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Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many claims by prisoners who have a drug addiction in relation to access to illegal drugs and the detoxification programmes that they have been alternatively offered (a) have been settled and (b) are outstanding; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the (a) basis and (b) source was of the legal advice followed by his Department in relation to
placing drug addicted prisoners on detoxification programmes and denying them access to illegal drugs; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) why his Department agreed to pay compensation to prisoners denied illegal drugs in prison and placed on detoxification programmes; what the expected total costs are of the compensation to be paid; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what the cost was of the abandoned defence of legal actions taken against the Prison Service by prisoners who have had access to illegal drugs restricted and who have been placed on, or offered, detoxification programmes as alternatives; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 12 December 2006]: The civil action to which my hon. Friend refers was brought by 197 prisoners who claimed that their drug detoxification treatment was inadequate. The claims were not pleaded on the basis that their access to illegal drugs had been denied.
Legal advice, obtained from counsel, the Treasury Solicitor and Home Office legal advisers, was that the standard of care the claimants received fell short of acceptable medical standards and the Prison Services guidelines for dealing with opiate dependent prisoners. On the basis of legal advice it was decided to settle these cases out of court in order to minimise costs to the taxpayer. Each case was settled for £3,807.10 excluding costs giving a total figure of £749,998.70. The Prison Service has yet to receive the full bill of legal costs incurred in handling this matter. I am not aware of any outstanding cases.
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 development of the Europol Information System; and what its legal base is. 
The Convention on the Establishment of a European Police Office (Europol), based on Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, and related Council Decisions provide the legal base for Europols computerised system of collected information, including an information system and analysis work files, and associated provisions on protection of personal data. A Council Act of 27 November 2003 (OJ C two, 6.1.2004, p.1) recommended adoption by the member states of a Protocol amending the Convention including certain of its provisions relating to the computerised system of collected information. These would, among other matters, speed up the arrangements for creating analysis work files. The Protocol is expected to come into effect in the first half of 2007. Certain provisions enabling Europol to operate the Protocol are included in two draft Council Decisions now under consideration in the Europol Management Board. These deal with aspects of processing of personal data and the rules applicable to analysis work files. The Government supports the purposes of the draft Council Decisions subject to consideration of the awaited Opinion on data protection matters of the independent Joint
Supervisory Body established under the Convention. The draft Council Decisions and the Joint Supervisory Bodys Opinion will be deposited with the parliamentary scrutiny committees in the usual way.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fixed penalties were issued in each of the last five years; for what offences such penalties were issued; in what circumstances the victims are consulted before a fixed penalty is issued; and what percentage of fixed penalty fines were paid in each year. 
Mr. McNulty: Information on fixed penalty notices issued for endorsable and non-endorsable motoring offences, including data on payments and other disposals, can be found in the annual Home Office publication Offences relating to motor vehicles, England and Wales, Supplementary tables in Tables 20(a) to 20(c) and 21 (a) and 21 (b) The latest figures are for 2004. The publication is available in the Library or via the following web link:
Under the Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) scheme, police can issue fixed penalty notices of £50 or £80 for a range of disorder offences as set out in the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (as amended).
Police can issue fixed penalty notices of £80 for offences of criminal damage (limited to damage under £500) and (retail) theft (under £200) which will normally have victims. However, guidance to the police makes it clear that cases of criminal damage over £300, and thefts over £100, should normally be dealt with by the courts: PNDs should only be issued in exceptional circumstances with the agreement of the victim/retailer. The guidance also states that police should seek and record the victim's views and consult them about the potential issue of a PND, including the effect on the victim's claims for compensation.
I am placing in the House Library data on the number of penalty notices for disorder issued by offence and police force area in England and Wales in 2004, 2005 and provisional data from January to June 2006.
The initial payment rate for PNDs was 53 per cent. in 2005; an increase of 1 per cent. on 2004. (Only 1 per cent. requested a court hearing.) 42 per cent. of PND recipients had a fine of one and a half times the penalty registered against them as they failed to pay the penalty or request a court hearing within the 21-day suspended enforcement period. Once registered, these fines fall into the HMCS fine enforcement and collection systems. The courts are currently achieving an overall payment rate for fines of 95 per cent.
Mr. Coaker: The Extradition Act 2003 provides for the return from overseas of persons accused of serious offences attracting at least 12 months imprisonment in the United Kingdom. The Road Safety Act 2006 also contains measures which, when implemented, will require drivers who commit certain prescribed offences and who cannot supply a satisfactory UK address to pay an immediate deposit in lieu of a fixed penalty, or pending a court hearing.
The EU has adopted certain measures which will also ensure, once they are in force, that foreign offenders do not evade punishment. The EU Convention on Driving Disqualifications and the EU Framework Decision on Financial Penalties will allow respectively a driving disqualification or a fine imposed in one EU state to be transferred to another member state for enforcement.
Mr. Sutcliffe: The operation of the tagging system by Group 4 Securicor is monitored closely by a dedicated Home Office team. This includes monthly audits of performance against 19 reported service levels. Failure to meet the agreed levels of performance results in deductions from the amount paid for delivering the service.
All types of electronic monitoring equipment, including new designs and developments in existing equipment, are rigorously tested before being brought into use. Also, the technical processes and procedures operated by Group 4 Securicor are subject to an annual technical audit carried out by the Home Office.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out in detail the grounds on which the Government are unwilling to admit into the UK detainees at Guantanamo whom the US is willing to release and who have UK residency but not UK citizenship. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 19 December 2006]: The Government have not said they are unwilling to admit any of the people currently detained in Guantanamo who formerly had indefinite leave to remain in this country.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his assessment is of the implications for UK immigration policy and immigration controls if the Government accepted back into the UK Guantanamo detainees who are British residents but not British citizens. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 19 December 2006]: None. We have made it clear that any application they may make for leave to enter the United Kingdom will be considered in the normal way in the light of the circumstances at the material time.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the legislative proposals which are under development at EU level implementing the Hague Programme on Freedom, Security and Justice; and how many proposals implementing that programme have been agreed on. 
Mr. McNulty: The Hague Programme calls upon the European Commission to monitor its progress and implementation. The Commission adopted its first report on 28 June 2006 in the form of a Communication, COM (2006) 333, 11228/06, Report on the Implementation of the Hague Programme for 2005. It was supplemented by a Commission staff working paper which was a scoreboard listing all the initiatives, including legislative proposals, under development at EU level within the context of the Hague Programme, and the Councils progress in negotiating, adopting and implementing those initiatives. We expect it to be updated next year. For ease of reference, the scoreboard can be found at:
The Communication was deposited for Parliamentary scrutiny and an Explanatory Memorandum was submitted by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, North (Joan Ryan) on 16 October.
Mr. Coaker: In 2002, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) produced Child Abusethe Investigation of Historical Institutional Child Abuse, a manual designed to provide senior Investigating Officers with guidance, strategic options and good practice when investigating cases of historic child abuse. ACPO is currently revising the manual and aims to produce updated guidance in the new year.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department where people seeking entry to the UK have been apprehended for (a) attempted trafficking and (b) trafficking for minors in each of the last three years. 
These statistics show the number of persons proceeded against for offences and persons found guilty under the Immigration Act 1971 Section 25 (1) (A) Knowingly facilitating the entry of an illegal entrant and Section 25 (1) (b) Knowingly facilitating the entry of an asylum claimant in United Kingdom for the period 2001 to 2005.
At present, the immigration and nationality directorate has no centrally collated data on the numbers of children trafficked into the UK or on where those attempting trafficking have been apprehended for this offence.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the revenue which will be received from charges for the provision of information from the National Identity Register for identity verification in each of the first five years of its operation. 
Joan Ryan: It would not be appropriate at this stage to disclose details of the estimate of the balance of funding which will come from the different types of fee for identity verification which may be set under the powers in section 35 of the Act. Disclosing this information would potentially hinder the Department's ability to obtain value for money in a procurement process.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the effect of imposing charges for the provision of information from the National Identity Register for the purposes of identity verification on charges to customers wishing to open a high street bank account. 
Joan Ryan: The Identity and Passport Service is in contact with representatives of a number of financial institutions with regard to the development of the National Identity Scheme. This interaction includes work to identify possible cost savings and customer and business benefits that can be realised through use of the scheme along with a continuing dialogue on how identity verification services could operate most effectively.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to section 5 (5) of the Identity Cards Act 2006, whether individuals who fail to attend an appointment to verify their information will be subject to a fine. 
Joan Ryan: Section 5(5) states that an individual may be required to attend an interview and register biometrics in order to obtain an identity card. Until the scheme becomes compulsory there will be no civil penalty for failure to comply with the registration process but an individual failing to comply will not be given a card. If the application for a card is made in conjunction with an application for a designated document, the designated document will also not be issued until the required procedures are followed.
Joan Ryan [holding answer 19 December 2006]: The Home Office reported to Parliament about the likely future costs of the ID cards scheme on 9 October. The cost of issuing passports and ID cards, including set-up costs, is estimated to be £5.4 billion in the 10 years from October 2006. Further cost estimates will be submitted to Parliament at least every six months, as required by section 37 of the Identity Cards Act 2006.
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what alternative proposals to identity cards were considered by his Department; and what assessment was undertaken of the likely effectiveness of such proposals in meeting the policy objectives of identity cards. 
Joan Ryan [holding answer 19 December 2006]: The National Identity Scheme is the result of a process of continuing development and consultation, beginning several years before the Identity Cards Act received Royal Assent in March 2006. The consultation paper, Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud, was published in July 2002 and invited views on whether a scheme should be implemented and if so, how. As a result of responses received during the six month consultation period, the Government announced their decision to introduce a scheme in Identity Cards: The Next Steps, published in November 2003. A draft Bill was then published and consulted on before the first Identity Cards Bill was introduced to Parliament in November 2004. The scheme has continued to develop as the legislation has undergone parliamentary scrutiny and following Royal Assent.
The Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Identity Cards Bill set out other initiatives which were under way with the objectives of tackling illegal immigration and illegal working, security and organised crime, identity fraud and improving the administration of public services. The National Identity Scheme is not intended to be the sole method of solving any of these problems and other initiatives will continue alongside the scheme which will complement these other initiatives, not replace them.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many individuals have been convicted for converting air weapons to fire live ammunition in each of the last three years; 
Mr. Coaker: Information on the number of persons convicted for converting air weapons to fire live ammunition is not held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. An air weapon is already regarded in law as a firearm. Any person converting it to fire bulleted ammunition without possessing an appropriate certificate or section 5 authority would be prosecuted under the relevant section of the Firearms Act 1968 for illegal possession or manufacture. No information is available from court statistics to indicate how many prosecutions relate to such conversions.
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