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2 July 2007 : Column 920Wcontinued
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals her Department has made to change the rights to legal protection of domestic workers from overseas; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 301W.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many motorists in (a) the area of North Wales police and (b) England and Wales were wrongly identified as driving while uninsured as a result of information obtained from the Motor Insurers Bureau Police Helpline in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 28 June 2007]: This information is not collected centrally.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has held on the implementation of tetra based trunk radio, with particular reference to the Airwave system; and if she will make a statement. 
Airwavethe national digital trunked radio communication systemwill shortly complete its roll out in London, completing the UK roll out to all
forces. Airwave is also rolling out to fire and ambulance services. The service is managed by the National Policing Improvement Agency on behalf of the police service.
The Airwave contract is managed by the NPIA. The Minister has not held discussions on the implementation of Airwave or any other tetra based trunk radio communication system recently.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what grounds a refusal stamp for a visa application to live in the UK made by a US citizen can be removed from a person's passport. 
Mr. Byrne: A visa refusal stamp cannot be removed from an applicant's passport. In the event of a successful appeal against refusal, were an administrative error to be made or a subsequent application approved, a visa vignette inserted into the passport would supersede the refusal stamp.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent estimate she has made of the incidence of (a) cheque and (b) plastic card fraud; 
(2) what discussions she has had with the Attorney-General on the reporting of cheque and plastic card fraud; 
(3) what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on cheque and plastic card fraud; 
(4) what discussions she has had with the Financial Services Authority on cheque and plastic card fraud; 
(5) what requirements or obligations banks and credit institutions are subject to to ensure that complaints of cheque and plastic card fraud reported to them are provided to the police for investigation; 
(6) if she will conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of new arrangements for reporting cheque and plastic card fraud; 
(7) what steps she has taken to ensure that victims of cheque and plastic card fraud know to whom to report these crimes; 
(8) what guidance she has given to police forces on the handling and recording of reports of cheque and plastic card fraud by members of the public. 
Mr. McNulty: Cheque and plastic card fraud are not separately identifiable in Home Office crime statistics. For the year 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006 there were 87,860 cases of cheque and plastic card fraud recorded by the police. Figures for the year 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 will be released on 19 July 2007.
APACS (the UK Payment Association) records information on the financial losses resulting from plastic card fraud in the UK. The total losses reported by APACS in 2005 were £439.4 million.
Prior to 1 April 2007, Home Office officials consulted with the Attorney General's Fraud Review Steering Group on 30 March 2006, where a presentation on proposed changes to the reporting and recording of cheque and plastic card fraud offences was made.
The Fraud Review published on 24 July 2006 mentions proposed changes to the Home Office Counting Rules under paragraph 2.17 and states
Changes to the counting rules centre on rationalising responsibility for recording the crime and using statistics collated by APACS to supplement crime statistics".
Under paragraph 2.18 it states
These changes to the fraud statistics, following on from the Fraud Bill, are welcome.
Home Office officials have not held any direct discussions with Trade and Industry officials on changes to the reporting and recording of cheque and plastic card offences introduced on 1 April 2007.
Prior to 1 April 2007, Home Office officials have discussed changes to the reporting of cheque and plastic card offences with APACS (UK Payments Association), ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) and Attorney General's Office officials.
Home Office officials are integral members of the Economic Crime Portfolio Group which is chaired by the commissioner of the city of London police. The Commissioner is also the ACPO lead on all fraud matters. Home Office officials have made presentations to the group and kept them updated on the changes to reporting and recording of cheque and plastic card fraud by police introduced on 1 April 2007. The FSA are also represented at the ECP meetings, together with a range of other stakeholders in fraud.
From 1 April 2007 each police force now has a single point of contact (SPOC) that has been set up to receive reports of cheque and plastic card crime direct from financial institutions. It is a matter for the financial institutions which crimes they decide to refer to the police for recording. It is then a matter for individual chief officers to decide which crimes will be investigated.
The Home Office has been making greater use of APACS (UK Payments Association) figures to provide a better indication of the extent and trends in cheque and plastic card fraud.
Home Office officials will remain engaged with the UK Payments Association (APACS) and the Association of Chief Police Officers to continually assess the effectiveness of new arrangements for reporting and recording of cheque and plastic card fraud introduced on 1 April 2007.
Financial institutions now have a network of single points of contact within each police force where they can report cheque and plastic card fraud. Guidance issued to both police and financial institutions and contained within the Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime, (which is a public document available online at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/countrules.html) states the following:
The financial institution wishing to report fraud will give the case or cases to the force area based on the following set of principles. The principles are listed in order of priority and it is only when a principle cannot be achieved or is not known that the next principle will apply:
1(st)The police force area covering the location of the fraudulent operation.
2(nd)The police force area with the greatest number of individual usages.
3(rd)The police force area where the first offence was committed.
4(th)The police force area where the victim is located.
The Rules make it clear that where the trader or account holder is the victim (i.e. they suffer the financial loss) they can report this to the police who have to record this as a crime and not refer them back to the financial institution. It is then a matter for the police to decide which force is responsible for recording this matter as a crime based on the above criteria.
Where an account holder does contact the police to report this matter without having first spoken to their financial institution, a crime related incident will be recorded and the account holder will be referred to their financial institution.
APACS put out a press release to this effect on 30 March 2007.
A series of questions and answers for all police staff was circulated to all police forces in January 2007 on the changes to the reporting and recording arrangements for cheque and plastic card fraud offences. This additionally appeared in Police Review on 19 January 2007 as a two page article.
In addition the Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime contain more extensive details. This is a publicly available document available on the Home office website at:
Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and individual forces have been fully consulted on these proposed changes throughout the course of 2006-07 through the National Crime Recording Steering Group and also its fraud sub-group.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1958W, on the Fullbright Fellowship in Police Studies scheme, what further steps she is taking to promote and enhance the skills of police officers and police staff in co-operation with other countries. 
Mr. McNulty: The Fulbright Fellowship is one of six programmes which the NPIA is responsible for that helps to promote and enhance the skills of police officers and staff. Additional programmes include an exchange with the John Jay College in New York, the French Gendarmerie Exchange in Paris, the Hong Kong Police, the Chevening Scholarships and the Australian Institute of Police Management.
NPIA also hosts the European Police College (CEPOL) which has been developing a common curriculum for key areas of European policing. CEPOL provides around 100 training programmes across Europe which UK officers are encouraged through NPIA to access.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1958W, on the Fullbright Fellowship in Police Studies scheme, when she expects the National Policing Improvements Agency to ensure
that a mechanism is put in place to assess the effectiveness of the scheme for both police officers and police staff. 
Mr. McNulty: Policy and practice in respect of the Fulbright Programme is now a matter for the NPIA. I understand from the NPIA chief executive that he will be arranging a meeting shortly with the executive director of the Fulbright Fellowship to discuss how the programme is operating and to help maximise its use among police officers and police staff.
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences recorded as homicide by sharp instrument were recorded by Wiltshire Constabulary in each year from 1997-98 to 2005-06. 
Mr. McNulty: The information requested is set out in the following table.
|Offences currently( 1) recorded as homicide where apparent method of killing is sharp instrument( 2) : Wiltshire police 1997-98 to 2005-06|
|Year offence initially recorded( 3)||Number|
|(1) As at 9 October 2006; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.|
(2) Homicides involving any sharp instrument, including knives.
(3) Offences are shown according to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the accuracy of information provided by the Motor Insurers Bureau Police Helpline. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 28 June 2007]: The helpline has been in service since April. Its accuracy is the responsibility of the Motor Insurers Bureau. The police make extensive use of insurance data made available through the bureau to tackle the serious problem of uninsured driving. The latest figures, to mid June, indicate that 94.4 per cent. of all appropriate records are provided to the Motor Insurance Database (MID) within seven days. This is in line with a target of 95 per cent. of all appropriate records being provided within seven days by 1 January 2008.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelan activists in (a) London and (b) the UK. 
Mr. McNulty [h old ing answer 28 June 2007]: The Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) is listed as proscribed as a terrorist organisation under the Terrorism Act 2000. It is a criminal offence for a person to belong to or encourage support for the LTTE in the UK. It is also a criminal offence to arrange a meeting in support of it or to wear clothing or to carry articles in public which arouse reasonable suspicion that a person is a member or supporter. The arrest and prosecution of offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 is a matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service respectively.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on recent arrests of the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelan activists under counter terrorism legislation. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 28 June 2007]: The arrest and prosecution of offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 is a matter for the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service respectively. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on such matters.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will declassify MI5 file series PF600, 439 to 610 and 109. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 29 June 2007]: The Security Service transfers records to the National Archive for public access in accordance both with the selection criteria recommended by the Lord Chancellors Advisory Council on Public Records and with the Public Record Act 1958.
Some records in the Services Personal File (PF) series have already been transferred to the National Archive. Those that remain will be considered in due course.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she will answer Question 115828, on indefinite leave to remain, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 10 January 2007. 
Mr. Byrne: I replied to the hon. Member on 27 June 2007, O fficial Report column 769W.
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