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Mr. Byrne: The Government consider the safety of any prospective returnee at the initial decision stage, and, where applicable, it is also considered by the independent body which hears the appeal against that initial decision. These assessments are made against the background of current information from a wide range of well-recognised sources about the situation in the country concerned. In the specific case of Algeria, officials have recently had a series of helpful discussions with Algerian officials about the effects of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation and how this will be implemented.
However, if specific allegations were to be made that any returnee has experienced ill-treatment on return from the UK, then these would be followed up through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British embassy in Algiers as a matter of urgency.
Mr. Coaker: Online markets and auction sites can potentially be used to facilitate a range of crimes including the sale of proscribed goods (from child abuse images to guns and knives, and pharmaceutical products), the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods, theft and fraud. Partly because of the clandestine nature of some forms of crime and partly because of the pace of development of the online marketplace we do not have figures on the level of criminal activity.
Many online marketplaces have developed good working relationships with UK police forces. There have been a number of successful joint operations into the sale of stolen or proscribed goods. For example, a recent successful operation in London involving the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) and eBay to tackle the sale of blocked or barred phones led to 13 arrests. Following that operation, eBay banned people selling stolen, blocked and barred mobile phone handsets on its UK site and produced joint guidance with NMPCU warning the public about the risks of buying stolen handsets and providing advice about how to avoid them.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many eligible applicants for British citizenship attended a citizenship ceremony in each of the last six months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne: During the period April to September 2006 49,060 citizenship ceremonies were attended. The monthly totals are April: 9,575, May: 9,765, June: 9,170, July: 8,120, August: 7,295, September: 5,135.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the maximum time has been between the granting of an application for British citizenship and attendance at a British citizenship ceremony. 
Mr. Byrne: The normal maximum period between the granting of an application and attendance at a citizenship ceremony is three months, with the vast majority taking place well within this time scale. I am advised that one case did take 18 months, this was due to an oversight and such instances are extremely rare.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many recorded crimes there were in each of the last 30 years; and what the percentage change was in the number of reported crimes between each of those years. 
|Recorded crime in England and Wales 1975 to 2005-06|
|Total recorded offences||Percentage change over previous year|
|(1) The following changes were made from 1 April 1998: the change to the Home Office Counting Rules for recorded crime had the effect of increasing the number of crimes counted. Numbers of offences for years before and after this date are therefore not directly comparable. Other wounding (8) split into Other wounding (8A); Possession of weapons (8B) and Harassment (8C) Other frauds (53A) split into Cheque and credit card fraud (53A) and Other fraud (53B) Cruelty or neglect of children (11) became notifiable Assault on a constable (104) became notifiable Common assault (105) became notifiable Possession of controlled drugs (92B) and other drug offences became notifiable A number of other offences, classification numbers 26, 55, 75, 78, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 91, 94, 126,139, 802 and 814 became notifiable other changes. Racially aggravated offences became notifiable from 30 September 1998, but were only separately recorded from 1 April 1999 Abuse of position of trust (73) became notifiable from 1 January 2001. (2) Not comparable due to changes in counting rules. (3) Introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) across England and Wales on 1 April 2002. Some forces adopted the Standard prior to this date. Broadly, the NCRS had the effect of increasing the number of crimes recorded by the police. Therefore, following the introduction of the Standard, numbers of recorded crimes are not comparable with previous years. The change in definition relating to resultant injury in common assaults and less serious woundings, which applies from 1 April 2002, is described in the Common Assault text box in Chapter 5 of HOSB 07/03. Religiously Aggravated offences were included with Racially Aggravated offences from 1 April 2002. Disclosure, Obstruction, False or Misleading Statements etc. was added to the series from 1 April 2002. (4) Not comparable due to changes introduced under the National Crime Recording Standard. (5) Includes the British Transport police from 2002-03 onwards. (6) The introduction of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in May 2004 resulted in substantial changes to the sexual offences. This means that figures for 2004-05 are not comparable with those for previous years.|
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) drugs offences and (b) other criminal offences were discovered between 1 January and 1 August 2006 in (i) Colnbrook, (ii) Yarl's Wood, (iii) Harmondsworth, (iv) Campsfield House, (v) Dover, (vi) Dungavel, (vii) Haslar, (viii) Lindholme, (ix) Oakington and (x) Tinsley House immigration detention centres. 
Mr. Byrne: In relation to drug offences and other criminal offences within Immigration Removal Centres during the period 1 January to 1 August 2006: (i) there have been five drug offences and five other criminal offences at Colnbrook; (ii) Yarl's Wood has had no instances of either type of offence; (iii) Harmondsworth has had 10 drug offences and 30 other offences; (iv) Campsfield House has had no such offences; (v) Dover has had no drug offences and one other criminal case; (vi) Dungavel has had no drug offences but one other offence; (vii) Haslar has had no offences of either type; (viii) Lindholme has had no drug offences but two criminal offences; (ix) Oakington has had no offences of either type and (x) Tinsley House has also had no offences of either type. Overall there was a total of 15 drug offences and 39 other criminal offences.
|Centre||Drug offence||Other offence|
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 16 October 2006]: I cannot comment on current police operations/activity. The UK human trafficking centre will be in a position to co-ordinate any national operations that the police decide to carry out in the future, including any follow- up to the very successful Operation Pentameter.
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