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22 Jan 2007 : Column 1528W—continued


Trade Unions

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding her Department has given to individual trade unions in the last three years. [114515]

Angela E. Smith: The Department for Communities and Local Government, like its predecessor Departments, does not provide funding for any individual trade unions. However departmental staff who are elected trade union representatives are provided with ‘facility time’ to undertake trade union activities, and receive ‘help in kind’ in the form of office space and equipment.

Home Department

Ammunition Sales

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce controls on the sale of ammunition (a) components, (b) tools and (c) blanks. [116713]

Mr. McNulty: The need for additional controls to prevent the illegal assembly of ammunition was considered during the passage of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006. The new provisions in section 35 will impose restrictions on the sale and purchase of primers and will make it more difficult for criminals to illegally manufacture rounds. Without a primer the ammunition is inert.

Animals: Scientific Procedures Inspectorate

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate last visited Nafovanny, in Vietnam; what their findings were; and if he will make a statement. [103059]


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Joan Ryan: The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate last visited Nafovanny's two main facilities in Long Thanh, Vietnam in March 2005. They identified shortcomings in animal accommodation and care and we informed the breeding centre that once pending orders for animals for use in the United Kingdom were supplied, its status as an approved centre would cease. By the end of 2005 we had received reassurances and evidence that significant improvements had been made. Subject to being satisfied that further additional safeguards and welfare-related measures are in place, we believe Nafovanny should be able to meet the standards we would expect of such a centre. Should Nafovanny wish to continue to supply animals for use in the United Kingdom we will revisit the relevant facilities.

Antisocial Behaviour

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there were for antisocial behaviour in Wirral, South in the last period for which figures are available. [116392]

Mr. McNulty: There is no criminal offence of antisocial behaviour. Data from the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform show that 20 persons were proceeded against at magistrates court for offences under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, in Merseyside police force area, 2005. It is not possible to provide a further break down as the data are not collected at this level of detail.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there were for antisocial behaviour in Chorley in the last period for which figures are available. [117214]

Mr. McNulty: There is no criminal offence of antisocial behaviour. Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform show that four persons were proceeded against in magistrates' court for offences under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, in Chorley Local Justice area, 2005.

Armed Robberies

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many armed robberies took place in Essex in each of the past five years. [115876]

Mr. McNulty: Available data relate to the period 2000-01 to 2004-05 and are given in the following table.


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Table 1: robberies( 1) recorded by Essex police in which firearms (including air weapons) were reported to have been used, 2000-01 and 2004-05
Number of offences

2000-01

47

2001-02(2,3)

56

2002-03

80

2003-04

70

2004-05

25

(1) Robbery includes business and personal.
(2) Figures may have been inflated by some police forces implementing the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard before 1 April 2002.
(3) The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced on 1 April 2002. Figures for some crime categories may have been inflated by this.

ASBOs

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been made by courts in Surrey in each of the last three years; and how many such orders have been breached. [116626]

Mr. McNulty: The available information is given in the following table.

The number of antisocial behaviour orders issued at all courts in the Surrey Criminal Justice System (CJS) area and the number subsequently proven in court( 1) to have been breached, for orders issued between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2005 (latest available)
Number of ASBOs issued( 2)
Total of which breached( 3) at least once by the end of 2005

2003

7

4

2004

48

31

2005

49

11

(1) Breaches are counted irrespective of where in England and Wales the breach proceedings took place.
(2 )Source: As reported to the Office for Criminal Justice Reform by the Court Service.
(3 )Source: OCJR Court Proceedings Database.
Note:
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. 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.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received on the use of dawn raids on asylum seekers; [114862]

(2) what consultations he has had with legal advisers on the effect of dawn raids on asylum seekers on the right to family life; and what advice he has received on this subject; [114863]

(3) what notice is given (a) before and (b) after dawn raids on asylum seekers to schools attended by the children of those asylum seekers arrested in the raids; [114864]

(4) for what reasons dawn raids on asylum seeker families before 8:00 a.m. are used; and what notification is given to (a) the local police, (b) legal advisers and (c) hon. Members of the asylum seekers of those raids. [114954]


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Byrne: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) do not conduct ‘raids’ against asylum seekers. Officers undertake operational visits to detain and remove persons who no longer have the right to remain in the UK and do so in line with operational policy and guidance.

In terms of representations the following were consulted during the course of the review of IND's family removals processes, which included the consideration of the timing of detention visits:

In addition, Adjournment debates on family removals were held on 10 and 19 January 2006, raised by the hon. Members for Sunderland, South and for Falkirk respectively.

Legal advice on immigration enforcement visits with regard to the right to family life was sought when the Human Rights Act came into effect in October 2000. Legal advice was also provided on the instructions to IND officers, contained in the operational enforcement manual (OEM), with regard to conducting early morning visits. The advice provided was that actions of officers had to be proportionate to the legitimate aim of maintaining an effective immigration control as set out in the Immigration Act 1971, and that each case had to be assessed on its individual merits. IND is aware of the possible traumatising effect of early morning visits when they seek to remove the families of failed asylum seekers. Every effort is made to conduct an immigration enforcement visit with the least disruption to the children and at the best time of day to pick up a family as an entire unit, e.g. before any children depart for school or parents depart for work.

Information on notifying schools of family detention visits is contained in the chapter 58 of the OEM, and the family removal policy notice (EPU 2/06), both of which are available on the IND website. Chapter 46 of the OEM contains information on early morning visits and about notifying the police of all enforcement operations. Where a person has legal representatives, they are sent copies of all enforcement decision notices which inform the person of their liability to removal. Information on notifying a person of removal directions and the opportunity to seek legal advice is contained in chapter 44 of the OEM.


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Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were returned to Afghanistan in each of the last 12 months. [116366]

John Reid: The table shows the number of persons, who had claimed asylum at some stage, who were removed to Afghanistan between October 2005 and September 2006, by month. These figures include people departing voluntarily after enforcement action has been initiated against them, people leaving under Assisted Voluntary Returns programmes run by the International Organization for Migration and include those who it is established have left the UK without informing the immigration authorities. Figures have been rounded to the nearest five.

Information on removals of asylum seekers is available on the Home Office website at:

Removals, voluntary departures and assisted returns( 1) of asylum applicants( 2) , including dependants, removed to Afghanistan, October 2005 to September 2006( 3,4)
Number of asylum applicants
Month Total asylum applicants removed

October 2005

95

November 2005

80

December 2005

70

January 2006

95

February 2006

100

March 2006

85

April 2006

70

May 2006

75

June 2006

70

July 2006

65

August 2006

65

September 2006

95

Total(5)

965

(1) Includes enforced removals, persons departing ‘voluntarily’ after enforcement action had been initiated against them, persons leaving under Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes run by the International Organization for Migration and those who it is established have left the UK without informing the immigration authorities.
(2) Persons who had sought asylum at some stage.
(3) Figures rounded to the nearest five and may not sum due to rounding.
(4) Provisional figures.
(5) October 2005 to September 2006.

Community Support Officers

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for the recruitment of community support officers in Wirral, South. [116472]

Mr. McNulty: Police community support officer (PCSO) recruitment is a matter for the force concerned.

The Home Office has provided funding through the Neighbourhood Policing Fund to increase the number of PCSOs in Merseyside to 466. It is a matter for the chief constable how these are deployed across the force area.


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Crime Statistics

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many muggings (personal robberies) were committed in each of the four Humberside police divisions in the last 12 months; and how many were committed on 11 to 16-year-olds in each case. [116407]

John Reid: The recorded crime statistics, collected centrally, relate to numbers of offences. The series does not contain information on victims or offenders.

The available information is given in the following table.

Offences of robbery of personal property in Humberside police force area 2005-06
Basic command unit Robbery of personal property

East Riding of Yorkshire

70

Kingston upon Hull

671

North East Lincolnshire

194

North Lincolnshire

155


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