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14 Dec 2006 : Column 1315W—continued

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department has spent on external media trainers in each year since 2002, broken down by supplier. [103541]

Mr. Byrne: The costs of Press Office media training are as follows:

Supplier Total spend (£)

2002-03(1)

14,764

2003-04(1)

22,226

2004-05

1

21,084

2

3,978

3

2,172

2005-06

1

121,298

4

708

3

1,053

(1) The figures quoted for financial years 2002-03 and 2003-04 are gross totals for each year; a breakdown by supplier for these years is no longer available.

The costs cover the main media training suppliers used by the Press Office.

Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether people employed (a) through employment agencies and (b) on a consultancy basis are included in the calculations for the full-time equivalent staff mentioned in his Department’s annual report. [102994]

Mr. Byrne: Neither (a) nor (b) are included in the full-time equivalent staff figures published in the Department’s annual report.


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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department’s annual budget is for employing workers on a consultancy basis; and how much of this budget was used in each of the last five years for which records are available. [103024]

Mr. Byrne: The Home Office does not hold a centralised budget for employing workers on a consultancy basis. Responsibility for allocating budgets between different expenditure types, including consultancy, is held by budget managers also covering programmes and projects to whom budgetary responsibility is sub-delegated.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what checks take place on persons entering the employ of his Department to ensure that they have legal right of abode and work; what categories of employee have to sign papers indicating that they have such rights; what category of worker has not been required to provide documentary proof; and if he will make a statement. [107075]

Mr. Byrne: All staff, whether employed directly by the Home Office or as contractors, are required to provide evidence of their identity, nationality and immigration status before taking up appointment. In the case of contract staff, these checks are carried out by their employers under section 8 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1996. It is an offence to employ a person aged 16 or over, who is subject to immigration control and who is not entitled to work in the United Kingdom or to undertake the employment in question.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 189-90W from the Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office to the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Marsden) on the retirement age, what his Department’s policy is for the setting of retirement ages for staff below the senior civil service under the Civil Service (Management Functions) Act 1992. [108006]

Mr. Byrne: The Home Office has set a default retirement age of 65 for staff below the senior civil service.

DNA Database

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many criminals convicted before the creation of the DNA database in 1995 had given a DNA sample to police. [102426]

John Reid [holding answer 23 November 2006]: 2,460 DNA samples are held from the period before 1995. As personal information such as names was not stored at that time for legal reasons, a number of these may be duplicates (i.e. more than one sample may be stored from the same person).

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people not convicted of a crime in respect of the matter for which they were
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first required to provide a sample for the DNA database have subsequently been convicted of a crime; [102428]

(2) how many people who have not been convicted of a crime are on the DNA database, broken down by police force. [102429]

John Reid [holding answers 23 November 2006]: The national DNA database records the DNA profile for a particular individual. It does not hold data on arrest and criminal records. This information is held on the Police National Computer (PNC). At present the facilities do not exist on PNC to provide the information requested.

Since May 2001, about 200,000 DNA samples taken from people charged with offences have been retained, which would previously have had to be destroyed because of the absence of a conviction. From these, approximately 8,500 profiles of individuals have been linked with other crime scene stains, involving nearly 14,000 offences. These offences included 114 murders, five attempted murders, 116 rapes, 68 sexual offences and 119 aggravated burglaries.

Since April 2004, DNA profiles of arrested persons who have not been proceeded against have also been retained. This has resulted in matches with crime scene profiles from over 3,000 offences including 37 murders, 16 attempted murders, 90 rapes and 1,136 burglary offences. These links may not have been made if the power to take a DNA sample on arrest had not been implemented.

Domestic Disturbance

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many domestic disturbance calls were made to the police from Eastbourne constituency in each of the last five years. [105206]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office does not routinely collect data on calls to the police for assistance. However, Sussex police have been able to provide the following statistics on the number of domestic incidents recorded by the police within the borough of Eastbourne during successive calendar years.

Number

2002

1,061

2003

1,042

2004

1,186

2005

1,243

2006 (up to 4 December 2006)

1,315


Domestic Violence

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the number of domestic violence victims held in prisons in a year; and if he will make a statement. [105328]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons carry out confidential surveys of the experiences of women in each prison inspected. The surveys indicate
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that nearly half of the women interviewed have experienced domestic violence (and a third, sexual assault).

This is broadly consistent with other surveys, including the Women in Prison survey in Her Majesty’s Prison Holloway, where 36 per cent. of women disclosed experience of sexual abuse in childhood, and 45 per cent. said that they had experienced physical abuse. Furthermore, 60 per cent. of women using one of the ‘Women in Prison’ services in Holloway disclosed domestic violence voluntarily.

It is vital that the resettlement work with these women is geared to meeting their multiple needs. To help achieve this, we have the national Women’s Offending Reduction Programme, which encourages joint working between Departments, agencies and other organisations, to tackle the range of factors which impact on women’s offending.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what external monitoring is planned for the National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence. [105355]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence is outcome-based, and aims to achieve the following key outcomes:

Data are collected locally on progress towards achieving these outcomes. This includes:

Drug Offences

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were convicted of drug offences in the Humberside Police Authority area in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [108462]

Mr. Coaker: Available information relates to the number of persons cautioned and found guilty for drug
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offences in the Humberside police force area under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, from 1997 up to and including 2004.

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 courts, police forces and other agencies. 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.

EU Migrants

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the studies he has used to estimate numbers of EU migrants from future accession EU countries; and what estimates were contained in each study. [107206]

Mr. Byrne: The Department has not commissioned research into the likely numbers of individuals coming to the United Kingdom from future accession countries. Any estimates of migrants coming to the UK would be affected by: the functioning of the countries’ economies at the time of accession, the level of access granted to the UK labour market and the decisions of other member states on labour market access.

External Border Agency

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the proposed EU legislation for the External Border Agency; what its legal base is; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the Handbook for Border Guards. [108076]

Mr. Byrne: We are currently assessing the implications of the proposed legislation (15745/06 - Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a mechanism for the creation of Rapid Border Intervention Teams and amending Council Regulation (EC) 2007-2004 as regards that mechanism), whose legal basis is Articles 62(2)(a) and 66 Treaties of the European Community (TEC). I will place a copy of the Handbook for Border Guards in the Library.

Firearms Certificates

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many firearms certificates were reported as lost in the post in the last period for which figures are available; [109011]

(2) what the cost to the public purse was of replacing firearms certificates lost in the post in the last 12 months. [109012]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not available centrally.

Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to request compensation from the company running the
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Harmondsworth immigration removal centre in connection with the incident on 28 November; and what provisions exist for his Department to impose fines for such incidents. [108286]

Mr. Byrne: The disturbance at Harmondsworth immigration centre on 28 November will be fully investigated and any contractual decisions concerning the operation at Harmondsworth in connection to the incident will be taken in light of the report.

The operating contracts between the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the private sector contractors that operate the IND removal centres contain performance measurement mechanisms that impose performance points where services are not provided that result in financial deductions from the contractor’s operating fees. The total loss of the service results in total loss of the contractor’s fees for the relevant period of unavailability of service.

Highly-skilled Migrant Programme

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely impact of changes to the highly skilled migrant programme on economic migration within the UK; and if he will make a statement. [107836]

Mr. Byrne: Migrants currently in the UK under the highly skilled migrant programme (HSMP) can apply to extend their leave. The rules for the highly skilled migrant programme extension applications have recently been amended to ensure that applicants already in the UK under the programme have been making, and can continue to make, a contribution to the UK economy. The changes were based on a thorough analysis of the HSMP criteria.

Individuals applying to extend their leave to remain in the UK under the HSMP must now achieve a minimum of 75 points against robust points scoring criteria (qualifications, previous earnings, age and UK experience) and must also meet a mandatory English language requirement. The points scoring structure is flexible and is based on criteria that will indicate success in the labour market. If an applicant claims fewer points in one area, they can make up for it by claiming more points in another.

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in the UK who qualify under the highly skilled migrant programme live or work in (a) London, (b) the South West and (c) elsewhere in the UK. [107837]

Mr. Byrne: The highly skilled migrant programme (HSMP) is designed to give highly skilled individuals the opportunity to come to the UK to seek work without having a prior offer of employment. Data are not collected about where those individuals eventually choose to live or work.


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