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22 Jan 2007 : Column 1537W—continued

Gypsies and Travellers

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions Kent constabulary has not moved on illegally parked Gypsies and Travellers in each of the last two years. [114508]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 11 January 2007]: While the Kent police has a key role to play in enforcing the closure of unlawful encampments it should be noted that responsibility for dealing with such does not rest solely with the force. Other stakeholders and agencies, including private landlords, also possess discretionary eviction powers to deal with such sites and will, on occasions, take the lead in this. The force works closely with these partners, whose various responsibilities are captured in a locally agreed ‘Memorandum of Understanding’. As such, the action taken by Kent police should not be seen in isolation, but is instead often part of a joined-up response.

Where the force takes primary responsibility for dealing with an unlawful encampment the decision to use statutory powers will reflect all the attendant circumstances, including the social, economic, educational and medical needs of those so encamped. In the event immediate eviction would be disproportionate to the issues at hand, existing policy allows for the exercise of discretion by allowing the trespassers to remain for a limited period before further action to enforce closure is taken. Where this is so, the decision not to automatically evoke an eviction order is the subject of robust scrutiny and is fully recorded.

Kent police maintains records of all of the unlawful encampments it has dealt with, however it is only since 2006 that they have gathered sufficient detail to answer the question as framed.

Records show that in 2005 the force recorded 136 unlawful encampments of which approximately 50 were closed as a result of enforcement. In 2006 it recorded 141 unlawful encampments. Of these 58 encampments were closed as a result of enforcement, while a further 75 were resolved when the trespassers left voluntary, most likely following discussions with the police or other parties. A breakdown of the enforcement figures show that 10 of these cases were resolved directly by police using the powers under section 61 and 62 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, while the others followed action by other partners under the same Act, or by bailiffs or upon a court direction.

In carrying out its work, Kent police is mindful of its statutory obligation under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 to:

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English Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are ethnic categories recognised in law.

Hizb ut-Tahir

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2006 to the hon. Member for Newark (Patrick Mercer), Official Report, column 643W, on Hizb ut-Tahir, what the reasons are for the policy; and if he will make a statement. [116171]

John Reid [holding answer 16 January 2007]: The Home Office keeps the sufficiency of the list of proscribed organisations under review. It does not generally comment on groups which may or may not be added to that list in order not to prejudge a group before a decision is made, to avoid any influence over the Home Secretary’s eventual decision, and to avoid pre-alerting groups to their possible proscription.

Human Trafficking

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women who have been victims of human trafficking into the sex trade in the UK have been deported after being taken into custody by the authorities, broken down by (a) year and (b) region of the UK for which information is available. [115274]

Mr. Coaker: This information is not held centrally. Women who are accepted onto the Poppy project are not subject to any removal action during an initial four-week period while they make decisions about their future and longer-term support is offered in return for co-operation with the authorities. Where appropriate, these victims are provided with information and assistance to help them voluntarily return to their country of origin and removal action is only ever taken as a last resort.

Identity and Passport Service

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) pursuant to his answer of 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1667W, to the hon. Member for Rayleigh on the Identity and Passport Service, if he will break down the figures by project area for 2005-06; [116674]

(2) pursuant to his answer of 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1667W, to the hon. Member for Rayleigh on the Identity and Passport Service, what the reasons were for the increase in spending since 2003-04; [116675]

(3) how much was spent on rebranding the UK Passport Service as the Identity and Passport Service. [116676]

John Reid: [holding answer 18 January 2007]: It is not possible for the Identity and Passport Service to break down the total non-permanent staff costs by
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individual project area for 2005-06. Also non-permanent staff were also employed within corporate support areas. The breakdown of the 2005-06 costs between projects overall and corporate support is shown as follows.

Non permanent staff costs
2005-06 £



Corporate Support




The main reason for the increase in spending since 2003-04 is the need to support, through proper project management arrangements, delivery of a highly complex change programme which has included the introduction of e.passports, interviews for first time applicants, the application of the personal identity process to first time adult applicants, and its development through other data sharing arrangements, the trialling of facial recognition as an anti-fraud tool and preparation for the launch of the Identity and Passport Service. Much of this activity required specialist skills not readily available within the Agency, and skills that would not be required permanently.

The Agency remains committed to replacing wherever possible, non-permanent resources with permanent staff through the training and development of its own existing staff, and other means.

The Agency expects to have spent £450,000 on re-branding from UK Passport Service to the Identity and Passport Service which represents 0.1 per cent. of the expected total Agency spend in the 2006-07 financial year. This expenditure includes costs associated with the brand development, external signage and website development.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2006, Official Report, columns 831-32W, on the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, when he expects the figures for correspondence from hon. Members and responses to be published on the Immigration and Nationality Directorate website; and if he will place the available figures in the Library. [116240]

Mr. Byrne: The expanded information we have undertaken to provide, starting with the final quarter of 2006, will include performance against the 20 days target for answering Members' letters. The figures will therefore be published at the beginning of February when 20 working days from the end of December have elapsed. I am not persuaded that we need to place this information in the Library as well as on the website.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what dates the longest outstanding complaints made by hon. Members to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate were received; to which constituencies they relate; what dates have been set for their resolution; and what the reasons are for the delay in each case. [116704]

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Mr. Byrne: Information on which of the 40,000 or so letters and other correspondence sent by Members each year on Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) related matters constitute complaints is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of the recommendations of the Directorate of the Immigration and Nationality Complaints Audit Committee he plans to implement; and what timetable he has set to do so. [116709]

Mr. Byrne: The Complaints Audit Committee (CAC) published their annual report on 14 December 2006. At the same time the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) published a detailed formal response to their report explaining what action we intend to take on each of the CAC's recommendations.

IND has accepted 52 of the 55 recommendations. At the time of the response 19 of these actions had already been completed.

A complaints handling programme has been established to overhaul IND's complaints processes in line with Cabinet Office guidance and the CAC's recommendations. The necessary changes will happen over the next 12-15 months.

Full details and timescales can be found in IND's formal response, available in the Library. It can also be found at:

IND Website

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to improve the Immigration and Nationality Directorate website. [116214]

John Reid: As part of Home Office reform and the Transformational Government agenda, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) is currently reviewing all of the information it delivers online to improve its overall web presence, and deliver key customer information and transactions through the most appropriate online vehicles. This will make key information much easier for people to find and use.

With a target date of summer 2007, the IND website will be redeveloped to improve the user experience on the site. The structure and navigation of the site will be redesigned in consultation with actual and potential users and key information will be re-written in a style appropriate for the target audience, using plain English. The site will also reflect IND’s new status from April 2007 as a shadow executive agency of the Home Office.

In the longer term, IND is working with the core Home Office to ensure adherence to the Transformational Government Strategy. This means all of its key information and transactions will be delivered through existing super sites, such as Directgov (for the general public) and Business Link (for businesses), as well as the Home Office corporate website and any other appropriate websites/portals, as specified by any future developments in Transformational Government.

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Intelligence Services Commissioner

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2005. [116216]

John Reid [holding answer 16 January 2007]: I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s reply to a question from the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald) on 15 January 2007, Official Report, column 787W.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered History Month

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the Department spent on its activities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered history month; and what relevant publications, including items for display, were provided for police establishments. [115716]

Mr. Byrne: The only expenditure by the Home Office, during the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) history month in 2006 was for an event organised by our LGBT staff support network which showed three films for staff. The films were part of the network's resources so the only cost incurred was for light refreshment at a cost of less than £50.

The Home Office did not provide any specific funding, publications or items for display at police establishments for activities for the LGBT history month.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to curtail fundraising for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam in the UK. [114801]

Mr. McNulty: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) were proscribed under section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in March 2001. Under the Terrorism Act 2000 it is unlawful to raise funds for a proscribed group. It is our policy not to comment upon ongoing investigations or operations because of the sensitivity of the information involved and because such comments may prejudice later trials.

National Firearms Register

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the National Firearms Register to be fully operational. [116471]

Mr. McNulty: The roll-out of the National Firearms Licensing Management System is expected to be completed by March 2007.

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National Identity Register

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 7 December 2006, Official Report, column 645W, to the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden on the National Identity Register, what proof an individual will need to provide of his interest in an alternative address; whether there will be a limit on the number of alternative addresses an individual may register; and what penalty will be imposed for registering a false address. [116158]

John Reid: Although detailed procedures for registering addresses on the National Identity Register, including proof of address, have yet to be determined, we would expect within reason to be able to record all addresses at which an individual is genuinely resident. Section 28 of the Identity Cards Act makes it a criminal offence to provide false information to the Register, with a maximum term of imprisonment of two years available on conviction on indictment.

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many companies had submitted tenders for the establishment of a new national identity database prior to the decision not to proceed with the new database. [116208]

John Reid: The National Identity Scheme is currently in a pre-procurement planning phase where the requirements and high level design of the Scheme are developed. The Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme, published in December 2006, provided an overview of the outcome of such work to date.

As this is a planning phase, no official invitation to tender for contracts for the development of the National Identity Register, by means of an official notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, has been issued and thus no tenders were ever received from companies to establish the National Identity Register.

Non-mandatory Life Sentences

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will break down the number of prisoners serving non-mandatory life sentences by offence committed. [114790]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 15 January 2006]: Information on the numbers of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences in prison establishments in England and Wales as at 30 June 2005 by offence committed can be found in table 8.25 of Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library.

It can also be accessed at the following website:

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system, and although shown to the last individual the figures may not be accurate to that level.

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PCSD Budget

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the annual budget is of the Police and Crime Standards Directorate; and how many members of staff it employs. [116058]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office Police and Crime Standards Directorate was formed in spring 2006 as a single point of delivery to help manage and support performance across policing, crime and drugs.

The new directorate brought together several areas of Home Office work, including the Drug Interventions Programme, the Home Office arrangements on tackling prolific and other priority offenders, the Police Standards Unit and the Partnership Performance Support Unit.

In 2006-07 the total budget delegation for the directorate was £204.5 million. The allocation between units is shown in the following table.

The programmes were delivered by some 150 staff including secondees from police forces and local government, operational researchers, forensic science specialists as well as Home Office officials. The staff as at end of December 2006 in each unit is shown in the following table.

Unit Staff as at 31 December 2006 Total 2006-07 budget (£ million)

Local Delivery Unit



Partnership Performance and Support Unit



Performance Framework and Assessment Unit



Performance and Partnership Policy Unit



Police Standards Unit



Offender-based Interventions Unit(1)



Business Support Unit






(1 )Incorporates Drug Interventions and Prolific and other Priority Offenders Programmes

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