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23 Apr 2007 : Column 974W—continued

Fingerprints: ICT

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost of the mobile fingerprint scanner pilot project codenamed Lantern. [132954]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 20 April 2007]: The Lantern pilot runs for 12 months (up to December 2007) and the cost of providing the technology, upgrading the IDENT1 search capability (capability that can be re-used throughout the full IDENT1 contract life), training and service for the 10 pilot forces is £2.6 million.

ICT: Home Office

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total cost was of updating his Department's Large Major Enquiry System 2 computer system to Version 11. [132955]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 20 April 2007]: The Version 11 Upgrade to HOLMES 2, which included the refresh of the free text retrieval package, cost £585,836. PITO paid £302,486 and the forces contributed £283,350 via a centrally managed uplift fund. This included £165,855 for CasWeb which is part of HOLMES 2.

Immigration Controls

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to minimise the migration to the UK of unskilled workers. [132003]

Mr. Byrne: The Government’s Five Year Strategy on Asylum and Immigration, published in February 2005, stated that existing low-skilled migration schemes for non-EEA nationals would be phased out in the light of the availability of workers from the enlarged European Union. The quota for Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) was cut from 25,000 in 2004 to 16,250 in the following three years. The quota for the Sectors Based Scheme (SBS) was cut from 20,000 in 2003-04 to 15,000 in 2004-05 and to 3,500 in the following years with the termination of the SBS quota for the hospitality sector altogether in July 2005.

The Government have subsequently announced that the SAWS will be phased out in 2010 and, in the meantime, both the SAWS and the SBS will move to being restricted to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals
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while quota restrictions on those countries nationals' access to low skilled work in the United Kingdom are in force.

The Government have stated that if there is a need to admit non-EEA nationals to meet labour shortages at low skill levels in particular sectors in the future, quota-based schemes will be established under Tier 3 of the Points Based System for this purpose. It will for the Migration Advisory Committee to identify whether there is a case for doing so for any particular sector. Following the recent expansion of the EU and the continuing restrictions on low skilled labour from Romania and Bulgaria, a Tier 3 scheme is unlikely to be needed in the short-term.

Migrant Workers

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to promote the migration to the UK of skilled workers. [132002]

Mr. Byrne: There are a number of existing schemes to facilitate the entry of skilled workers to the UK labour market, the primary ones being the highly skilled migrant programme and the work permit system.

A new points-based system, which will apply to all work and study routes, will be phased in from early 2008.

A system of sponsorship by employers and educational institutions to ensure compliance with the immigration rules is also being introduced as part of the new system at the beginning of next year.

The points-based system will enable the Government to manage migration to the UK more effectively, tackle abuse and attract the most talented workers into the UK economy.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many staff in his Department are working on establishing and maintaining the new system of restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria; [106188]

(2) what estimate has been made of the cost to his Department of establishing and maintaining the new system of restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria. [106189]

Mr. Byrne: Firstly I wish to apologise for the delay in responding.

There is a dedicated Home Office unit, based in Sheffield, responsible for establishing and maintaining the new scheme to maintain limits on access to the labour market by nationals of Bulgaria and Romania, and issuing documentation to those who meet the necessary criteria. They were assisted in the initial establishment of their work by colleagues from around
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the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) as preparations were made to reflect the accession of the two countries in all aspects of IND’s work.

The costs of establishing the scheme are estimated to be approximately £1.6 million, broken down as follows:

£ million

Scheme set-up costs

1.11

Informing employers

0.24

Informing Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

0.23


Estimated costs for running this scheme for 2007 are £1.45 million. This is in addition to the £1.6 million for establishing the scheme detailed above.

National Appropriate Adult Network: Finance

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much funding was given to (a) the National Appropriate Adult Network and (b) the Independent Custody Visitors Association, in each of the last three financial years; [130436]

(2) what the projected funding allocation for (a) the National Appropriate Adult Network and (b) the Independent Custody Visitors Association is for each of the next two financial years. [130437]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 28 March 2007]: The following funding has been provided by the Home Office for the financial years 2004-05 to 2006-07.

£
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

(a) National Appropriate Adult Network

50,000

100,000

75,000

(b) Independent Custody Visiting Association

187,500

57,996

150,000


I understand that NAAN receives regular income from their membership (statutory or voluntary/commercial appropriate adult schemes) and have also successfully obtained grant funding from grant-making bodies such as the Rowntree Foundation. ICVA also receives income from membership fees (police authorities) and has generated additional revenue through the provision of services with the Scottish Executive, the NIO and overseas.

The Home Office has recently been working with NAAN, ICVA and the Association of Police Authorities to review the existing provisions of services and the roles and functions of both organisations.

Funding for 2007-08 and 2008-09 is not yet finalised.

Northallerton Young Offender Institution

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison staff at HM Young Offenders Institution Northallerton have been dismissed or disciplined in each year from 2001-02 to 2006-07 following successful claims for compensation by prisoners. [132615]


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Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 19 April 2007]: In the public sector Prison Service, information relating to prisoner litigation claims has only been recorded centrally since 2004-05. According to these centrally held records, no prison staff at HM Young Offenders Institute Northallerton have been dismissed or disciplined following successful claims for compensation by prisoners.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many claims for compensation were made by prisoners at HM Young Offenders Institution Northallerton from 2001 to 2006; how many have been successful; and what action was taken by the prison authorities in each case to prevent similar claims in the future. [132616]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 19 April 2007]: Figures available centrally indicate that between 2004-05 and 2006-07, Northallerton received four litigation claims from prisoners. During the same period three of those claims were settled out of court. Figures prior to 2004-05 were not recorded centrally.

Each case is dealt with on its own merits and any remedial action that is identified to minimise further successful claims is, where appropriate, implemented.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why his Department agreed a £575,000 compensation settlement to an inmate of HM Young Offender Institution Northallerton; and if he will make a statement. [132748]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 19 April 2007]: The Prison Service settled the case following a full analysis of all the evidence, based on strong legal advice from the Home Office appointed solicitor and barrister. The value of the settlement was determined by the available medical evidence and the Judicial Studies Board guidelines on general damages. The claim was settled in order to minimise costs to the taxpayer because if the claim had proceeded to court it would have resulted in considerably more expense to the public purse.

Knife Crime

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of knife crime were reported in (a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997. [131275]

Mr. Coaker: From the information collected on recorded crime, it is not possible to identify those offences which are knife related. Such offences are not specifically defined by statute and details of the individual circumstances of offences do not feature in the recorded crime statistics.

Figures are collected for homicides involving the use of sharp instruments but they do not separately identify knife-related offences. As from April 2007, police forces will provide data on knife-enabled grievous bodily harm and robbery offences.


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Pentonville Prison

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who the Commissioning Authority is for (a) the investigation into staff corruption at HM Prison Pentonville and (b) the Tasker inquiry; and if he will make a statement. [132975]

Mr. Sutcliffe: There is no single over-arching investigation into corruption at HMP Pentonville. The Governor of Pentonville has however commissioned a number of investigations into allegations of staff corruption at the prison.

The Area Manager for London is the commissioning authority for the Tasker report.

Police: Gloucestershire

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what policing costs associated with the wedding of Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar were met by (a) Gloucestershire police and (b) the organisers of the event. [132517]

Mr. McNulty: This is an operational matter for the Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Police: Translation Services

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on translation services for foreign suspects by each police force in each year between 1997 and 2006. [132827]

Mr. McNulty: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave to a question from the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) on 28 March 2007, Official Report, column 1636W.

Prisoners Release

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders given life sentences since 2000 have already been released. [132067]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 20 April 2007]: Answering the question would involve a significant manual checking of records and the earlier request for this information was integral to informing the need for a data quality review in the Department. Since then the data quality review has begun and, as part of that review we are developing a new database that will enable us to collect the data requested centrally. But, at this time, to answer the question would involve a disproportionate cost.

Prisons: Drugs

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug rehabilitation programmes are provided within prison establishments; and how many of these have dedicated accommodation. [132418]


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Mr. Sutcliffe: There are currently 116 intensive drug rehabilitation programmes running across the prison estate. Information on the number of establishments with dedicated accommodation is not held centrally.

Seasonal Agricultural Workers' Scheme

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his Department's decision to phase out the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme in 2010. [132082]

Mr. Byrne: The Government's Five Year Strategy on Asylum and Immigration, published in February 2005, stated that existing low-skilled migration schemes for non-EEA nationals would be phased out in the light of the availability of workers from the enlarged European Union.

The Government have subsequently announced that the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme will be phased out in 2010 and, in the meantime, will move to it being restricted to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals while quota restrictions on those countries nationals' access to low skilled work in the United Kingdom are in force.

The Government have stated that if there is a need to admit non-EEA nationals to meet labour shortages at low skill levels in particular sectors in the future, quota-based schemes will be established under Tier 3 of the Points Based System for this purpose. It will be for the Migration Advisory Committee to identify whether there is a case for doing so for any particular sector. Following the recent expansion of the EU and the continuing restrictions on low skilled labour from Romania and Bulgaria, a Tier 3 scheme is unlikely to be needed in the short-term.

Thehbian Salin

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Mr. Thehbian Salin as referred to in the question tabled by the hon. Member for Penrith and the Border on 6 October 2006 has been deported. [127232]

Mr. Byrne: It is not our policy to comment on individual cases.

Tolls: Cameras

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether proposals to integrate cameras from (a) congestion charging and (b) road pricing schemes into the automated number plate recognition scheme have been considered. [129504]

Mr. McNulty: The police use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology is an intelligence-led tool aimed primarily at tackling serious and organised crime and terrorism. It is entirely separate from proposals being developed by the Department for Transport for local road pricing schemes.

The Metropolitan police have approached Transport for London about the feasibility of using London congestion charging cameras for safeguarding the security of the general public. The terrorist threat we face is real and serious and it is only right that we
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consider anything which may be of use to us in the fight against terrorism, but no decisions have been made on this matter.


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