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19 Feb 2007 : Column 120W—continued

National Probation Service for England and Wales: Complaints

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many letters of complaint he has received concerning the Probation Service in (a) England, (b) Hertfordshire and (c) Hemel Hempstead in each month of the last five years. [120022]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested is not gathered centrally and may be available at disproportionate costs.

North Sea Camp Prison

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to improve (a) buildings and (b) staff facilities in North Sea Camp prison, Lincolnshire in each of the next three years. [120419]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Funding has been made available for the refurbishment of prisoner reception and for it to be converted to an offender management unit. Smaller items such as pipe lagging are being replaced as part of a programme of maintenance. Funding for further improvements will be considered in the new financial year. Approved projects will be included in the programme based on a number of factors including the changing priorities of building plans across the estate and availability of funds from the limited budget.

Oakhill Secure Training Centre

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department at what capacity Oakhill secure training centre in Milton Keynes is operating. [118831]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 5 February 2007]: The operational capacity of Oakhill is 80 places. On 31 January, 71 places were occupied.

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Offender Accommodation

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what qualifications are required of voluntary sector managers to run accommodation schemes for offenders. [117787]

Mr. Sutcliffe: There is a variety of voluntary sector schemes providing, as their main function, accommodation services for offenders. Although there is no statutory requirement for managers of accommodation services to hold formal qualifications most schemes select staff against specific competencies and relevant experience. Therefore voluntary sector organisations managing premises approved by the Secretary of State recruit or second managers from the Probation Service who will have an appropriate probation qualification.

In addition, note that the accommodation services provided for offenders by the voluntary sector through the Supporting People programme are accredited by the relevant local authorities in line with Communities and Local Government guidance.

Offenders: Bristol

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders tested positive for (a) opiates and (b) crack cocaine in Bristol between January and December 2006. [120631]

Mr. Coaker: Between January and December 2006, 4,192 tests for specified Class A drugs (heroin, cocaine/crack cocaine) were conducted as part of the drug interventions programme in Bristol.

Of the 4,192 tests conducted, 2,022 tests were positive for specified Class A drugs, of which 1,112 tests were positive for both heroin and cocaine/crack, 402 tests were positive for (a) opiates and 508 tests were positive for (b) cocaine/crack.

Offenders: Deportation

Mr. Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Government’s strategy is for the deportation of non-UK citizens convicted of a criminal offence. [119063]

Mr. Byrne: We have brought forward legislative proposals within the recently introduced UK Borders Bill.

Copies of each of these statements are available from the Library of the House.


Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners released on licence were recalled to prison in each year since 2001. [119083]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Information on the numbers of recalls of prisoners released on licence from prison establishments in England and Wales can be found in tables 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9 in the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005. This publication has recently
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been published and a copy is available in the House of Commons Library; it can also be accessed over the web at the 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.


Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in Hemsworth constituency have been issued with a free passport. [112252]

Joan Ryan: The Identity and Passport Service does not ask passport holders to keep their address up to date on our database. Therefore, the Identity and Passport Service cannot identify the number of current residents by geographical area that have taken advantage of the scheme to issue free passports to those applicants born on or before 2 September 1929.

From October 2004 when the concessionary scheme was introduced, until 31 December 2006, 398,615 people born on or before 2 September 1929 have been issued with free passports.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to section 6 (7) of the Identity Cards Act 2006, whether applicants for passport renewal who apply solely for a passport prior to 1 January 2010 will be required to attend an interview centre. [120391]

Joan Ryan: During 2009 it is planned to introduce chips holding fingerprint details into passports, in line with new standards for passports issued by EU member states. Applicants for passport renewal will then need to attend an Identity and Passport Service interview office in order to record their fingerprints, regardless of whether they wish to be issued with an ID card in addition to the passport.

Passports: Northern Ireland

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many lost passports have been reported in Northern Ireland in each of the last 15 years. [119157]

Joan Ryan: It is not possible for the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) to identify how many passports were reportedly lost or stolen in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years. The IPS can provide information on passports replaced since 24 September 2001 when the current passport issuing system was introduced in the Belfast passport office which serves the Northern Ireland area. Improved arrangements for the reporting of lost and stolen passports came into effect in December 2003, and IPS can also provide information on reports of lost and stolen passports, for the calendar years of 2004, 2005 and 2006. These figures are set out as follows.

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Replacement Lost Stolen Other( 1)



















(1 )Other includes passports reported as damaged or destroyed.

Pentonville Prison

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recently concluded report of the investigation into allegations of staff corruption at HM Prison Pentonville; [121104]

(2) what progress has been made in investigations into alleged staff corruption at HM Prison Pentonville; and if he will make a statement. [121106]

Mr. Sutcliffe: No. It is not Prison Service policy to disclose the contents of internal investigations for reasons of confidentiality. Nine investigation reports have been concluded, and four disciplinary hearings have been opened. Three investigation reports are outstanding.


Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of police time was spent on frontline duties by (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk constabularies in each year since 1997. [118671]

Mr. McNulty: Information on time spent by police officers on front line duties has been collected since 2003-04 and is set out in the following table.

Percentage of time spent on front line policing—eastern region forces
Force 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2008( 1)































(1) Target.

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are employed in non-geographic police forces; and what the total budget was for all such forces in the last period for which figures are available. [119131]

Mr. McNulty: The non-geographical police forces, i.e. those which are established by legislation other than the Police Act 1996, are the responsibly of a number of sponsoring Secretaries of State but not the Home Secretary. The Home Office does not collect data on their total staffing and budgets.

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Police Cells

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were housed in police cells during the recent activation of Operation Safeguard; how many have been housed in police cells since Operation Safeguard ended; what the cost of detaining inmates in police cells has been since the end of the activation of Operation Safeguard; and if he will make a statement. [111743]

Mr. Sutcliffe: During the period 12 October to 22 December, Operation Safeguard was used on around 4,500 occasions. These figures do not correspond precisely to the number of prisoners, as some prisoners may have been held in police cells for more than one night. Prisoners can also be held in “lockouts” under an informal agreement with police forces.

From 22 December 2006 to 22 January 2007, during which Operation Safeguard was deactivated, the number of prisoners accommodated in police cells overnight varied on a daily basis and was dependent on court activity and the management of regional prison population pressures. Operation Safeguard was reactivated on 22 January.

Police forces submit their costs in arrears and the cost cannot yet be calculated.

Police and Court Cells

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Court Service on the use of court cells as overnight accommodation for prisoners. [112325]

John Reid: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) aims to maximise use of all available space within the prison estate. The chief executive of NOMS formally reactivated Operation Safeguard on Monday 22 January.

The Home Office and the Department for Constitutional Affairs have been discussing the possibility of limited use of court cells on a contingency basis.

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any prisoners have been housed overnight in a court cell since the introduction of Operation Safeguard. [112326]

John Reid: Yes. A small number of prisoners were housed overnight in court cells.

Police Community Support Officers

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what initiatives his Department has introduced to promote public awareness of the difference between police community support officers and special constables. [112030]

Mr. McNulty: None.

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