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Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders convicted of (a) burglary, (b) aggravated bodily harm, (c) robbery, (d) supplying heroin, (e) grievous bodily harm, (f) theft from the person and (g) receiving stolen goods received non-custodial sentences in each year since 1999. 
These figures have been drawn from administrative data 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.
|Offenders( 1) sentenced to non-custodial sentences( 2) for various offences, England and Wales|
|(1) Principal offence basis.|
(2) Absolute and conditional discharge, fine, community sentence and otherwise dealt with (but excluding suspended sentence).
(3) Including racially and religiously aggravated offences.
(4) Including offences of possession with intent to supply.
These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.
RDS-NOMS, Home Office
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had on the compilation of a fingerprint database for children between the ages of 11 and 15 who apply for a passport; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ryan: As set out in the Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme published in December 2006, the Identity and Passport Service has anticipated that it may be necessary to record biometrics for passports issued to children over the age of 11 but no final decision has been taken on this.
At present, EU regulations specify no minimum age for the recording of fingerprint biometrics. The United Kingdom has participated in preliminary discussions with our EU partners concerning the establishment of a minimum age for the recording of fingerprint biometrics in passports.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements his Department is making for disabled first-time passport applicants to attend interviews at Identity Passport Service offices; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ryan: All interview offices are compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. For example, they will have hearing loops and a wheelchair user will be able to manoeuvre a wheelchair anywhere within the public areas of an interview office.
Those people who need to have an interview as part of the application process will be sent a letter asking them to telephone IPS to make an appointment at one of the 69 interview offices. The letter asks the applicant to tell IPS if they have any particular requirements, for example, if they have a hearing impairment or learning difficulties. The applicant will also be sent a leaflet that explains the interview process, confirms that they should tell us of any particular requirements they have and gives examples.
checking biographical information to ensure that the identity claimed on the application form is real, living, and can be linked to the customer through cross checks against a range of public and private sector databases
the development of facial recognition systems to check applicant images against a database of images of suspected fraudsters
checking applicants against increasingly sophisticated internal watch files including the database of passports reported lost or stolen
strengthening its business processes for identity authentication, and training and support for passport examiners and specialist fraud units
interviews for all first-time adult customers.
Significantly increased security in passport book through the development and issue from last year of the ePassport which incorporates an RF chip and other advanced physical security features.
From 2002 created a database of around 750,000 infant death records to counter Day of the Jackal type fraud.
Introduced secure delivery of passports to customers from February 2004 resulting in an 80 per cent. reduction in losses of passport in the post.
Created better arrangements for the reporting, recording and sharing of data on lost/stolen passports. This database of around 920,000 records is now shared with UK border control and border control authorities worldwide via Interpol.
Established fraud and intelligence units in each of its seven passport issuing offices and provided professional, accredited training for all investigators.
Introduced the Passport Validation Service which enables approved government agencies to validate the status of a UK passport which has been presented to them as evidence of identity. The service is also available to organisations regulated by the Financial Services Authority that have to comply with the Know Your Customer statement of good practice requirements.
On an operational level, IPS are using intelligence received and data on known frauds to actively manage passport fraud identified after the issue of the passport. It is currently investigating some 2000 cases. Utilising intelligence on known fraud patterns, other fraud will be identified through the searches IPS are conducting on its database of 50 million passport records. This will be a similar set of exercises to that successfully conducted on infant deaths. This is an ongoing process and will be strengthened in November 2007 when IPS has access to adult death information. IPS are also developing plans to use facial recognition to check for duplicate identity fraud.
All the information uncovered on fraudulently obtained passports is passed to the UK Immigration Service for use at all UK ports. Experience shows that this is successful in disrupting criminal activities.
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