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4 Mar 2009 : Column 1632W—continued

Crimes of Violence: Football

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she plans to take to reduce violence by spectators at football matches. [247946]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Serious violence at football matches is now extremely rare compared to the period between 1970 and 2000. On average there is just one arrest in connection with football matches played in England and Wales; and that covers arrests at any place within 24 hours either side of a match.

The English and Welsh football strategy for minimising football safety and security risks introduced after Euro 2000 has proven to be very successful. The strategy is based upon effective partnerships between Government, police, football authorities and supporter groups and on the concept of isolating risk fans whilst empowering the overwhelming majority of fans to take responsibility for their actions and self-police.

The football banning order arrangements introduced in 2000 continue to be a highly effective cornerstone of the strategy and an important means for excluding known risk fans and deterring misbehaviour amongst the rest. The orders have proven to be a highly successful rehabilitative measure with around 94 per cent. of individuals whose orders have expired being assessed by police as no longer posing a risk of football disorder.

The strategy is now universally recognised as the best in the world and is being replicated around the globe. However, there can and will be no complacency.

Customs Officers: Manpower

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many front-line customs officers work at each port on the UK border. [260091]

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Mr. Woolas: Through intelligence-led and risk-based interventions by flexible and mobile teams the UK Border Agency aims to maintain a permanent cover of all points of entry into the UK.

Nationally there are approximately 4,500 front line customs officers that are now part of the UK Border Agency.

More detailed information cannot be disclosed as this would provide information of value to those seeking to circumvent the controls, thereby prejudicing the prevention and detection of crime.

Departmental Consultants

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of her Department’s contracts with management consultants was in each of the last five years. [251372]

Mr. Woolas: The Home Department engages consultancy firms to support and augment civil servants in the delivery of a wide range of work, including large IT development programmes and, where more cost effective, longer-term service delivery programmes.

The Department’s expenditure on these services is consequently allocated across a wide range of firms, from small, specialist companies with niche expertise and few employees, to global multinational organisations offering a broad spectrum and substantial depth of consultancy expertise.

The Department’s policy seeks to award contracts in competition according to the EU Procurement Directives based on value for money.

The Department uses OGC framework agreements where appropriate. The use of external consultants provides the Department with specialist knowledge, skill, capacity and technical expertise that would not otherwise be available.

We are able to provide figures for consultancy expenditure for the previous three complete financial years. Owing to an accounting systems change prior to that time we are unable to provide equivalent figures for the two earlier years.

The Home Department’s expenditure including its executive agencies (United Kingdom Border Agency, Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau) rounded to nearest £1 million in the financial years 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 on consultancy services is set out in the following table.

Table 1
Financial year Consultancy expenditure (£ million)







Departmental Freedom of Information

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests to her Department were refused on the ground of cost in (a) 2006, (b) 2007 and (c) January to June 2008. [254922]

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Mr. Woolas: Figures for the number of occasions in 2006 and 2007 information has been withheld in full using section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act because the cost of providing a response would exceed the cost limit have been published in the 2006 and 2007 annual reports on the operation of the FOI Act in Central Government.



In the period January-June 2008 the number of request received and refused on grounds of cost was 124.

Departmental Work Experience

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals have worked in her Department on (a) paid and (b) unpaid work experience or internships in each of the last three years; on average how many hours a week were worked by such people in each year; what types of work each was involved in; what proportion were in full-time education; what proportion did not complete their set period of work experience; and how much those who received remuneration were paid on average per week in each year. [242124]

Mr. Woolas: The Home Offers provides around 30 placements annually to graduates and undergraduates from a minority ethnic background and/or a registered disability. They are paid an allowance within the executive officer range.

The information requested on unpaid work experience is not recorded centrally in the Home Office or its agencies. Work experience placements are authorised and organised locally by managers in business units.

Deportation: Offenders

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer given to the hon. Member for Beaconsfield of 20 November 2008, Official Report, column 720W, on deportation: offenders, what progress has been made on (a) the 11 cases where her Department is seeking to deport individuals on grounds of national security because of their suspected involvement in terrorism and (b) the 19 cases where action on national security grounds was commenced but later discontinued. [259167]

Mr. Coaker: Of the 11 cases we are seeking to deport on national security grounds 10 remain at various stages of the deportation and appeals process including the European Court of Human Rights. Deportation proceedings have ceased against one individual as it was considered that such action was no longer appropriate due to the circumstances of the case.

There has been no change in the 19 cases where deportation was discontinued.

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Detention Centres

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations she has received from non-governmental organisations on the operation of immigration removal centres in the UK. [259656]

Mr. Woolas: The UK Border Agency detention services who are responsible for the operation of the immigration detention estate have not received any recent representations from non-governmental organisations on the operation of removal centres in the UK.

However, quarterly meetings are held between UKBA detention services and representatives from non-governmental organisations under the heading of the detention user group. This forum gives representatives the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have regarding the operation of removal centres and detention in general and for the agency to update them on any operational or policy developments.

Driving Offences

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many motorists were (a) charged with and (b) convicted of (i) failure to accord precedence at pedestrian crossings, (ii) failure to comply with traffic signs, (iii) speeding offences, (iv) driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs, (v) reckless driving and (vi) driving while disqualified in each police force area in 2007-08. [256693]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Available information held by the Ministry of Justice covering total findings of guilt at all courts, for 2006 and 2007, is provided in tables A-F placed in the House Library.

Data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many international students who have been enrolled in courses of longer than four years duration have been granted visas in each of the last five years. [260076]

Mr. Woolas: Figures are as follows:












Foreign Workers: Agriculture

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many migrant workers were employed in agriculture in the UK in each month of each of the last three years. [258818]

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Kevin Brennan: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated March 2009:

Identity Cards: Airports

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate her Department has made of the number of airside workers in each airport who will be enrolled in the identity card scheme. [258108]

Meg Hillier: The Identity and Passport Service is working closely with Manchester and London city airports to confirm the roll-out approach for identity cards, taking account of the numbers working airside at each airport.

Identity Cards: Domestic Violence

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions her Department has had with organisations representing women who have been victims of domestic violence about the registration of third parties’ addresses on national identity cards. [253517]

Meg Hillier: As the cardholder’s address will not be held on the identity card it will assist anyone who wishes to assert their identity without revealing their address.

Several different organisations have contributed to discussions on how the Identity and Passport Service will be able to accommodate the needs of vulnerable individuals who want extra assurance that their identity information will be held securely, including groups representing the needs of survivors of domestic violence.

Illegal Immigrants

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had at European level on (a) harmonisation of legislation on family re-unification, (b) medical assistance for illegal migrants and (c) admitting the children of illegal migrants to schools. [259323]

Mr. Woolas: Home Office Ministers have not taken part in any recent discussions at European level on these specific topics. EU legislation on asylum and immigration matters, apart from rights of free movement for EEA nationals and their family members, is subject to the UK’s opt-in protocol. We will opt in only if this is consistent with maintaining our frontier controls and in the national interest.

In respect of family reunification, to date the UK has not opted into the Family Reunification Directive. In respect of illegal immigration, I strongly support the
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principle stated in the European Pact on Migration and Asylum, which calls for illegal migrants to be removed to their countries of origin and transit.

Illegal Immigrants: Deportation

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal immigrants were deported in 2007-08 to each country of origin; what modes of transport were used in relation to each country; how many such people were refused entry to their destination country; and what happened to each such person. [259320]

Mr. Woolas: The Home Office publishes statistics on the number of persons removed and departed voluntarily from the UK, broken down by destination, on a quarterly and annual basis. National statistics on immigration and asylum are placed in the Library of the House and are available from the Home Office’s Research, Development and Statistics website at:

Statistics covering the fourth quarter of 2008 up to December were published on 24 February.

Enforced removals to all countries are generally undertaken via a combination of scheduled or charter flights.

There are a variety of reasons why a person, during the removals process, may be refused entry to their country of destination. Due to this each case will be handled differently. Generally the person will be returned to the UK and re-enter the removals process.

The number of individuals refused entry to their destination country and what happens to them is not centrally recorded. The information requested could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with which countries of origin of migrants the UK has readmission agreements; when each such agreement was signed; and with which countries her Department is negotiating such agreements. [259657]

Mr. Woolas: The UK has always maintained the position that all countries are under an obligation to readmit their own nationals who are removed from another country, independently of readmission agreements. The UK wants to build international alliances to help deliver our policies. A key element of this is to co-operate on migration through bilateral and multilateral relationships with other countries. To this end the UK has formal agreements and informal arrangements with various countries to readmit their nationals.

Only where there is a specific need does the UK seek to negotiate readmission agreements. There is a bilateral readmission agreement in force with Switzerland, signed on 16 December 2005, and we also have another with Algeria which was signed on 11 July 2006. There are currently no negotiations being undertaken for a bilateral readmission agreement with any third country.

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