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Mr. Austin Mitchell:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of appeals by asylum seekers against deportation were decided by (a) him and (b) officials in the latest period for which figures are available; and whether an independent
review of tribunal decisions is considered when making such decisions. 
Mr. Byrne: Appeals lodged by asylum seekers are decided by immigration judges at the Asylum And Immigration Tribunal, and not by the Secretary of State for the Home Department or his officials. Quarterly asylum figures, including information about appeals, are available on the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provisions he has made for the safe reception of the families and children due to be removed by charter flight to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the week beginning 26 February; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 26 February 2007]: All removals are carried out in accordance with our obligations under the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol (Refugee Convention), the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and in line with international human rights law.
The Home Office do not routinely monitor the treatment of individuals once they are removed from the UK. However, if specific allegations are made that any returnee, to any country, has experienced ill-treatment on return from the UK, then these are followed up through the FCO and the high commission in the returned country as a matter of urgency.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of domestic violence were reported to the police in each of the last five years; and how many of those resulted in a conviction for an offence. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 21 February 2007]: Data on the number of domestic violence incidents are given in Table one. These data are British Crime Survey (BCS) estimates for the number of incidents occurring which are derived from interviews taking place within the given financial years. These data are published annually in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin Crime in England and Wales (data as at 2005-06), and can be downloaded from:
|Table 1: Estimated number of domestic violence incidents( 1) against men and women, from 2001-02 to 2005-06( 2)|
|Domestic incidents (Thousand)|
|(1) British crime survey (BCS) violence includes common assault, wounding, robbery and snatch theft. (2) Financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March inclusive, figures relate to estimates derived from BCS interviews taking place in financial years.|
Mr. Byrne: In accordance with the EEA regulations an EU national can only be refused admission to the UK and removed on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. An individual's criminal record will be given full consideration and it may contribute to a decision to exclude them from the UK but previous criminal convictions in themselves do not constitute grounds for taking such measures.
Regrettably, we are unable to provide the statistical information sought as the cost to IND would be disproportionate. To provide this information we would be required to check through every individual's file for details of the reasons for their exclusion.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of identity cards which will be issued in the first (a) five and (b) 10 years of the scheme. 
Joan Ryan: The volume of identity cards to be issued in the first years of the national identity scheme will be dependent on what documents become designated documents under Section four of the Identity Cards Act 2006, the level of voluntary demand for cards and the timing of any further primary legislation for compulsory registration. The Government have made clear that it intends to designate British passports issued to adults in the United Kingdom. As an indication of likely annual volumes, the estimate of the number of new or renewed passports issued to adults is 4,179,000 in 2009-10 and 4,220,000 in 2010-11.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people escaped from immigration removal centres in the UK in the last 12 months; at which centres these escapes occurred; and how many of these escapees have been returned to the immigration authorities. 
Mr. Byrne: There have been 12 escapes from immigration removal centres in the UK in the last 12 months; one from Dungavel and 11 from Oakington. Records of the number of escapees who have been returned to the immigration authorities are not collated centrally.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the establishment of a EC co-ordination centre for security services; what the legal basis is for the entity; from what budget its funds are drawn; what its budget is for 2007-08; who attends on behalf of the United Kingdom; and what grading of classified material is exchanged. 
Joan Ryan: The activities of the Security Services remain the exclusive competence of member states. There is no EC co-ordination centre. However, the EU Joint Situation Centre (SitCen) does prepare assessments for member states, based on information from member states in order to inform European policy and decision making.
Mr. Benyon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the police investigation into the actions of James Dawute while at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate has concluded. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Quality checks have shown that the data are unsuitable for publication. Statistics on breaches can therefore only be published when significant improvements have been made to the submissions of these data to the Home Office.
Stephen Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Irish nationals convicted of a custodial sentence in England and Wales have (a) applied for, (b) been granted and (c) successfully completed relocation to Ireland as a result of arrangements under (i) the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners Convention, (ii) the early release scheme, (iii) the facilitated removal scheme and (iv) other arrangements in the last 10 months. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Since 1 May 2006, 15 Irish nationals have applied for repatriation to Ireland to continue serving their sentence there in accordance with the provisions of the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. Their applications are being considered. During the same period, two prisoners who had submitted earlier applications for transfer, had those applications approved; a further 15 prisoners were transferred to prisons in Ireland.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are undertaken (a) to check the validity of and (b) to prevent fraudulent use of passports apparently issued in (i) Poland, (ii) Slovakia, (iii) Lithuania, (iv) Latvia and (v) Estonia; and how many such passports have been (A) found to be invalid and (B) fraudulently or incorrectly used since EU enlargement. 
Mr. Byrne: The lead role in protecting the United Kingdom from the use of invalid or fraudulent travel documentation, including Polish, Slovakian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian passports, is taken by the National Document Fraud Unit (NDFU) of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND). The NDFU provides IND with equipment, information and comprehensive training in document checking in order to provide IND staff with the relevant knowledge and skills to identify document fraud.
The NDFU also represents the United Kingdom at the EU Frontiers/False Documents Working Party, which is attended by the five states in the question. The group facilitates the rapid transfer of intelligence regarding specific instances of travel document related crime, lost and stolen passports, and for conducting bilateral passport validity checks.
Statistics are only compiled under the general heading of detection of instances of travel document fraud. The following tables show that between enlargement on 1 May 2004 and October 2006 the following fraudulent Polish, Slovakian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian passports were detected at United Kingdom ports of entry and Enforcement and Compliance offices:
|Ports of entry|
|Enforcement and compliance offices|
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) met its target to roll out the facial recognition system to all IPS regional fraud intelligence units by the end of 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
John Reid: Yes, the facial recognition system was successfully rolled out to IPS fraud intelligence units by the end of 2006. The system has proven a highly useful tool in detecting fraud. IPS is now considering how such a system can be best deployed within the passport issuance process.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the first interviews to be held under the Identity and Passport Services proposed Authentication by Interview scheme. 
John Reid: As explained in the Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme published on 19 December 2006, the requirement to attend an interview will be introduced gradually, starting with small-scale interviews in a limited number of interview offices from April 2007, with IPS progressively adding further offices through to the end of 2007.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prisoners in England and Wales were held overnight in (a) police station,
(b) court and (c) other non-Prison Service cells on each Sunday/Monday in (i) November and December 2006 and (ii) January and February 2007; 
(2) how many spare places for (a) convicted and (b) remand prisoners there were in Category (i) A, (ii) B, (iii) C and (iv) D prisons in England and Wales on each Monday in November and December 2006 and January and February 2007. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Categorisation of prisoners takes into account a number of factors, one of which is security. A prisoner must be assigned to the correct security category even if it may not be possible to allocate the prisoner to a particular establishment for prisoners in that category. Therefore, as prison places can hold a variety of category of prisoner (but not a higher category than the prison is designated to hold), it is not possible to calculate the number of vacant prison places for each category.
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