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Prisoner Escorts

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she issues to police forces on liaison with court officials to ensure the presentation of defendants to court in due time. [220074]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 21 July 2008]: Section 46 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 requires that a person who is detained at a police station and charged with an offence shall be brought before a magistrates’ court in accordance with the requirements of that section of the Act. The person must be brought before the court as soon as practicable and no later than the first sitting after he is charged with an offence. If there is no sitting for the day on which the person is charged or the next day, the custody officer must inform the designated officer for a local justice area who shall arrange a sitting not later than the day next following the relevant day. Guidance for operational practitioners on how cases might be managed most effectively and efficiently from pre-charge through to conclusion is set out in the Criminal Case Management Framework issued by the Lord Chief Justice, the Attorney General, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office.

Prisoners: Foreigners

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department further to the letter from the Chief Executive of the Border and Immigration Agency to the Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, of 18th February 2008, if she will break down the 250 sentence-expired foreign prisoners who have been detained under immigration powers for more than nine months by nationality; what the longest time spent by
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such a prisoner in detention is; how many sentence-expired foreign prisoners have been held in detention for more than nine months in each of the last 10 years; and what the average daily cost of holding such a prisoner in detention is. [193824]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 13 March 2008]: In her letter of 18 February, the chief executive of the UK Border Agency advised the Home Affairs Committee that there are approximately 250 foreign national prisoners from countries where difficulties with enforcing removal is encountered and have been detained under immigration powers beyond nine months. She also advised in this letter that the countries that are relevant in this respect were covered during her appearance before the Committee of 15 January, which are Jamaica, Nigeria, China and Vietnam.

She has regularly updated the Home Affairs Committee with the most robust and accurate information available however, as she has explained in her letters, information prior to April 2006 is not available due to issues with the quality of the management information that is held therefore we are only able to identify the longest period an individual has been detained for through the examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost. The average cost to detain an individual within the UK Border Agency estate is £119 per night

Project Contest

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of Project Contest. [219485]

Jacqui Smith: Contest is the United Kingdom’s long-term strategy for countering international terrorism and the violent extremism that lies behind it. Building upon Contest, public service agreement (PSA) 26 aims to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from international terrorism. To achieve this aim, the Government’s specific objectives are to:

Developing and delivering the strategy involves Government Departments, local authorities, the police and other emergency services, the security and intelligence agencies, voluntary organisations, the business sector and partners from across the world. Effectiveness of the strategy is assessed against key outcomes, supported by performance indicators, included in the PSA delivery agreement on countering terrorism. A summary of the PSA was published in October 2007(1). Progress in delivering the PSA will be reported directly to the Prime Minister on a bi-annual basis and, so far as it is possible and consistent with national security, scrutiny arrangements for this PSA, including parliamentary scrutiny, will mirror those in place for other PSAs with progress reports made public during the CSR period.

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Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place in the Library a copy of the reports produced for the review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. [221258]

Mr. McNulty: A copy of the report—with redactions to protect operational techniques—was placed in the House Library on 20 June 2007.

Religious Hatred: Crimes of Violence

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of religiously-motivated violence against (a) Muslims, (b) Jews, (c) Christians, (d) Sikhs, (e) Buddhists and (f) Hindus were recorded in each year since 1997. [219849]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not collected centrally. The Home Office collects statistics on recorded racially or religiously aggravated offences for some specific categories of offence. However, it is not possible to determine (a) whether an offence was of a racial or religious nature or (b) the religion of the victim.

Revenue and Customs: Shipping

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of ships arriving in the UK were searched by (a) HM Revenue and Customs and (b) the Immigration Service in each of the last five years. [218896]

Mr. Byrne: The number of ships searched in UK ports by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) specialist search teams in each of the last three years is as follows:

Year ending 31 March: Number







Security Industry Authority

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the (a) public accountability, (b) transparency, (c) competence and (d) compliance with statutory obligations of the Security Industry Authority; and if she will make a statement. [219461]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 21 July 2008]: The Home Office works closely with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to ensure that it meets its statutory and other obligations, including those relating to public accountability and transparency, and that it is fully competent to meet its aims and objectives.

The SIA’s corporate and business plan is available on its website, as are the minutes of its board meetings. The SIA’s annual report and accounts for 2007-08 were published on 28 July 2008.

I am aware that in recent months the SIA’s customers have experienced regrettable delays in service following the introduction of a new processing system. The problems
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have been communicated by the SIA to its partners and stakeholders. It has also apologised for the delays which have occurred, and put in place a comprehensive recovery plan which has resulted in service levels reducing close to the SIA’s published standards.

Serious and Organised Crime Agency: Information Officers

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many press officers the Serious and Organised Crime Agency employs. [219426]

Jacqui Smith: SOCA has three full-time and one part-time External Communications Officers, as well as a full-time Head of External Communication. The officers’ remit is not limited to media relations, but also encompasses internet and stakeholder communication.

Serious and Organised Crime Agency: Manpower

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) police support staff have been reassigned to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency since its creation, broken down by the (i) region and (ii) organisation of origin. [219427]

Jacqui Smith: Since the formation of SOCA in April 2006 no police officer or member of police staff has been reassigned to SOCA. Any person joining SOCA from a police force after 1 April 2006 will have been appointed following a normal recruitment process.

Serious and Organised Crime Agency: Resignations

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many members of staff resigned from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency in each quarter since its inception. [219431]

Jacqui Smith: The pattern of resignations of permanent SOCA staff over the eight quarters since the inception of SOCA is as follows:


















The total loss of staff through resignations to date is 231 and represents less than 5.7 per cent. of SOCA's staffing complement at its commencement of operations.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many sexual assault referral centres there are in each criminal justice area. [220908]

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Mr. Coaker [holding answer 22 July 2008]: There are currently 19 Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in England and Wales. In addition, there is one SARC that is solely dedicated to children. A table showing the breakdown of SARCs by police force area is as follows.

SARCs by police area
SARC Police area

Helen Britton House, Cleveland

Cleveland Police

Millfield House, Derbyshire

Derbyshire Constabulary

Meadowfield Suite, Durham

Durham Constabulary

Elm Tree House, Dyfed Powys

Dyfed Powys Police

St. Mary’s SARC, Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Police

Laburnum House, Gwent

Gwent Police

The Treetops Centre, Portsmouth

Hampshire Constabulary

The Renton Clinic, Dartford

Kent Constabulary

The SAFE Centre, Preston

Lancashire Constabulary

Juniper Lodge, Leicester

Leicestershire Constabulary

Haven Paddington, London

Metropolitan Police Service

Haven Camberwell, London

Metropolitan Police Service

Haven Whitechapel, London

Metropolitan Police Service

REACH Rhona Cross Centre, Newcastle

Northumbria Police

REACH Ellis Fraser Centre, Sunderland

Northumbria Police

The Topaz Centre, Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire Police

Willow House, Merthyr Tydfil

South Wales Police

Sheffield Children’s SARC, Sheffield

South Yorkshire Police

Rowan Centre, Walsall

West Midlands Police

New Swindon Sanctuary, Swindon

Wiltshire Constabulary

Street Pastors Project

Sir Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the operation of the Street Pastor’s project; how many schemes are operating; what assessment she has made of their effectiveness; what support from the public purse is provided; and what plans there are for future funding. [221514]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 22 July 2008] : The Street Pastors is an interdenominational church initiative which engages with people on the street to listen to their concerns and offer support. They now operate in more than 60 locations around the UK including London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Plymouth. More information about the organisation and their work can be found on their website:

From feedback and case studies, there is anecdotal evidence that the Street Pastors have made a significant impact on the lives of young people in urban areas. As part of the Tackling Gangs Action Programme (TGAP), the Home Office provided a one-off grant of £120,000 in 2007-08 to support the expansion of the organisation’s activities in the TGAP areas.

The provision of Home Office grant funding for third sector organisations is currently under review.

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Strip Clubs

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2008, Official Report, column 180W, on strip clubs, when the Government plans to make a statement on the outcome of its examination of measures necessary to support local communities in controlling lapdancing establishments. [215373]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 1 July 2008]: The Government are consulting with local authorities on any concerns they have which they feel cannot be addressed by existing controls, including the Licensing Act 2003, and whether we need to do more to protect local communities. We recognise that people do not necessarily want lap dancing establishments in their neighbourhoods and we want to ensure local authorities have the powers to reflect the views of local people when considering applications and monitoring existing licenses. We will consider, for example, whether lap dancing clubs should fall under the category of Sex Encounter Establishments under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and legislate if there is a need to do so.

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