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13 Jun 2008 : Column 604W—continued


Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what applications to use DNA samples from the national DNA database in research projects have been refused to date; and if she will make a statement. [188153]

Meg Hillier: Three applications from the Forensic Science Service made between 2002 and 2005 to use DNA samples to develop a Y-STR and surnames database were refused.

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2008, Official Report, column 2062W, on genetics: database, how many DNA samples from the national DNA database were used for the research project carried out by Cellmark Forensic Services on the further development of familial searching software; and if she will make a statement. [196116]

Meg Hillier: No DNA samples were used for the research project referred to. The term “DNA sample” refers to biological material taken from an individual, or a trace left at a crime scene.

Illegal Immigrants: Employment

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were prosecuted for employing illegal immigrants in each year sine 1997. [167713]

Mr. Byrne: Statistics showing the number of defendants proceeded against and found guilty under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, from 1997 to 2006, in England and Wales, are shown in the following table. All defendants found guilty of this offence were given a fine; with the exception of one defendant in 2005 who was given a conditional discharge.

Information on persons proceeded against for offences under Immigration Acts 1971 to 2004 during 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.

We are committed to bringing forward the implementation of measures contained in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 to tackle illegal migrant working, which has provided the Border and Immigration Agency with a wider and more effective range of tools with which to tackle non-compliance. The 2006 Act introduced a system of civil penalties for employers who employ illegal migrants through less than diligent practices, alongside a tough new offence for those who knowingly employ illegal migrants, which carries a maximum two year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine. These new measures came into force on 29 February 2008.

Published statistics on immigration and asylum are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts under Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 in England and Wales, 1997 to 2006( 1, 2) : Employing a person aged 16 and above subject to immigration control
Number of persons

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005( 3) 2006( 3)

Proceeded against

0

1

4

10

5

2

2

11

23

11

Found guilty

0

1

1

4

1

1

1

8

13

7

(1) Principal immigration offence.
(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 the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(3) Figures are provisional.

Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on the permissibility of taking photographs in registry offices; and if she will make a statement. [209798]

Meg Hillier [holding answer 9 June 2008]: There is nothing in marriage legislation that refers specifically to the subject of photography at the wedding and arrangements are at the discretion of the local superintendent registrar.

Guidance for registration officers is a matter for the Registrar General. He has advised them that there have been no Government guidelines. They should continue with their usual practices where these allow full opportunity for photographs without undermining the solemnity and dignity of the occasion. He accepts the need for common-sense precautions to avoid any damage to the register and to conceal the identifying information that it contains.

Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre: Prisoner Escapes

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those who escaped from the Yarl's Wood detention centre during the fire
13 Jun 2008 : Column 605W
of 14th February 2002 remained at large for (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months; and whether any such prisoners remain at large. [207295]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 22 May 2008]: A total of 23 detainees are believed to have escaped from Yarl’s Wood on 14 February 2002.

Many records were burnt or destroyed on the night of the fire which means that I am unable to answer the question in the format requested.

However, nine have since been removed from the United Kingdom, one has made a voluntary departure, five are in contact with the UK Border Agency and eight are considered to still be unlawfully at large.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Cancer: Research

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much (a) the Medical Research Council and (b) other research councils funded by his Department spent on cancer research in each of the last five years. [210382]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 12 June 2008]: In the last five years to 2006-07 the Medical Research Council has spent the following sums on cancer research: £65.4 million (2002-03), £70.8 million (2003-04), £78.7 million (2004-05), £78.1 million (2005-06) and £85.6 million (2006-07). During the same periods, the other Research Councils spent in total the following sums: £12 million, £13.9 million, £16.2 million, £18.4 million and £20.5 million.

Figures are not yet available for 2007-08.

Higher Education: Educational Institutions

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when he expects (a) the consultation paper on creating new higher education centres to be published and (b) the process of bidding for such centres to begin. [211096]

Bill Rammell: We want to give everyone who has the talent the chance to go to university whether they are about to leave school or already in work. Students should have access to local provision offering flexible courses to suit their needs. Any proposals arising from our new "university challenge" policy for university campuses or centres will be assessed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England which will issue a consultation paper in July which will include a timetable on the way forward.

Nanotechnology: Research

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what research his Department is funding into developments in nanotechnology; and if he will make a statement. [209217]

Ian Pearson: The Research Councils support research and related training in nanotechnology. For example, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has spent over £132 million since 2003 on nanotechnology, and is currently investing about £40 million per annum in research grants and supporting 40 new PhD studentships per annum in the area.


13 Jun 2008 : Column 606W

A new £50 million cross-Council programme covering NanoScience through Engineering to Application was announced in December 2007 as one of six strategic priorities over the CSR period (2008-09 to 2010-11). From this, £6.5 million has been committed to explore new methods of harvesting solar energy, for example by developing new types of solar cells.

In addition, the Technology Strategy Board (an Executive NDPB of DIUS) currently provides funding of £19.5 million to projects at the nanoscale and a further £15 million on microscale engineering projects incorporating elements of nanotechnology. The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), established in 2007, works with the network of KTNs funded by the Technology Strategy Board and has a role in coordinating the UK network of 23 Micro-Nano Technology (MNT) Centres, including two centres offering services on the characterisation of micro and nano-scale materials. £54 million has been provided to establish and maintain the MNT centres, jointly funded with the regional development agencies and devolved Administrations.

In April this year the National Measurement System (NMS) Unit in DIUS approved several new projects to be delivered within the NMS Chemical and Biological Metrology Programme. Two thirds of the work, worth more than £5 million over three years, addresses the field of nanotechnology. The projects aim to develop measurement standards and will be led by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). NPL will involve several partners in the research.

International Development

Africa: Human Rights

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of Chinese policy on human rights in Africa. [208908]

Meg Munn: I have been asked to reply.

The UK recognises the growing role of China in Africa. We believe it is important for all of Africa's partners, including China, to act in ways that support the principles for sustainable development outlined in Africa's own New Partnership for Africa's Development agenda, including good governance and sound economic management.

The UK and China have initiated a dialogue covering a range of issues important to conflict prevention and development in Africa. Governance and human rights issues are discussed as part of this dialogue. There have been positive outcomes. During my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's visit to Beijing in January, Premier Wen signed up to the Millennium Development Goals Call to Action. Ministers regularly discuss African issues, such as Darfur, with their Chinese counterparts. Through the dialogue and our other bilateral contacts with China we are also working to encourage the Chinese Government to endorse the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.


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Justice

Departmental Vocational Training

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what proportion of its staff his Department has provided vocational training in the last three years. [209436]

Mr. Wills: No central figures for the amount of vocational training the Department has provided for staff is available

All parts of the Ministry of Justice, including its agencies, provide staff with the training and skills necessary to carry out their job through a variety of methods including: on the job training, classroom based training and national vocational qualifications.

High Court: Judges

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his policy on monitoring the expenses of High Court judges is; and whether he plans to make provision for such expenses to be made open to public scrutiny. [210905]


13 Jun 2008 : Column 608W

Mr. Straw: Arrangements for claiming expenses are governed by the High Court judges’ “Memorandum on Conditions of Appointment and Terms of Service”. Claims are authorised for payment by Ministry of Justice officials, are subject to appropriate levels of internal and National Audit Office scrutiny and form part of departmental annual reports and accounts which are published annually.

Prisoners: Rehabilitation

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what percentage of prisoners requiring drug or alcohol interventions in the high security estate received them in the latest period for which figures are available. [208045]

Mr. Hanson: Data are not recorded in the format requested. However, epidemiological data show that on average around 55 per cent. of prisoners report a serious drug problem, with 80 per cent. reporting some misuse and around 7 per cent. of prisoners report severe alcohol dependency. There is no overall measure of treatment need. The following table shows details of drug interventions provided in the high security estate and as a proportion of annual throughput in 2007-08. Data on alcohol interventions are not recorded centrally.

Drug interventions provided in the high security estate as a proportion of annual throughput in 2007-08
Treatment modality Number of prisoners( 1) Number of prisoners as a percentage of total high security throughput figure (15,363) in 2007-08

Number of prisoners entering clinical substance misuse detoxification programmes (drugs and alcohol)

3,249

21

Number of prisoners participating in extended prescribing programmes

200

1

CARATs Substance Misuse Triage Assessments (SMTAs)

3,818

25

Number of prisoners entering intensive drug treatment programmes

213

1

(1) Prisoners receive more than one intervention.

Asylum and Immigration Act 1996

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many employers have been (a) prosecuted for and (b) convicted of an offence under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 in each of the last 10 years; and what penalties were imposed in each case. [167714]

Mr. Byrne: I have been asked to reply.

Statistics showing the number of defendants proceeded against and found guilty under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, from 1997 to 2006, in England and Wales, are shown in the following table. All defendants found guilty of this offence were given a fine; with the exception of one defendant in 2005 who was given a conditional discharge.

Information on persons proceeded against for offences under Immigration Acts 1971 to 2004 during 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.

We are committed to bringing forward the implementation of measures contained in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 to tackle illegal migrant working, which has provided the Border and Immigration Agency with a wider and more effective range of tools with which to tackle non-compliance. The 2006 Act introduced a system of civil penalties for employers who employ illegal migrants through less than diligent practices, alongside a tough new offence for those who knowingly employ illegal migrants, which carries a maximum two year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine. These new measures came into force on 29 February 2008.

Published statistics on immigration and asylum are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:


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