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11 Dec 2007 : Column 491Wcontinued
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign national prisoners are subject to deportation notices. 
Mr. Byrne: The chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency has written regularly to the Home Affairs Committee over the past 18 months providing the most robust and accurate data relating to foreign national prisoners. Copies of this correspondence are available from the Library of the House.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to seek the deportation of foreign prisoners from the date of their conviction; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 13 November 2007]: Under the UK Borders Act, the Secretary of State must make a deportation order where a foreign national is imprisoned for 12 months or more or for any length of time for a particularly serious offence. This will bring greater certainty to the deportation process. A foreign criminal will know from the point of conviction that they will face deportation, save where one of the five exceptions specified in the Act applies.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Research, Information and Communications Unit was instigated; what factors underlay the decision to create this unit; how many officials are employed in the unit; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 10 December 2007]: The creation of a Research, Information and Communication Unit (RICU) was announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in March 2007, alongside the creation of the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), as part of wider machinery of Government changes. RICU is a cross-Government resource, based in the Home Office, reporting to my right hon. Friends the Home Secretary, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and staffed from a wide range of Government Departments.
The decision to create this Unit was taken to address the need for coherent and effective communications across Government in countering terrorismin particular to support the strategy of tackling violent extremism locally, nationally and internationally.
A small team is being established, which as at 7 December employs 13 officials. We are in the process of expanding that capacity.
Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will list all those private security firms accredited by the Security Industry Authority which carry out security services for Government Departments and non-departmental government bodies which are known to have employed people not entitled to work in the UK. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 19 November 2007]: This information is not available. The Security Industry Authority licences individuals rather than companies.
Security firms are not required to be approved or accredited by the SIA. The SIA manages a voluntary approved contractor scheme (ACS) which provides a framework for setting, improving and monitoring the standards of business management and organisation among companies that provide private security services. As at 12 November, 404 companies, employing close to 100,000 individuals, had been granted approval under the ACS.
As the Home Secretary announced to Parliament on 13 November, work is under way on retrospective right to work checks on the estimated 40,000 non-EEA nationals who were granted licences before 2 July 2007. The Home Secretary will report again to Parliament in December when this work is complete.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the process is by which the Security Industry Authority (SIA) investigates a person for grant of a licence to work in the security industry; and what methods are used by the SIA to check (a) EU, (b) British and (c) other applicants (i) identity and (ii) criminal background. 
Mr. Coaker: Information on the criteria which the Security Industry Authority (SIA) apply in determining whether to grant a licence, and on other aspects of the licensing process, is contained in the SIAs booklet Get Licensed. The booklet includes guidance on the activities for which a licence is required, the qualifications required and the checks which the SIA make. The SIAs booklet SIA Licence Application Form Guidance Notes, gives further details of the information which the SIA require to process an application. Both documents are available on the SIA website at:
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the functions of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) are; and what the purpose is of the licences that the SIA issues. 
Mr. Coaker: The functions of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) are set out in section 1 of the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001.
The SIA issues licences to individuals who engage in any licensable conduct so defined under schedule 2 of the PSIA 2001. This compulsory licensing helps ensure that those working within the industry are fit and proper persons who have received adequate vocational
training for the role they perform. It is a criminal offence to engage in licensable conduct without a licence.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applicants for a Security Industry Authority licence since 1 October have been refused one as a result of being found not to have the right to work in the UK. 
Mr. Coaker: It is the legal duty of all employers to ensure that those they employ are entitled to work in the UK. However, while under no legal obligation to do so, since 2 July the SIA has carried out full right to work checks on all applications for SIA licences.
The SIA publishes a weekly update of its licensing statistics which include the type and number of licences refused. This is available on the SIA's website at:
As the Home Secretary announced to Parliament on 13 November, work is under way on retrospective right to work checks on the estimated 40,000 non-EEA nationals who were granted licences before 2 July 2007. The Home Secretary will report again to Parliament when this work is complete.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licence applications to the Security Industry Association were turned down in each year since 2004. 
Mr. Coaker: The numbers of licence applications refused by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in the financial years 2004-05 to 2007-08 are set out in the following table.
The figure for 2007-08 is for the year to date.
|Financial year||Licence applications refused|
|(1) Up to 16 November.|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in her Department (a) were disciplined and (b) had their employment terminated as a result of a poor sickness record in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Byrne: Staff with a poor sickness absence record are managed under Attendance Management policies operated within Home Office Headquarters, the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Identity and Passport Service (IPS). The number of attendance management warnings and dismissals recorded on central information systems held by Home Office HQ, BIA and CRB for the calendar years 2005, 2006 and 2007 (to 31 October 2007) are in the table.
Central records were not held prior to 2005 within Home Office HQ or BIA and data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The table does not
include attendance management warnings issued by the Criminal Records Bureau or the Identity and Passport Service.
The Criminal Records Bureau does not hold this information centrally and it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Fewer than five members of CRB staff were dismissed under the Attendance Management policy in 2003 and 2004. Further information about those cases is withheld on grounds of confidentiality.
Attendance issues within the Identity and Passport Service are managed using its Managing Attendance policy which has due regard for individuals with disabilities. Employment can be terminated by medical retirement or capability dismissal with or without compensation.
Seven staff were dismissed from the Identity and Passport Service in 2005-06 and 13 staff were dismissed in 2006-07 on grounds of inefficiency linked to a poor attendance record. Previous years information is not recorded centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the risks of premature charging of suspects in terrorism cases due to the impending expiry of the 28 day limit on detention without charge; and if she will make a statement. 
There is no evidence to suggest that premature charging of suspects in terrorism cases occurs. Crown prosecutors are responsible for deciding whether a person should be charged with a criminal offence, and if so, what that offence should be. They make these decisions in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the Director's Guidance on Charging. The code sets out the general principles Crown prosecutors should follow when they make decisions on cases. In cases where it is proposed to keep the suspect in custody after charge, but the evidence required to apply the Full Code Test is not yet available, the Threshold test can be used. This test is frequently used in terrorism cases and
a charge is brought at the earliest opportunity. It is already possible to make a judicial challenge to unlawful detention through the use of habeas corpus proceedings. No such challenge has been made in terrorism cases.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on counter-terrorism measures by her Department in 2006; and if she will provide a breakdown of this spending by main category of expenditure. 
Mr. Byrne: The Home Office 2007 departmental report, published in July 2007, details spending on counter terrorism and intelligence for the period 2005-06. It also provides an estimated outturn for the period 2006-07, which we expect to report against in the 2008 departmental report.
The 2007 departmental report can be found on the Home Office website at the following address:
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many alcohol-related emergency admissions to hospitals in Wirral West constituency there have been since 1997. 
Ann Keen: The information is not available in the format requested. The following table shows the numbers of patients admitted to hospital for alcohol related conditions at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
|Finished admission episodes|
1. The table shows finished admission episodes for patients admitted to hospital as an emergency with a primary or secondary diagnosis of any of the following diagnoses, for Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust only:
Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol;
Alcoholic liver disease; and
Toxic effect of alcohol.
Hospital Episode Statistics
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what average ambulance response times were in each primary care trust area in Hampshire in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information requested is not held centrally.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on planned changes to the pay scales of ambulance drivers. 
Ann Keen: Following resolution of the 2007-08 pay dispute, the pay scales for ambulance drivers and all other non medical national health service staff on Agenda for Change contracts have been revised. The NHS Employers organisation issued Pay Circular (Agenda for Change) 4/2007 on 17 October to reflect the agreed pay uplift for 2007-08. This information has been placed in the Library and is also available at:
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