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29 Sep 2008 : Column 2319Wcontinued
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) private companies and (b) other organisations are in the community safety accreditation scheme in each police force area; and how many people have been accredited by each such scheme to date. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Home Office does not collect data on which private companies and other organisations are in the community safety accreditation scheme (CSAS). However, a Home Office audit on the CSAS found there to be 1,406 people accredited under the scheme across England and Wales.
The audit shows, among other things, the number of accredited people per force and can be found on the Home Office website at:
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-UK citizens have been accredited under community safety accreditation schemes since the inception of such schemes, broken down by nationality. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Home Office does not collect information on the number of non-UK citizens accredited under community safety accreditation schemes.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers there were in the London boroughs of (a) Newham, (b) Hackney and (c) Tower Hamlets in each of the last five years. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 September 2008]: Information on the number of Police Community Support Officers has been collected since 2005 and the figures for Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets are set out in the following table.
|Police community support officers( 1)|
|London Borough Operational Command Unit||2005||2006||2007||2008( 2)|
|(1) Full-time equivalent numbers.|
(2) Provisional data provided by Metropolitan Police.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her most recent estimate is of the annual cost to the British economy of crime. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 15 September 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 9 July 2008, Official Report, column 1537W.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her most recent estimate is of the number of crimes committed against business in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 10 September 2008]: The term business crime is not specifically used within the recorded crime offence series. The offences that may be attributed to business crime are: robbery of business property, theft by an employee, shoplifting, and fraud by a company director. The available statistics are given in the following table.
Our strategy is to encourage business to work closely in partnership with the police and local authorities through the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) to inform local crime reduction strategies.
Partnership working is perhaps the single biggest success in tackling crime over the past 10 years. We funded the Action Against Business Crime Group to set up and maintain 200 business crime reduction partnerships in towns and cities across England and Wales. These partnerships have proved remarkably successful.
The Home Office is committed to working with our retail partners to ensure that we find effective solutions and responses to retail crime.
Shops and stores are at the heart of most of our communities and crime against those outlets affects us all.
A key strand of the work to address business crime is to ensure that partnerships and stakeholders have the right tools and knowledge to deal with retail crime effectively.
As an example of this, the Home Office has funded the Perpetuity Group, which is led by Professor Gill, to devise an audit tool which retailers can apply to their stores and significantly lower the opportunities for shop thieves to operate.
|Recorded crime statistics: number of offences recorded for offence classifications that may be attributed to business crime, 2005-06 to 2007-08|
|Offence||2005-06||2006-07||2007-08||Percentage change 2005-06 to 2007-08|
|(1) The large increase in this offence in 2005-06 was due to one large-scale fraud recorded by Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the large rise in 2007-08 was due to fraud recorded by the North Yorkshire Constabulary.|
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many waste disposal offences were recorded in England and Wales in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) type of offence and (b) police force area. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The information requested is not collected centrally. Offences prohibiting the unlicensed disposal of waste come under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and are summary offences. As such they do not form part of the recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals are under discussion at EU level to enable access to the criminal records of one EU member state by the authorities of another. 
Jacqui Smith: We welcome EU-wide initiatives to exchange criminal record information for criminal investigation and vetting purposes.
The European Union is currently discussing a proposal for a Council decision on the establishment of the European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS). The ECRIS proposal is designed to provide a standardised format for the electronic exchange of information extracted from criminal records, in particular information on the offence for which a person has been convicted and the sentence passed by the court. When adopted the ECRIS proposal will allow swifter exchange of criminal conviction information between member states than is the case now.
The ECRIS proposal will allow the application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2008/xx/JHA on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from criminal records between member states. The EU has agreed a general approach on this proposal and we expect it to be adopted by the end of 2008 with an implementation deadline of three years from the date of agreement. When the Framework Decision comes into force it will be mandatory to notify other EU countries of convictions of its nationals and it will also be mandatory to respond to requests for the criminal records of EU national being proceeded against in another member state.
The United Kingdom already can, in the context of criminal proceedings in the UK, request the criminal record of an EU National using Council Decision 2005/876/JHA of 21 November 2005. While the Council Decision is not mandatory a number of EU member states, including the UK, Germany and Poland are already using the Council Decision to obtain criminal record information from other member states.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her Departments policy is on improving the energy efficiency of the buildings which it (a) rents and (b) owns; what changes there have been in the energy efficiency of such buildings in the last (i) five and (ii) 10 years; and whether her Department has adopted targets on energy efficiency improvements in the buildings it occupies over the next (A) five and (B) 10 years. 
The Department is committed to the Sustainable Operations on the Government (SOGE) targets which include a requirement to improve energy efficiency per m(2) by 15 per cent. by 2010, and then
30 per cent. by 2020, based on 1999-2000 levels. Energy efficiency performance in 2006-07, the latest year for which data is available, compared to 1999-2000 is given in the following table. No earlier data is available. This shows a 12.9 per cent. improvement in energy efficiency over the period.
|1999-2000( 1)||2006-07( 1)|
|(1) Includes core Home Office, UK Borders Agency, Identity and Passport Service as well as the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), including the prison service, since transferred to the Ministry of Justice.|
The reporting period 2007-08 is the first for which we will have performance data on the much reduced departmental estate, following the transfer of the National Offender Management Service, incorporating the probation and prisons estates, to the Ministry of Justice. Once this data is finalised we will use it to assess current performance and to identify what improvement activity may be required to enable us to achieve the SOGE energy efficiency targets by 2010 and then 2020, as well as actions required to reduce emissions from energy use in the same period.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what account her Department takes of the level of energy efficiency of buildings before entering into agreements to (a) rent and (b) purchase those buildings. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department is committed to acquiring accommodation which minimises carbon emissions and provide lowest achievable energy costs. When purchasing or leasing buildings, the Department seeks to choose those that offer the best available certification under the BRE environmental assessment method which also meet operational needs and provide best value for money.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether personal data for which her Department is responsible is (a) stored and (b) processed overseas; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: Some personal data provided by individuals to the Criminal Records Bureau and to UK Visas is temporarily stored for processing purposes overseas.
The CRB data processed overseas is only stored for the duration of time taken to input it, determine that quality criteria are met and transfer it back to the United Kingdom. Thereafter, the data is destroyed. The overseas site in India is ISO27001 certified and is subject to CRB audit and accreditation reviews.
The processing of visa applicant data overseas is carried out either by Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff in diplomatic or consular premises or, in certain countries, by commercial partners. In these countries, commercial partners are only responsible for the basic collection of visa application data, under the supervision of UK-visas staff.
In all circumstances the Home Office seeks to handle personal data in a way that complies with our obligations under UK law.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether personal data held by her Department has been transferred to compact discs and sent to external agencies in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Byrne: In line with current Cabinet Office guidance, the Home Office has used compact discs to transfer personal data to external agencies in the last year. Since 22 November 2007, the Home Office has been undertaking a review of its technical, process and procedural arrangements to ensure the risk of data being compromised is managed and reduced to a minimum.
I also refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179:
"...I have asked the Cabinet Secretary and security experts to ensure that all Departments and all agencies check their procedures for the storage and use of data.."
An interim progress report on the review was published by the Cabinet Office through a written ministerial statement on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS. This included a recommendation to enhance the transparency with Parliament and the public about the action taken to safeguard information, and the results of that action, through publication of results, departmental annual reports and an annual report to Parliament.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions are issued to staff in her Department on how to (a) collect, (b) use and (c) delete personal information on members of the public. 
Jacqui Smith: The information is as follows:
Data collected by the Home Office are held on systems secured to Government standards and are managed according to the Data Protection Act (1998). Those managing these information assets are "trusted stewards" with an obligation to protect it. Any transmission of protected personal information is performed according to the Data Handling Review recommendations and with the security of the of the information in mind.
The Home Office disposal of personal information is governed by the Data Protection Act and the Home Office review and retention policies. These policies are based on the standards set by The National Archive, which specifies time limits for the retention of information. The Department's security policy governs the classification of information and the disposal policies that control the appropriate methods of destruction.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) companies based in the United States and (b) UK subsidiaries of US companies have been contracted by her Department and its agencies to provide services involving the use, storage, processing or analysis of databases of personal information held by the Government on UK citizens in the last five years. 
Mr. Byrne: The Home Office including its agencies has engaged UK subsidiaries of US-registered service providers to manage aspects of storage, processing or analysis of personal information.
The Data Protection Act 1998 includes provisions to ensure that personal data benefits from adequate protection when it is transferred outside the European Economic Area by UK data controllers. Contracts are based on UK contract law with the applicable statutory safeguards.
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