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25 Apr 2007 : Column 1140W—continued

Community Support Officers

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the impact of community safety police teams. [132874]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office evaluation of the National Reassurance Policing Programme published in 2006 provides strong evidence that a neighbourhood policing approach—which uses locally-based neighbourhood policing teams to target local community safety priorities—can reduce crime and perceptions of antisocial behaviour, and improve public confidence in the police, feelings of safety, community engagement and police patrol visibility.

The Home Office is monitoring and evaluating the neighbourhood policing programme across England and Wales, rather than the performance of individual teams, through a strategic research programme, the results of which will be published in due course.

The Home Office also continues to assess police performance, including the impact of neighbourhood policing, through the Police Performance Assessment Framework (PPAF), while inspections by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary also provide a qualitative assessment of neighbourhood policing delivery.

Crime: Surveys

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department expects to reach a conclusion on the appropriateness of extending the British Crime Survey to include those who are aged
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under 16 years old; and if he will make a statement. [133676]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 24 April 2007]: Extending the British Crime Survey to include those aged under 16 years old was one of the recommendations of the independent review of crime statistics led by Professor Adrian Smith that reported in November 2006. Smith recommended the Home Office should draw on the advice of experts in making such changes and there should be careful piloting so that the effect of such a change could be properly assessed before the extension is incorporated into the main BCS sample. We intend to commission work in the near future from experts in sampling and conducting surveys to provide advice on how this work could be taken forward. We expect to reach a conclusion on this work in the autumn of 2007.

Criminal Justice Bill

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to be in a position to introduce to Parliament the Criminal Justice Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech 2006. [133594]

John Reid: As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House of Commons indicated in response to a question from the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) at business questions on 19 April 2007, Official Report, column 442, the criminal justice Bill will be brought forward in due course.

Departments: Publications

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spent on unpublished research in (a) 2005 and (b) each of the previous five years. [129084]

John Reid: The information requested is not held centrally and could not be collected without incurring disproportionate cost.

Human Trafficking

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how often the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking has met in the last 12 months; and how often it plans to meet in the next 12 months. [132887]

Mr. Coaker: In the last 12 months the group has met four times and will continue to be arranged on a quarterly basis.

Identity Cards

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he expects to submit a final cost estimate for the identity cards scheme to HM Treasury; [133293]

(2) when his Department first submitted a cost estimate of the identity cards scheme to HM Treasury; and what that cost estimate was. [133294]

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Joan Ryan: My Department has and will continue to maintain close contact with HM Treasury in relation to the estimates of expenditure on the National Identity Scheme.

Initial cost estimates for a card scheme were published in July 2002 in the consultation paper “Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud” (CM5557)

Revised cost estimates have been published from time-to-time, for example, when the Identity Cards Bill was introduced to Parliament. During the passage of that legislation, the Government agreed to lay a report before Parliament every six months, which sets out the estimated cost of the National Identity Scheme for the coming 10 years.

The National Identity Scheme is being built around plans first to issue biometric passports incorporating; fingerprints which many countries will be implementing in 2009; and second, to issue biometric visas and immigration documents to foreign nationals. The procurement projects will therefore in the main deliver generic facilities covering, for example, the recording and storage of biometric information for passport and immigration purposes as well as ID cards.

As with any major project or programme, cost estimates will continue to be revised as it reaches key stages in its development, such as commencing procurement, signing contracts with suppliers and the commencement of live operations.

Immigration Controls

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what checks are carried out to assess the employability of non-EU citizens applying to enter the UK. [132004]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

There are a number of schemes under which non-EU nationals can apply to work in the UK. Details of these, including the requirements and evidence which should be submitted, can be found on the UKvisas website ( Two of the largest schemes are Work Permits and the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and details of the requirements and processes of these are given.

Non-EU nationals can also be permitted to work if they enter the UK under a long-term category, such as husband/wife/partner, though there is no requirement for them to demonstrate their employability in order for entry clearance to be issued.

Work Permits

If a non-EU citizen is required to have a work permit to apply to enter the UK, their UK-based employer, as part of the work permit application process, is required to:

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The employer is required to provide supporting documentation. The Border and Immigration Agency may request original documents where copies have been supplied and, if necessary, check their authenticity.

A work permit holder must apply for entry clearance before travelling to the UK. This will be granted provided the Entry Clearance Officer is satisfied that the applicant:


The HSMP is a points based immigration route. If a non-EU citizen wishes to enter the UK as a highly skilled migrant they must demonstrate their highly skilled status by scoring 75 points across the following areas:

Applicants must also demonstrate that they hold English language skills to the required level. Successful HSMP applicants do not require a prior offer of employment to enter the UK.

When considering HSMP applications, the Border and Immigration Agency requests original documents and, where necessary, checks their authenticity.

Intermittent Custody

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the average travelling distance from home to intermittent custody centres is for women prisoners subject to (a) a weekday and (b) a weekend intermittent custody order, broken down by centre; [133274]

(2) how many and what percentage of (a) female and (b) male prisoners are subject to an intermittent custody order; [133275]

(3) how many and what percentage of intermittent custody orders have been made for (a) weekday and (b) weekend custody in each year since their introduction under the Criminal Justice Act 2003; [133276]

(4) how many intermittent custody centres there are in England and Wales; and how many places there are for (a) female and (b) male prisoners in each centre. [133277]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The two intermittent custody pilots at HMP Kirkham for male offenders and HMP Morton Hall for female offenders came to and end in November 2006. Each centre accommodated up to 39 offenders.

During the pilots we did not hold records on travelling distances for offenders to the IC centres.
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However, the IC evaluation found that the geographically larger female pilot catchment area meant that women spent longer travelling, usually by public transport, to the IC centre than men.

On 23 April 2007 there was one female prisoner currently recalled at Morton Hall serving an intermittent custody order. The total number of intermittent custody orders during the pilot was 456; of these, 384 offenders were subject to weekend custody, and 72 offenders were subject to weekday custody.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Police: Greater London

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in each London borough are on paid sick leave. [133493]

Mr. McNulty: Information on sick leave absences is collected annually and only at force level. In the Metropolitan Police Service for 2005-06 the average number of hours lost per annum was 54.3 hours per officer.

Police: Retirement

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average retirement age was of police officers in each of the last 15 years. [133394]

Mr. McNulty: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the Member for Taunton (Mr. Browne) on 26 February 2007, Official Report, column 1091, which provides all the relevant information that is available.

Police: Schools

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many schools in England and Wales have an allocated police officer, broken down by local authority area. [133343]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office does not collect this information centrally.

Prisoners: Locks and Keys

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders in (a) Category C prisons, (b) Category D prisons and (c) youth offender institutions in England and Wales have access to the keys for their cells. [132242]

John Reid: No prisoners have cell keys in their possession. In 32 Category C prisons, six semi-open prisons and five closed young offender institutions (YOIs), cells are fitted with privacy locks which enable prisoners to open and close their cells only during periods when the cell locks have been unlocked by staff. Privacy locks do not enable prisoners to leave their cells unless unlocked by staff, nor do they enable them to prevent staff from entering. Open prisons and open YOIs do not normally have cell locks on individual cells.

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Respect Task Force: Advertising

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the Respect Task Force has spent on advertising since its establishment; and what the projected advertising budget is for each of the next two financial years. [133363]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 23 April 2007]: Since its establishment in September 2005, the Respect Task Force has spent £35,580.32 on advertising.

Currently, we have no committed expenditure on advertising over the next two years. Any further advertising that is commissioned will be dependent on budget allocations and communication plans which have yet to be settled in detail.

Special Constables

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 28 March 2007, Official Report, column 1651W, on special constables, for what reasons the recruitment figures are not published in the Police Service Strength Bulletin; and if he will publish such figures in future editions. [133366]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 23 April 2007]: The annual Home Office Statistical Bulletin series “Police Service Strength, England and Wales” publish joiners and leavers data for special constables. The data for joiners take into consideration not only those individuals who are recruited to the force, but also those who transfer between forces and those who leave the force and subsequently rejoin at a later date. For this reason, data for joiners are considered a more accurate representation of changes in strength than recruits. Data are published in this way not only for special constables but also for police officers.

Work and Pensions

Departments: Huddersfield

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people employed by his Department were working in Huddersfield in each of the last 10 years. [131583]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in June 2001 bringing together the former Department of Social Security and Employment Service. Information on the number of people employed by the Department in Huddersfield at 31 March each year following its formation is in the following table. The figures are also included as at 28 February 2007, the latest available.

Number of staff

31 March 2002


31 March 2003


31 March 2004


31 March 2005


31 March 2006


28 February 2007


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