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14 Jun 2007 : Column 1220W—continued

Sudan: Peace Keeping Operations

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what budget and support the Government are providing to the African Union peacekeepers in Darfur. [142557]

Mr. McCartney: The UK is a leading provider of financial support to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). We have committed 373 million since AMIS was set up in July 2004. UK funds have helped to provide the force with vehicles, ground fuel and airlift of troops into Darfur, as well as funding for personnel costs such as troop salaries. We also contribute through the EU Africa Peace Facility that has so far committed €242 million to AMIS and is about to commit an additional €40 million. We are also pressing for others to do more.

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government plan to send troops to Darfur as part of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force. [142559]

Mr. McCartney: The UK will be a strong supporter of the African Union (AU)-UN hybrid force, both politically and financially through our contributions to UN assessed funding for peacekeeping, currently set at 7.9 per cent. of the total. We are providing police and military advisers to assist the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) with planning for the hybrid operation. We have also deployed a military officer to Sudan to assist with the transition from the AU Mission in Sudan to the hybrid force. We will consider requests for troop contributions as and when we receive them from DPKO. The details of the force have now been agreed between the AU and UN and we are pressing the Sudanese Government to accept them and facilitate its deployment. A significant part of that agreement is that troops should be to the greatest possible extent contributed by African states.

Zimbabwe: Politics and Government

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the United Nations on democracy in Zimbabwe. [142461]

Mr. McCartney: The Government's concern relating to human rights abuses, governance and democracy in Zimbabwe were most recently raised this week at the fifth session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The EU and UK asked a number of questions of the UN special rapporteurs on the rights to food and housing concerning the impact of the denial of both for the human and political rights of ordinary Zimbabweans. In March, 50 UN member states supported a statement at the Human Rights Council by the EU presidency, on behalf of all EU member states, expressing concern at the situation in Zimbabwe. The UK also continues to raise these concerns in dialogue
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with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, and to press for her and other UN rapporteurs to have access to Zimbabwe. Other recent discussions with the UN have taken place with senior officials in the Department for Humanitarian Affairs, following on from the briefing in March to the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe which was given by the Office of the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs at the UK's request. Our embassy in Harare is in regular discussion with the UN Development Programme Office regarding human rights, democracy and good governance.

Home Department


Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many anti-semitic attacks were recorded in the UK in each year since 2001. [142124]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not collected centrally in the recorded crime series.

The recorded crime statistics only hold data for racially or religiously aggravated offences as defined by statute. Specific details relating to the victim or alleged offender are not collected.

Antisocial Behaviour

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2007, Official Report, column 1422W, on ultrasonic antisocial behaviour deterrent devices, if he will place in the Library copies of the report from the Health and Safety Executive. [141787]

Mr. Coaker: The information from the Health and Safety Executive concerning the safety of the mosquito device derives from a letter written to the Welsh Assembly from the HSE. I have placed a copy in the Library.


Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of arrest rates for police officers. [141589]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 11 June 2007]: Information is not collected centrally on arrest rates. Numbers of arrests are collected on a recorded crime basis only.


David Heyes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when a decision will be made in the case of Mr. Minnain Privat Aristide Henri's outstanding asylum application, which was submitted in March 2004. [140651]

Mr. Byrne: The Border and Immigration Agency wrote separately to my hon. Friend in relation to this matter on 7 June 2007.

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Asylum Seekers

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of (a) the number of outstanding case files for asylum seekers held by his Department, (b) the number of those of whose whereabouts his Department knows and (c) the time he expects it to take to clear the backlog at present rates. [118863]

Mr. Byrne: The Director General of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (now Chief Executive of the Border and Immigration Agency) wrote to the Home Affairs Committee on 19 February and updated them on, among other matters, the legacy programme. A copy of her letter is in the House Library.

Asylum: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers are living in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex. [141826]

Mr. Byrne: Statistics on the location of asylum seekers in the UK are linked to the available information on the support that the asylum seeker receives.

The following table shows the number of asylum seekers recorded as receiving asylum support in Eastbourne and the local authorities within East Sussex as at the end of March 2007. This figure excludes those asylum seekers who are living in these local authorities but are not receiving support.

The numbers of asylum seekers in receipt of support, broken down by Government office region and local authority, are published on a quarterly and annual basis. Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:

Further breakdowns of those in receipt of support, by parliamentary constituency, are also available from the Library of the House.

Local authority In dispersed accommodation In receipt of subsistence only support Total in receipt of support

Brighton and Hove

















All figures are rounded to the nearest 5.

Asylum: Northern Ireland

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of failed asylum seekers were removed from Northern Ireland in each of the last six years. [136826]

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Mr. Byrne: As the Home Secretary set out in his evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 23 May 2006, following the dismantling of embarkation controls beginning in 1994, no Government have been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally, and that remains the case. The Home Secretary has set a clear goal of reintroducing systems to count everyone in and out of Britain.

Bokhari Family

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much time he spent considering the case against the deportation of the Bokhari family; what evidence he was given on the case by his Immigration and Nationality Directorate officials; and whom he consulted in making his decision. [118849]

Mr. Byrne: The decision to remove a person from the United Kingdom (UK) is only taken after full and careful consideration of individual circumstances and in accordance with Home Office guidelines. When a decision is to be made by the Secretary of State personally, he is provided with all available evidence and is fully briefed by Border and Immigration Agency officials.

Cleveland Police

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of police time was spent on front-line duties by Cleveland Police in each year since 2001, broken down by basic command unit. [142199]

Mr. McNulty: Information on time spent by police officers on front-line duties has only been collected since 2003-04 and is not available at basic command unit level. The available data for the Cleveland Police for each year since March 2004 is set out in the following table. The Cleveland Police has set a target for 69.9 per cent. of police officer time to be spent on front-line duties by March 2008.

Cleveland Police—time spent on front-line duties
Percentage of police officer time spent on front-line duties







Departments: Complaints

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints were received by his Department and its executive agencies in (a) 1997-98, (b) 2001-02 and (c) 2005-06; and how many have been received in 2006-07 to date. [121665]

Mr. Byrne: The Home Office does not record complaints received in writing or over the telephone. These separately are received and recorded as part of overall correspondence figures. Once received, all correspondence including any complaints is either sent
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to individual policy units to be dealt with or is dealt with centrally. They are not tracked separately.

The Identity and Passport Service recorded 8,597 complaints in 2005-06 and 9,410 complaints in 2006-07.

Since 2001, the Borders and Immigration Agency have been recording complaints about the misconduct of staff, and recorded 555 complaints in 2001-02; 240 complaints in 2005-06 and 326 complaints in 2006-07. During 2005-06, the Border and Immigration Agency also began recording operational complaints (about service delivery). The figure for 2006 is 8,966.

Border and Immigration Agency are planning a complete overhaul of the system under their complaints change programme.

Departments: Internet

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Government have a strategy to protect Government websites from (a) denial of service and (b) other cyber attacks. [141637]

Mr. McNulty: The Government’s Central Sponsor for Information Assurance within the Cabinet Office is responsible for the Government’s strategy to protect the public sector and those services forming the Critical National Infrastructure from cyber attacks.

CESG (the Information Assurance arm of GCHQ) is the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance and develops Government advice for protecting data in partnership with the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance and advises on its implementation. CESG manages the Government’s UK computer emergency response team heads of Departments and agencies are individually responsible for engaging with CSIA/CESG to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect against any risks to business continuity.

Departments: Public Expenditure

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information his Department has provided to HM Treasury as part of the comprehensive spending review policy review of counter-terrorism and security. [141311]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office continues to exchange information with HM Treasury on matters relating to the development of the comprehensive spending review 2007. It is not appropriate to comment in detail on these exchanges.

Departments: Sign Language

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the merits of providing British Sign Language (BSL) videos on his departmental website for the benefit of those whose first language is BSL. [142495]

Mr. Byrne: We have not made an assessment. The vast majority of our content is text and is therefore read by the hearing impaired. Any video content has a textual transcript attached.

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Departments: Telephone Services

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many telephone helplines are sponsored by his Department with the prefix (a) 0870 and (b) 0845; and whether alternative geographic numbers are available in each case. [138485]

Mr. Byrne: The number of telephone lines with the prefix 0870 and 0845 used by the Home Office was printed in answer to a question from the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 8 June 2007, Official Report, column 672W. Of the 63 listed, 27 (42.9 per cent.) have geographic alternatives.

Departments: Websites

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for which Government websites he is responsible; how many visitors each received in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the cost (a) was of establishing and (b) has been of maintaining each site. [135738]

Mr. Byrne: Since publication of the Transformational Government Strategy in November 2005, the Home Office has been actively engaged in developing an e-communications strategy that centralises the operation and management of all Home Office websites.

The names of all sites managed by the Home Office, as per the Transformational Government annual report published December 2006, will be placed in the Library of the House.

In May 2007, following the handover of 13 websites to the new Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Home Office reported:

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