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27 Mar 2008 : Column 432W—continued

Domestic Violence: Victim Support Schemes

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will review guidance issued to local authorities on helping women subject to domestic abuse with no recourse to public funds, setting out the steps authorities need to take. [196784]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 25 March 2008]: The guidance issued to local authorities, via a circular in February 2006, will be reviewed as part of the development of a new scheme for victims of domestic violence who, through their insecure immigration status, have no recourse to public funds. Details will be made available later in the spring.

As part of this work, we will also be drafting guidance for voluntary sector agencies and other potential advocates who are assisting these victims, and will outline what is required for a successful application for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Drugs: Crime

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government plan to take to tackle illegal drugs. [191894]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 6 March 2008]: The Government published on 27 February a new comprehensive 10-year Drug Strategy backed-up with a three year action plan. The strategy is focused on preventing young people developing drug problems, targeting families at risk and intervening early through a whole family approach, protecting communities through robust enforcement by attacking drug supply at all levels and cutting drug-related crime and disorder.

Key actions to tackle illegal drugs and the harms they cause include:

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Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to combat drug-related crime in smaller towns and communities. [195218]

Mr. Coaker: The Government are committed to tackling drug-related crime wherever it occurs, including in our smaller towns and communities.

The recently published strategy, ‘Drugs: protecting families and communities’ sets out clearly our future intention to take a robust stance against dealers and to reduce drug-related offending, including developing ways to regularly engage and respond to the needs of communities. In addition, we will make asset seizure more visible to local communities so those communities see the benefits of working with police and their partners to identify dealers.

The Government have already invested heavily, including through the Drug Intervention Programme (DIP), in reducing drug-related crime. DIP aims to get adult drug-misusing offenders out of crime and into treatment and other support. Delivery at local level is through local partnerships, using integrated teams (including drug workers in all custody suites) for which funding is provided in all areas of England and Wales, including smaller towns and communities. Since DIP began, acquisitive crime—to which drug-related crime makes a substantial contribution—has fallen by around a fifth.

Drugs: Schools

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 19 February 2008, Official Report, column 583W, on drugs: schools, whether information is to be collected centrally on arrests of school pupils. [195678]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office and Ministry of Justice have no plans to collect statistics on arrests of school pupils.


Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department and its agencies spent on (a) first and (b) other class travel by Eurostar in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [187748]

Mr. Byrne: The Department's accounting system does not separately identify expenditure on travel by Eurostar. Such information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

For the Department's agencies, the Criminal Records Bureau's spend is nil and the Identity and Passport Service's spend could not be identified without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Department expects all official travel to be carried out by the most efficient and economic means available, taking into account the cost of travel and subsistence, savings in official time, management benefit, and the needs of staff with disabilities. This is in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code.

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The Cabinet Office produces the annual list of Cabinet Ministers overseas travel, the one for 2006-07 was published on 25 July 2007.


Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to reduce the availability and use of replica firearms in public places. [196855]

Mr. Coaker: In October 2007, as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, we implemented a ban on the manufacture, import and sale of realistic imitation firearms, which evidence showed were being used in criminal activity to threaten and intimidate. The 2006 Act also increased to 12 months the maximum sentence for possessing an imitation firearm in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

The police, together with SOCA—the Serious Organised Crime Agency—and HM Revenue and Customs, are looking at the supply and availability of firearms as a priority. This includes items which contravene the recent legislation on realistic imitations.

We have also recently increased the provision of search arches and wands in priority areas and, as part of the Tackling Violence Action Plan, have committed to providing additional search technology to the police and partner agencies.

Genetics: Databases

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers chief constables have to order the retention or removal of entries from the national DNA database; and if she will make a statement. [188154]

Meg Hillier: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for West Bromwich, West (Mr. Bailey) on 21 February 2008, Official Report, column 824W.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Yorkshire residents had samples of their DNA recorded on the National DNA Database at the latest date for which figures are available. [192609]

Meg Hillier [holding answer 11 March 2008]: The National DNA Database (NDNAD) does not hold address details, and it is not, therefore, possible to provide figures for the number of people who are resident in the Yorkshire area. The following table gives figures for people sampled by the Yorkshire police forces, however, these people may not be resident in the area in which they were sampled. There are two figures for each force: the number of profiles, and the estimated number of individuals. The number of profiles held on the database is not the same as the number of individuals. As it is possible for a profile to be loaded onto the NDNAD on more than one occasion, some profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates. This can occur, for example, if the person provided different names, or different versions of their name, on separate arrests, or because profiles are upgraded.

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At present, the replication rate is 13.3 per cent., that is, the number of people whose details are loaded is 13.3 per cent. fewer than the number of profiles.

Police force Subject profiles Estimated number of individuals

North Yorkshire



South Yorkshire



West Yorkshire



Total for Yorkshire forces



Government Offices for the Regions

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of her Department’s programme budgets were administered by the Government Offices for the Regions in each of the last five years. [195126]

Mr. Byrne: GOs directly administered the following programmes on behalf of Home Office between 2002-03 and 2006-07:

The Safer Stronger Communities Fund is now paid to the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) for inclusion in local area agreements (LAAs).

Identity Cards: Students

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she expects students to be able to (a) obtain a student loan and (b) open a bank account without an identity card from 2010. [195095]

Meg Hillier: The National Identity Scheme Delivery Plan published on 6 March 2008 and available on the Identity and Passport Service website:

set out our plans for issuing identity cards on a voluntary basis to young people from 2010. Identity cards will provide many advantages to young people who wish to prove their identity as they start out their independent life in society. There is no requirement to have an ID card when applying for a student loan.


Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the letter of 17 December 2007 from the chief executive of the Border
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and Immigration Agency to the Home Affairs Committee, how many cases dealt with under the legacy exercise in which leave to remain in the UK has been granted concerned individuals who had been refused leave to remain under the October 2003 family indefinite leave to remain exercise; and what her policy is on the grant of leave to remain under the legacy exercise to individuals who have been refused leave under the family indefinite leave to remain exercise. [177361]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 10 January 2008]: A written update was provided by Lin Homer on 17 December 2007 to the Home Affairs Select Committee stating that 52,000 older asylum cases have been concluded, of which two-thirds had either been removed, or discovered to be duplicate files or other errors. Around a third (19,000) had been granted leave to stay, of which around 570 did not qualify under the 2003 family exercise.

We consider each case on its own merits and will look at the most up to date information in deciding a claim. Decisions will be based upon the information and circumstances prevalent at the time, regardless of previous exercises.

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what means she first become aware of Mr Moshe Feiglin’s application to enter the UK; what representations she has received from (a) other Government departments and (b) community groups on Mr Feiglin’s case; and if she will make a statement. [194191]

Mr. Byrne: It is not the policy of the Home Office to comment on individual cases.

The Home Secretary may decide to exclude or deport any individual who is not a British citizen if she considers that their presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good. The Home Secretary will use these powers when justified and based on all available evidence taking full account of the views of the relevant Departments. Since July 2005 the Home Secretary has excluded 79 individuals from the UK on grounds of unacceptable behaviour.

Immigration Controls: Airports

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time equivalent immigration officers were employed screening incoming passengers at (a) Heathrow, (b) Stansted and (c) Gatwick airports in each of the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [164224]

Mr. Byrne: I wrote to the hon. Member on 14 March 2008.

Immigration Controls: Domestic Service

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 801W, on immigration controls: foreign workers, what the programme of research and analysis being undertaken in respect of the current provisions for overseas
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domestic workers consists of; when she expects the results to be published; and if she will place in the Library a copy of the results. [196117]

Mr. Byrne: The focus of the research is to gather existing evidence on overseas domestic workers (ODWs) in order to understand better the risks associated with those entering as ODWs. The research will also highlight the quality of, and any identifiable gaps, in currently available information.

The research is expected to be completed in the spring.

The findings of research are normally published if they meet quality standards and do not present issues of security, operational effectiveness or confidentiality. However, a publication date has not been set.

Immigration Controls: Eurostar

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether persons who purchase a Eurostar train ticket from Brussels to Lille are (a) subject to juxtaposed UK immigration controls at Brussels, (b) checked for valid UK entry documents at any stage during their journey, (c) required to alight from the train at Lille and (d) subject to full immigration control in the UK if they remain on the train until it arrives in the UK. [180331]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 21 January 2008]: Passengers who purchase a Eurostar train ticket from Brussels to Lille are not subject to juxtaposed UK Immigration Controls at Brussels. Under Schengen rules, immigration checks between Schengen states are only permitted in exceptional circumstances.

All passengers boarding at Brussels, irrespective of their ticketing arrangements, have their travel documents checked by the Belgian Federal Police (BFP), who also check personal details against departmental systems. Anyone travelling without valid travel documents will be refused travel by BFP and are liable to arrest if illegally found in the Schengen area.

Passengers who are ticketed only as far as Lille should disembark there. Passengers who are travelling to the UK from Brussels are subject to Immigration Control. Any passengers who do not get off at Lille who are then identified by The Border and Immigration Agency, British Transport Police, Kent Police or the Metropolitan Police can be intercepted and detained in the UK for travelling with inadequate documentation.

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