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28 Jan 2008 : Column 91W—continued

28 Jan 2008 : Column 92W

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures her Department employs to ensure that licences to conduct scientific experiments on animals are only granted in circumstances where no viable alternative exists; and what steps it takes to ensure that licences are not granted unnecessarily to different scientists simultaneously. [180347]

Meg Hillier: Under section 5(5) of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, a project licence cannot be granted if the purpose of the programme could be achieved satisfactorily by the use of a reasonably practicable non-animal method. Applicants for project licences are, therefore, required to explain why animals have to be used and a key element of the assessment of licence applications by Home Office inspectors focuses on ensuring that the use of animals is essential. In considering this issue, inspectors have access to a wide range of expertise and sources of relevant information and fully explore potential alternative methods in discussion with applicants.

The avoidance of unnecessary duplication of animal use is another key consideration in the assessment of applications and all reasonable steps are taken to prevent it. However, the replication of experiments by more than one research group is not necessarily prohibited. The scientific method demands that research findings can be corroborated by the same or different research groups to establish the validity of the results.


Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many questionnaires for asylum seekers under the Legacy Casework Programme have been (a) issued, (b) completed and returned and (c) returned incomplete since the programme began; and if she will make a statement. [178987]

Mr. Byrne: There have been nearly 9,600 questionnaires issued since May 2007 and around 8,400 of these have been completed.

The questionnaire is only for applicants whose cases are among the older, unresolved ones that are not being considered by our teams in regional offices around the country.

Not all applicants will receive a questionnaire. Applicants will only be sent a questionnaire if we think we need more up-to-date information on the applicant’s case before we review it. If the application is a straightforward one, or the applicant has recently been in touch with us, we will not need to send a questionnaire.

In her recent update to the Home Affairs Committee on 17 December 2007, Lin Homer (chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency) gave an undertaking to provide further updates to the Committee every six months.

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what projections she has made of the likely percentage of asylum seekers who will be recognised as refugees and granted asylum as an initial decision in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009. [173029]

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Mr. Byrne: Projections of the likely percentage of asylum seekers who will be recognised as refugees and granted asylum at initial decision in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009 are not available. Every asylum application is considered on its individual merits.

Crime: Greater London

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) violence against the person, (b) criminal damage and (c) drug related offences have been recorded in London since 2001. [178075]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is shown in the following table:

Selected offences recorded by the police in London( 1)
Violence against the person Criminal damage Drug offences

























(1) Includes offences recorded by the City of London police and the Metropolitan Police Service. (2) The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced in April 2002. Figures before and after that date are not directly comparable.

Criminal Records Bureau

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) basic, (b) standard and
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(c) enhanced disclosure charges the Criminal Records Bureau has levied against each (i) local authority, (ii) local education authority, (iii) local health board and primary care trust and (iv) NHS trust in England and Wales in each year for which figures are available. [179283]

Meg Hillier: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) does not collate this information in the format requested.

Departmental Land

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what land surplus to her Department’s requirements it is (a) selling, (b) leasing and (c) intending to (i) sell and (ii) lease; and what the size and name of each relevant site is. [168847]

Mr. Byrne: The Department is not currently selling or leasing land. It has however declared the former RAF Coltishall (260 hectares) surplus to its requirements and will shortly transfer it to the Ministry of Justice. Sale of a very minor part of the former airfield has been agreed with an adjoining owner.

Departmental Telephone Service

Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many 0845 or similar cost telephone numbers are used by (a) her Department and (b) related departmental bodies for public access to services. [179202]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is shown in the following table.

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Number Purpose Type

0870 521 0410

Passport advice line


0870 240 8090

Passport advice line (Text Phone Service)


0870 243 4477

Passport inquiries for High Street Partners


0870 243 1902

Passport Complaints


0870 909 0778

Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure dispute line


0870 125 1256

Siemens Business Services Query Letters


0870 909 0844

Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure application line


0870 909 0223

Criminal Records Bureau Welsh Language Line


0870 909 0344

Criminal Records Bureau


0870 241 4680

Home Office's mailing house, Prolog


0870 241 4786

Home Office's mailing house, Prolog


0870 220 2000

TOGETHER (advice line for practitioners on tackling antisocial behaviour).


0870 336 9031

Contact Private Office to Jacqui Smith


0870 336 9032

Contact Private Office to Lord West


0870 336 9033

Contact Private Office to Vernon Coaker


0870 336 9034

Contact Private Office to Liam Byrne


0870 336 9035

Contact Private Office to Tony McNulty


0870 336 9036

Contact Private Office to Meg Hillier


0870 336 9048

Contact Parliamentary Team


0870 336 9045

Contact Ministers' Special Advisers


0870 336 9041

Contact Private Office Management Support Unit


0870 336 9037

Contact Permanent Secretary's Office


0870 243 0100

Security Industry Authority


0845 010 6677

Employers1 Helpline


0845 039 8002

PROSPECTS helpline


0845 601 2298

BIA Evidence and Enquiry line


0870 240 3781

Immigration Enquiry Bureau (enforcement and removals -recorded message only)


0845 300 2002

Independent Police Complaints Commission


0870 909 0811

Criminal Records Bureau General Inquiries


0870 909 0822

Criminal Records Bureau Registration Information Line


0845 602 1739

Enquiries about asylum support applications


0870 606 7766

Immigration Enquiry Bureau


0870 241 0645

Requests for immigration application forms


0845 010 5200

Nationality telephone enquiries


0870 521 0224

BIA Work Permits Literature Order Line


0845 600 0914

Asylum Support Customer Contact Centre


0870 241 6523

Enquiries about the work of the BIA Complaints Unit and advice to callers about how to complain


Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which telephone contact centres are the responsibility of her Department; what mechanisms are in place to monitor their effectiveness; and how many people have been employed in each of those centres in each year since they were established. [166550]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is shown in the following table.

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