Previous Section Index Home Page

25 Jan 2008 : Column 2247W—continued

Health Services: Armed Forces

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 312W, on health services: armed forces, what funding is to be made available for care home funding for war pensioners in each financial year until 2016-17. [179747]

Derek Twigg: Under the War Pensions Scheme the Department has the discretionary power, in Article 21 of the Service Pensions Order, to meet the cost of any necessary expenses in respect of the medical, surgical or rehabilitative treatment of a member of the armed
25 Jan 2008 : Column 2248W
forces that arise wholly or mainly as a result of the disablement due to service before 6 April 2005 where it is not provided free of charge under other legislation of the United Kingdom. This power predates the NHS and is now little used because health care is through the normal mechanisms of the health service.

MOD continues to fund the fees of a small number of war pensioners who are in homes that provide skilled nursing care for the condition for which they receive a war pension. Funding is provided on a case-by-case basis. Funding under the War Pensions Scheme comes from Annually Managed Expenditure, is demand led and is not subject to forecast other than for the purposes of the War Pensions supply estimate.


Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many lobbyists have passes giving them access to his Department’s building in Whitehall; and if he will make a statement. [174786]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: MOD security policy allows the issue of passes to persons who, for business reasons, require frequent access to MOD buildings and who meet relevant security criteria. Details of the company each individual is employed by are held, but their post title or function is not usually recorded.

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in hiring helicopters for use in theatre by (a) the UK and (b) NATO. [181041]

Des Browne: As the Prime Minister announced on 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 304, NATO has negotiated a contract to lease commercial helicopters to move routine freight in Afghanistan, which will free up military helicopters for other tasks. This contract will commence shortly and will be of significant benefit to UK forces. There are no separate UK commercial helicopter leasing initiatives planned although commercial helicopters were leased for a few days in December 2007 to help deliver Christmas mail and parcels to troops in Afghanistan.

Home Department

Community Policing

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the recommended minimum number per ward is of participants in key individual networks. [179820]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 17 January 2008]: Key individual networks (KINs) are intended as a mechanism for neighbourhood policing teams to canvass the opinions of the local public on a broad range of policing-related issues.

The KIN structure is flexible in nature; the minimum number of participants per ward or boundary in KINs is governed by the needs of the community that it
25 Jan 2008 : Column 2249W
serves. For example, the Metropolitan Police Service has identified its neighbourhoods based on existing ward boundaries. Other police forces have used different methodologies to identify their neighbourhoods such as discussions with local residents and partnerships, together with an analysis of local crime and demographic data.

Community Support Officers: Humberside

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the retention rate of police community support officers was in the Humberside Police Authority area in each year since 2002-03; and if she will make a statement. [180784]

Mr. McNulty: Information on the retention rate of police community support officers in Humberside is a matter for the chief constable and his police authority.

Crime: Databases

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department have had with (i) foreign governments and (ii) foreign intelligence services on granting access to UK databases to foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies; and if she will make a statement. [180149]

Mr. McNulty: This Government believe that the sharing of data with other countries is fundamental to our ability to tackle serious crime, terrorism and illegal immigration. We have therefore been engaging with our EU partners to pursue a number of projects to improve the exchange of law enforcement data including through the joining up of national databases on DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration (the PrĂ1/4m Council Decision), and through the joining up of criminal records databases.

The United Kingdom is a significant provider of information to Europol and Eurojust to facilitate the cross-border prosecution of terrorism and organised crime. We are also in the process of implementing the Schengen Information System II, which will provide us with alerts on matters such as missing persons, fugitives and stolen vehicles.

As part of the G8 the UK has encouraged all states to contribute data to and participate in the Interpol 1-24/7 database for lost and stolen passports and identity documents. G8 states took the lead by being among the first states globally to submit all of their data on both issued and unissued lost and stolen documents to Interpol.

Furthermore, the UK is participating in a project to evaluate the extent that G8 countries share data between their own migration authorities and police and other competent security authorities with a view to development of best practice procedures for this. The UK has also led a project to create the G8 DNA 1-24/7 Sear Request Network, which involves access between national databases (although on a hit/no hit basis only for DNA). It does not include the creation of a common data base, automatically link databases or allow automatic access to an existing database or information held on the database of a G8 state from
25 Jan 2008 : Column 2250W
outside that state itself. All participating states retain direct in-country control to enable them to decline any inquiry.

We have numerous bilateral relationships with key partners both in Europe and beyond, including the United States, which enable our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to cooperate effectively to protect the security of the public in the UK and other countries.

In all cases where the Government shares personal data with other countries, it must ensure the relevant arrangements comply with legal obligations to provide appropriate safeguards for privacy rights, including those set out in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Data Protection Act 1998 (which implemented EC Directive 95/46 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data). Many of the key instruments providing for the sharing of personal data between law enforcement agencies at the EU level incorporate data protection safeguards tailored to the specific types of data to be shared. The Data Protection Framework Decision will, when adopted, set uniform data protection standards for personal data sent from one member state to another, and also to European bodies such as Europol, for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties.

Dogs: Children

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many attacks on children by dogs have been have been recorded in each year since the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 came into force by (a) Rottweilers and (b) each category of dog banned under the Act. [181153]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested is not available centrally from the recorded crime statistics. Attacks by dogs are not crimes as defined in law. The relevant offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 relate to an owner or person in charge allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place injuring any person or allowing a dog to enter a non-public place and injure any person. These offences would generally be recorded under the Home Office classification ‘Less serious wounding’ and cannot be separately identified from other offences recorded within that classification.

Essex Police Authority: Costs

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) staff and (b) administrative costs of Essex police authority were in each year since 1997. [180626]

Mr. McNulty: This information is not held centrally. The staffing and related costs of the authority are a matter for the Essex police authority.

Essex Police: Emergency Calls

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the performance of the Essex police emergency call system. [174063]

25 Jan 2008 : Column 2251W

Mr. McNulty: HMIC inspected all forces in England and Wales across a number of police business areas as part of their Baseline assessments up until 2007. Contact management was one of those business areas. In the three years to 2007, Essex police had been graded Fair (2003-04), Fair (2004-05) and GOOD (2005-06), indicating steady and continual improvement.

In the year to date Essex have been performing very well in respect of their 999 emergency call-handling, answering 92.5 per cent. of call received within 10 seconds, which is 2.5 per cent. above the expected target of 90 per cent. in 10 seconds as laid down in the National Call Handling Standards.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what restrictions are placed on the activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam within the UK; [181339]

(2) what plans she has to reconsider the restrictions placed on the activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam; [181340]

(3) how often she reviews the proscription of organisations considered to be involved in terrorism; [181341]

(4) whether the proscriptions of organisations under the Terrorism Act 2000 are indefinite; and if she will make a statement. [181405]

Mr. McNulty: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was proscribed by the then Home Secretary in 2001. The Terrorism Act 2000 contains a number of offences relating to proscribed organisations including membership, fundraising, inviting support and wearing clothes or displaying articles so as to arouse reasonable suspicion that the wearer is a member or supporter of any such organisation. The Police and Crown Prosecution Service are responsible for, respectively, investigating and prosecuting offences under this legislation.

The proscription of organisations is not subject to a time limit. And an organisation which is proscribed can only be de-proscribed by an order subject to the positive resolution procedure removing it from schedule 2 of the Terrorism Act 2000. However, it is our policy and practice to review regularly proscribed organisations on the current list and to assess whether they should continue to be proscribed. Any person who is affected by an organisation's proscription can apply to the Secretary of State for it to be de-proscribed, and we take any such requests very seriously.

Members: Correspondence

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she will reply to Question 164672 tabled by the hon. Member for Cardiff Central, on 12 November 2007 for answer on 15 November; and if she will make a statement. [175550]

Meg Hillier: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 23 January 2008, Official Report, column 2062W.

25 Jan 2008 : Column 2252W

Merseyside Police: Modernisation

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received on the compatibility of the restructuring of the Merseyside police with the framework laid down by her work force modernisation agenda. [164457]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 November 2007]: I am not aware of any restructuring being undertaken by Merseyside police and have received no representations about it.

National Bureaucracy Advisor on Police Reform

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who the current National Bureaucracy Advisor on Police Reform is; and whether the position is vacant. [176054]

Mr. McNulty: The National Bureaucracy Advisor role has been vacant since July 2006. Sir Ronnie Flanagan’s Review of Policing, which began on 26 April 2007, is taking forward the work on reducing bureaucracy in the service.

Recommendations for reducing police bureaucracy were made in Sir Ronnie’s interim report and are being taken forward by the National Policing Improvement Agency. The agency will be shaping the staffing and leadership of this work to meet the requirements made in Sir Ronnie’s report.

Sir Ronnie’s final report will be published shortly.

Police Patrolling

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 90W, on police patrolling, what the respective figures are for each year from 1997-98 to 2005-06 based on the same definition used in the answer. [174000]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 18 December 2007]: The information requested on the percentage of time spent on front-line duties by the Essex police is set out in the following table. This measure was only introduced in 2003-04 and is not available for earlier years, and the definition is kept under review.

Essex police—time spent on front-line duties 2003-04 to 2006-07
Percentage time spent on front-line policing









Police: Complaints

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many formal complaints were made against (a) South Yorkshire police and (b) English police forces to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and its predecessor in each of the last five years; and how many of those complaints were upheld. [181045]

25 Jan 2008 : Column 2253W

Mr. McNulty: Responsibility for the collation and publication of complaints against the police rests with the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Police: Finance

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effects on police involvement in community services of the planned reduction in funding for police authorities in 2008-09. [180295]

Mr. McNulty: There is no reduction in funding for police authorities in 2008-09.

The provisional police funding settlement for the next three years was announced on 6 December 2007. General grant will increase by 2.7 per cent. in each year with each police authority in England and Wales receiving a minimum increase in general grant of 2.5 per cent. for each of those years. In addition, a range of other funding will be made available to all police authorities. In line with the Government’s commitment to neighbourhood policing, the settlement includes an
25 Jan 2008 : Column 2254W
increase from £315 million to £324 million for neighbourhood policing provision for 2008-09.

Police: Manpower

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of police officers left the police service (a) within two to five years, (b) within five to 10 years and (c) after over 10 years of joining, in each year since 1997, broken down by police force area. [176315]

Mr. McNulty: Data are available from 2002-03 onwards, and the Home Office only started collecting this level of detail from that year.

These figures are given in the following tables, and are on the same basis as the ones given for police officers who left the service within two years of joining—28 November 2007, Official Report, columns 471-75W. The number of transfers between forces has been separately identified as these officers, while leaving individual police forces, have not left the police service itself.

Next Section Index Home Page