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21 Jan 2008 : Column 1761W—continued

All changes proposed to the PACE codes are subject to parliamentary scrutiny and approval. Prior to presentation before Parliament, there is either a full public consultation or a consultation with statutory stakeholders in accordance with section 67 (4) of PACE. The determination of the consultation process is carried out in discussion with the Home Affairs Committee.

The codes have been subject to change since their introduction in 1986. These changes have been carried out to reflect changes in the provisions of PACE and other legislation governing police powers and procedure. The changes have been detailed and extensive. An itemised list of all changes made since 1986 is not held centrally. However, I have placed in the Library a list of the relevant statutory instruments relating to the introduction of and revision to the PACE Codes since 1986 with a brief description of their effect; and details of the more recent changes can be found on the Home Office websites at

In March 2007 we announced the review of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and associated codes of practice (see PACE Review page on the Home Office website). We are currently considering final proposals on making the contents of the codes more accessible to both practitioners and members of the public. Final proposals will be subject to a final consultation in spring 2008.

CPIA Code

The main changes made in the revised version include new provision for deputy disclosure officers and greater facility for the retention of copies instead of original investigative material.

Dangerous Driving

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government plan to take to reduce levels of street racing. [177317]

Mr. Coaker: It is an offence under section 12(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for a person to promote or take part in a race between motor vehicles on a highway. The offence carries a maximum fine at level 4 (£2,500), obligatory disqualification and obligatory endorsement of between three and 11 penalty points on the offender’s licence. The police also have a power under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to seize a vehicle that is being driven carelessly or inconsiderately on road contrary to section 3 of the 1988 Act and in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause alarm distress or annoyance. Enforcement of the law and exercise of the seizure power are operational matters for the police.

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what reviews have been undertaken of her Department’s rules on data protection in the last two years; if she will place in the Library a copy of the report of the last review of her Department’s compliance with data protection laws; and if (a) her Department and (b) her Department’s agencies will undertake a review of their compliance with data protection laws; [168090]

(2) on how many occasions in (a) her Department and (b) its agencies confidential data have been downloaded on to compact discs (i) without and (ii) with encryption in the last 12-month period for which figures are available; how many of those discs have been posted without using recorded or registered delivery; what procedures her Department has in place for the (A) transport, (B) exchange and (C) delivery of confidential or sensitive data; what records are kept of information held by her Department being sent outside the Department; what changes have been made to her Department’s rules and procedures on data protection in the last two years; on how many occasions her Department’s procedures and rules on data protection have been breached in the last five years; what those breaches were; what procedures her Department has in place on downloading confidential data on to computer discs before its transfer; what technical protections there are in her Department’s computer systems to prevent access to information held on those systems which is not in accordance with departmental procedures; and if she will place in the Library a copy of each of her Department’s rules and procedures on the protection of confidential data on individuals, businesses and other organisations; [168256]


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(3) how many employees of each grade in her Department (a) have access to confidential or sensitive data and (b) are authorised to download such data to disc; how many of her Department’s employees have undergone data protection training in the last 12 months; what the average length of time is that each employee of (i) her Department and (ii) her Department’s agencies has spent on data protection training; how many investigations of employees of her Department for improperly accessing confidential information have taken place in the last 12 months; how many such investigations resulted in cases of disciplinary action; and what the circumstances of each of those cases were; [168276]

(4) what steps have been taken to protect individuals in the event of a data breach of the National Identity Register. [171889]

Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179W. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments’ procedures will be made on completion of the review.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place in her Department to ensure that personal information relating to members of the public is (a) stored and (b) transported securely. [168474]

Mr. Byrne: I refer my right hon. Friend to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179W. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments’ procedures will be made on completion of the review.

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department’s information technology and data management systems are BS7799 compliant. [168746]

Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179W. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments’ procedures will be made on completion of the review.

Departmental Freedom of Information

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what requests were made to her Department under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 2000 in each of the last two years; and what the (a) FOI case reference number, (b) request summary, (c) request outcome and (d) where appropriate, reason for exemption was in each case. [171782]


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Jacqui Smith: In 2005, 1,970 requests were received in the Home Office, of which 1,469 were resolvable. The non-resolvable cases were those where no information was held or where advice and assistance were provided. Of the 1,469 resolvable requests, 42 per cent. of the requests were granted in full and 35 per cent. were withheld in full. The remainder of requests resulted in a partial disclosure or the requests were not replied to in 2005.

In 2006, 2,861 requests were received of which 1,790 were resolvable. Of the resolvable requests, 42 per cent. were granted in full and 33 per cent were withheld in full. The remainder resulted in a partial disclosure or the requests were not replied to in 2006.

Between 1 January and 30 September 2007, 1,849 requests were received, of which 1,270 were resolvable. Of the resolvable requests, 50 per cent. were granted in full and 24 per cent. were withheld in full. The remainder resulted in a partial disclosure or the requests were still being processed after 30 September last year. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

All Freedom of Information requests are logged on an Access database. An automatic case reference number is generated by the database when a new case is added.

Unfortunately a summary of each request received by the Department could be provided only at disproportionate cost. FOI requests are often contained in letters detailing individuals' personal circumstances. To put the details of the requests into the public domain would require personal information (which would allow identification of the individual to be ascertained) to be removed. This could be done only at disproportionate cost. The Home Office disclosure log provides a useful picture of the types of request received by the Department and the information which has been disclosed as a result. The disclosure log can be found at

It is also impossible to provide the specific reason why an exemption is applied without consulting each FOI response issued by the Department. This information could be collated only at disproportionate cost. It may however be useful to see the top ten exemptions used by the Department from September 2006 to August 2007.

The right hon. Gentleman should be aware that more than one exemption can be applied for withholding information within a single request.


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Departmental Marketing

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many posters or displays there are in the offices of her Department and its agencies displaying the names and photographs of Ministers; and what the cost has been of producing such posters or displays in the last five years. [179837]

Mr. Byrne: At present there are four displays in the Home Office and its agencies displaying the work and organisational structure of the Department, which include names and photographs of Ministers.

It is not possible without incurring disproportionate costs to identify separately the costs of specifically updating the ministerial information.

Driving Offences: Fixed Penalties

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many driving licences submitted to fixed penalty offices have been lost before return to the holder. [177295]

Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. In the event of a driving licence being lost, Royal Mail will pay compensation to replace the licence and the national fixed penalty forum will assist with the claims.

Drugs: Children

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many children under 16 in (a) the north-east, (b) Teesside and (c) the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency were arrested for possession of class (i) A drugs, (ii) B drugs and (ii) C drugs in each of the last seven years; [179614]

(2) how many children under 16 were arrested in (a) the North East and (b) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency for dealing class (i) A drugs, (ii) B drugs and (ii) C drugs in each of the last seven years. [179615]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not available centrally.

The arrests collection undertaken by the Ministry of Justice 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 specific offences do not form part of this collection.

Drugs: Misuse

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of those brought into a police station tested positively for Class A drugs in each year since 1997; and what the level was of voluntary take-up of treatment. [166840]

Mr. Coaker: Following a successful pilot in a limited number of sites between 2001 and 2003, drug testing of offenders for specified Class A drugs (heroin and
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cocaine/crack) in police custody came into operation from 2003 across 30 BCUs as part of the Drug Interventions Programme. Since that time the programme has expanded in a phased approach to 66 basic command units in 2004 and some 107 BCUs in 2005.

Only offenders arrested or charged with a "trigger offence"—largely acquisitive crime related offences—are required to provide a sample to be tested for specified Class A drugs.

Between 2003 and 2005, the programme operated drug testing at the point of charge. The average rate of positive tests for specified Class A drugs for offenders charged with a trigger offence was as follows:

From 2005 to the present time the programme operated drug testing at the point of arrest and the average rate of positive tests for specified Class A drugs for offenders arrested for a trigger offence was:

From 2003 the number of offenders entering treatment voluntarily through the Drug Interventions Programme are as follows:

Number

2003-04

1,950

2004-05

16,517

2005-06

24,557

2006-07

39,903


Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which recommendations of the Downing street strategy unit report on drugs of 2005 have been implemented. [178109]

Phil Hope: I have been asked to respond.

The strategy unit report on high-harm-causing drugs was undertaken in 2003, and contributed to wider policy debate across Government. The report did not make any formal recommendations to the Home Office, but helped to inform the development of the Government's existing drug strategy, which sets out a range of policies and interventions focusing on the most dangerous drugs that cause the most harm to communities and individuals.

Entry Clearances: Fraud

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions sponsors of visa applications have been found to be under investigation for obtaining indefinite leave to remain by fraudulent means; and if she will make a statement. [177815]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested could be obtained only through detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.


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