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7 Jan 2008 : Column 280Wcontinued
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for how many and what proportion of the DNA samples from the National DNA database that have been used for research projects undertaken using data from the National DNA database the permission of the donor has been obtained; and if she will make a statement. 
Meg Hillier: The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) lays down that DNA samples and the profiles derived from them can only be used for the purposes of prevention and detection of crime, the investigation of an offence, the conduct of a prosecution or, since April 2005, for the purposes of identifying a deceased person. PACE does not require the permission of the person from whom the sample was taken for research to be carried out.
Requests for the release of profiles or samples must be approved by the National DNA Database Strategy Board. In the first instance requests are made to the Custodian of the NDNAD who provides the Board with details of the request together with their
observations on the merits of the request for the Board to consider. In accordance with the requirements of PACE, the Board does not approve any research unless it has clear operational benefit to the police.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many DNA samples from the National DNA database have been used for each research project undertaken using data from the National DNA database to date; and if she will make a statement. 
Meg Hillier: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the average waiting time was for a Criminal Records Bureau check in the Humberside police authority area in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what steps her Department is taking to improve the performance of the Criminal Records Bureau in the Humberside police authority area; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) how many outstanding Criminal Records Bureau checks there were in the Humberside police authority area on 10 December 2007; and if she will make a statement; 
(4) how many Criminal Records Bureau checks were conducted in the Humberside police authority area in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Meg Hillier: Since the inception of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in 2002 Humberside police have carried out 272,465 checks as part of the Enhanced Disclosure process. On 10 December they had 7,119 checks outstanding and the following table shows the annual breakdown of checks completed.
|Calendar year||Completed checks|
As you can see there has been a marked increase in the number of applications sent to the force which almost doubled during the first year.
During November 2007 Humberside police completed their part of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Enhanced Disclosure process in an average of 29.1 days.
However average figures do not give an accurate indication of performance, since any force's performance can be affected by a number of factors; the volume of cases sent to a force to process in any given month, the number of staff available to process the checks and the IT resources on hand to forces. With
these variables, performance can fluctuate within individual forces from one month to the next.
The CRB has been supporting those forces that have encountered problems in meeting their targets by a range of measures including the provision of additional resources, monitoring performance, providing demand forecasting data and assistance in introducing new IT initiatives. Within Humberside police the following steps have been taken in conjunction with the CRB to improve performance:
Increased resources have been made available to the force to support them in recruiting extra staff and obtaining new accommodation.
Specialist training has been provided at the Disclosure Unit.
An improvement plan has been implemented which shows a reduction in the workload between January and March 2007 to improve turnaround times following the escalation of cases within the force to the assistant chief constable.
Discussions are currently underway regarding taking part in the Police Volume Management Projectthis would enable the CRB to complete checks on behalf of Humberside via remote access to Humberside's local intelligence systems.
Humberside police are implementing a new IT system on 31 January 2008 which will improve their current functionality while searching their local intelligence systems.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the first identity cards are likely to be issued in the UK. 
Meg Hillier: The Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme, published in December 2006, set out the Government's plans to provide more secure and reliable methods of proving identity, including the introduction of ID cards.
The plans are for the Border and Immigration Agency to begin issuing identity cards to foreign nationals from 2008 and for the Identity and Passport Service to begin issuing ID cards to British citizens from 2009.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the operational costs of the identity card and biometric passport scheme she estimates will be covered by fees charged for the cards and passports issued. 
Meg Hillier: A detailed charging structure for the national identity scheme has yet to be determined and will need to be implemented through secondary legislation under section 35 of the Identity Cards Act 2006 that will require approval in both Houses of Parliament. However, it is expected that the running costs of the scheme will be recovered from fees just as they are now for passports.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimate she has made of the cost of using (a) three separate databases for the identity card project and (b) creating a single database; 
(2) what estimate has been made of the cost of including iris biometrics in passports and identity cards. 
Meg Hillier: Providing any further breakdown of the estimated costs of the National Identity Scheme to that provided in the November cost report to Parliament would potentially jeopardise the ability of the Home Office to secure value for money from the recently commenced supplier dialogues for the procurement of services to operate the scheme.
I would refer the hon. Member to the latest cost report that may be found at:
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what the annual volume of products issued in table 4 of the November 2007 identity cost report refers; and whether a joint identity card and passport is counted as one product. 
Meg Hillier: The November 2007 Cost Report sets out a future estimate of passports, identity cards, and combination products, where an applicant would be issued with both a passport and identity card through the same application.
I would refer the hon. Member to the latest cost report that may be found at:
To provide a further breakdown between each of these three application types, when taken together with other cost estimates already placed in the public domain, would jeopardise the current negotiations with prospective suppliers under the National Identity Scheme.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 November 2007, Official Report, column 678W, on identity cards: costs, why the estimate of passports issued in 2007-08 is different from the estimate listed in the last row of table 4 of the November 2007 identity card cost report. 
Meg Hillier: The answer of 20 November 2007, Official Report, column 678W, on identity cards costs stated the estimated number of passports to be issued in 2007-08 as reported in the last Identity and Passport Service Business Plan (March 2007) and estimated at the time of publication of that document.
The Cost Report laid before Parliament in November 2007 contained the latest estimate of all products to be issued for each of the 10 years covered by the report.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the likely effects of the introduction of mandatory identity cards for foreign nationals on access to services by foreign nationals; and if she will make a statement. 
A regulatory impact assessment was issued for the UK Borders Act 2007 (which contains the new biometric registration provisions) in May 2007. An equality impact assessment for the biometric
registration provisions was also issued. Both can be downloaded from the Border and Immigration Agency's website.
The new identity cards for foreign nationals will make it easier for public service providers to confirm a person's eligibility to entitlements and for foreign nationals to access those services. This is because the new identity cards will replace the existing residence permits and other UK immigration status documents which can be subject to fraud. The new cards will be presented as a highly secure polycarbonate standalone card which will contain a tamperproof embedded chip. The face of the card will contain important biometric and biographical informationincluding the person's immigration status and entitlement to public funds in the UK.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been prosecuted for destroying their identity documents on arrival at a UK airport in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Byrne: On 22 September 2004 section 2 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act came into force. Section 2 made failing to produce an immigration document, which satisfactorily establishes their nationality or identity, an offence. It does not differentiate between those who fail to produce an identity document or those who destroy an identity document on arrival.
From 22 September 2004 until 30 November 2007 Border Control Criminal Investigations Teams secured 1,222 convictions or cautions under section 2. Prior to this date the offence did not exist.
The data provided are based on locally collated management information, which may be subject to change and do not represent published national statistics.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the likely effect of the most recent extension of the Schengen area on the number of people attempting to enter the UK illegally; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The UK is not part of the Schengen area and has retained full national border controls. UK border controls are robust and can adapt flexibly to new challenges posed.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the numbers of skilled restaurant staff (a) China and (b) South Asian restaurants need to recruit annually to maintain their businesses; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and the Migration Impact Forum (MIF) have been set up to help inform the development of immigration policy.
The Migration Advisory Committee will advise Government on where there are shortages in the economy which can sensibly be filled by migration. In particular it will produce shortage occupation lists for UK and Scotland for skilled employment. These lists comprise occupations where, in the MAC's view, there are shortages which can sensibly be filled by enabling employers to recruit migrants.
The Migration Impacts Forum will enable the Government to understand the wider impacts of migration on local areas and services.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate her Department has made of the number of (a) public and (b) private sector organisations which are likely to apply for licences to sponsor migrants. 
Mr. Byrne: No such break down has been estimated.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) airlines and (b) airport operators have offered the Border and Immigration Agency financial assistance to pay for extra immigration officers; and how many such offers have been accepted. 
Mr. Byrne: The airport operator at Heathrow funds the staffing of Fast Track Immigration Controls. Fast Track offers travellers selected by participating airlines a discrete channel to the Immigration Control. The decision about who receives a fast track ticket for this service is not an immigration one. Further discussions are ongoing at Luton, Stansted and Gatwick with a number of airlines and airport operators who have offered additional financial assistance for Primary Arrival Control services. However, due to the commercial nature of these discussions the details of the organisations cannot be disclosed.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to ensure Olympic athletes do not stay in the UK illegally after the 2012 Games. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 17 December 2007]: Specific border security arrangements will be developed as part of the programme in order to manage the entry into and departure from the UK of Olympic athletes participating in the Games. All athletes competing in the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games must apply for Olympic accreditation in order to take part in the Games. The Border and Immigration Agency will work with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to issue Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards to all entitled persons.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the compatibility of the proposals in the consultation paper Marriage to Partners from Overseas with the European Convention on Human Rights. 
Mr. Byrne: The consultation paper Marriage to Partners from Overseas was launched on 5 December 2007 and the consultation period runs until 27 February 2008. Following the consultation careful consideration will be given to the compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights of the proposals taken forward.
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