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16 May 2008 : Column 1825W—continued


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will provide a breakdown by category of the alerts raised under Project Semaphore of the e-Borders programme. [203608]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 6 May 2008]: Alerts issued by e-Borders are now in excess of 23,000. A breakdown of alert categories is listed as follows:

Alerts

Police

10,438

HMRC (HMRC Detection now part of UK Border Agency)

2,218

Border and Immigration Agency (now UK Border Agency)

10,156

UKvisas (now part of UK Border Agency)

573


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department from which high-risk countries travellers are subject to compulsory watch-list checks under the e-Borders programme. [203942]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 7 May 2008]: E-Borders currently receives data on 30 million passengers’ movements per annum from 102 carriers serving 182 non-UK departure points. We cannot disclose greater detail of these routes as it could potentially prejudice our ability to maintain the integrity of the control.

Departmental Energy

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department has taken to reduce its energy consumption in the last 12 months; and what her Department’s expenditure on energy was in (a) the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available and (b) the immediately preceding 12 months. [201740]


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Mr. Byrne: Over the last 12 months the Home Office has reduced energy consumption in our London headquarters by shortening the operating hours of its cooling and heating plant and shortening the switch on periods of the motion detector lighting. Across the UK Borders Agency estate low voltage lighting has replaced less efficient halogen lighting and modifications to fans and pumps to reduce the electrical load have been made.

The table provides figures on energy expenditure on the Home Office estate (excluding the public sector prisons estate now part of the Ministry of Justice) between 2005-06 and 2006-07, the latest years for which data is available. The increase in costs from 2005-06 to 2006-07 is the product of a lower level of consumption and a higher cost of energy. which data is available. The increase in costs from 2005-06 to 2006-07 is the product of a lower level of consumption and a higher cost of energy.

Total energy spend £ (includes gas, electricity, oil)

2006-07

7,631,968

2005-06

7,187,353


Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent in severance pay to special advisers in each year since 1997. [200500]

Mr. Byrne: A total of £330,498.00 has been spent in severance pay to special advisers in each since 1997. It is not possible to break this down by year without disclosing the amounts individuals received.

Departmental Telephone Services

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much revenue was generated by each (a) 0845 and (b) 0870 telephone code used for customer inquiry lines by her Department's agencies in each of the last five years. [183956]

Mr. Byrne: Figures relating to the revenue generated by each of the 0845 and 0870 numbers used for customer inquiry lines by the Home Office are not held centrally. As such it is not possible to answer this question within the time and cost limits of the PQ process.

Entry Clearances

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans her Department has to update the training programmes for staff assessing visa applications. [204278]

Mr. Byrne: Training programmes for entry clearance officers and managers are kept under constant review. The structure and content are regularly updated to reflect any changes in immigration legislation or policy.


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Foreigners

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of foreign nationals were counted (a) in and (b) out of the UK under the border and immigration system in (i) 2006 and (ii) 2007. [203606]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 6 May 2008]: During 2007, the e-Borders system received data from over 500 high risk routes, with annualised passenger figures of greater than 35 million, of which 15.4 million (44 per cent.) were foreign nationals (defined as non EEA nationals.)

Data extrapolations for 2006 are currently not available in this format.

Frontiers: Security

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions her Department has had with the Irish Government on the introduction of the e-Borders system in Great Britain; and what the outcome of those discussions was; [168404]

(2) what account has been taken of the implications of co-operation with the Government of the Republic of Ireland for the functioning of an E-borders system around Great Britain; and what the likely effects are of such a system on the common travel area. [168437]

Mr. Byrne: We continue to work closely with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on operational, policy and legislative issues, including on the implementation of the e-Borders programme which is a key part of the Government's plans for securing our borders.

As outlined in our ‘Securing the UK Border’ strategy, March 2007, we are, in collaboration with the Irish government, reviewing the rules and operation of the CTA (common travel area) to explore how mutual border security can be strengthened. The results of that review will be announced in due course.

There is provision in the e-Borders contract for the supplier to provide data on passengers travelling from the Republic of Ireland to the UK although no decision has been made on how it will be captured because of the nature of CTA.

Immigration: Housing

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 806W, on Immigration: Housing, how many private sector providers have transferred existing properties to the private rented market; how many such units have been transferred; and what incentives have been offered to such private sector providers. [196266]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 25 March 2008]: The issue of whether a private sector provider has transferred existing properties to the private rented market, and the number of these, is a commercial matter for the provider concerned. The UK Border Agency has provided no incentives for providers to do
16 May 2008 : Column 1828W
this, although we have encouraged our private sector providers to co-operate with the programme, principally by allowing existing properties to transfer to the private rented market.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Border and Immigration Agency will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 28 March, reference B12293/8. [203827]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 7 May 2008]: I wrote to the hon. Member on 24 April 2008.

International Development

Burma: Storms

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many times he has met the Foreign Secretary to discuss the Government’s emergency relief aid response to Burma following Cyclone Nargis; and if he will make a statement. [206333]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Foreign Secretary and I are in regular contact to discuss the crisis in Burma following Cyclone Nargis.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which sections within his Department are responsible for co-ordinating the Government’s emergency relief aid response to Burma following Cyclone Nargis; and if he will make a statement. [206334]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development’s (DFID) Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department is responsible for co-ordinating the UK’s emergency relief response to Burma following Cyclone Nargis.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information his Department holds on the countries and organisations that supplied one aircraft or more carrying emergency relief aid to Burma in the first 10 days following Cyclone Nargis; and if he will make a statement. [206348]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is co-ordinating air relief efforts. According to WFP, as of 12 May, 35 flights carrying emergency relief had arrived in Burma since the cyclone hit. Since then the rate of arrival has been increasing: there were 23 flights scheduled for 14 May. The Department for International Development (DFID) does not hold full information on the countries and organisations which supplied these aircraft.


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Departmental Domestic Visits

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on how many occasions he visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months. [204392]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: In the last 12 months, Ministers in this Department have visited (a) Scotland once and (b) Wales once in their official capacities. No visits have been made to Northern Ireland during this period. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

I also travel frequently to and from Scotland in my capacity as MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South. On a number of these occasions I have undertaken visits to DFID's office in East Kilbride.

Departmental Orders and Regulations

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many statutory instruments have been (a) made and (b) revoked by Ministers in his Department since 1997. [204764]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development has made 14 general statutory instruments since 1997, none of which has been revoked.

The information has been provided by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).

Disaster Relief

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development to which natural disasters the Government has responded with the supply of emergency relief aid in the last 10 years; how much aid was supplied in each case in terms of (a) weight and (b) value; and if he will make a statement. [206335]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: My Department is unable to answer this question because of the disproportionate cost this would incur.

Justice

Bail Accommodation and Support Service: Voluntary Organisations

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) whether he plans to involve the voluntary sector in the provision of bail accommodation in England and Wales; [205344]

(2) what the average size is of each hostel provided by ClearSprings for the accommodation of bailees in England and Wales; [205345]

(3) how many bail units have been opened by ClearSprings in England and Wales since the contract was made with them; [205347]

(4) for how long the contract with ClearSprings to provide bail accommodation lasts; [205348]


16 May 2008 : Column 1830W

(5) when the contract to provide bail accommodation in England and Wales was awarded to ClearSprings; [205350]

(6) when (a) the police and (b) the Probation Service were informed of the (i) location and (ii) opening date of each of the new bail hostels operated by ClearSprings; and if he will make a statement. [205357]

Mr. Straw: The range of support services provided by ClearSprings Management Ltd. includes referral in some cases to relevant voluntary sector organisations to ensure appropriate support for service users. Voluntary sector organisations were free to bid for the Bail Accommodation and Support Service and some did so. Voluntary sector organisations are involved in providing housing advice to prisoners including those who may be bailed.

ClearSprings does not provide hostels. The service provides rented housing for those on bail and for offenders released from prison on Home Detention Curfew, with a maximum of five sharing. The average is between three and four bedrooms.

167 houses have been made available. A small number have been withdrawn and at 2 May there were 157 houses available to the service.

The contract with ClearSprings is for three years with options for two one-year extensions.

The contract was awarded on 18 June 2007 and announced to Parliament.

It is a duty of the contract for ClearSpings to consult the police, probation service and local authority. It is not possible to provide details of consultation for all 157 properties.

Criminal Justice Act 1988

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many people were (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted for an offence under section 139A of the Criminal Justice Act 1996 in each of the last 10 years; and on how many occasions the maximum sentence of two years imprisonment was imposed; [205373]

(2) how many people were (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted for an offence under (i) section 141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and (ii) section 1 of the Knives Act 1997 in each of the last 10 years. [205374]

Mr. Straw: Data showing the number of people proceeded against and convicted of offences under sections 139, 139A, 141 and 141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and section 1 of the Knives Act 1997 are in the table below. The number of people who received the maximum two year sentence under sections 139 and 139A(1) and the maximum four year sentence for section 139A(2) is also shown in the following table.

The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.


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16 May 2008 : Column 1832W
Number of people proceeded against at magistrates’ courts and found guilty at all courts for selected knife offences( 1) , England and Wales, 1997 to 2006( 2, 3, 4)
Proceeded against
Statute 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Section 139 of Criminal Justice Act 1988(6)

4,466

4,867

4,556

4,606

5,798

6,941

6,903

7,313

7,277

7,654

Section 139A of Criminal Justice Act 1988(6)

31

36

28

32

43

43

45

67

77

93

Section 1 of the Knives Act 1997(8)

1

3

5

3

2

5

3

2

4

1

Section 141 of Criminal justice Act 1988(9)

8

10

5

7

11

6

8

18

14

6

Section 141A of Criminal justice Act 1988(10)

2

2

3

9

11

17

11

29

63


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