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David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of children under 16 years of age who were the victims of (a) gun, (b) knife and (c) all violent crime in each year since 1997. 
Jacqui Smith: Relevant information on firearm offences (excluding air weapons) is available only for the years 2004-05 to 2006-07. It is not possible to identify offences involving knives from the data centrally collected on overall recorded crime. Since April 2007, police forces have been providing separate data on serious violence involving knives. As these are aggregate returns it will not be possible to determine the age of victims.
The age of all violent crime victims is not collected centrally. Available information relates to the number of homicides of persons aged under 16 years between 1997 and 2006-07, where the apparent method of killing was 'sharp instrument' or 'shooting'.
|Offences involving victims under 16 years old: England and Wales, 1997 to 2006-07( 1)|
|Year offence recorded|
|(1 )Data for 2007-08 are scheduled to be published in January 2009.|
(2) Excluding air weapons. The age of firearm offence victims has been collected centrally only since April 2004. (3) Data are not centrally collected. (4) Homicide data are as at 12 November 2007, when recording closed down for the purpose of analysis, and will change as subsequent court hearings take place or other information is received. Offences are shown according to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made. (5) Includes knives and other sharp instruments. (6) Includes shooting by crossbows.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was of each criminal conviction certificate issued on an individual in each year since the inception of the CRB; what standard fee is paid by individuals requesting a check; how many certificates were requested in each year (a) from people wishing to work in the voluntary sector, (b) from unemployed people, (c) from disabled people, (d) from other individuals and (e) in total; and if she will make a statement. 
The cost to the CRB of each standard and enhanced disclosure issued in each financial year since its inception in March 2002 is provided in the following table. The fees charged to individuals that requested a check in each year are also provided.
|Unit cost to CRB of each disclosure|
The total number of disclosures requested in each financial year is shown in the following table. The number requested in respect of individuals wishing to work in the voluntary sector is also shown. The CRB does not capture data on whether applicants are unemployed or disabled.
|Number of disclosures requested|
The CRB has issued over 15 million CRB checks and has developed the capacity to process in excess of 300,000 checks every month. Approximately 20 per cent. of applications are from volunteers and disclosures for volunteers continue to be processed free of charge. This has resulted in a considerable saving for the voluntary sector in excess of £20 million a year for the last four years.
The unit cost to the CRB is the average cost of producing one disclosure, irrespective of whether the disclosure is paid for. As the CRB is self-funding, the processing costs for all the volunteer applications, processed free of charge, needs to be recovered through the fee paid by other applicants; consequently, the fee must be set higher than the unit cost.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 31 March 2008, Official Report, column 602W, on departmental accountancy, what the (a) monthly, (b) year to date and (c) annual budget totals are for each budget line forecast for each month since September 2007, arranged by category of expenditure in her Departments annual report and supply estimates. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 21 April 2008]: Budget details for the whole year can be found in the 2008-09 Main Supply Estimates (HC 479) and will also be published in the Home Office departmental annual report, in May 2008. They show each area of spendby estimate line and individual activity respectively, at a disaggregated level. Further detail could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 31 March 2008, Official Report, column 602W, on departmental accountancy, what the planned annual budget figures are for 2008-09 in each budget line, arranged by category of expenditure in her Departments annual report and supply estimates. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 21 April 2008]: Budget details for 2008-09 can be found in the 2008-09 Main Supply Estimates (HC 479) and will also be published in the Home Office departmental annual report, in May 2008. They show each area of spendby estimate line and individual activity respectively, at a disaggregated level. Further detail could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department has spent on agency staff in each of the last five years; and what the highest payment to a member of agency staff was in each of those years. 
Jacqui Smith: The Home Department uses a variety of externally resourced staff to fill roles in the Department that cannot readily be filled by permanent staff. The figures given are drawn from our financial reporting systems and represent various categories of agency and other externally resourced staff, but exclude consultancy services.
|Financial Year||HO Headquarters||IPS||CRB||Total Spend (£)|
The increase in the IPS expenditure on agency staff in 2006-07 was due to the successful introduction of a number of new initiatives which necessitated the use of interim staff. The initiatives included biometric passports, the full roll-out of Personal Identity Process (PIP) to the regions, preparation for Interview Office Network (ION), and facial recognition systems. There was also an increase in costs as work on the National Identity Scheme (NIS) began to develop.
Jacqui Smith: Available centrally collected data relate only to offences where firearms (excluding air weapons) have been fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat. The Metropolitan Police Service recorded 3,031 such firearm offences in 2000-01 and 3,327 in 2006-07.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to appeal against the judgments of the European Court of Justice in Case C-77/05 and Case C-137/05 on the UK's position on Frontex. 
Jacqui Smith: We will not be appealing against the European Court of Justices verdict on our challenge to the UKs exclusion from the Frontex Regulation. The position of the UK in relation to Frontex remains as previously: the Frontex Regulation does not bind nor apply to the UK, but the UK may take part in operations and activities on a case-by-case basis, with the agreement of the Frontex Management Board. The UK Government have a legitimate interest in the security of the external European border and we remain committed to working closely with our European partners and Frontex in strengthening that security.
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