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Joan Ryan: I hope that, as the subject matter of the above questions are closely linked, it will be helpful if I deal with them in one reply. The Reporting Application Registration Card (RepARC) Project was introduced in 2004 to create an automated link between compliance with reporting restrictions attached to temporary admission and access to asylum support payments. All asylum applicants are issued with an Application Registration Card (ARC), which is a biometric card containing fingerprint data and is also used as the method of collection for asylum support payments. In the RepARC system, ARCs are electronically revalidated at reporting events. Such events take 3-4 minutes including the process of checking identity and revalidation. Failure to report on two consecutive occasions leads to expiry of the card, and presentation of an expired card at a post office leads to denial of asylum support payments. This supports our policy of having in place a link between compliance with all aspects of the asylum process and access to support. If payment is suspended as described above, the remedy for the applicant is to resume reporting. If this does not happen, the case is referred to enforcement officers to locate the applicant; formal discontinuation of support may follow after eight weeks. Rollout of the RepARC process to all 11 IND reporting centres commenced in October 2005, in conjunction with the implementation of section 69 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (the payment of travel expenses for reporting). Key external stakeholders have been kept fully informed of the rollout timetable, which has so far delivered the system to the reporting centres in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Croydon, Glasgow, Solihull and two London centres. Rollout to the remaining reporting centres (north London, North Shields and Folkestone) will be complete by 31 July 2006, by which date it is expected that all NASS-supported applicants reporting to these sites will be reporting with an ARC. Non NASS-supported applicants are not covered by the RepARC scheme, although all asylum applicants are issued with ARCs. As of 30 April, 4250 asylum seekers with biometric ARCS, the total of all NASS supported asylum seekers who report to RepARC-enabled centres, were reporting within the RepARC system. Non NASS-supported applicants do not fall within the RepARC system but are still issued with ARCs, which are frequently used at reporting events to verify identity.
Mr. McNulty: The British Crime Survey comprises a core sample of the general population of adults resident in private households in England and Wales and separate boost samples of young people (aged 16 to 24 years) and adults from black and minority ethnic groups.
Between April 2005 and March 2006, 47,796 adults were interviewed as part of the core sample, 2,259 as
part of the youth boost sample and 3,176 as part of the BME boost sample; giving a total of 53,231 adults interviewed.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines are laid down by his Department to govern the procedures for accessing British Sign Language interpreters and lipspeakers on a 24 hour basis for deaf people requiring assistance at police stations. 
Mr. McNulty: Code C issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 states (at paragraph 13.1) that chief officers of police are responsible for ensuring appropriate arrangements are in place for people who are deaf. The Code provides that sign language interpreters should be drawn from the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People Directory of British Sign Language/English Interpreters. The Code also makes it clear that if a person appears to be deaf or there is doubt about their hearing or speaking ability, they must not be interviewed in the absence of an interpreter unless they agree in writing to being interviewed without one. There exists more detailed national guidance regarding interpreters in the criminal justice system and that is currently under review by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, with the Association of Chief Police Officers and other interested parties.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of burglars convicted for a third offence received a custodial sentence in the most recent year for which information is available; and what the average length of sentence was for those sentenced to custody. 
John Reid: This is a complex piece of analysis last undertaken in 2005 for Parliamentary Question 216331 the results of which are repeated as follows. Since then, the main data source for criminal information has changed from the Offenders Index to the Police National Computer. No similar sample or programs are currently available for us to conduct more up to date analysis. The table gives the numbers sentenced for their third burglary offence. The numbers are for a four week period in 2001, derived from the Offenders Index. The figures include attempted burglaries, as it is not possible to distinguish between an actual and attempted burglary on the Offenders Index.
|Burglars convicted for their third offence (by type of burglary)|
|( 1) Burglary in a dwelling||( 2) Burglary not in a dwelling|
|(1) Includes only previous convictions for burglary in a dwelling. Please note that definition and coverage is different from s111 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000.|
(2) Includes only previous convictions for burglary not in a dwelling
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the merits of thermal imaging cameras (a) in the detection of cannabis factories and (b) in detecting other crimes; whether he plans to ensure that this equipment is available to all police forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ryan: No scientific assessment has been made by HOSDB of the merits of using thermal imaging cameras for the detection of cannabis factories. The ability to detect cannabis factories was first recognised in the 1990s with the introduction of thermal imaging equipment to police air support craft. Small hand-held thermal imagers have more recently become available to the UK law enforcement community leading to the recent increase in ground use.
In detecting other crimes, assessments are being made of the technology for detecting prison escape and breaches of security barriers. Assessments are being made of the technology in a variety of other circumstances, however revealing the exact nature of the offences or the results could compromise the effectiveness of the technique. No formal scientific assessment has been made for detecting property crimes (e.g. vehicle theft, burglary) but these are frequently detected by the use of thermal imaging equipment from police operated aircraft and helicopters.
The vast majority of police forces in England and Wales have access to an air support unit and these are all fitted with thermal imaging technology. No formal purchasing arrangement is in place for police forces to procure hand-held thermal imagers and thermal imaging equipment is still perceived as an expensive technology by the service (typically £6,000 to £8,000 per unit).
The Home Office Scientific Development Branch owns five different types (over twenty items) of thermal imager, which can be used for a variety of activities including the detection of cannabis factories. These are available to all police forces in England and Wales to borrow free-of-charge for specific operations.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 27 March 2006, Official Report, column 743W, on cash handling centres, what assessment he has made of whether appropriate action was taken following 20 December 2004 to review security arrangements at major cash handling centres in England and Wales. 
Mr. McNulty: The annual National Threat Assessment (NTA) prepared by National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) in conjunction with other police forces, provides the intelligence which allows cash handling centres to review, with police forces, the appropriateness of their security arrangements.
The last published assessment by NCIS for the period 2004-05 to 2005-06 took account of major incidents over the past year and concluded that this did not amount to an overall increased level of risk at this time. Officials are continuing to work with the private security industry to identify ways to update and disseminate good practice.
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) grants and (b) other sources of revenue are available to install and maintain CCTV surveillance cameras in small towns and villages in rural England; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: Between 1999 and 2003, major investment was made in CCTV through the Crime Reduction Programme (CRP). A total of £170 million of Home Office capital funding was made available to local authorities following a bidding round. Through this, more than 680 CCTV schemes were installed in town centres. The end of the Crime Reduction Programme signalled the end of a dedicated central funding regime for CCTV. After the conclusion of the CRP, crime reduction funding moved to a structure that saw it being directly allocated to local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) and Basic Command Units to enable them to tackle local crime priorities using a number of interventions including CCTV.
In 2006-07 the Safer Stronger Communities Fund, totalling at least £220 million is available to Local Area Partnerships including local authorities and CDRPs who can decide, from within this envelope, how much to allocate to the installation of CCTV.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many perpetrators of child abuse are known to his Department, broken down by age group; and how many in each age group have received treatment for their offending. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 3 July 2006]: There is no specific offence of child abuse. It is not possible to identify the number of offences of assault and harassment offences which were committed against children. There are, however, a number of offences specifically relating to child victims for which data are available from the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. The number of defendants found guilty of these offences in 2004 is provided in the following table. Information on whether these offenders are receiving treatment is not centrally collected, however the current target is for 1,240 sex offenders to complete treatment in custody and a further 1,200 to complete treatment in the community during 2006-07.
|Number of defendants found guilty of offences related to child abuse, by age group of offender England and Wales 2004( 1,2)|
|Offence class and principal statute||Offence description||10 to 17||18 to 20||21 and over||All ages|
|(1) These data are provided on the principal offence basis. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.|
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