|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
11 Dec 2008 : Column 238Wcontinued
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost of establishing a permanent security presence on duty at all times at all ports of entry to the UK. 
Mr. Coaker: No such estimate is available.
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the monetary value of property and possessions seized by the Assets Recovery Agency from residents of Northern Ireland convicted of drug dealing offences was in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) did not carry out any criminal confiscation investigations in Northern Ireland linked to drug dealing offences. ARA's civil recovery investigations were focused against property suspected of being the proceeds of crime and did not require a direct link to individuals with criminal convictions. ARA did not hold information on whether individuals connected to such property were convicted of, or alleged to be involved in, drug dealing.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance individuals subject to control orders receive with their living costs. 
Individuals subject to control orders are not routinely prevented from taking employment or from receiving state benefits, including where appropriate
job seekers allowance, housing benefit and asylum support. However if the terms of a control order prevent an individual gaining employment or render him ineligible for other benefits the Home Office will make necessary subsistence payments.
If an individual subject to a control order is required to move from their current residence, the Home Office may provide suitable alternative accommodation and pay council tax and utility costs.
In some circumstances the Home Office may pay the line rental for a telephone and/or provide pre-paid telephone cards. This may be appropriate where a controlled person is prohibited by the terms of the control order from using telephones outside his residence and/or using mobile telephones.
All control order obligations are tailored to the individual concerned and in each case must be necessary and proportionate for purposes connected with preventing or restricting involvement by that individual in terrorism-related activity.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals currently subject to control orders have previous convictions for terrorism-related offences. 
Mr. Coaker: The Secretary of State reports to Parliament on the exercise of her powers under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. The last such statement was laid on 15 September 2008; the next statement is due shortly. These statements give as much information as we can provide about individuals subject to control orders given the national security sensitivities of these cases and the need to avoid publishing any information that could lead to the identification of an individual who is subject to an anonymity order.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration she gave to including intellectual property crime in the National Community Safety Plan for 2008 to 2011; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The National Community Safety Plan (NCSP) was revised in December 2007 to communicate how the vision and objectives set out in our national crime strategy ("Cutting Crime: A New Partnership 2008-2011") have been embodied in the current cross-cutting PSA framework. Both documents now give local partners a greater flexibility in setting their crime priorities, in accordance with local needs and in consultation across the local community.
Both the crime strategy and the NCSP cover organised crime, which includes some intellectual property crime. More widely, recent legislation introduced by the Home Office, including new asset recovery powers and the Serious Crime Act 2007, provide important tools in tackling intellectual property crime. The UK Intellectual Property Office has lead responsibility for the Government's national strategy on intellectual property crime and produces regular enforcement reports.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures govern telephone operators listening to silent emergency calls; and for how long operators are advised to listen to such calls. 
Mr. Coaker: Communication providers (CPs), contracted call handling agents and the emergency authorities have responsibilities which are outlined in the code of practice for the Public Emergency Call Service (PECS). PECS is intended to deal with the method of handling 999/112 public emergency telephone calls between the call handling agents (CHAs) and the emergency authorities (EAs) in the United Kingdom (Police, Fire, Ambulance and Coastguard). All CPs have obligations under the Communications Act 2003.
Section 4.6 of the PECS Code of Practice covers Calls without service request. This relates to silent calls. It states that:
There are many calls to 999/112 where a caller does not actually request an EA. In the overwhelming majority of cases these are children playing or customer misdials, but there is always a possibility of it being a genuine caller who cannot speak Very large numbers of accidental 999/112 calls are received from mobile phones.
CHA Emergency Operators (CHA EO) try to obtain a response by asking the normal questionsfor example which service is required, and if you cannot speak but need help please tap the handset screen. In cases where nothing apart from general noise (no speech) is heard, or where the voice link is terminated during CHA questioning (perhaps with background speech or noise), it is recognised that there is a negligible chance that it is genuine and the CHA EO can end the call.
Where there is no response, the voice channel remains open and background voices are present it is recognised that the CHA cannot decide whether an EA is needed. In this case the call is connected to a police voice response system hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service which asks caller to press 5 twice if help is required. If 55 is pressed then immediate connection with the appropriate police authority is made. For any cases where suspicious noises are heard the CHA can override the above procedures and connect to a police EACR.
While the Home Office has oversight of the police service's handling of 999/112 calls, Other Government Departments are responsible for the 999/112 call handling standards of the other emergency services.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances A2 nationals will be required to possess the new identity card for foreign nationals. 
Meg Hillier: Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania (A2 nationals) are citizens of European Economic Area (EEA) members and not subject to immigration control. Therefore, we cannot require them to apply for an identity card for foreign nationals.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the results of trials of use by police of personal transporters on public highways in Sutton; what
assessment she has made of the potential contribution of such transporters to neighbourhood policy; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: It is an operational matter for individual chief officers of police to decide what equipment shall be available to their officers. They will wish to ensure that any particular item is fit for purpose, practical and safe in operation, compliant in itself and in its potential uses with all relevant legislation, and that its purchase and deployment represents a proper and effective use of resources.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers are (a) seconded to overseas missions, governments or organisations and (b) otherwise serving abroad. 
Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not collected centrally.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when the majority of police forces in England and Wales will be equipped with Taser stun guns; 
(2) what officers are (a) currently and (b) proposed to be permitted to use Taser stun guns in police forces in England and Wales; 
(3) what the cost is expected to be of supplying Taser stun guns to police forces in England and Wales. 
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.
Following the success of a 12 month trial in ten police forces, the Home Secretary agreed on 24 November 2008 to allow Chief Officers of all forces in England and Wales, from 1 December 2008, to extend the use of Taser to specially trained units in accordance with current Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) policy and guidance. This sets out that Taser can only be used by specially trained units where officers would be facing violence or threats of violence of such severity that they would need to use force to protect the public, themselves and/or the subject(s).
The cost of supplying Tasers to all forces in England and Wales is dependent on the operational decisions of Chief Officers on deployment of Taser. The Home Secretary announced on 24 November 2008 that the Home Office would be making available a one-off injection of funding to support the purchase of up to 10,000 Tasers for use by police forces in England and Wales.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of people accepted on the Higher Potential Scheme in each of the last five years were (a) women, (b) black and minority ethnic and (c) disabled. 
Mr. Coaker: The Police High Potential Development Scheme (HPDS) was introduced in 2002. It was revised and relaunched in 2008.
Disability data were not recorded until 2006/07. The following table provides data on the number and proportion of people accepted onto the HPDS in each of the last five years. Information on the first year of the HPDS is also provided.
|Breakdown of successful HPDS candidates by sex, ethnicity and disability|
|Total||Male||Female||NR( 1)||BME( 2)||White||NR( 1)||Disability||NR( 1)|
|(1) NR = data not recorded or listed as prefer not to say.|
(2) BME = Black, Minority, or Ethnic minority background.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|