Previous Section Index Home Page

16 Oct 2007 : Column 980W—continued

Drugs: Serious and Organised Crime Agency

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many intelligence referrals on drug trafficking were (a) investigated and (b) brought to court (i) in each of the three years before the establishment of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and (ii) by SOCA since its establishment. [156180]

Mr. Coaker: SOCA and its predecessors receive intelligence from numerous sources and in a variety of forms. This is assessed, analysed and acted upon in different ways depending on the content. It is not therefore possible to quantify "intelligence referrals" as a unit of measurement.

The report, Drug Offenders in England and Wales (23/05), shows that in 2004 (the latest year for which data exist) 4,500 individuals were dealt with for the unlawful supply of all drugs. Of these, 3,350 were for Class A drugs. These include both cases dealt with by SOCA's predecessor organisations and the police forces of England and Wales.

In its first year (2006-07) SOCA casework in the UK led to the arrest of 601 individuals for drug-related offences. In the SOCA cases that reached the courts in 2006-07, convictions were secured against 211 individuals for drug-related offences. Additionally, at least 490 individuals were arrested in 2006-07 for Class A drugs-related offences as a result of SOCA's international casework. These figures relate only to SOCA casework. They do not include arrests and convictions in 2006-07 that have resulted from police or HMRC casework.


Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the merits of proscribing Hizb-ut-Tahrir. [156381]

Mr. McNulty: The case for the proscription of Hizb-ut-Tahrir is kept under close review.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to answer the letter of 3 September from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on Mr. Butt. [156910]

16 Oct 2007 : Column 981W

Mr. Byrne: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 8 October 2007.

Northamptonshire Police: Manpower

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the manpower levels are of the Northamptonshire Police Force; and what she estimates they will be after the conclusion of the ongoing review of the force. [157614]

Mr. McNulty: At 31 March 1997 Northamptonshire Police had 1,301 police officers, 1,009 police staff and 129 PCSOs. Staffing levels are an operational matter for local agreement between the chief constable and the police authority.

Offensive Weapons: Young People

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many minors were arrested in possession of (a) a gun and (b) a knife in each of the last three years. [156292]

Mr. Coaker: The arrests collection undertaken by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform provides data only on persons arrested for recorded crime (notifiable offences) by age group, gender, ethnicity, and main offence group, i.e. violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, burglary etc. More detailed data about specific offences or circumstances behind arrests do not form part of this collection.

Police: Cambridgeshire

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to meet representatives of Cambridgeshire Police Authority to discuss funding of Cambridgeshire police in the next six months; and if she will make a statement. [156760]

Mr. McNulty: My right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary wrote to the chairman of Cambridgeshire Police Authority on 8 October indicating that she would be happy to visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary when an opportunity arises.

Police: Immigration

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received from (a) Cambridgeshire Constabulary, (b) Cambridgeshire police authority, (c) Lincolnshire Constabulary, (d) Lincolnshire police authority and (e) right hon. Members on the effects of immigration into the region on police budgets and manpower; and if she will make a statement. [156396]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 8 October 2007] : The Home Office received a written representation from the Chief Officer of Cambridgeshire Constabulary commissioned by the Cambridgeshire Constabulary and police authority on the effects of migration in their force area. The authority has also written separately on this issue.

No representations have been received from Lincolnshire.

16 Oct 2007 : Column 982W

The hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) tabled a question about the effects of immigration on 7 February 2007, Official Report, column 975W, but no other representations have been received from hon. Members.

Police: Road Traffic Control

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it Government policy to ensure that an increased proportion of police officers is deployed on road traffic enforcement duties. [158146]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 15 October 2007]: The allocation and deployment of resources are operational matters for individual chief officers of police. It is right that day to day decisions should be taken at the local level in the light of changing situations and circumstances and public concerns at different times and in different places.

We have made clear on numerous occasions our view of the importance of roads policing, including by references in National Policing Plans and the National Community Safety Plan. In January 2005, the Home Office, Department for Transport and ACPO issued a jointly agreed national Roads Policing Strategy to set roads policing in the context of over-all police work, establish continuing priorities and identify under- pinning principles for operational practice and the development of policy. Ministers wrote earlier this year to all chief officers stressing the importance of roads policing and of treating offences on the roads as seriously as other offences.

We do not believe it helpful to focus exclusively on numbers. More effective roads policing is in general delivered chiefly by better use of intelligence, more targeting and more efficient use of resources. The Government have, moreover, increased the number of police over-all by more than 14, 000. This means more officers available for all aspects of police work, including roads policing. All police officers can enforce road traffic legislation as appropriate, whether or not they are dedicated to roads policing.

Separation: Indian Subcontinent

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of women from the Indian sub-continent left destitute and on the street after failed marriages; and what steps she is taking to afford those women shelter and support. [157943]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 15 October 2007]: The Home Office does not routinely collate this information and people are expected to return home if they have a spouse visa and their marriage fails during the probationary period as the reason for entry no longer exists. However, if the marriage fails due to domestic violence, an individual can apply for indefinite leave to remain under the Immigration Rules as a victim of such abuse. Steps have been taken to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of application processing and evidence-gathering in these cases.

16 Oct 2007 : Column 983W

We are aware that there are a small number of women who are victims of domestic violence during the probationary period following marriage and can find themselves homeless and unable to access refuge or other emergency accommodation while the application for indefinite leave to remain is being processed.

The Government have asked local authorities to be mindful that some victims of domestic violence could have specific needs for care and attention and/or have dependent children. These factors may make them eligible for assistance under a range of other relevant legislation on a case-by-case basis.

Stop and Search

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Taunton of 12 June 2007, Official Report, column 977W, on stop and search, what the (a) gender, (b) ethnicity and (c) age was of each person stopped under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. [156481]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 11 October 2007]: Data on individuals stopped and searched under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 are not collected by gender or age. However information on the breakdown by ethnicity of persons stopped under Section 44 is provided in the following table.

Statistics are published by the Home Office under Section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, and can be found on the Home Office website at

Searches of vehicles( 1) and occupants, and pedestrians under Section 44 (1) and (2) of the Terrorism Act 2000( 2) , England and Wales 2001-02 to 2004-05
White Black Asian Other Not recorded Total





























(1) Searches may be conducted on vehicles only, occupants only or both may be searched. Where a vehicle and driver occupier are searched simultaneously the search is recorded against the driver (occupant). Any other passengers searched are recorded as occupants. These figures exclude searches of vehicles only. (2) The Terrorism Act 2000 came into force on 19 February 2001. Note: Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.


Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Criminal Record Bureau checks were carried out in each year from 2000 to 2006. [157435]

Meg Hillier [holding answer 15 October 2007]: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has issued 12.2 million Disclosures since its launch in March 2002 to 31 March 2007. The following table illustrates the breakdown, in each financial year:

16 Oct 2007 : Column 984W
Financial year Number of Disclosures issued













International Development

China: Family Planning

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the government of China on the one child policy; and if he will make a statement. [158369]

Mr. Malik: DFID has not had any recent discussions with the Chinese Government specifically focused on the one child policy. However, DFID works closely with China on reproductive health and rights more generally, especially in the context of our support for HIV and AIDS prevention and for health policy. In these contexts the Chinese Government are regularly made aware of our strong endorsement of the principles of the International Conference on Population and Development. Although the one child policy remains in place, China has made good progress in ensuring reproductive health rights more generally, especially through its implementation of the 2002 Law of Population and Family Planning. The law spells out rights and responsibilities for clients, service providers and family planning officials. Most provinces have now enacted their own regulations in accordance with the national law.

China: United Nations Population Fund

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the United Nations Population Fund in promoting non-coercive approaches to family planning in China since July; and if he will make a statement. [158368]

Mr. Malik: DFID has not made any specific assessment of UNFPA effectiveness in China since July. However, DFID works closely with UNFPA on reproductive health issues in China, especially in relation to HIV and AIDS prevention, the reduction of maternal mortality and the promotion of gender equity in China's health system. UNFPA programmes in China seek to influence China towards the full acceptance of the principles of the International Conference on Population and Development. The focus of UNFPA support is on improving the quality of care and increasing equity of access to reproductive health services.


Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to identify and cancel outstanding international illegitimate debts. [156857]

16 Oct 2007 : Column 985W

Mr. Malik: The poorest countries are eligible for 100 per cent. debt cancellation on their bilateral debts under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, as well as 100 per cent. debt cancellation on their debts to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and African Development Bank under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). The UK is at the forefront of debt cancellation for poor countries and international poverty reduction. We exceed our commitments under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives (MDRI), providing the poorest countries with 100 per cent. cancellation on their bilateral and multilateral debts. The HIPS and MDRI systems have cancelled billions of pounds worth of debt and we continue to believe that they are the most appropriate way to tackle sovereign debt problems. Unpayable debts should not hinder the poorest countries from making progress towards the millennium development goals.

All of our loans are made to internationally recognised governments, are bound by legal contracts and are recognised in international law, we do not therefore consider them to be “illegitimate”. We believe that debt relief should be provided on the basis of a country's economic situation rather than their history of poor or corrupt governance. Many countries that have a history of poor governance are now middle-income countries. If we cancelled so-called “illegitimate” debts for such countries, the full cost would have to be met from DFID's aid budget, diverting vital resources away from poorer countries. It is also likely that creditors and investors would take a negative view of the credit worthiness of developing countries in case the loans were later repudiated. This would be damaging for developing countries trying to strengthen their economies and reduce poverty through access to international investment and financing.

Next Section Index Home Page