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17 Mar 2008 : Column 809W—continued

Police: Telford

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many community support officers were deployed by West Mercia Police in its Telford division at the latest date for which a figure is available; [193907]

(2) how many full-time equivalent police officers were employed in the Telford division of West Mercia Constabulary in (a) January 1997 and (b) January 2008. [193906]

Mr. McNulty: Police service strength data are collected by basic command unit (BCU). The available data relate to the Telford and the Wrekin BCU, have been collected annually since 2002-03 and are given in the following table.

Police strength (FTE)( 1) in Telford and the Wrekin basic command unit (West Mercia police) as at 31 March 2007( 2)
31 March 2007

Police officers(2, 3)

325

Police community support officers

41

(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.
(2 )BCU data are collected annually as at the end of the financial year (31 March).
(3 )BCU data are not available prior to 2002-03. As at 31 March 1997 there were 2,040 police officers in West Mercia constabulary, increasing to 2,400 by 31 March 2007.

Polygamy

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with colleagues in other Departments on the recognition of polygamous marriages; and if she will make a statement. [190487]

Mr. Byrne: I have not had recent discussions with colleagues in other Departments on the recognition of polygamous marriages.

The Immigration Directorate Instructions at:

explain that it is Government policy to prevent the formation of polygamous households in this country. Polygamous marriages contracted overseas can be valid in this country only if:


17 Mar 2008 : Column 810W

A copy of the Immigration Directorate Instructions on polygamous and potential polygamous marriages will be placed in the House Library.

Register of Births

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether individuals whose names are recorded in the Register of Births at the General Register Office who (a) were and (b) are registered (i) under British Consular and (ii) Service department registers require any period of residence in the United Kingdom to be considered to be citizens of the United Kingdom. [192360]

Mr. Byrne: If a child is born overseas and is a British national his or her birth can be registered at the British consulate. The service department registers are for children born to those in the services: a child does not have to be a British national for his or her details to be entered.

The British Nationality Act 1981, which came into force on 1 January 1983, defines which people born after that date are British citizens. Under that legislation a person may be a British citizen “by descent” or “otherwise by descent”. A child born outside the United Kingdom to a parent who is a British citizen “otherwise than by descent” will be a British citizen by descent. A parent who is a British citizen by descent cannot normally pass on citizenship to a child born outside the United Kingdom.

An exception to this is for children born to British citizens serving in Crown service or service designated by the Home Secretary as being closely associated with the activities outside the United Kingdom of Her Majesty’s Government, and who were recruited to that service in the United Kingdom, or in European Community institution service and were recruited to that service in an EC country. Such children will acquire British citizenship otherwise than by descent and can thus pass citizenship on to their own children born overseas.

There is no provision for a child born overseas to a non-British citizen employed in the armed forces to become a British citizen, irrespective of his or her inclusion in the service department registers. Such a child would need to be registered as a British citizen or, if an adult, to apply for naturalisation. In order to naturalise he or she would have to meet a number of statutory requirements, which include residence in the United Kingdom.

Stop and Search: Tamworth

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals were found to be illegally carrying (a) weapons and (b) drugs during police stop and search procedures in Tamworth constituency in each of the last four years. [187860]

Mr. McNulty: The available information held by the Ministry of Justice is given in the table for Staffordshire police force area, in which the Tamworth constituency is located.


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Number of arrests following stops and searches of persons or vehicles in the Staffordshire police force area, under section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and other legislation( 1) , by period.
Arrests made by reason for arrest
Offensive weapons Firearms Drugs

2002-03

151

15

479

2003-04

223

21

819

2004-05

276

23

942

2005-06

342

34

1,072

(1 )Includes searches for drugs and firearms under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Firearms Act 1968 respectively. Notes: 1. No stops and searches (in anticipation of violence) have been reported by the Staffordshire police force under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 during the periods given in the table. 2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when data are used.

Surveillance

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which forms of interception are subject to authorisation by a warrant from her. [191032]

Mr. McNulty: All interceptions require authorisation by the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State will only approve an interception warrant if it is necessary in the interests of national security; preventing or detecting serious crime; or safeguarding the economic well-being of the UK. In addition, the interception needs to be proportionate and the information obtained not reasonably available by other means. Authorisations are governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). Interception relates to the content of a communication e.g. what is said in a phone call or written in an e-mail.

Communications data (CD), however, are data about communications and how they were made, but not what was said or written, and include: who participated in the communications; how the communication occurred (e.g. a telephone call, text message or e-mail message); when the communication happened (e.g. the date and time of the call and how long it lasted); where the participants in the communication were located when it took place (e.g. the location of the mobile phone which a text message was sent from and the location of the mobile phone which received the text message).

Terrorism: Arrests

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of those arrested in connection with suspected offences under (a) section 57 and (b) section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 have been (i) released without charge, (ii) charged, (iii) convicted and given custodial sentences, (iv) convicted and given non-custodial sentences and (v) recommended for deportation or made subject of a decision to deport; [194529]


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(2) how many of those arrested in connection with suspected offences under (a) section 1 and (b) section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006 have been (i) released without charge, (ii) charged, (iii) convicted and given custodial sentences, (iv) convicted and given non-custodial sentences and (v) recommended for deportation or made subject of a decision to deport; and of those charged, what offences they were charged with. [194530]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 14 March 2008]: Terrorism statistics are provided by the Metropolitan Police Service. The Home Office does not hold all the information requested. The statistics we do hold are not broken down in the format requested.

Vandalism: Arrests

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people under the age of 25 were arrested for vandalism in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) the Tees Valley and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency or the nearest geographical area for which figures are available. [187444]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested is not collected 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, etc. More detailed data about specific offences do not form part of this collection.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2008, Official Report, column 2546W, on Afghanistan, which company provides the civilian air transport used by ISAF in Afghanistan; on how many occasions UK troops have flown in aircraft so provided; what assessment he has made of the contribution to operations that the contract delivers; how the contract is funded and what the UK’s contribution is; what percentage of the assets used by the contractor to date has been (a) rotary and (b) fixed wing; and if he will make a statement. [194031]

Des Browne: The company that provides the civilian air transport in Afghanistan, via the ISAF Contracted Air Transport (ICAT) contract is Mesopotamia Group, a US-registered company. ICAT is not contracted to fly military personnel and so UK military personnel do not travel on these flights. I am pleased with the effects of the ICAT contract, which is making a useful contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, including by reducing pressures on military air and aviation assets. The contract is funded from NATO Common Funding, of which the UK contributes 12 per cent. as a standing share. Of the assets currently used by the contractor for the ICAT contract, 87 per cent. are rotary and 13 per cent. are fixed wing.


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Armed Forces: Council Tax

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the payments made to members of the armed forces on active service abroad towards their council tax will be increased from April in line with increases in council tax liabilities. [194401]

Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 17 October 2007, Official Report, column 1114W.

Defence: Honours

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which employees of defence (a) companies and (b) related organisations have received honours on the recommendation of his Department in the last five years. [193520]

Derek Twigg: The number of employees of defence companies and related organisations who have received honours on the recommendation of the Ministry of Defence in the last five years are set out as follows.

Awards

New Year List 2003

37

Birthday List 2003

38

New Year List 2004

40

Birthday List 2004

40

Special Iraq Reconstruction List

1

New Year List 2005

29

Birthday List 2005

32

New Year List 2006

29

Birthday List 2006

27

New Year List 2007

33

Birthday List 2007

22

New Year List 2008

31


Full details of these awards were published in the London Gazette.

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officials in his Department (a) faced disciplinary proceedings as a result of allegations of theft, (b) were charged with theft and (c) were dismissed following theft allegations in each year since 1997. [193885]

Derek Twigg: The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Records are available however, for the total number of disciplinary dismissals from 2005-06 to present. These are as follows:

Ministry of Defence civilian staff—all disciplinary dismissals
Number

2005-06

51

2006-07

61

2007-08

53


17 Mar 2008 : Column 814W

Departmental Empty Property

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the sums to be paid by his Department in unoccupied property rates in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. [193769]

Derek Twigg: The Department has not made such an estimate. The use of the defence estate is kept under constant review and if property is likely to remain unoccupied, then officials will work closely with the Valuation Office Agency to reduce the Business Rates liability accordingly. Any property surplus to defence requirements will, where practical, either be let or sold in accordance with Treasury guidance.


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