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Mr. Coaker: On 13 June 2007 we published the Review of the Protection of Children from Sex Offenders. This contains a number of actions which will enhance child protection, including by improving the management of sex offenders in the community.
We established the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in April last year, and provided it with a budget of over £4 million this year. We have introduced a range of new offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which protect children from sexual exploitation. These include: paying for the sexual services of a child; causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography; arranging or facilitating child prostitution or pornography; and controlling a child prostitute. All of these offences have a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment.
In January 2006 we published a Co-ordinated Prostitution Strategy, which includes specific measures to prevent child sexual exploitation, and to support and protect those who have been sexually exploited. The strategy includes a commitment to update guidance on safeguarding children who have been sexually exploited, which will also encourage effective investigation and prosecution of criminal activities by those who coerce or abuse children in this way.
In October 2006 the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre was established. Its role is to co-ordinate and provide expertise in developing a multi-agency response to human trafficking, including the trafficking of children for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
On 23 March 2007 the Home Office published the UK Action Plan on Tackling Human Trafficking, which includes a chapter specifically addressing the trafficking of children. On the same day the Home Secretary signed the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings.
On 3 October 2007 the Home Secretary launched Operation Pentameter 2. This is a UK-wide police operation which aims to rescue and protect victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, and to identify, disrupt, arrest and bring to justice those involved in criminal activity.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the membership of the Tackling Gangs Action Programme is; and what terms of reference have been given to the unit. 
Home Office (nine people),
Serious Organised Crime Agency,
HM Revenue and Customs (two people),
Government Office for London,
Department for Communities and Local Government.
Liverpool City Council,
Manchester City Council,
Birmingham City Council,
Government Office for London
Government Office for the North West,
Department for Children, Schools and Families,
Office for Criminal Justice Reform,
Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.
1. The Tackling Gangs Action Programme (TGAP) has been set up to build on existing work to reduce serious violence, particularly the use of firearms, perpetrated by young people as part of gang-related activity;
£1 million funding for short-term operations and initiatives in the four cities chosen as a focus (Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham and London);
Build a coherent picture of the wide range of activity in this field and use this to:
produce a best practice guide to inform local delivery, and
inform national policy making across Government;
Produce an agreed action plan that will improve multi-agency work to address the supply and importation of illegal firearms; and
Put in place arrangements to ensure that momentum and cross-Government oversight are maintained following the dissolution of the team, through the implementation and monitoring of national strategies.
2. The programme's scope is primarily the use of firearms to commit violent crime by young people as part of gang-related activity, specifically within the four cities. Knife and other violent crime will not be considered other than where it involves gang activities in the four areas. Gangs in this context should be interpreted as street gangs, not peer groups or organised crime networks.
3. The programme will be delivered in partnership with colleagues in the Home Office Violent Crime Unit and a range of stakeholders. The programme will not address issues outside of its scope. However, it may flag up important issues outside its remit to the sponsoring board member, Moira Wallace (Director General, Crime Reduction and Community Safety), who may then ask the relevant business area to consider them.
6. Decisions on the direction of the programme will be taken by the Home Secretary, Permanent Secretary and sponsoring board member (in that order). Contributions from interested parties will be treated as advice/recommendations.
9. The violent crime unit, led by Simon King, has responsibility for ensuring that the programme team is aware of relevant ongoing activity on violent crime, and will work in close partnership with the programme team to ensure that the outcome of the programme's work is jointly owned. The violent crime unit remains responsible for the policy in this area.
10. The programme leader, DCC Jon Murphy, and the head of violent crime unit, Simon King, will be jointly responsible for ensuring the integration of the team's work into the violent crime unit's ongoing work when the programme team is dissolved.
11. The sponsoring board member is responsible for ensuring: that resources (including staff) are available for the programme team; that information is accessible; and that decisions are made when necessary.
12. The Permanent Secretary has authorised the deployment of the priority support team (PST) to work on the programme. The PST's role should be jointly agreed by the programme leader and the head of the delivery unit.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number of UK personnel deployed on operations by location at 19 November 2007 is shown in the following table. The number of UK service personnel deployed on operations fluctuates on a daily basis for a number of reasons including: leave (rest and recuperation); temporary absence from theatre for training; evacuation from theatre for medical reasons; or the roulement of forces.
|Number of personnel deployed by location( 1)|
|(1 )Countries with 10 or more personnel are shown separately. Other countries with fewer than 10 personnel per country include Georgia, Nepal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia.|
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on the UKs defence policy of the Australian Prime Ministers stated intention to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq. 
Des Browne: The Australian Government gave an election commitment to withdraw combat forces from Iraq and to consult with the Iraqi, US, and UK Governments. There is no reason why withdrawal of such forces will have an effect on the UKs defence policy.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Prime Minister's statement of 8 October 2007, Official Report, columns 21-25, on Iraq, what progress has been made in relocating the 500 logistics personnel; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: Although the exact number of personnel in the regional support facility will fluctuate daily, there are now around 500 posts established. The vast majority of these are logistics posts, with the rest a combination of helicopter crew and support, medics and permanent staff. Work continues to develop the facility to meet our operational requirements.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any individuals captured by British forces during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have at any subsequent time been held at the United States detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. 
[holding answer 28 November 2007]: When we transfer captured individuals into the custody of the United States and the Iraqi authorities in Iraq, and into the custody of the Afghan authorities in Afghanistan, we have an understanding with the
relevant Government that the transferred individual cannot be removed from the country without our agreement. We have at no time given our consent for any individual to be transferred to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) in-service and (b) out-of-service dates are of all helicopters in service with the (i) Army, (ii) Navy and (iii) Royal Air Force. 
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