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Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has undertaken consultations with universities on the implementation of the points-based immigration system; and if she will make a statement. 
The Joint Education Taskforce (JET) is a permanent forum for consultation with the education sector and this meets, as a minimum, once a quarter. Universities
are well represented on JET and there has been detailed discussion on PBS at every meeting over the past two years.
In addition, UKBA has held several events to update stakeholders on progress on PBS implementation, the most recent being on 10 June 2008. Representatives of Universities UK and several individual universities attended this event.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many front-line officers serving in the UK Border Agency had been granted both immigration and customs powers as at 31 May 2008. 
Mr. Byrne: On 3 April 2008, my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, reported to the House on the creation of the UK Border Agency. At that time, it was announced that by the summer we expected over 1,000 front-line staff to have cross conferred customs and immigration powers.
As of 31 May 2008, cross conferrals have enabled in excess of 750 UK Border Agency front-line officers to exercise both immigration and customs powers at the UK border. By the end of June, this figure is expected to rise to over 1,000.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to respond to the letter of 4 March from the hon. Member for Sunderland South regarding Joseph Omenga (HO 01066013). 
Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reasons were for the reply of 19 June (CTS ref B19094/8) from the Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency to the hon. Member for Walsall North to refer the hon. Member to an official in her Department; what the reasons were for dealing with any further information in the case in the letter; and how many replies to hon. Members were signed by the Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency in each week of the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 26 June 2008]: Your letter to Lin Homer (UK Border Agency chief executive) dated 28 May related to a work permit application. The reply sent on 19 June from Jonathan Sedgwick (UK Border Agency deputy chief executive) set out that the case had been reconsidered and gave the reasons for maintaining the original decision to refuse the application. The letter also gave the name and contact number of the official in the department who you or your constituent could contact for more information about the reconsideration. This is standard practice and is intended to be helpful to MPs and their staff, as well as their constituents who may have further questions about their case. This approach has been particularly welcomed by those Members with large immigration caseloads. Your letter was written to the chief executive. In accordance with our protocols a letter addressed to the chief executive can be responded to by other officials, on her behalf. This includes the deputy chief executive.
Letters written to Home Office Ministers about immigration matters can also be answered by the chief executive, as set out in Cabinet Office guidance. Given the large volume of letters relating to immigration received from MPs, the Cabinet Office also allows the deputy chief executive to share the signing of these ministerial letters. This is the same approach which is taken by the Identity and Passport Service.
In May 2008, Lin Homer and Jonathan Sedgwick between them signed approximately 700 letters to MPs. Figures are not kept for the number of letters signed by the deputy chief executive as opposed to the chief executive but in any given week, they usually sign equal numbers of letters.
Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to answer the letter from the hon. Member for Manchester, Central of 17 March (Ref: B20220/8); and what the reason is for the time taken to respond. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many copies of the Morning Star her Department and each of its agencies procures via subscription each week; and at what cost. 
The National Policing Improvement Agency, through its improvement programme is, in 2008-2009, providing a major capital and resource investment totalling £185.6 million to police forces to support five key areas: mobile police information; improvements to the national communications (for example police radio communications of the London Underground system); the Schengen Information System; the Forensic Science and IMPACT programmes.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what categories of information are to be shared between member states following Council Recommendation 2007/562/EC and subsequent related decisions, with particular regard to personal data; and for what reason this agreement was reached at EU rather than Interpol level. 
Mr. McNulty: Council Recommendation 2007/562/EC recommends that member states share the following information on terrorist kidnaps with other member states via a secure EU network: Country and region in which the kidnapping took place; number and nationality of the hostage(s); time and date of the kidnapping: time and date of the end of the incident; perpetrators/responsible terrorist group; modus operandi of the kidnapping; motivation for the kidnapping; whether a mediator was involved; and details of a contact point in the member state concerned.
hostages reasons for being in the country, their language skills and gender; ideology, nationality, language skills of the perpetrators; means used by the perpetrators to address the public; and further details on the perpetrators modus operandi.
This initiative was originally proposed by the G8, but was not taken forward by them in the absence of a secure G8 communications network and to avoid duplication of effort. The idea was taken forward by the EU, utilising an existing EU secure computer network, given the benefit of information sharing between member states for the handling of future terrorist kidnapping incidents. We are not aware of any proposal for Interpol to have a similar database on terrorist kidnapping.
Mr. Laurence Robertson:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what
circumstances police are required to cover the costs of damage they make to properties when forcing entry as part of their duties; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The police can apply under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 for a warrant to enter and search premises for evidence of an offence. The PACE code of practice for the searching of premises by police officers and the seizure of property found by police officers on persons or premises (Code B) requires that the officer conducting a search shall, unless it is impracticable to do so, provide the occupier with a copy of a Notice of Powers and Rights which clearly sets out the powers used and the rights of the individual, including that compensation may be payable in appropriate cases for damages caused entering and searching premises, and giving the address to send a compensation application. Whether compensation is appropriate depends on the circumstances in each case.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what contingency plans her Department has in place for the provision of fuel for police vehicles during periods of fuel shortages; 
Mr. McNulty: The Home Office does not issue guidance, and has received no representations from police forces, relating to the provision of fuel to police forces. It is a matter for individual police forces to make their own contingency arrangements for potential fuel shortages.
Mr. McNulty: The information requested is published annually in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin series Police Service Strength, England and Wales. The bulletins are available in the Library of the House, and can be downloaded from the publications link within the Research Development and Statistics directorate website located at:
|Police officers( 1) (FTE)( 2) per 100,000 of the population for by police force, as at 31 March 1997 to 31 March 2007|
|31 March each year|
|Police force||1997( 3)||1998||1999||2000||2001( 4)||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007|
|(1) This table is based on full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items.|
(2) Figures up to 31 March 2002 exclude staff on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave. The figures for 31 March 2003 onwards figures include those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.
(3) Boundary changes on 1 April 1996 transferred resources for the policing of the Rhymney Valley from South Wales police to Gwent police.
(4) Boundary changes on 1 April 2000 transferred some resources from the Metropolitan police to Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey police forces.
(5) Officers per 100,000 population for City of London and Metropolitan police are combined.
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