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Some Northern Ireland-specific data can be found in the Northern Ireland Organised Crime Task Force's (OCTF) Annual Report and Threat Assessment for the
requisite year, which are available from the OCTF website: www.octf.gov.uk or from the Northern Ireland Office website: www.nio.gov.uk
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases were under investigation by the Assets Recovery Agency at 31 March 2008 with a view to criminal confiscation where no action had been taken to restrain assets; what the estimated value of the assets under investigation in those cases was; how many of those investigations were subsequently terminated by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency without court action; what the reasons for termination was in each case; what the estimated value of the assets in the cases terminated was; and what steps have been taken to ensure that the relevant assets do not remain in the hands of criminals in those cases terminated without court action in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the UK. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: Data relating to the transfer of cases from the Assets Recovery Agency to the Serous Organised Crime Agency were not collated to this level of detail, as there would be no operational value and some cost in doing so. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost (through manual collation from case files).
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) financial investigators and (b) lawyers were employed in the Assets Recovery Agency in (i) the UK and (ii) Northern Ireland on 31 March 2008. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Assets Recovery Agency employed 53 financial investigators on 31 March 2008, of which 16 were in Northern Ireland. On the same date it employed 27 lawyers of which seven were in Northern Ireland.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the additional costs to local authorities of decisions made under the Case Resolution programme for asylum legacy cases which have resulted in the granting of leave to remain. 
Mr. Woolas: I am in a position to report that following Ms Lin Homer's appearance before the Home Affairs Select Committee on 20 November 2008, she wrote to the committee on 8 December 2008 with an update on the legacy programme. This contains the latest position on agreed payments to local authorities.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of asylum-seekers (a) in total and (b) who will enter and remain in the UK in each year to 2018. 
(a) People leave their countries of origin and claim asylum elsewhere in response to world events. Where those events will be and the countries to which people flee, are inherently unpredictable. Estimates of the total number of asylum seekers are thus not available.
(b) The proportion of those who do claim in the UK who are subsequently granted leave to remain here also depends on the current world situation at the time of claim. All asylum claims are considered without prejudice on their individual merits in accordance with the UK's obligations under the 1951 UN Convention and the 1967 Protocol. The estimates of the number of asylum seekers who enter and remain in the UK in each year to 2018 is subject to the same level of unpredictability and are thus also unavailable.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what security checks are carried out on (a) external companies contracted and (b) personnel employed to escort refugees being deported. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 18 December 2008]: The contract for the escorting of individuals being removed or deported from the UK is operated by Group 4 Securicor (G4S), this company would have been subject to commercial and credit checks when tendering for the contract.
The contractors employ Detainee Custody Officers (DCOs) to carry out the duties of escorting those people being removed from the UK, all individuals seeking employment as a DCOs are required to undergo counter-terrorist checks and criminal record checks to enhanced level, and before they can commence employment they have to be accredited by the UK Border Agency Detention Services Accreditation Team.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many residents of (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) the London Borough of Bexley and (c) London gained full citizenship in each year since 1997. 
The relevant available data refers to the number of people attending British citizenship ceremonies. Those attending such ceremonies may not necessarily be resident within the area of the authority conducting the ceremony. Such data are only captured for citizenship ceremonies attended since 2005 as the requirement to attend such a ceremony was not introduced in law until 2004. It is not possible to separately identify parliamentary constituencies within data because information regarding location is based on the reporting authority.
National Statistics on persons granted British citizenship are published annually in Home Office Statistical Bulletins. The latest publication may be obtained from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:
|Persons attending a British citizenship ceremony by selected region and authority 2005-07( 1)|
|Number of persons|
|2005||2006( (R))||2007( (P))|
|(1) A ceremony organised by county or local authorities for successful applicants over 18 years of age for British citizenship.|
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues and officials in the Ministry of Justice on implementing the proposed three strikes enforcement regime for cannabis possession pursuant to its re-classification as a Class B drug; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: Home Office Ministers and officials have had discussions with their counterparts in the Ministry of Justice throughout the development of the policing response, proposed by the Association of Chief Police Officers, to the possession of cannabis as a Class B drug. Discussions have included the extension of the Penalty Notice for Disorder Scheme to cannabis possession as part of the enforcement regime in respect of which the Ministry of Justice has lead responsibility.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will issue new guidance to police on the issuing of warnings, cautions and charging for possession of cannabis following its re-classification as a Class B drug. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: To accompany the reclassification of cannabis to a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 the Association of Chief Police Officers will issue revised guidance for a consistent national approach to the policing of the possession of cannabis in England and Wales.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether she has plans to review her Departments policy on protective marking and vetting of documents in response to paragraph 77 of the Audit Commissions November 2008 report Preventing Violent Extremism: Learning and Development Exercise; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what steps her Department plans to take on the dissemination of information and academic research on the causes of violent extremism following the Audit Commissions report on Preventing Violent Extremism of November 2008; and what steps she plans to take to provide such information to local partnerships; 
(3) what plans her Department has to develop National Indicator 35 into a measure of the achievement of outcomes as recommended by the Audit Commission in its November 2008 report, Preventing Violent Extremism; 
(4) what steps her Department plans to take to provide more information identifying factors that make some people vulnerable to becoming involved in violent extremism, as noted on page 23 of the Audit Commissions November 2008 report Preventing Violent Extremism: Learning and Development Exercise; and if she will make a statement; 
(5) whether she has plans to develop a suite of information sources to be used at local level in relation to counter-terrorism, in response to paragraph 60 of the Audit Commissions November 2008 report Preventing Violent Extremism: Learning and Development Exercise. 
A number of reviews took place over the summer which sought to draw out learning and emerging practice on the delivery of activity to prevent violent extremism, including the joint Audit Commission and HMIC Learning and Development Exercise (LDE). Though each review had a different focus, together they provide a useful package of learning material upon which local partners can draw and which will inform the Governments approach to Prevent.
There are a number of common themes which run through all these reviews. Some of these require action from national Government, some from local partners and many from both. We have ensured wide distribution of the LDE report to enable local partners to benefit directly from the important learning it contains in taking forward their local Prevent response. We published Delivering PreventResponding to Learning on 10 December, which sets out the key strands of learning from the reviews and work already underway to address these key themes. We will continue to develop our response to the reviews throughout the year.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 16 October 2008, Official Report, column 1430W, on computers: crime, when she plans to launch the consultation on plans to extend the application of serious crime prevention orders to offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The intention was to launch the consultation in November 2008 but advice is currently being sought as to the necessity of this consultation, as there is a view that the Act already allows offences under the Computer Misuse Act to be covered. I will write to the hon. Member in January to update you on the outcome of these findings.
crime against individuals and households
commercial and public sector victimisation
fraud and forgery
traffic and motoring/other non-notifiable offences
Mr. Alan Campbell: Many different parts of the Home Office work to tackle crimes that affect business, such as fraud, e-crime, retail theft, criminal damage and alcohol-related crime. Some of these issues affect both businesses and general members of the public and so officials in these teams cannot be said to be working exclusively on business crime, although they will be contributing directly to its reduction. A business crime team did work exclusively on some very specific aspects of business crime, mainly shop theft. This work is now to be included in a new volume crime team in the Department. The scope of this new team will be broader than that of the business crime team, and include crimes such as burglary and vehicle crime which also affect businesses. This will enable a fuller and more efficient response to volume crimes committed against business to be developed. The volume crime team will also support a more responsive approach, being able to focus more flexibly on critical volume crime issues, including those affecting business, as and when necessary.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in the implementation of the National Closed Circuit Television Strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
The National Policing Improvement Agency took over responsibility for the Strategy in the Spring of 2008. A National CCTV Strategy Programme Board
has been established and has delivered three of these recommendations. These include:
1. Seeking to influence national and international CCTV standards
2. Clarifying the requirements in relation to operator licensing by the Security Industry Association (SIA)
3. Developing protocols allowing the use of Airwave radio in town centre CCTV control rooms and the sharing of intelligence between the police and town centre CCTV monitoring staff.
There is an intention to progress a further 24 recommendations during the next 12 months with the remaining 17 being progressed through 2010 and 2011. This will continue to develop and improve the effectiveness of the CCTV currently in use in England and Wales. On 19 November 2008 at the House of Lords Constitutional Committee hearing we confirmed the Governments commitment to implementing recommendation 1, that there should be a national body to oversee CCTV. The Programme Board is now preparing proposals including a timetable, for the establishment of this body.
The continued development of CCTV as both a deterrent for criminal activity and protection for the public will add to the confidence and safety of our communities. A recent report by the Campbell Crime and Justice Group
which includes United Kingdom (UK) membership and whose review was part funded by the Home Office, included the observation that CCTV is more effective in reducing crime in the UK than in other countries. The Government support the use of closed circuit television in tackling and reducing crime. CCTV is most effective when used along side other measures.
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