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9 Oct 2006 : Column 490W—continued

Some countries, including most in the EU, also have arrangements enabling their citizens to obtain certificates of good conduct or extracts from any
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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.

Until earlier this year, there was no overarching legislative framework to enable CRB to approach other member states to obtain details of citizens’ criminal records. However, the Government have introduced legislation that has enabled the CRB to capture overseas conviction data for the first time as part of the Disclosure service.

In addition and following a recent EU Council decision the Home Office, in conjunction with the CRB and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), has become involved in EU initiatives to explore how criminal record and disqualification data across EU states might be used for employment vetting and disclosure purposes. These discussions are at a preliminary stage at present and more information will become available in due course.

The CRB is also in discussion with ACPO and others about seeking access to other, non-EU overseas conviction data. ACPO have agreed in principle to work with the CRB on the development of bi-lateral agreements. However there are some concerns that need to be addressed, including the safety of data for inclusion within the Disclosure service, the legality of sharing data, the safety of UK data provided to overseas agencies and the interpretation of overseas conviction information to ensure that employment decisions are made consistently and effectively.

Cycling

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he is taking to ensure the law against cyclists going through red traffic lights is enforced. [89870]

Mr. Coaker: Chief officers are best placed to decide on the level of priority given to this offence in the light of local circumstances.

As with other offending we would encourage members of the public to give evidence of specific problems and of particularly dangerous behaviour to the police. This will help them to target their responses effectively.

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cyclists were (a) fined and (b) prosecuted for going through a red traffic light in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [89873]

Mr. Coaker: It is not possible to identify the number of cyclists prosecuted or fined at magistrates courts for traffic light offences in England and Wales as this offence is grouped with a range of other cycling offences and cannot be separated.

Defence Intelligence and Security Centre

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Lewes of 11 July 2006, Official Report,
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column 1178, on the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre, to which Department the Director of the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre reports; and whether decentralised records of departmental officials attending the centre each year are kept by any agency or non-departmental public body reporting to his Department. [86989]

Mr. McNulty: The Defence Intelligence and Security Centre is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence. Commandant DISC reports to Director General Intelligence Collection (DGIC) who in turn reports to the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) within the Ministry of Defence. The information requested regarding Home Office officials attending DISC is not collected systematically and would only be held, if at all, in the form of records kept at local unit level. Collating this information could be done only at disproportionate cost.

Delmar Hossein Syeeshi

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what objections were received by his Department prior to the visit to the UK of Mr. Delmar Hossein Syeeshi; and if he will make a statement. [90131]

Mr. Byrne: I cannot comment on individual cases. However, all applicants must meet the entry clearance criteria/immigration controls, as set out on the UKvisas website at www.ukvisas.gov.uk

Departmental Carbon Emissions

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the total carbon emission from his Department's buildings in each year since 1997. [89442]

Mr. Byrne: In order to contribute to the annual Sustainable Development in Government report, Departments submit data on the energy consumption used across their office estate. This is then converted by the Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) into an estimate of the carbon emissions that resulted. The details for the Home Office estate (including prisons) for the years since 1997 are:

Financial Year Consumption (thousand tonnes of carbon)

1997-98(1)

123.1

1998-99(1)

109.7

1999-2000

104.6

2000-01

102.7

2001-02

103.3

2002-03

111.9

2003-04

104.3

2004-05

107.0

2005-06

(2)

(1) The figures for these years were calculated by the BRE using a different methodology and are not directly comparable with figures for subsequent years. (2) Not yet available.

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Departmental Child Care Facilities

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of his Department’s premises have child care facilities on site. [89461]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office provides a limited number of subsidised workplace nursery and playscheme places in London, Croydon and Merseyside. The following table sets out the nurseries and playschemes used and whether the provision is provided on or off site.

Workplace nursery places Location On/Off site Number of places available

Buffer Bear Network

Central London and the South East

Off site

32

Sunbeam Nursery(1)

Croydon

On site

71

Early Days Nursery

Liverpool

Off site

4


Holiday play schemes Area On/Offsite Number of places (days)

Westminster Holiday Playscheme

Central London

Off site

(2)463

Happy Hours Playscheme

Crosby

Off site

(2)15

Sunbeam Playscheme

Croydon

On site

(2)4,060

Kidz Club Playscheme

Liverpool

Off site

(3)15

(1) The Sunbeam Nursery will be closing in December 2006. (2) Use of the play scheme varies and places are generally provided on a ‘first come first served basis’. The figures provided are based on the number of days used by staff in the financial year 2005-06. (3) As use of the play scheme varies an estimate has been provided based on usage of the scheme so far this year.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are waiting lists for places at child care facilities which his Department provides for its employees. [89462]

Mr. McNulty: A limited number of subsidised workplace nursery and playscheme places are available for staff working in London, Croydon and Merseyside. There are currently no waiting lists for any of the nursery places. Applications for holiday playscheme places are operated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Departmental Expenditure

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on temporary overnight accommodation in London for civil servants in his Department in each year since 1997. [89198]

John Reid: The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what developmental courses have been undertaken by officials in his Department since 5 May using departmental funds; and what the total cost was of each. [89264]


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Mr. McNulty: This response takes ‘officials’ to mean all staff in the Home Office Group and ‘developmental courses’ to mean leadership and management development training. Data are not held centrally on the number of staff who attend external developmental courses nor on the cost of these courses. Staff are encouraged to take up internal developmental opportunities: the Department offers a range of management development programmes and leadership development programmes. It is not possible to break down the overall cost of these programmes to find the cost per individual participant since 5 May 2006. Over 1,528 staff have undertaken internal developmental courses or workshops since 5 May.

Departmental Staff

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to paragraph 30 of the Reform Action Plan, how many staff will be made redundant; and what estimate he has made of the cost of redundancy payments. [89220]

John Reid: My Department plans to avoid compulsory redundancies as a result of the reduction in the size of its headquarters.

Dispersal Orders

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many dispersal orders have been (a) applied for and (b) granted in each year since their introduction, broken down by local authority area. [89336]

Mr. McNulty: Section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 provides the police with powers to disperse groups and remove under-16s to their place of residence, within authorised areas. These powers came into force on 20 January 2004. Information on the use of the powers has not been routinely collected. However from a one-off Home Office data collection exercise, we estimate that 809 areas were designated between January 2004 and June 2005. This information is not broken down by local authority area. The information is now being collected by police force area.

DNA Database

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many DNA profiles have been removed from the national DNA database on the basis of an approved special request made by the individuals concerned in each year since 2000. [89915]

Joan Ryan: The decision on whether to agree to a request from an individual to have their DNA profile removed from the National DNA Database lies with the Chief Officer of the force which took the sample. Until recently, no central records were kept of the circumstances in which Chief Officers exercised their discretion in this matter. The Association of Chief Police Officers issued guidance to Chief Officers on the consideration of applications for removal at the end of January 2006. The then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Andy Burnham), made a written ministerial
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statement on the guidance on 16 February 2006, Official Report, column 117WS and placed it in the Library. ACPO have tasked a specialist unit within Hampshire police (known as ACPO Criminal Record Office) with supporting the Chief Officer's consideration of the exercise of his or her discretion, by providing examples of how requests have been dealt with in other forces and offering advice. However, the decision remains with Chief Officers, who for example may still decide to retain DNA samples without reference to the unit. Specialist unit figures show that at 31 August 2006, of the cases which they have examined, 36 profiles have been removed. In a further 38 cases it has been decided that they are to be removed but this decision has not yet been actioned. There are no central records for cases considered before January 2006, or cases since then where the Chief Officer has not referred the matter to the unit.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 1270W, on DNA profiles, whether there is evidence that persons arrested but not proceeded against are more likely to offend than the population at large; and what estimate he has made of how many matches an average crime scene would yield if there was a national database with everyone on it. [91030]

Joan Ryan [holding answer 13 September 2006]: As far as we are aware, there are no definitive data available on whether persons arrested but not proceeded against are more likely to offend than the population at large.

In relation to persons on the National DNA Database, as indicated in the answer of 20 December 2005, Official Report, column 2890W, at early December 2005, there were 124,347 people with a DNA profile on the NDNAD who had been arrested and who were not subsequently charged or cautioned with an offence. New data obtained recently from the ACPO Criminal Records Office indicate that over 23,000 of the 124,347 persons had had a PNC record created prior to the arrest event when their DNA sample was taken. This indicates that these persons had been charged, reported for summons and/or sanctioned(1) for at least one other offence prior to the arrest event at which they had a DNA sample taken.

No information is currently available on the proportion of the 124,347 persons who may have been charged, reported for summons or sanctioned for an offence after the arrest event when their DNA sample was taken. The Home Office, ACPO and PITO are working towards being able to provide such information from the NDNAD and PNC.

Monitoring of the implementation of the powers introduced in April 2004 which enable the police to take DNA from persons who have been arrested for a recordable offence has also provided some information. Since April 2004 sampling persons who have been arrested but not proceeded against has yielded a match with a crime scene stain in over 3,000 offences. These
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offences include 37 murders, 16 attempted murders, 90 rapes and 1,136 burglary offences. It should be noted that these data provide intelligence, not evidence, suggesting the arrested persons as possible suspects.

No estimate has been made of the number of matches an average crime scene would yield if there was a universal DNA database covering the whole UK population. The Government have made it clear on a number of occasions that it has no plans to introduce a universal compulsory, or voluntary, national DNA database or to seek to obtain a DNA sample from the entire population. No estimates have therefore been produced based on a universal database.


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