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28 Nov 2006 : Column 650W—continued

A number of day long training sessions on key issues affecting the work of the board chairs will be delivered on a monthly basis from February 2007. These events will include topics such as financial and resource management, performance management, public promotion of probation, public protection, budget
28 Nov 2006 : Column 651W
management, etc. A major theme will be the transition from board to trust status and how probation will operate in this new environment. Chief officers who are ex-officio members of boards are the accountable officers in terms of budgets and also have responsibility for all operational matters including public protection. The new board chairs have a key ambassadorial role for their board and this will be developed in the programme outlined above.

There are plans to organise an induction seminar and ongoing training events for new board members. This will be arranged in early-mid 2007. There will also be induction exercises at the local board and regional level


28 Nov 2006 : Column 652W

Heavy Hitter Programme

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was of the Heavy Hitter Programme Delivery Director service deployed in his Department; and if he will make a statement. [102853]

Mr. Byrne: The purpose of the heavy hitter programme is to provide high calibre, experienced, people to oversee IT projects that are crucial to the success of the wider Government IT programme.

The cost to date is £590,943.93.

Consultant Supplier Invoice number Net (£) Gross (£) Period

Mike Mackay

Cabinet Office/OGC

268,137.00

October 2005 to October 2006

Andrew Ross

Cabinet Office

Inv-018607

33,333.33

39,166.66

September 2005

Andrew Ross

Cabinet Office

Inv-018777

26,666.66

31,333.33

October to November 2005

Andrew Ross

Cabinet Office

Inv-018821

13,333.33

15,666.66

December 2005

Andrew Ross

Cabinet Office

Inv-019014

13,333.33

15,666.66

January 2006

Andrew Ross

Cabinet Office

Inv-019140

13,333.33

15,666.66

February 2006

Andrew Ross

Cabinet Office

Inv-109638

16,683.33

19,602.91

March 2006

Andrew Ross

Cabinet Office

Inv-109649

16,683.33

19,602.91

April 2006

Andrew Ross

Cabinet Office

Inv-019648

16,683.33

19,602.91

May 2006

Andrew Ross

OGC

005485

45,600.00

53,580.00

June to July 2006

Andrew Ross

OGC

005556

26,468.54

31,100.53

August 2006

Andrew Ross

OGC

005615

24,706.57

29,030.22

September 2006

Andrew Ross

OGC

005711

27,904.24

32,787.48

October 2006

Total

—-

590,943.93


Heavy Vehicle Recovery

Mr. Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what rules apply to the administration of heavy vehicle recovery schemes where local police constabularies make arrangements to recover lorries at the roadside. [103817]

Mr. McNulty: Police powers to arrange for the removal or recovery of vehicles are provided for by Section 99 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and associated regulations. The regulations also set the charges which the police can levy for removals which they order. A vehicle has to be released once the prescribed charge has been paid.

The removal and recovery of vehicles including heavy vehicles such as lorries is an important routine activity for all police forces. They normally use contracted recovery operators to act on their behalf. Police contracts require operators to provide a guaranteed speedy response, to have specialist equipment, secure storage facilities and an efficient administration department. The detailed arrangements between individual police forces and vehicle recovery operators is a contractual matter between the parties involved.

Human Trafficking

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) willing and (b) unwilling participants in human trafficking entering the UK illegally, broken down by nationality. [100943]

Mr. Coaker: Research and police intelligence on the scale and nature of trafficking in human beings suggests that there has been an increase in the trafficking problem over the last two or three years, however it remains difficult to make an accurate assessment of the scale of the problem. The majority of our knowledge regarding the situation in the UK centres on trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The majority of trafficked victims originate from eastern Europe and the Balkans, or from the far east (China and Thailand). Recently the UK has seen a growing trend in victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation being brought to the UK from within the EU, in particular from Lithuania. Although violence and force are often encountered in trafficking cases, evidence suggests that in the initial stages the vast majority of victims who are brought to the UK are not actually kidnapped or forced into moving here, but instead are recruited by deception. The personal freedom of the trafficked victim is severely limited and they are often controlled through the removal of their documentation, unrealistic debt-bonds, threats of violence against them or their families and in the worst cases actual physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse.

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to respond to the consultation on proposals for a UK action plan to tackle human trafficking. [105849]


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Mr. Coaker: The public consultation exercise on the proposed UK action plan was launched on the 5 January 2006 and the consultation period ended on the 5 April this year. We published a summary of responses on the 21 June. The responses will be considered in the course of developing a final UK action plan on human trafficking which we aim to publish early next year.

Identity Cards/Passports

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with which Government departments and agencies biometric records held by his Department are shared. [102809]

Joan Ryan: Biometric records held by the Home Office are shared with the following outside departments and agencies:

Biometric records are also shared with police forces and other UK law enforcement agencies. It is also made available to forensic service providers acting on behalf of these forces and law enforcement agencies.

Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether those granted residence under the 2005 Spanish immigration amnesty qualify as EEA nationals under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006. [100749]

Mr. Byrne: The UK Government understand that the Spanish Government's regularisation exercise granted a one year's residence permit to immigrants who met the specified criteria, and not Spanish nationality. These were internal Spanish decisions and nationals of countries outside the European economic area (EEA) who have the right to reside in EEA countries, such as Spain, do not have a treaty right of free movement. They do not qualify as EEA nationals under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost per caller to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate number 0870 606 7766 was in each year the number has been in operation. [102002]

Mr. Byrne: Information on call charges and revenue for phone number 0870 606 7766 is available for the following years—January 2003 to December 2005.

The average cost to caller has been calculated on the basis of dividing the number of calls answered in a year by the total cost to callers. This will provide an average. Clearly some calls last longer than the average and some are less than the average.

Average cost figures have been rounded up/down to the nearest penny.


28 Nov 2006 : Column 654W
Number of calls answered Cost to callers (£) Average cost per caller (pence)

January to December

2003

893,398

549,821

62

2004

1,047,593

616,763

59

2005

1,138,756

712,601

63


Immigration Service

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police forces have signed memoranda of understanding with the Immigration Service agreeing to hold detainees of the Immigration Service when needed; and how many Immigration Service detainees were held in police cells in each police force in each year since 1997. [101503]

Mr. Byrne: IND works closely with the police and are grateful for their support in tackling immigration abuse.

The arrangements for holding people on immigration matters are usually the subject of local agreements between police forces and immigration operational units, rather than formal Memorandum of Understanding. All police forces generally will hold detainees for the Immigration Service, and many of those held have first been arrested by the police for other matters.

Information on the number of detainees held, and the breakdown by police force area, is not collected centrally.

Legislation

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the name was of each bill being worked on or drafted by his Department on 1 September. [103196]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office bills in the legislative programme were announced at the time of the Queen’s Speech.

National Probation Service

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what level was achieved in each of the 10 categories in the Investors in People profile in the most recent assessment testing the National Probation Service against the Investors in People accreditation framework. [103139]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Not all probation boards have Investors in People status. It will be a highly complex exercise to try to extract the details required for the 42 areas.

The National Probation Service is not an entity, but a composite of 42 separate probation boards who are bodies corporate in their own right.

A number of probation areas have Investors in People status or a Charter Mark equivalent.


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Network of Buddhist Organisations

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his Department’s list of organisations consulted on religious issues, what assessment he has made of the extent to which the Network of Buddhist Organisations is representative of that faith's adherents; and if he will make a statement. [101097]

Mr. Byrne: The Home Office has made no such assessment. The Network of Buddhist Organisations is just one of the Buddhist organisations that the Home Office consults with.


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