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The figures for the period between 1 June 2006 and 14 April 2007 includes incidents that involved some use of improvised explosive devices, rockets, mortars, rocket propelled grenades, grenades, small arms or other weapons such as petrol bombs or knives, but not the throwing of stones. Each record is not specifically verified and so cannot be guaranteed to be completely accurate.
The overall level of attacks in Basra province increased up until February 2007; this reflects the increased operational tempo which included Operation SINBAD and targeted search and detention operations. The increased MNF presence in and around the city and direct confrontation with militia contributed to the higher levels of attack.
Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what advice and assistance is planned to be made available for soldiers of the 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancasters Regiment on their return from their tour of duty in Iraq. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 May 2007]: The 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Borders) (2 LANCS) have had a demanding tour of duty in Iraq. The support that members of the Battalion will receive will reflect this, and will be in line with that which is available to all units returning from operations. This support is designed specifically to help individuals deal with their experiences and to enable them to make the transition back to a normal pattern of life as smoothly as possible.
Immediately prior to their return to the United Kingdom, members of the Battalion will undergo a "decompression" period. This will be a time for relaxation with comrades in a controlled and monitored environment. Briefings on coping with stress and dealing with issues that might arise on homecoming will also be available. A community psychiatric nurse and Padre will also be available throughout this period.
On return to the United Kingdom, there will be a period of normalisation within barracks and with families. This will include events such as social functions, sports events, health awareness briefings, Commander's Welfare Seminar and a medals parade.
The Battalion will then depart on Post Operational Tour Leave (POTL). On return from POTL further briefings on the effects of stress, how to recognise them and how to deal with them will be provided.
It is the chain of command's responsibility to identify and monitor those vulnerable to any form of post-operational stress, or stress related condition. Individuals who appear to be suffering from stress related conditions will be referred to the Army medical services for assessment and support where necessary. Army welfare support will also be available.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the number of British Gulf War I veterans who have been tested for contamination by depleted uranium; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: Under the screening programme overseen by the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (DUOB), a total of 362 veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf Conflict were tested for the presence of depleted uranium in their urine. Under the separate and ongoing Ministry of Defence biological monitoring programme for service personnel during the current Iraq deployment (Operation Telic), five of the 390 service personnel tested are also veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf conflict. No evidence of the excretion of depleted uranium was found in the urine of tested UK personnel apart from a small number who were involved in blue-on-blue incidents (during Operation Telic) and have embedded depleted uranium shrapnel. I announced in my written ministerial statement on 26 March 2007, Official Report, column 64WS, that the final report of the DUOB was available. It can be accessed on the DUOB website at:
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Ministry of Defence and Department of Health Partnership Board was set up; how many times it has met; and if he will place in the Library the minutes of its meetings. 
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence and Department of Health Partnership Board first met on 8 April 2003. It convenes approximately three times a year, and to date, there have been a total of 12 meetings. We intend to publish the minutes of all Partnership Board meetings under the MODs freedom of information publication scheme.
(5) how many boardings were conducted by the Fishery Protection Squadron in each year since 1997 of (a) UK vessels and (b) non-UK vessels, broken down by country; and if he will make a statement; 
(6) how many written warnings were issued by the Fishery Protection Squadron in each year since 1997 to (a) UK vessels and (b) non-UK vessels, broken down by country; and if he will make a statement; 
(7) how many verbal re-briefs were issued by the Fishery Protection Squadron in each year since 1997 to (a) UK vessels and (b) non-UK vessels, broken down by country; and if he will make a statement; 
(8) how many fishing vessels were detained by the Fishery Protection Squadron in each year since 1997; how many such vessels were (a) UK vessels and (b) non-UK vessels, broken down by country; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The information requested is not held centrally and will take time to collate. When this has been completed I will write the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent progress has been made on agreements between his Department, Metrix and the National Assembly for Wales in relation to (a) the final package of proposals for the St. Athan site and (b) a date for the submission of a planning application for the Defence Training Establishment; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: An announcement was made in January this year by the Secretary-of State that the Metrix consortium had been selected as preferred bidder for package one and provisional preferred bidder for package two for the Defence Training Review Programme. Since the announcement work has focused on developing a whole programme solution (WPS). Good progress has been made and negotiations with Metrix are ongoing. As part of this work the Department is working with officials of the Welsh Assembly Government to confirm the most suitable master plan for the St. Athan site. However, until this work is concluded a date for submission of a planning application for the Defence Training Establishment cannot be finalised. An announcement on a WPS, however, is expected to be made later this year.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the two inquiries he initiated on 16 April following the seizure of Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel by the Iranian authorities on 23 March have been completed. 
Des Browne: Lieutenant-General Fulton has completed his report into the operational issues and has presented it to the Chief of the Defence Staff, who is considering it. The review into media access being led by Tony Hall is due to be completed shortly.
Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 113W. Historically, the MOD has applied the same uprating principle for war pensions as used by the Department for Work and Pensions to increase state pensions. Since 1979 this has been to use the retail price index (RPI). On current plans we intend to follow the position set out in the White Paper Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system, which states that the earnings link will be restored to the basic state pension. The objective is that this will be done, subject to affordability and the fiscal position, in 2012 but in any event at the latest by the end of the next parliament.
Angela E. Smith:
The information requested is not available centrally. The Department's economic cost of fire model uses information on total insured fire losses provided by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). ABI data distinguish between domestic and commercial fire losses, but do not differentiate between arson and
non-arson fires. The cost of fire model uses the proportion of fires that are due to arson to estimate the percentage of insured losses that are due to arson.
Angela E. Smith: Estimates for the cost of arson to the economy for the five years to 2004 are shown as follows. 2004 is the last year for which estimates are available. Around 40 per cent. of the estimated costs are due to measures taken in anticipation of arson fires, such as installing fire prevention measures.
|Total cost of deliberate fires, England and Wales, 2000-04|
|Total cost (including costs in anticipation)||Total cost (excluding costs in anticipation)|
Communities and Local Government Economic cost of fire model
|Fatal and non-fatal casualties as a result of deliberate fires, England, 2001-05|
Excludes casualties not recorded during periods of industrial action in 2002 and 2003.
Fire and Rescue Service returns to Communities and Local Government.
|Deliberate primary car fires, England, 2001-05|
| Note: Figures are based on sampled data grossed to fire and rescue service totals and exclude any fires in November 2002 and January-February 2003 strike periods. Source: Fire and Rescue Service returns to Communities and Local Government.|
|Deliberate primary fires in schools, Cornwall, 2001-05|
| Notes: Figures are based on sampled data grossed to fire and rescue service totals and exclude any fires in November 2002 and January-February 2003 strike periods. Source: Fire and Rescue Service returns to Communities and Local Government.|
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