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Meg Hillier: I refer the hon. Member to previous answers provided on this matter. I can confirm that the Home Office received a request for assistance from the USA in respect of corruption allegations concerning BAE Systems. The request is being dealt with in accordance with the bi-lateral treaty on mutual legal assistance between the UK and the USA. It would be inappropriate to comment further.

Crime: Young People

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place in the Library a copy of the (a) agenda and (b) minutes of the youth crime seminar held at No. 10 Downing Street on 8 November. [164789]

Mr. Coaker: The Youth Crime Seminar on 8 November was held as a series of events on youth crime, as part of the preparation of a new youth crime action plan, for publication in early 2008. The action plan is developing a renewed cross-Government (HO, DCSF, MoJ and partners) approach to youth crime. The published plan will take account of the recommendations from the seminar and all other work with stakeholders including a follow-up to the seminar.

Criminal Justice Act 2003

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects section 281(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 to be implemented. [165960]

Mr. Hanson: I have been asked to reply.

No decision has yet been taken on an implementation date.

Drugs: Animal Experiments

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the merits of the use of non-human primates and other animals in recreational drug tests; and if she will make a statement. [162309]

Meg Hillier: The use of animals in scientific procedures is regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which is widely viewed as the most rigorous piece of legislation of its type in the world. In order to be licensed under the 1986 Act, a project must be for one of the ‘permissible purposes’ listed in section 5(3) of the Act. These include: the prevention (whether by the testing of any product or otherwise) or the diagnosis or treatment of disease, ill health or abnormality, or their effects, in man, animals or plants; the assessment, detection, regulation or modification of physiological conditions in man, animals or plants; and the advancement of knowledge in biological or behavioural sciences. Any projects licensed under the 1986 Act involving the use of so-called recreational drugs would have to satisfy one or more of these requirements.

Licensed studies involving such drugs may provide valuable new information about the modes of action of the individual drugs and drug addiction and abuse in general, their short and long-term adverse effects, and how these can be avoided or managed. Such insights
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are essential to better inform the prevention and treatment of these activities and conditions. Many such drugs are also currently used or are being further evaluated, for legitimate clinical use.

Identity Cards: Costs

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) standalone passports issued, (b) standalone identity cards issued and (c) identity cards issued jointly with passports are included in the estimate of the annual volume of products issued in table 4 of the November 2007 identity cards cost report. [164091]

Meg Hillier: Providing a specific breakdown of estimated future numbers of ID cards, passports and combination products that underpins the projection of costs set out in the Cost Report is commercially sensitive information that would potentially jeopardise the recently commenced supplier dialogues for the procurement of services required to operate the National Identity Scheme.

The number of estimated passports to be issued in the year 2007-08, as reported in the IPS Business Plan, is 6.2 million.

Identity Cards: Finance

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the cost referred to in the Identity Cards Scheme Cost Report of November 2007 as common to passports and identity cards would be incurred in order to introduce biometric passports alone. [165049]

Meg Hillier: The latest six monthly Identity Cards Scheme Cost Report, published on 8 November 2007, sets out those elements of the cost estimates that relate specifically to passports, those specific to identity cards and those that are common to both. The cost of registering individuals for passports and ID cards is included in common costs because the same technology infrastructure and business processes will be used. In many cases, the same application will result in the issue of both a passport and an ID card.

The latest Cost Report may be found at:

I would refer the hon. Member to that report.

Since the merger of the Home Office identity cards programme and the UK Passport Service to create the Identity and Passport Service on 1 April 2006, projects to deliver biometric passports, identity cards and other improvements have been necessarily combined. As much of the functionality needed to implement identity cards is also required for the implementation of biometric passports, this is the most cost-effective way to deliver these initiatives.

Identity Cards: Post Offices

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with the chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service on the role that post offices could play in the enrolment process for identity cards and biometric passports. [164246]

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Meg Hillier [holding answer 14 November 2007]: The Home Secretary has regular discussions with the chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) about many aspects of IPS business, including the rollout of the national identity scheme.

As set out in the Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme, the Government are keen to use existing assets and infrastructure, where appropriate, to deliver the scheme. The post office already acts as a partner organisation to IPS providing the Check and Send service for passport applications. No final decision has been made as yet regarding the infrastructure for the biometric enrolment process.

Mobile Phones: Theft

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crime numbers were issued by the police for (a) lost and (b) stolen mobile phones in each of the last five years (i) in England and Wales and (ii) broken down by police force area. [165664]

Mr. McNulty: Information on crime numbers issued is not collected centrally. The Home Office collects statistics on offences recorded by the police but thefts of mobile phones cannot be separately identified from thefts of other items.

National Security

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to publish the findings of Lord West's study into security at crowded public places and sites of critical national infrastructure. [165656]

Mr. McNulty: I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary's statement of 14 November 2007, Official Report, columns 44-45 WS which sets out the main conclusions of the Lord West's review of protective security, a copy of which has been placed in the House Library.

Passport: Interviews

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the passport interview office at Chandlery, Berwick-upon-Tweed, is expected to open. [162919]

Meg Hillier [holding answer 15 November 2007]: The Identity and Passport Service is in the course of establishing 69 offices in the UK to interview adult first time passport applicants. The Berwick-upon-Tweed interview office is scheduled to open in January 2008 at Units 3 and 4, The Chandlery, The Quayside, Berwick Upon Tweed, TD15 1HE.

Personation: Eastern Region

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in (a) the East of England and (b) Suffolk reported being a victim of identity fraud in each of the last five years. [162586]

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Meg Hillier: The information requested is not available centrally because there is no single offence of identity fraud. Instead there is a range of criminal offences, including under the Identity Cards Act 2006 and the Fraud Act 2006, which cover fraudulent activity that can include elements of identity fraud. Statistics on the number of reported cases under these provisions will be incorporated into recorded crime figures and published in the normal way.

Police Patrolling

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrests were made by police officers in England and Wales while on foot patrol in each of the last five years; and what percentage of arrests made in England and Wales this represents. [165668]

Mr. McNulty: The arrests collection undertaken by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform only provides data 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, drugs offences etc. More detailed data about circumstances behind arrests do not form part of this collection.

Police Stations

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations have (a) opened and (b) closed in the Metropolitan police area in each year since 2002. [164542]

Mr. McNulty: The management of the police estate and allocation of resources are matters for each police authority and the Chief Officer, in this case the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, who are responsible for assessing local needs.

Police: Airports

Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which airports within the UK have a regular police presence; and which police authorities are required to provide that presence in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland. [166147]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 19 November 2007]: The uniformed police presence at airports in the UK is for local negotiation between the airport operator and the relevant police force. The nine airports designated under the Aviation Security Act 1982 have a permanent uniformed police presence, the cost of which the airport operator is required to pay. Those airports are London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow International, Glasgow Prestwick, Birmingham and Manchester. At non-designated airports, they either have a dedicated police presence or the police attend when there is an operational need to do so. These costs are funded wholly or partly by the police authority in which that airport is located, or by other means, for example, voluntary contributions by the airport operator.

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The system of designation and the cost of policing airports was raised in the Independent Review of Airport Policing 2006. The Secretary of State for Transport and I are currently reviewing the process to enable the recovery of the agreed associated policing costs from airport operators at all airports that have a permanent policing presence.

In addition, there is a Special Branch presence at most airports. Those police officers are from the relevant local police force and a contribution towards the costs in England and Wales is provided by the Home Office or, for airports in Scotland, the Scottish Government.

Prison Accommodation: London Airports

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police and (b) immigration holding cells there were at each London airport in each of the last five years. [165809]

Mr. McNulty: Provision of cells by the police is a matter for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police and the respective chief constables. However, I understand that in all cases local police stations are used and there are no cells in the airport terminals.

The Border and Immigration Agency has for the last five years used four holding rooms at Heathrow and one each at Luton, Stansted and London City airports. At Gatwick South Terminal there was one room in 2002. A second room was added in 2003. At the North Terminal there is one room plus a “family” room that can be used as a holding room. People who are detained for short periods under the Immigration Acts or are being removed from the United Kingdom are held in these holding rooms.

Respect Task Force

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the degree to which the Respect Task Force has met its objectives; and if she will make a statement. [164804]

Beverley Hughes: I have been asked to reply.

The Respect Task Force worked across Government and set out an ambitious programme of work to build a modern culture of respect, setting out its objectives in the Respect Action Plan published in January 2006.

Through the Respect programme, we introduced new approaches to tackle the root causes of antisocial behaviour. Key commitments in the Government's Respect Action Plan have now been met and mainstreamed locally.

Independent evaluation of the Government's strategy show that it is working well. The National Audit Office study (2006) showed that the powers available were successful at stopping antisocial behaviour. Public perceptions of antisocial behaviour being a problem locally are down as shown in the British Crime Survey and the Local Government User Satisfaction Survey 2006-07.

The Government are committed to building on the excellent progress made across the country, working with local authorities and the police to tackle the problems on the ground but also to deal with the root causes through early intervention and prevention.

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Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in taking decisions on proscription of organisations under counter-terrorism legislation, she takes account of whether other countries proscribe such organisations. [165193]

Mr. McNulty: The Terrorism Act 2000 provides that the Secretary of State may exercise her power to proscribe an organisation only if she believes that it is "concerned in terrorism." If this legal test is met, there are a further five factors which the Secretary of State will have reference to when deciding whether or not to exercise her discretion to proscribe the organisation. These five factors are:

The position of other countries, including whatever action those countries may have taken against the organisation in question (including proscription), may, if relevant, form part of the information which the Secretary of State considers under the fifth factor noted above.

Duchy of Lancaster


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the (a) date and (b) purpose of each COBRA meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and held since May 1997 was. [164770]

Gillian Merron: As is the case with information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet committees, including the number of meetings held and topics discussed, details about COBRA meetings are generally not disclosed.

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