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Mr. Coaker: The Home Secretarys Taskforce on Online Child Protection brings together Government, law enforcement, childrens agencies and the internet industry to work together to ensure that children can use the internet in safety. It has the aims of making the UK the best and safest place in the world for children to use the internet.
There are excellent working relationships with the internet industry, and they have developed strong working practices and guidelines relating to services they offer and content they host. Where a UK ISP is advisedusually by law enforcementthat they are hosting material, which is illegal, they have an excellent record in removing it.
In September 2007, the Prime Minister announced a review into the risk to children of exposure to harmful or inappropriate content in video games and online. The review will also assess the effectiveness and adequacy of existing measures to help prevent children from being exposed to such material and help parents understand and manage the risks of access to inappropriate content.
Mr. Coaker: The Government prosecute all crimes based on illegal actions and not the medium used. As such, all legislation criminalises offences regardless of whether they were committed on or off line and so there are no estimated levels of e-crime as a whole.
Mr. Coaker: The Government take the view that the UK should prosecute criminal acts based on the offence committed and not the medium used. Therefore crimes committed using the internet should be reported in the same way as crimes committed offline; to the police.
Where credit or debit card fraud is involved, the cardholder should report the matter directly to their bank or card company. It is then for the bank or card company to verify the crime and report it to the police. This applies to card fraud committed online as well as offline.
The Government have allocated £28 million over three years to implement the recommendations of the fraud review. This includes the creation of a National Fraud Reporting Centre (NFRC) which will cover online fraud.
Both the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) have reporting mechanisms aimed at members of the public to report instances of child abuse or websites containing child abuse images.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with internet search providers on tackling the use of search engines to provide (a) illegal and (b) harmful internet content. 
Mr. Coaker: In December 2005, the Home Office Task Force on the Protection of Children on the Internet published the Good Practice guide for search providers and advice to the public on how to search safely. This document was produced in conjunction with representatives from the search provider industry and other UK experts, and is aimed at the public and at companies who provide search across all platforms. It provides a model of good practice to search providers and gives advice to help the public, especially parents and carers, make good use of search engines and reduce the risk of being exposed to unwanted and unsuitable results.
Furthermore, the major search provider companies work closely and effectively with UK self-regulatory body, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), to promote online safety. The IWF provides a dynamic list of child sexual abuse websites to search providers which enables them to better manage the quality of
search returns, blocking those that feature on the child sexual abuse list, to help protect internet users.
The IWF is also in a position to provide intelligence around the number and nature of search returns regarding potentially illegal and potentially inappropriate online content. It has provided this intelligence recently, for example, to the Governments consultation on Extreme Pornography legislation, the Byron Review and the DCMS Select Committee Review regarding online content such as adult pornography, child sexual abuse cartoons, and mutilation, bestiality and necrophilia websites.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time taken was between discovery and removal by internet service providers of (a) illegal and (b) fraudulent content on the internet in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Coaker: On the rare occasion child sexual abuse content reported to the Internet Watch Foundation is found to be hosted in the UK, the organisation's successful self-regulatory partnership with the online industry means it is removed expeditiously; typically within a matter of hours. It is worth noting that in 1997 18 per cent. of child sexual abuse content was found to be hosted in the UK and that this figure has been less than 1 per cent. since 2003 because of the work of the IWF with the online sector and the success of their universal notice and take-down initiative ensuring any such abuse of UK online services is dealt with swiftly and effectively.
As regards incitement to racial hatred and criminally obscene content, there have been no instances of UK hosted incitement to racial hatred content between 2005 and 2007 and just two instances of UK hosted criminally obscene content in the same period which were removed.
In relation to fraudulent websites, ISPs are required to shut down these sites within a reasonable amount of time once they have been informed about its existence by law enforcement under the e commerce directive. The directive offers ISPs protection from liability for hosting, transmitting or caching illegal material of which they have no knowledge (this would include fraudulent content). Once the material is brought to the attention of the ISP (by law enforcement), they lose their protection unless they take the material off their site as quickly as possible. There are excellent working relationships between the internet industry and law enforcement, and they have developed strong working practices and guidelines relating to services they offer and content they host. The internet industry has an excellent record in removing websites operating illegally.
Mr. Coaker: The BSI kitemark project arose from the Home Secretarys taskforce on Online Child Protection and is a joint Home Office and Ofcom initiative. The British Standards Institution (BSI) was first approached in October 2004 to produce publicly available specification for rating filtering and monitoring software.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the good practice guidance for social networking and user interactive services to be published; and what discussions she has had with the multi-stakeholder project group working on this. 
Mr. Coaker: The Home Office fully supports the work of Safer Internet Day, part of the EUs Safer Internet Plus programme. Since the creation of the child exploitation online protection centre (CEOP), they have co-ordinated awareness raising among children and parents on staying safe online. CEOP is UK awareness node for the EUs Safer Internet Plus programme.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when a reply will be sent to the hon. Member for West Chelmsfords letter of 7 January 2008 (acknowledgement reference: HO: M453/8) concerning his constituent Mr. S. Stratton. 
[holding answer 21 February 2008]: The issues that were raised in the letter related to operational matters that are solely the responsibility of the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The original
correspondence (ref M453/8) was passed to the SIA and I understand that they wrote to the hon. Member about Mr. Strattons application on 20 February.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people under the age of 18 years were arrested for carrying a (a) knife and (b) firearm in (i) England and Wales, (ii) the north east, (iii) the Tees Valley and (iv) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland in each of the last 10 years; 
(2) how many school pupils were arrested for taking a weapon into school in (a) England and Wales, (b) the north east, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of all reported injuries as a result of assault were inflicted by knives in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Coaker: From the information collected centrally on police recorded crime, it is not possible to identify those offences where an assault with a knife resulted in injury. The details of the circumstances of specific offences do not feature in the recorded crime statistics.
However, with effect from April 2007, police forces have been providing data on knife-enabled grievous bodily harm and robbery offences. The first full year's data for this will be available from July.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legislative proposals she intends to bring forward to ensure that everyone found in possession of a knife in public in a crime hot spot is prosecuted. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will issue guidance to the police to ensure that everyone found in possession of a knife in public in a crime hot spot is prosecuted. 
Mr. Coaker: We are currently working with the Crown Prosecution Service and the police on how the arrangements agreed in London for the prosecution of knife possession offences might be extended more widely.
In 2002 we introduced the Proceeds of Crime Act. Since the Act came into force in 2003 we have recovered over £360 million of criminally derived assets and there has been a five-fold increase of moneys recovered annually. We have targets to recover more; doubling the annual amount to £250 million by 2010.
In 2004, we issued a White Paper "One Step Ahead - A 21st Century Strategy to Defeat Organised Crime" from which flowed the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. This Act introduced new measures to help disrupt criminal activity and convict those responsible.
The Act also established the Serious Organised Crime Agency which became operative on 1 April 2006. It brought together the main national agencies for tackling organised crime into a single unit with the aim of reducing the harm caused to the UK by organised crime. It is already demonstrating its success as described in its annual report for 2006-07.
In October 2007 the Serious Crime Act 2007 gained Royal Assent. The Act introduced new measures to prevent and detect serious crime, including Serious Crime Prevention Orders which allow courts to impose restrictive conditions on those proved to be involved in serious crime. The Act will also merge the Asset Recovery Agency with the Serious Organised Crime Agency from 1 April 2008.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in how many cases the cost of investigating alleged offences of (a) perjury and (b) attempting to pervert the course of justice has exceeded £1 million in the last five years; 
(2) what estimate she has made of the cost of investigation of the most expensive case of (a) perjury and (b) attempting to pervert the course of justice in each of the last five years; and how many police officers were engaged in the investigation of each such case in each year. 
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the proportion of child abuse internet websites hosted in the United States; and what discussions she has had with the US Administration on reducing the number of such sites. 
Mr. Coaker: The Internet Watch Foundations (IWF) last published figures (Annual Report 2006) show that 54.3 per cent. of all child sexual abuse domains known to the IWF appeared to be hosted in the US, and 62 per cent. of commercial child sexual abuse domains. The IWF passes intelligence relating to US hosted child sexual abuse websites to its Hotline partner in the US (Cybertipline, part of National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)) and via Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and Interpol, to US law enforcement. The IWF recently hosted a visit from associates at NCMEC who were keen to learn from IWF experience. The IWF has also recently visited the US Hotline for a similar sharing exercise.
A US Congress delegation visited the UK in 2007 on a fact finding tour. This led to the publication of the Congress Report by the US House of Representatives 109(th) Congress following their inquiry into child sexual abuse content on the internet last year. The main references to recommended best practice and the IWF are on pages 6-8. Key issues mentioned are NCMEC and IWF sharing lists of child sexual abuse websites; the US emulating the UK/IWF blocking initiative; and pressure being put on ICANN to combat false and illegal domain names which have been selling illegal images for many years on the same website address:
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