Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Feb 2007 : Column 105W—continued

Firearms: Crime

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has held on tackling gun crime in (a) England and Wales and (b) the West Midlands. [119790]

Mr. Coaker: Gun crime was discussed at the Round Table meeting on guns, knives and gangs that was held at the Home Office on 7 February. The meeting was attended by senior representatives from the Association of Chief Police Officers, community members, voluntary bodies and Government Departments. The meeting looked at current work on gun crime, including:

19 Feb 2007 : Column 106W

The meeting also discussed what other action might be taken. A further meeting will be held in the next few weeks.

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many firearms offences were committed in England and Wales in each of the last three years. [119879]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 8 February 2007]: Available data relate to the number of offences recorded by the police involving the use of a firearm up to and including 2005-06, and were published on 25 January 2007 in ‘Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2005/2006’ (Home Office Statistical Bulletin 02/07), which is available as an internet-only release at:

Firearms: Wales

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether North Wales Police recorded the details, including serial numbers, of the 1,817 firearms handed in following the handgun ban in accordance with the provisions of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997. [119451]

Mr. McNulty: The way in which the details of firearms surrendered to the police were recorded is a matter for individual chief officers.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fixed penalty notices were issued for personal robberies in each police force area in each of the last five years. [117798]

John Reid: Neither penalty notices for disorder nor fixed penalty notices can be issued for street robberies.

Footpath Gating Orders

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many local authorities in (a) England, (b) the North West and (c) Greater Manchester have implemented footpath gating orders using the powers contained within the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. [112365]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested is not collected centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

19 Feb 2007 : Column 107W

Foreign National Prisoners

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2007, Official Report, column 134W, on foreign national prisoners, what data is held by his Department on the offences committed by prisoners released from HMP Peterborough; in what format the data are kept; and if he will make a statement. [118524]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 2 February 2007]: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate holds electronic records of offences committed by foreign national prisoners who meet the current criteria for deportation.

Comprehensive information on discharges, including offences committed by individual prisoners, is not available using data stored on the Prison IT system.

Prisoners leave establishments for a variety of reasons including, for example, removal from the UK, or on transfer to other prison establishments or Immigration Removal Centres. To provide information on offences committed by individuals transferred across or removed from the prison estate would require a manual search of individual case records which could be carried out only at disproportionate cost.

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many previously successful applicants to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme he expects will be excluded by the recent changes to the scheme; and what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the effect on business and industry of such exclusions. [117785]

John Reid: Currently, we are evaluating the impact of the changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.

I have regular discussions with colleagues in Government concerning prospective changes to the immigration rules and the impacts they might have.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of the impact on the number of skilled workers in the UK of the most recent changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. [119129]

Mr. Byrne: Skilled workers currently in the UK under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) can apply to extend their leave. The rules for the HSMP 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, with a provision for MBA graduates from selected institutions) 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
19 Feb 2007 : Column 108W
claims fewer points in one area, they can make up for it by claiming more points in another.

It is expected that the majority of migrants currently in the UK under the HSMP will qualify under the new points test. Transitional arrangements have been put in place to support those existing participants of the HSMP who will fail to satisfy the new points scoring assessment but who have been contributing to the UK economy.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with (a) the Indian Government and (b) other governments regarding recent changes to the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme; and if he will make a statement. [119216]

Mr. Byrne: The Home Office always works closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on changes to the Immigration Rules. If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise that our international partners would welcome briefing on matters related to the Immigration Rules, the Home Office is willing to provide this.

In this particular case we provided certain overseas posts, including those in India and Pakistan, with the necessary material to brief their host governments in advance of the change. Some posts took the opportunity to do this. We also have dialogue with foreign diplomatic posts in London, as required.

Prison Ships

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for the use of HMP Weir. [112327]

John Reid: The ship formally known as HMP The Weare was sold to a specialist ship broker as an accommodation barge in May 2006. Future decisions as to its use are a matter for the owner.

Holloway Prison

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recreational facilities are available to prisoners at HMP Holloway. [120394]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The recreational facilities available include a variety of workshops and educational facilities and a library for prisoners to use.

There is a pool table on each unit, televisions in all cells for which the prisoners pay £1 a week, and access to exercise yards each day. Prisoners on the enhanced level of incentives and earned privileges have access to DVD players and hand-held play stations. There is access to a gym all week and a swimming pool that can be used at the weekend. Prisoners on the mother and baby unit have access to a relaxation/light room. There are also further facilities such as a hair salon.

Home Detention Curfews

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) estimate of the number and (b) assessment of the causes his Department has made of technical failures of the tags used in the
19 Feb 2007 : Column 109W
Home Detention Curfew Scheme in the last five years. [117857]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The technology used for electronic monitoring has been shown to be reliable over several years. All equipment designs are tested independently before operational deployment.

Where there are suspected technical failures the Home Office has required suppliers to rectify the problem and sought independent advice on a case-by-case basis. No systematic records of failure numbers have been kept to date, but we are setting up a logging system.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedure exists for (a) reporting and (b) identifying the causes of technical faults in tags used in the Home Detention Curfew Scheme. [117858]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The electronic monitoring service providers inform the Home Office of all equipment malfunctions, including those caused by accidental or deliberate damage. We have started to put in place a procedure for recording systematically how many malfunctions are caused by a technical fault rather than damage by the offender. However, technical faults are rare because all equipment types are rigorously tested before operational use.

Homicide: Young People

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many teenage victims of murder there were in each of the last 10 years. [121203]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Available data relate to offences recorded as homicide between 1995 and 2005-06 where the victim was aged between 13 and 19 (inclusive).

Offences currently( 1 ) recorded as homicide( 2) where victims aged between 13 and 19 (inclusive): England and Wales, 1995 to 2005-06( 3)
Number of victims

























(1) As at 9 October 2006; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.
(2) Homicide covers the offences of murder, manslaughter and infanticide.
(3) Offences are shown according to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence as homicide (murder or manslaughter). This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made.

19 Feb 2007 : Column 110W


Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what measures his Department (a) has introduced and (b) is planning to introduce to record and report the number of incidences of homophobic abuse at football matches; [119106]

(2) how many homophobic-related offences were committed at football grounds in each year since 1997. [119110]

Mr. Coaker: Racist or indecent chanting in football grounds is a criminal offence under the Football (Offences) Act 1991; depending on the circumstances of each case this may include homophobic chanting. There were 56 arrests for the offence in the 2005-06 season, and 52 arrests in 2004-05. The data do not specify the type of chanting involved.

Local police football intelligence officers provide the UK Football Policing Unit with details of incidents, offences and arrests connected with all league and cup matches in England and Wales. Although I understand this intelligence does not suggest that homophobic chanting is a growing problem developments are kept under review.

In addition I understand the Premier League and Football League intend to amend generic ground regulations for next season to make clear to all spectators that homophobic and other discriminatory abuse, chanting or harassment may result in arrest and/or ejection from the ground.

Human Trafficking

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on plans for the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, with particular reference to the (a) detection of trafficking through border control, (b) regime for defining victims of trafficking, (c) immigration status of victims during the recovery and reflection period, (d) issue of renewable residence permits, (e) compensation of victims from the assets of perpetrators, (f) arrangements for repatriation and return of victims, (g) access to health and education while temporarily admitted, (h) prosecution of traffickers, (i) appropriate training and (j) involvement with the Group of Experts monitoring process. [118609]

(2) what plans he has for formal United Kingdom accession to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. [118610]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 5 February 2007]: The Prime Minister announced on the 22 January the intention of the UK Government to sign the Convention. Details on how implementation will be taken forward are currently being developed. It will inevitably take some time to move from signature to ratification of the Convention. The implementation process will involve close co-operation with stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, law enforcement and other Government Departments and agencies.

19 Feb 2007 : Column 111W

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases involving human trafficking or suspected trafficking have been prosecuted under the charge of facilitation of illegal entry since the beginning of Operation Reflex. [118556]

Next Section Index Home Page