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Implementation of a Performance Management Framework
Linking the setting of removals targets to Local Enforcement Office (LEO) budgets
Introduction of electronic duty rostering system for all operational staff
Standardising performance reporting schedules and the introduction of an operational performance league table
Conducting a programme of quality assurance visits to Local Enforcement Offices
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) his Department, (b) MI5 and (c) the Metropolitan Police (i) uses and (ii) has used (A) TeraText and (B) Latent Semantic Indexing programmes. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 24 July 2006]: MI5 neither confirm nor deny their use of TeraText and Latent Semantic Indexing programmes. The Metropolitan Police does not use either of these programmes. Home Office Corporate Services report that they use Latent Semantic Indexing in Meridio as part of the Electronic Document Record Management Project. None of the other constituent parts of the Home Office uses either of these programmes.
Mr. Sutcliffe: The C-NOMIS, CRAMS, VISOR and OASys IT systems are compatible from business, user and technical perspectives. They provide complementary support for the management of offenders now and for the future. C-NOMIS is planned to replace the CRAMS case management system (which dates back to the mid-1990s) and is needed to support end-to-end offender management. Data are shared electronically between some of these systems already. Data sharing is planned to be extended as part of the development of C-NOMIS. All these systems operate according to the requirements of GSI, the government secure intranet, which provides common standards for infrastructure and security.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) mechanisms are in place and (b) methodology is employed to assess the impact of international migration on (i) cultural and community cohesion, (ii) housing demand and (iii) the economy, wage-levels and unemployment when determining (A) his policy on immigration and (B) the accepted number of migrants to this country. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 17 July 2006]: The Government set no target figure for the number of migrants to Britain, but shapes their policies regarding admission to the country on the basis of their international and humanitarian obligations and of the interests of the nation. In doing so they do not rely on any single mechanism or methodology, but draw on a wide range of statistical and other data to reach their assessments.
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will move the information on his Departments website on internet child safety away from the section marked police into a section where it can easily be found by those seeking information. 
Mr. McNulty: The main Home Office website for the publicwww.homeoffice.gov.ukwas redeveloped in October 2005. The information published on it follows a design and navigational structure that was heavily tested on actual public users of the website, who helped dictate its user-friendly structure. Indeed the main Home Office website was recognised in a recent independent report published by Precedent Communications as being the best of the 32 UK public sector websites they assessed.
The main information on child protection on the internet is held in the police area of the site as most of it is aimed at practitioners. But, in addition to this the information aimed at the general public is cross- referred on the main site. Under the top-level navigational title Crime & victims, there is a section that describes what government is doing to reduce crime (which has a page dedicated specifically to internet crime) and another section that describes what members of the public can do to prevent crime (which in turn has a page on how to stay safe online).
In both of these cases there is a wealth of useful information about how to keep children safe online, as well as a link under Related Documents to a document called Guidance on how to search safely.
In addition about 70 per cent. of traffic to most websites comes from Google and other search engines, so someone interested in child safety online is very likely to type a set of keywords to find what they are looking for. If that person is very distinctly interested in the guidance issued by the Home Office on child safety online, and typed internet child safety, Home Office into Google, the ThinkUKnow website and the Home Office Child Protection pages on the police website are the first two entries delivered.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance his Department plans to afford to officials of local authorities who are in receipt of Invest to Save funding prior to the withdrawal of that funding to ensure the continuation of projects supported by it; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 10 July 2006]: The Home Secretary has no plans to make a statement on Invest to Save Budget (ISB) funding. The ISB exists to provide funding to help innovative projects get off the ground. ISB funding is explicitly time-limited and is not intended to sustain a project over the long term.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) VISOR, (b) Exhibit, (c) Libra and (d) other Home Office IT systems are accessible to disabled staff and those who regularly use assistive technology. 
Mr. Byrne: ViSOR (Violent Offender and Sex Offender Register) user interface has been favourably assessed by accessibility consultants, particularly with regard to its suitability for use with screen reading software. Both xhibit (exchanging Hearing Information By Internet Technology) and Libra are Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) IT systems.
Joan Ryan [holding answer 8 May 2006]: The agenda for the JHA Council meeting on 1 and 2 June is set out as follows. A letter was sent to the chair of the European Scrutiny Committee on the 1 June, in order for the information to reach Parliament in a timely manner. The text of the letter is also set as follows.
4. Draft Framework Decision on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union.
11. JHA External relations (a) Ministerial Conference on the "Role of internal security in relations between the EU and its neighbours" (4-5 May 2006, Vienna) (b) Action Oriented Papers Western Balkans and Afghanistan (c) EU-US JHA Ministerial Troika (3 May 2006, Vienna) (d) Meeting between the EU presidency, the Russian Federation and the United States of America at Ministerial level on a Tripartite Cooperation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, four May 2006 - "Vienna Initiative".
I thought that it would be useful if I were to outline what I expect to be discussed at the JHA Council on 1 and 2 June. While the Home Secretary would normally make a written statement to the House, due to the timing of recess and the Council, and to make this most useful to you, I preferred to write after the pre-Council COREPER. There will, of course, be a written statement on discussion at the Council after recess. Due to other commitments, the Home Secretary will not be attending the Council, but Baroness Ashton, the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, and I will be representing the UK. There will be a debate on the future of Europol with the presidency seeking to agree Council conclusions. While we are supportive of the Conclusions and in making Europol's legal instrument more flexible, we believe there is a need to consider the implications of changing the legal instrument before taking a final decision. The presidency will seek to reach a general approach on the European Evidence Warrant. Several issues remain to be resolved, including the terms of the ground for refusal based on territoriality and the concerns of those who wish to clarify the scope of the offences for which dual criminality will not apply. We are supportive of the presidency's proposals on the territoriality clause, which would allow us to refuse an EEW where the conduct concerned took place in this country and would be legal here. The UK does not share the concern of those who wish to provide clarification in the Framework Decision of the offences for which dual criminality will not apply but we are hopeful that a solution can be reached based on compromise proposals from the presidency. There will be discussion on the Framework Decision for the Mutual Recognition of Custodial Sentences within the EU. The presidency has put forward a proposal for the circumstances in which a prisoner could be transferred without his or the executing State's consent. The Government accepts the proposal, and believes that the prisoner's consent should not be required where the prisoner was to be transferred to the State in which he had his normal permanent residence. This has clear benefits for prisoners being able to serve sentences close to their communities and families and should have an impact in terms of likelihood to re-offend. There is likely to be a political discussion on the presidency proposal for a framework. Decision on certain procedural rights. The UK would like to continue discussion and at this stage and not to close down any options for taking forward the work. The UK continues to place a strong emphasis on practical measures to benefit citizens. The presidency intends to invite Council to agree the
General Approach to the proposed Regulation establishing a European Small Claims procedure. This text will provide improved and cost-effective access to justice for European citizens in small claims across borders and is an initiative which the Government has welcomed. The presidency will be seeking to achieve agreement on the Draft Conclusions on the Organised Crime Threat Assessment (OCTA). This is the first annual OCTA, which replaces the Organised Crime Situation Report. The UK welcomes the first annual OCTA and supports the priorities as currently drafted. There will be a report on the implementation of the EU Counter Terrorism Strategy/Action Plan. We expect the presidency to reach a general approach on the Council Decision on Asset Recovery Offices. The UK negotiated changes in relation to civil recovery proceedings, so that the initiative relates both to confiscation and civil recovery cases. The UK supports measures to strengthen international cooperation concerning the recovery of the proceeds of crime. The Austrian presidency will be seeking to agree a general approach on the New Financial Frameworks general funding programme "Security and Safeguarding Liberties" and to one specific programme within the general programme on "Fundamental Rights and Justice". The UK welcomes the presidency's efforts to secure agreement and considers the texts now represent a good basis for future funding activity. In the mixed committee formation, there will be a presentation on Common Visa Application Centres. Finally, there will be a political discussion on the outstanding issues on the regulation on the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) and the presidency will be hoping to resolve these. The UK does not participate in this Regulation. However we feel the text needs to be more explicit on access for asylum authorities. In the margins there will be presentations on reinforcing the EU emergency and crisis response capacities and the May 2006 external relations ministerial conference in Vienna and Sweden will raise security arrangements in relation to the World Cup and the list of safe countries for the purposes of asylum."
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the amount of money leaving the UK to fund terrorist groups in Kashmir, with particular reference to the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The Government do not comment on specific intelligence and security matters. Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were proscribed in 2001 and are one of a number of organisations whose activities are routinely monitored by the Security Service and law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Coaker: Figures for the knife amnesty which ran from 24 May to 30 June have been collated by police force area. The total number of items surrendered in London to the Metropolitan police and City of London police was 9,205. On figures recorded by police forces, the total handed in in England and Wales was 89,864.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of illegal knives in circulation after the knife amnesty; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: There are no reliable estimates for the number of knives or offensive weapons in circulation. Knives have many legitimate purposes and, with a few exceptions, can be purchased legally. It is an offence to carry an article with a blade or point in a public place without good reason.
Mr. McNulty: We held a nationwide knife amnesty from 24 May to the end of June during which just under 90,000 items were surrendered to police forces in England and Wales. Following the amnesty, many forces are focusing on enforcement operations, targeting those who carry knives without good reason. Operation Shield, run by the British Transport Police, continues to operate at mainline and underground stations using search technology to detect people carrying weapons on the transport network. Police, in conjunction with Trading Standards officers, have also carried out test purchase operations to identify retailers who are not abiding by the law and selling knives to young people under 16.
In addition, we are tightening legislation through the Violent Crime Reduction Bill, with new powers for Head Teachers to search pupils for knives, a new offence of using someone to mind a weapon and an increase in the age at which someone can be sold a knife from 16 to 18. We have also announced that we will increase the maximum sentence for carrying a knife in a public place without good reason from two to four years.
We are also supporting organisations such as Be Safe, which provide in-school training to young people on the dangers of carrying knives. Through our Connected Fund, we support small community-based organisations working on gun crime, knife crime and gangs issues. The fund is currently running its fifth round, with a closing date for bids of 4 August 2006.
Mr. Byrne: It is not possible to determine how many documents may have been taken from Home Office laptop computers reported as stolen or lost since 1997, but none of these were in the possession of Home Office Ministers.
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