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18 Feb 2008 : Column 454W—continued

Offenders: Foreigners

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign former prisoners were housed in (a) immigration detention centres and (b) young offender institutions on 31 December 2007. [179773]

Mr. Byrne: The chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency wrote to the Home Affairs Committee on 20 November advising that there were 1,500 foreign nationals whose sentences had expired and were detained in the agency or prison estate while awaiting deportation. A copy of this letter is available in the Library of the House.

Offensive Weapons

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people under the age of 18 years were (a) injured and (b) killed by bladed weapons in the last year for which figures are available; [178203]

(2) how many fatalities there were arising from the use of bladed weapons in the last year for which figures are available. [178231]

Mr. McNulty: Available information relates to offences currently recorded as homicide that were caused by a knife or other sharp instrument. As of 12 November 2007, 258 such homicides were recorded by police in England and Wales during 2006-07. Of these, 19 victims were aged under 18.

Centrally-collected data cannot show how many persons were injured by means of bladed weapons.

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Official Residences

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many years remain on the lease for South Eaton Place, the Government House in Pimlico. [183486]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 31 January 2008]: The property is held on a number of co-terminous leases which expire in 45 years.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for how many months the Government House in Pimlico has been vacant. [183487]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 31 January 2008]: The property has been vacant for 22 months.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place in the Library a copy of the home information pack produced regarding South Eaton Place, the Government House in Pimlico at the time it was put on the market. [183540]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 31 January 2008]: The home information pack will be placed in the Library when it is prepared.

Organised Crime

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many investigations into organised crime organisations have been undertaken by (a) the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and (b) other police organisations in each of the last five years. [176118]

Mr. Coaker: The Serious Organised Crime Agency, which became operational on 1 April 2006, has the aim of reducing the harm caused to the UK through organised crime. SOCA’s annual report published on 18 May 2007 states that during 2006-07—its first year of operation—SOCA ran 404 operations and projects as its contribution to the UK Serious Organised Crime Control Strategy. Of these 404 operations and projects, 283 were operations focussed on organised criminals and their organisations. Information on the operational activity undertaken by SOCA in 2007-08 will be published in the 2007-08 annual report. Information on investigations undertaken by other police organisations is not held centrally.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legislation determines whether a suspect may be questioned by police following charge; and if she will make a statement. [182463]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 28 January 2008]: The code of practice for the detention, treatment and questioning of persons by police officers (code C) issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 provides in paragraph 16.5 that a person may not be interviewed about an offence after they have been charged with, or informed that, they may be prosecuted for it, unless the interview is necessary: to prevent or
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minimise harm or loss to some other person, or to the public; to clear up an ambiguity in a previous answer or statement; in the interests of justice for the detainee to have further matters put to them which have come to light since they were charged or informed they might be prosecuted.

The PACE Review consultation paper published in March 2007 sought public and stakeholder views on the current use of questioning after charge. The responses to that are available on the PACE Review webpage at:

We aim to publish final proposals at the end of March 2008.

Police Custody: Asylum

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what nightly rate is paid by the Immigration Service for the use of police cells to each police force. [176306]

Mr. Byrne: Border and Immigration Agency opened negotiations in October 2005 direct with a number of police forces about the rates they charge for the use of police cells and discussions continue. The negotiations are based on a standard charging methodology which takes account of local circumstances. The following table shows in ranges the rates payable in 2007-08, and indicates where rates have been agreed as a result of the negotiations.

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Range: per 24 hours Rates agreed

Up to £199

Avon and Somerset

Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate

British Transport


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Negotiated rate


Dyfed Powys

Dumfries and Galloway



Lothian and Borders


Negotiated rate



Northern Ireland

North Yorkshire


South Wales


Devon and Cornwall

Greater Manchester





West Mercia




South Yorkshire

Thames Valley


West Midlands

West Yorkshire

Negotiated rate

£500 to c. £1,000

Highland Council


North Wales



1. There are small variations to rates depending on individual circumstances of detentions (e.g. number of meals, clothing required, length of stay, etc.), hence why rates are banded rather than provided as specific figures.
2. Different rates apply to the hire of full custody suites, as opposed to utilising existing facilities.
3. In most cases, interpreter and medical examination costs are charged separately at cost, in addition to the above rates;
4. Those police forces which do not charge or to whom payments made are ad hoc/for incidentals only are not shown.

Police National Computer

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place to prevent the unauthorised passing of information from the Police National Computer to the media. [184022]

Mr. McNulty: The Police National Computer (PNC) is a secure facility. All applicants seeking employment at the location are subject to rigorous security vetting checks, which are subject to periodic renewal.

Access to PNC live data systems by a limited number of staff is strictly controlled and monitored by a security manager. All staff at the HOC are reminded of their obligations to adhere to the stringent procedures in place for the handling of requests for information from the media, and these are updated regularly.

The protection of information from PNC that is conveyed to the media by forces is the responsibility of individual chief officers.

Police: Bureaucracy

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what forms are required to be completed by a policeman processing a burglary from investigation to conviction; and how many pages each form contains. [180119]

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Mr. McNulty: The specific information requested is not available as the number of forms and pages completed by a police officer processing a burglary from investigation to conviction is dependent on the circumstances of arrest in each individual case.

Following an arrest, the arresting police officer is required only to record information about the nature and circumstances of the offence leading to the arrest, the reason (s) why arrest was necessary, the giving of the caution and anything said by the person at the time of arrest. Once in custody, the grounds for arrest do not need to be given to the custody officer in person as they may be given remotely or via a third party, enabling the arresting police officer to remain on front line duty.

Police: Cambridgeshire

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time police officers, excluding police community support officers, there were in the Northern Division of Cambridgeshire Constabulary in each quarterly period since 2001; and if she will make a statement. [184445]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 5 February 2008]: The requested data for police officer strength at the Basic Command Unit level, have been collected annually since 2002-03, and are given in the following table.

I am told by the chief constable (Mrs. Julie Spence) that the reduction in police officer numbers in 2004-05 is the result of transferring responsibility for traffic policing from division to HQ control. It is also the result of the creation of a major investigation team in 2004-05 on the advice of Sir Ronnie Flanagan following his report on the Soham murders investigation.

Police officer strength (FTE)( 1) for Northern Basic Command Unit o f Cambridgeshire police force as at 31 March 2003 to 31 March 2007
31 March Number











(1) These figures are based on full-time equivalents that have been rounded to the nearest whole number, due to rounding there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of constituent items. Figures include those officers on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

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