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Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to introduce a degree of flexibility on deadlines for visa applications that are held up owing to tribunal hearings. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 9 October 2008]: A visa application will not be held up by a tribunal hearing. Certain categories of visa decisions may be referred to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, but only after an initial decision to refuse the visa has been made.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many samples from (a) those with no conviction, (b) those with no conviction but whose DNA was found at the scene of a crime and (c) others were stored on the national DNA database in each year since the database was created. 
Jacqui Smith: The National DNA Database (NDNAD) does not contain any information about criminal records, as this is not necessary for its function of matching DNA from crime scenes with DNA from individuals. Criminal record information is held on the Police National Computer (PNC). Also, before the introduction of the ACPO Criminal Record Retention Guidelines in April 2006, police forces deleted PNC records from some of those convicted of lesser offences after five to 10 years. It is not therefore possible to say either how many of those on the NDNAD did not have a conviction when sampled, or do not currently have a conviction. However, information does exist on the current PNC status of those on the NDNAD.
Data obtained from the PNC on 31 March 2008 indicates that 3,832,986 (of the 4,116,713) people had a record retained on the PNC. Of these, 3,259,347 had a conviction, caution, formal warning or reprimand recorded on the PNC.
Information is not collected in respect of the number of those with no conviction whose DNA was found at the scene of a crime. Some research information is, however, available on the number of DNA profiles taken from those arrested but not charged and from those arrested, charged but not convicted of an offence that have resulted in a DNA match, thus providing the police with an intelligence link on the possible identity of the offender and assisting in the detection of crimes. In April 2004, an amendment to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 came into effect, which enabled the police to take and retain DNA and fingerprints from persons who had been arrested for a recordable offence. In the period April 2004 to December 2005, the retention of DNA profiles of arrested persons who had not been charged or proceeded against had resulted in matches with crime scene profiles from over 3,000 offences.
In May 2001, an amendment to PACE came into effect, which enabled the police to retain DNA samples taken from persons who had been charged but not convicted of an offence. In the period May 2001 to December 2005, an estimated 200,000 DNA samples taken from people charged with offences had been retained on the NDNAD, which would previously have had to be removed because of the absence of a conviction. From these, approximately 8,500 profiles of individuals have been linked with crime scene profiles, involving nearly 14,000 offences.
Regarding the number of profiles added to the NDNAD since it was created, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 733W, to the hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (David Davis).
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of co-operation between the political and military wings of Hezbollah in seeking to commit or support acts of terrorism in the UK. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The military wing of Hezballah was added to the list of proscribed organisations because it is concerned in terrorism, including by its active support for Shia militants in Iraq and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
No other part of the organisation is proscribed in the UK. It is our policy not to discuss intelligence matters and I am unable to share further details of our assessments of Hezballah than were outlined during the parliamentary debates on the proscription Order.
|Offences currently recorded( 1) as homicide where victim was a prostitute( 2) : England and Wales, 1997-98 to 2006-07( 3, 4)|
|Year recorded( 3)||Number of recorded homicides|
|(1). As at 12 November 2007; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.|
(2). Victim occupation recorded as prostitute or sex worker, but victim was not necessarily killed while working.
(3). Offences are shown according to the year in which police initially recorded the offence as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made.
(4). Data for 2007-08 are not yet published.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 9 June 2008, Official Report, column 75W, on human trafficking: females, what steps are being taken by the (a) Serious Organised Crime Agency and (b) United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre to improve the collection of intelligence of human trafficking. 
Operational activity under the organised immigration crime programmes of the UK Serious Organised Crime Control Strategy (developed by SOCA with UK Law Enforcement) includes the collection of
information and intelligence on human trafficking, and operations to interdict traffickers and remove those trafficked to safety.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 9 June 2008, Official Report, column 75W, on human trafficking: females, what the evidential basis is which indicates an increase in human trafficking in recent years; and what estimate her Department has made of the level of increase in human trafficking in the last five years. 
Jacqui Smith: There is no estimate of a level of increase in human trafficking in recent years as the nature of the crime makes it difficult to provide an accurate assessment of the extent of the problem faced. The best assessment of the threat caused by human trafficking is set out in the UK Threat Assessment previously produced by the National Criminal Intelligence Service and now produced by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when contractual negotiations between the Identity and Passport Service and (a) International Business Machines Corporation UK, (b) Electronic Data Systems Corporation UK, (c) Computer Sciences Corporation UK and (d) Fujitsu Services Limited to deliver the national identity card scheme are expected to be concluded. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 10 September 2008]: A number of procurements are being undertaken for capabilities to implement the national identity scheme. Many are being procured using the NIS Strategic Supplier Group (SSG) framework awarded in June 2008 to IBM, EDS, CSC, Fujitsu and Thales. These particular SSG procurements are expected to conclude over the first half of 2009.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) duration, (b) value and (c) terms of remuneration are in the contract agreed between Thales SA and the Identity and Passport Service to deliver the National Identity Register. 
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what terms have been provided for early termination of the contract agreed between Thales SA and the Identity and Passport Service to deliver the National Identity Register. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 10 September 2008]: Termination provisions include those for ending the contract for poor performance or a decision to terminate early for convenience. In the case of termination for convenience where 12 months notice is given a supplier may recover costs incurred and those associated with terminating the contract. Where less than 12 months notice is given, in addition to costs incurred, anticipated profit lost as a result of the decision to terminate early may be claimed. These provisions are based on Office of Government Commerce best practice guidance for IT contracts.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to implement the Court of Appeal's order to restore the original provisions of the Highly Skilled Migrant (HSMP) visa so that HSMP visa holders are able to apply for indefinite leave to remain visas in the UK after legally being on HSMP visas for four years. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 9 October 2008]: The judgment of 8 April 2008 regarding the case brought by the HSMP Forum relates only to the December 2006 immigration rules change in respect of applications for FLR under the HSMP. The April 2006 immigration rules change in respect of settlement was not under consideration and the judgment consequently has no bearing on the length of time people have to spend in certain immigration categories before they can apply for settlement.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the minimum period of training immigration officers are expected to receive in the identification of forged travel documents is. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: All operational UK Border Agency staff receive at least nine hours of forgery training on their induction courses and are tested on their knowledge. In addition to these nine hours dedicated specifically to forgery, the induction courses include significant elements on recognising genuine travel and immigration documents and associated endorsements. This is supplemented by local training once the individuals are in post.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) complaints and (b) claims were made against her Department and its agencies and contractors, as a result of alleged injuries and assaults sustained during the enforcement of removals under immigration powers in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) (A) sex, (B) age and (C) nationality of complainant and (ii) location of alleged incident. 
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers carried firearms as a regular part of their duties in each of the last 10 years in (a) England and Wales and (b) each police force area. 
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the average number of police officers on (a) duty and (b) patrol in England and Wales in the last period for which figures are available. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 12 September 2008]: We do not have all the information required to answer the question directly. This would require estimates for contracted hours and the proportion worked, taking into account annual leave, sick leave etc.
Time spent on patrol refers only to time when an officer is patrolling but engaged in no other duty. Activity (such as advice to a member of the public) carried out whilst on patrol is recorded separately. The percentage of time spent on patrol needs to considered alongside other activities. We use the front-line policing measure to provide a fuller picture of police activity. The measure assesses time spent by all police officers on core policing duties, such as patrol, responding to 999 calls, as well as activities of CIS and specialist officers. While these officers are not always visible to the public, they are nonetheless carrying out core policing duties.
(1) Includes only police officers on foot/car/beat patrol, CID and traffic.
(2) Includes all police officers
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police forces use the 50,000 volt taser stun gun; and how many times, in each case, the gun has been fired in the last two years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Coaker: In 2004, following a trial in five forces, the then Home Secretary agreed that chief officers of all police forces in England and Wales could make Taser available to authorised firearms officers as a less lethal option for use in situations where a firearms authority had been granted in accordance with criteria laid down in the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Manual of Guidance on Police Use of Firearms.
The Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) announced on 19 July 2007 that authorised police firearms officers in England and Wales would be able to use Taser in a wider set of circumstances. These officers are now able to deploy Taser in operations or incidents where the use of firearms is not authorised, but where they are facing violence or threats of violence of such severity that they would need to use force to protect the public, themselves or the subject.
It was also announced that the deployment of Taser to specially trained police units not composed of firearms officers, for use when facing similar threats of violence, would be trialled in 10 police forces. The 12-month trial commenced on 1 September 2007. The 10 forces are: Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Gwent, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Metropolitan Police, Northamptonshire, Northumbria, North Wales and West Yorkshire. The trial is currently being evaluated. The 10 forces have been informed that the Government are content for them to continue to use Taser on the same basis as in the trial pending a conclusion on future use.
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