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7 July 2009 : Column 735W—continued

Independent Safeguarding Authority: Databases

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people he expects to have access to the Independent Safeguarding Authority database; and with which organisations and individuals such people will be authorised to share information from the database. [283529]

Mr. Hanson: The ISA manages a number of databases. Only ISA staff will have direct access to the databases and information will be shared with partner organisations and individuals in accordance with the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. Of course, any employer with legitimate reason will be able to check if an individual is registered with the scheme.

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a privacy impact assessment has been undertaken of the Independent Safeguarding Authority database; and whether the Information Commissioner has reviewed this. [283535]

Mr. Hanson: The Vetting and Barring Scheme programme, which includes establishment of the Independent Safeguarding Authority is being delivered in phases. The programme is currently in its third phase and a Privacy Impact Assessment is scheduled to be completed with the full support and contribution of the Information Commissioners Office during the remaining three phases of the programme. Some aspects of the Privacy Impact Assessment have been captured in the first round of Business Impact Assessments and the Information Commissioner's Office is aware of this progress.

Mobile Phones: Registration

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for a compulsory register of mobile telephones; and if he will make a statement. [283858]

Mr. Hanson: We have no plans to introduce a mandatory registration scheme for mobile phones and would want firm evidence of the effectiveness of any such scheme before deciding whether legislation, as proposed by some European member states, was appropriate.

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Muslim Population

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the size of the Muslim population of the UK in each year since 1979. [284443]

Angela E. Smith: 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 July 2009:

Table 1: Muslim population( 1: ) Three month period ending September, 2004-08 , Great Britain, not seasonally adjusted












(1) All ages
Coefficients of Variation have been calculated as an indication of the quality of the estimates, as described:
Guide to Quality:
The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV - for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent. we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220.
Key Coefficient of Variation (CV) (%) Statistical Robustness
* 0 = CV≤5 Estimates are considered precise
** 5 = CV ≤10 Estimates are considered reasonably precise
*** 10 = CV ≤20 Estimates are considered acceptable
**** CV 20 Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes
It should be noted that the above estimates exclude people in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc.
Labour Force Survey

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Police Reform Act 2002

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 15 June 2009, Official Report, columns 37-8W, on the Police Reform Act 2002, if he will place in the Library a copy of each document in his Department's files relating to the provisions in part 2 of the Police Reform Act 2002 establishing a new system for handling complaints against the police; and if he will make a statement. [282246]

Mr. Hanson: No. Departmental files on the legislative process and the formulation of policy are kept primarily for briefing purposes for Ministers.

Police: Manpower

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which police forces the chief constable is an acting chief constable; and if he will make a statement. [283941]

Mr. Hanson: As of 6 July 2009, Essex, Northamptonshire and Staffordshire have an acting chief constable. For each of the three forces, the relevant police authority has a recruitment process underway for a substantive chief constable.

Police: Public Opinion

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward proposals for the selection process for chief constables to take account of public opinion in the area for which the appointment is to be made. [281781]

Mr. Hanson: Police authorities appoint chief constables, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State and Police Regulations. Appointing a chief constable is a key means by which the authority can discharge its function of securing an efficient and effective police force for an area. Consideration of the public's views should inform the police authority view of the professional and strategic requirements which underpin the recruitment of a chief constable.

The Policing and Crime Bill currently before Parliament strengthens the requirement on police authorities to consider the public's views in discharging any of their functions.

Police: Sports Events

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department has issued guidance to the police on using powers under section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 to police sporting events. [283734]

Mr. Hanson: The Home Office issued guidance on Directions to Leave (section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006) in August 2007. This power can be used where an individual’s presence is likely to cause or contribute to the occurrence, repetition or continuance of alcohol-related crime and disorder. The guidance does not specifically mention sporting events, but there is no reason why the power cannot be used at these events, providing that the legislative tests have been met.

A copy of the guidance can be found by using the web link as follows.

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Police: Uniforms

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department issues guidance on the taking of disciplinary action against police officers who refuse openly to display their badge numbers. [283207]

Mr. Hanson [holding answer 30 June 2009]: The Home Office has not issued such guidance. The Home Office is currently considering the recommendations of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on this and other issues in its recent report on the Policing of the G20 protests.

If an officer is found to have deliberately removed his or her identification to avoid being held accountable, they breach the standards expected of police officers and would be liable to be dealt with under the disciplinary arrangements as set out in the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008.

Police: Vehicles

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to require police forces to purchase British-assembled vehicles for police force use. [283942]

Mr. Hanson: The police service procures vehicles using framework arrangements managed by the National Policing Improvement Agency and the National Association of Police Fleet Managers. It is a requirement that these framework arrangements are procured in accordance with European Union procurement directives and United Kingdom public procurement regulations that prevent discrimination on national grounds.

Powers of Entry

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in his Department’s review of state powers of entry; and what timetable has been set for publication of (a) an interim and (b) a final report on that review. [284180]

Mr. Hanson: We have compiled a comprehensive list of powers of entry which is contained on the Powers of Entry Review webpage at:

The aim is to provide a final report by autumn 2009.

Security Guards: Licensing

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many investigations the Security Industry Authority has conducted into individuals (a) working without a licence, (b) working with fake licences, (c) working with revoked or suspended licences, (d) working with expired licences, (e) working with licences that were fraudulently obtained and (f) breaching Security Industry Authority licence conditions in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [283943]

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Mr. Alan Campbell: Information on numbers of investigations is not held centrally by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The SIA does however have figures for the total number of outcomes of its investigations, since the relevant offences under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 were designated from June 2004 onwards:

Number issued

Written warnings issued


Improvement notices issued


Licence revocations


Serious Organised Crime Agency: Data Protection

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of data loss by the Serious Organised Crime Agency have been recorded in each month of the last two years. [278306]

Alan Johnson: In the financial years 2007-08 and 2008-09 SOCA suffered no data losses which had to be reported to the Information Commissioner or the Cabinet Office.

Sexual Offences: Registration

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reports he has received of the outcome of the recent cases (a) R (F) v Secretary of State for Justice and (b) R (Thompson) v Secretary for the Home Department before Lord Justice Latham, Mr Justice Underhill and Mr Justice Flaux; and if he will establish a means to review a requirement for indefinite registration on the Sex Offenders Register. [283956]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The cases of R (on the application of F and Thompson) v. the Secretary of State for the Home Department were heard in the High Court on 19 December. The High Court held that the sex offender notification requirements are incompatible with article 8 (right to family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights in so far as offenders who are subject to these requirements (commonly referred to as being on the sex offenders' register) for life cannot apply for a review of whether they should remain on the register. The Home Office has appealed this decision. The case will be heard by the Court of Appeal on 9 July 2009. Until we know the outcome of the appeal, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further but clearly we will give careful consideration to the Court of Appeal's judgment.

Work and Pensions

Asbestos: Documents

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many asbestos records in each of the 14 categories for which HM Inspector of the Health and Safety Executive is the enforcing authority required to be received by the Health and Safety Executive have been destroyed since 1984. [278978]

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Jonathan Shaw: For records associated with asbestos licensing, HSE's Asbestos Licensing Unit (ALU) maintains its own electronic database containing records of applications and licences from 1984 onwards and holds details of work notifications received since 2001. This information is of a general nature concerning the licence holding organisations and would not normally contain any records on named individual employees. No records have been deleted by ALU.

Business: Disabled

Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Government are taking to inform businesses of their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [284370]

Jonathan Shaw: The Government provide information for businesses on their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) through Business Link and through this Department's website for employers.

Since 1997 the Government have undertaken a number of campaigns to raise awareness among businesses and other organisations of their obligations under the DDA.

Most recently, the Employ ability campaign which concluded in March 2009 engaged with small and medium employers to improve their understanding of disability and their attitudes towards employing disabled people with long-term health conditions. The campaign website also included information on employer duties under the DDA.

The Government also sponsor the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which provides advice and guidance to businesses about their duties under the DDA.

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