim Brotherhood received money from his Department in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how much each organisation received. [86269]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested is held centrally and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs.

Online Passport Applications

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reasons are for delays in processing online passport applications; and what average time a person applying online waited for the delivery of their new passport in the last 12 months. [84907]

Joan Ryan: On 16 May 2006, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) introduced the second trial phase of its online passport application system, EPA2, from its Newport office.

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Soon after its introduction, the EPA2 system encountered technical problems, making the online application process less effective than desired. The IPS invoked contingency plans on 5 June and suspended the system, replacing it with EPA1, the earlier version of IPS’s online application system, which is operating well. To ensure customers received the best possible service levels, IPS wrote to those customers who had applied through EPA2 and were still waiting, to recommend that they submit replacement applications and IPS has generally issued passports to these customers within a two days.

Approximately 18,000 applications were received via EPA2 and all are expected to have been processed by 14 July. The IPS has issued 6.6 million passports this year.

The EPA1 system advises applicants to allow four weeks to receive their passport. However, on-line applications are included in the IPS operating target to turn round 99.5 per cent. of straightforward applications for the standard service within 10 working days once we receive the completed and signed application (which for an EPA1 case will have been prepopulated and sent to the applicant for completion.) The IPS annual report and accounts, expected to be published later this month, will show that this target was met for the financial year ended 31 March 2006.

Operation Pentameter

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrests have been made as a result of Operation Pentameter; what the countries of origin are of those (a) arrested and (b) trafficked; and if he will make a statement. [80658]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 27 June 2006]: There have been a total of 232 arrests made as a result of Operation Pentameter which to date has resulted in 134 people being charged with trafficking related offences. The majority of those arrested for offences related to trafficking under this operation are British, Chinese, Asian, East European or from the Balkans. The majority of rescued victims come from Asia, the Far East and Eastern Europe.


Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2006, Official Report, column 1330W, on oxycodone, what estimate he has made of the effects on (a) the number of jobs and (b) the balance of payments if producers of oxycodone formulations moved the manufacture of these formulations to the Republic of Ireland from the UK. [86134]

Mr. Coaker: No such estimates have been made.


Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many registered paedophiles are resident in the Northumbria police force area; what steps are taken by (a) the police and (b) other agencies to protect the public from re-offending by those registered; and if he will make a statement. [85421]

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Mr. Sutcliffe: Details of the number of registered sex offenders in the community are incorporated into the multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) Annual Report for each police/probation area of England and Wales. The report for Northumbria shows that there were 851 registered sex offenders living in the in the area as at 31 March 2005. The data is not broken down by victim age.

The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) imposed a duty on each of the 42 police and probation areas in England and Wales to work together to protect the public from sexual and violent offenders. MAPPA brings together the police, probation and Prison Services into what is known as the MAPPA Responsible Authority. A number of other agencies are under a duty to co-operate with the Responsible Authority. These include local social care, health, education and housing services.

MAPPA provides for risk assessment which is more comprehensive, benefiting from a wide range of information; and better co-ordinated and more robust risk management planning, drawing upon interventions from the various agencies involved.

A sex offender who is required to register, must within three days of conviction or caution (or a relevant civil order being made), notify the police, in person and at a prescribed police station, of his name, address, date of birth and national insurance number. If the offender is in prison on the day that this requirement falls due then he must make his notification within three days of his release. If an offender fails to comply, they commit a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

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