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22 Oct 2008 : Column 432W—continued


Tour Operators: Insolvency

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will extend protection under Air Travel Organisers Licensing (ATOL) to all passengers flying on aircraft departing from the UK regardless of the manner in which those flights were booked; and if he will extend the same protection to those passengers who booked their accommodation independently of their flight as that enjoyed under ATOL by those who book their flights and accommodation as a package with a tour operator; [226819]

(2) if he will impose a £1 levy on all passengers departing on flights from the UK to extend Air Travel Organisers Licensing cover to all passengers in the event of financial failure of an airline; [226820]

(3) what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the protections provided by the EU Package Travel Directive in relation to the state of the airline industry; and if he will press for its amendment by the European Commission and EU Council of Transport Ministers to ensure that all providers of overseas leisure travel arrangements have adequate protection for consumers. [226821]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government are keen to learn the lessons of XL's failure and over the coming weeks officials and Ministers will be discussing a range of issues arising with stakeholders with a view to improving the experience of passengers in future airline or tour operator failures.

The package travel directive (PTD) is currently under review by the European Commission, and the Commission have recently announced plans to conduct a consumer detriment study to begin this work. In 2007, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform contributed to an initial consultation on the review of the PTD which encouraged the Commission to conduct a radical review of the directive. The Government will work to ensure that UK experiences are considered as part of the review.

Transport

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many community transport schemes were (a) established and (b) disbanded in each of the last eight years. [227096]


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Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not collate such data. Community transport services are run by not-for-profit organisations.

Transport: Finance

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on local transport in each of the last eight years. [227114]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport has provided in excess of £27 billion to local authorities and Transport for London over the last eight years. Detailed information is set out in figures 7c and 7f in the Department’s 2007 annual report, which may be found at

Some marginal updates of these figures were provided in the 2008 report.

Tyne and Wear Metro

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who will be responsible for determining whether bids received to operate the Tyne and Wear Metro represent value for money and are soundly financed. [228527]

Paul Clark: Nexus (the Tyne and Wear passenger transport authority) will be responsible for evaluating the bids received against all relevant criteria and for selecting a successful candidate. It is a condition of DfT funding that this procurement process is carried out properly and rigorously.

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what public sector comparator will be used to assess bids to operate the Tyne and Wear Metro; and who will be responsible for establishing the comparator. [228528]

Paul Clark: The tender process for the operation of the Tyne and Wear Metro will be conducted by Nexus (the Tyne and Wear passenger transport executive). An in-house bid team from Nexus will be eligible to take part in the tender process, and would be required to pre-qualify and submit a bid on the same basis as any other applicant. All bids, including any in-house bid, will be evaluated by Nexus on an equivalent basis.

Home Department

Airports: Security

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans the Government has to introduce mandatory biometric fingerprint checks for passengers on domestic flights; and when she plans to introduce the measures; [214501]

(2) which legislative provisions permit the biometric fingerprinting of passengers by airport operators on domestic flights; and what conditions apply; [214502]

(3) which airports will be required to implement biometric fingerprint checks for passengers on domestic flights; and when these measures are to be introduced at each. [214503]


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Mr. Woolas [holding answer 2 July 2008]: The Government are considering using powers in paragraph 26(3) of schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971 to require operators of certain airports to verify the identity of travellers through biometrics such as fingerprints before boarding, where there is a mixing of domestic and international passengers in a common departure lounge and where this would be a proportionate measure to manage border security.

The Government continue to work closely with airport operators on the measures required to maintain the security of the UK border and of air travel.

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what enforcement campaigns her Department is conducting to prevent (a) underage drinking, (b) the sale of alcohol to young people and (c) alcohol-related crime and disorder. [228997]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Building upon the successes of the previous Alcohol Misuse Enforcement campaign (AMEC), the Tackling Under Age Sales of Alcohol to Children (TUSAC) and the Responsible Alcohol Sales campaign (RASC) the Home Office is proposing to run a different style of campaign this year.

We are making funds available to support local problem solving projects, which can address local priorities which stem from alcohol related issues. Unlike previous enforcement campaigns this year's campaign is much less prescriptive and will also enable partnerships to bid for varying amounts of money to undertake more protracted and in depth problem solving work.

This year we have set broad strategic objectives for the campaign, and have invited CDRPs/CSP's to submit bids, up to a maximum of £30,000. The following principles detailed in the Safe Sensible Social strategy will be considered in order to decide on funding.

The Government's vision is to produce a long-term and sustainable reduction in the harms associated with alcohol and drugs, where there is a safe, sensible and social drinking culture; where violent and antisocial behaviour is not tolerated; where young people are prevented from experiencing poor outcomes resulting from alcohol misuse; where those who drink alcohol are aware of the risks involved; and where those that are drinking too much receive the advice and support they need.

The Government's delivery strategy for reducing the harms caused by alcohol is divided into three strands:


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Completed bids will be submitted by 7 November 2008, and partnerships will be notified if their bid has been successful by 14 November 2008. Funded partnership activity can take place from this date through to the end of March 2009.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what measures are in place to punish offenders who breach antisocial behaviour orders; and if she will make a statement; [228718]

(2) how many breaches of antisocial behaviour orders have resulted in a criminal conviction in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since their inception; [228720]

(3) how many breaches of antisocial behaviour orders have been recorded in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since their inception. [228721]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Breach of an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) is a criminal offence and as such is dealt with by the courts in accordance with criminal law procedures.

There are a range of disposals available to the courts for those people who breach the conditions of their ASBOs. These range from fines to community sentences and custody. The maximum sentence for breach of an ASBO is five years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding £5,000 for an adult, and a two-year detention and training order (DTO) for a young person aged 12 to 17 years, of which 12 months is served in custody; the remainder is served in the community under the supervision of the youth offending team (YOT). A minor aged 10-11 cannot be given a term of detention but can receive a community penalty for breach of an ASBO.

Information collected centrally on the number of ASBO breaches relates only to those ASBOs proven in court to have been breached and is not compiled below Criminal Justice System (CJS) area level. The latest ASBO breach data are available for the period 1 June 2000 to 31 December 2006 and the available information is show in the table.

Number of occasions in selected areas( 1) and year between 1 June 2000( 2) and 31 December 2006 where persons were proven in court to have breached their ASBO

North East Region( 3) England and Wales

2000-2002(2)

110

777

2003

110

1,409

2004

218

3,997

2005

406

7,248

2006

377

7,755

Total

1,221

21,186

(1) ASBOs may be issued in one area and breached in another. Breaches are counted in this table by area of Breach.
(2 )From 1 June 2000.
(3 )North east Government office region is comprised of the Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria Criminal Justice System areas.
Notes:
1. Previously issued data have been revised.
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.
Source:
OCJR Court Proceedings Database. Prepared by OCJR Evidence and Analysis Unit.

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Asylum: Housing

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the cases resolved through the grant of leave to remain in the UK under the legacy exercise concerned individuals occupying accommodation provided under arrangements for asylum support; and how many of these have subsequently moved to social housing. [177335]

Mr. Woolas: We do not hold this information. To obtain this information would entail significant new work which would involve disproportionate cost.

Asylum: Iraq

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the Government and the armed forces in Iraq had been granted asylum in the UK as of 31 July 2008. [223839]

Mr. Woolas: The available information relates to Iraqi nationals under the scheme of assistance for locally engaged Iraqi staff.

A total of 14 people, consisting of five Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the Government and the armed forces in Iraq, plus their dependents, have been granted asylum in the UK and have been resettled as at 31 July 2008.

Since 31 July 2008, a further 89 people, consisting of 29 Iraqi nationals and their dependents, have been accepted for resettlement and are in the process of being resettled.

British Crime Survey

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance is issued to interviewers conducting the British Crime Survey on interviewing in areas where they feel unsafe. [225220]

Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 8 October 2008]: The Home Office commission BMRB Social Research to carry out the British Crime Survey on their behalf.

BMRB Social Research issues all their interviewers with guidelines on issues of personal safety based on those published by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

Cannabis

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent representations she has received on the sale of skunk cannabis seeds through online mail-order retailers; [229070]

(2) what recent estimate she has made of the number of people selling skunk cannabis seeds in England and Wales. [229071]

Mr. Alan Campbell: We have received recent representations in respect of the sale of cannabis seeds on the high street, including from the hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Tom Brake), but not in respect of the sale of “skunk cannabis seeds” through online mail-order retailers.


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We have made no estimate of the number of people selling “skunk cannabis seeds” in England and Wales. The Government's position on cannabis seeds is tied in with the sale and promotion of drug paraphernalia. My officials are currently working with the Association of Chief Police Officers to look at how existing legislation and powers can be used more effectively by the police, local authorities and other partners to curtail the sale and promotion of drug paraphernalia as well as cannabis seeds by taking local, targeted action. The National Policing Improvement Agency is leading on drafting practice advice for police and partner agencies to tackle so-called ‘head shops’ that glamorise this trade. The agency's work is due to be completed by the end of February 2009. We should await the outcome of this work as it will inform the way forward.

Community Support Officers: Powers

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers police community support officers (PCSOs) have to (a) stop members of the public, (b) enter private property, (c) demand information from members of the public and (d) issue fixed penalty notices; and what offences may an individual be committing by not co-operating with a PCSO. [225211]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 8 October 2008]: The full range of powers available to PCSOs are available at:

On the specific areas requested, a PCSO may (a) stop a member of the public in the course of the community support officer exercising his or her powers.

There is a specific power to stop and search under the Terrorism Act 2000 in authorised areas when in the company of and under the supervision of a constable.

On (b), a constable may enter and search any premises for the purposes of saving life and limb or preventing serious damage to property; and may enter licensed premises under section 180 of the Licensing Act 2003 for the purposes of investigating relevant licensing offences.

On (c), a PCSO may demand information which is necessary and relevant for them in the course of exercising their powers.

On (d), a PCSO may issue a fixed penalty notice in respect of the following:


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