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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many private colleges of further education have been denied registration for the purpose of student visas since the introduction of the points-based scheme. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 16 October 2009]: The UK Border Agency's agreed target times for processing visa applications, including those received by the Visa Section in Islamabad, are published on its Visa Services website:
To complete 90 per cent. of straightforward, non-settlement applications in not more than a week, 98 per cent. in not more than two weeks, and 100 per cent. in not more 12 weeks.
To complete 90 per cent. of non-straightforward, non-settlement applications in not more than three weeks, 98 per cent. in not more than six weeks and 100 per cent. in not more than 12 weeks.
To complete 95 per cent. of applications for settlement visas in not more than 12 weeks and 100 per cent. in not more 24 weeks.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) handguns, (b) sawn-off shotguns and (c) unmodified shotguns were (i) used in crimes and (ii) confiscated in the Essex Constabulary area in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: Available data relate to crimes recorded by the police in Essex in which handguns, sawn-off shotguns and long-barrelled shotguns were reported to have been used, from 2003-04 up to and including 2007-08 and are shown in the following table.
|Crimes recorded by the police in Essex in which handguns, sawn-off shotguns and long-barrelled shotguns were reported to have been used, 2003-04 to 2007-08-Number of offences|
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions have been held between his Department, the Forensic Science Service (FSS) and chief constables on the proposed closure of FSS centres. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: Such discussions have been a matter for FSS Ltd. The FSS is moving to the new structure in response to the requirements of customers, in line with the new National Forensic Procurement Framework. Consequently, it has consulted closely with customers. This has included corresponding with all chief constables in England and Wales to keep them informed of progress. With a number of chief constables, there have also been informal discussions, at the invitation of the then executive chairman.
One of the main considerations was the co-location of body fluid examination with DNA analytical facilities to meet the FSS' customers' needs. DNA analytical facilities are currently based at Huntingdon, London, Trident Court and Wetherby.
Other considerations include available laboratory space, ability to deliver National Framework, resilient team sizes, response to scenes, mix of skills, alignment to the new structure and the presence of a business stream on at least two sites.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many identity card readers he expects to be provided for use by the general population; what estimate he has made of the cost of such readers; and what plans he has to determine the location of such readers. 
Alan Johnson: Identity cards issued to British citizens can be used for travel in the European Economic Area, and so can already be read, in the same way as machine readable passports, at border controls at all significant points of entry to the United Kingdom. While identity card readers are likely to be used very widely eventually, there will need to be a critical mass of identity cards in use before this becomes feasible.
However, we have published information on how to recognise the new identity cards, and their security features and so anyone presented with an identity card will be able to verify the card by conducting a visual or tactile check of the card, without the need to invest in specialist equipment. As the number of identity cards in circulation builds up, we will continue to explore opportunities with the commercial sector and Government agencies for reader based identity services.
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy and effectiveness of the regulatory regime affecting off-road bikes. 
Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 27 October 2009]: No assessment has been made of the adequacy and effectiveness of the regulatory regime affecting off-road bikes. There is a range of powers available to tackle the misuse of off-road bikes, such as restrictions on legal use, warnings from a police officer for riding antisocially, and seizing and crushing bikes if riders ignore warnings.
Three independent reports have confirmed our approach to tackling antisocial behaviour is working. The National Audit Office reported that two thirds of people stop committing ASB after one intervention rising to nine out of 10 ceasing after three interventions. The Home Office has commissioned an evaluation of the comparative effectiveness of ASB interventions. It is expected to report in the spring.
|North Yorkshire police authority expenditure|
|Gross expenditure (£ millions)( 1)|
|Cash terms||Real terms|
|(1) Figures quoted from CIPFA statistics 1996-97-2008-09|
The National Offender Management Service delivers a broad range of interventions to address the particular risks and treatment needs of offenders that may benefit those convicted of offences of child abuse, depending on the circumstances of the particular case.
For those offenders convicted of child abuse, including sexual abuse, there are accredited programmes to address their offending behaviour, provided the offenders are assessed as suitable for participating in the programmes. In addition, there are accredited programmes and other interventions to address factors which may contribute to offending behaviour, such as alcohol or drug problems.
The responsibility for the commissioning of services including offending behaviour programmes now rests with the Directors of Offender Management. It is for them to commission services which meet the need to address the offending behaviour of offenders and the requirements of sentencers in their area.
Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the merits of reducing from 16 to 14 the age at which section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 applies. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The current age limit on directions to leave significantly limits their effectiveness as a tool for preventing alcohol related crime and disorder because it prevents the police from dealing with groups of young people of mixed ages. Clause 31 of the Policing and Crime Bill reduces the minimum age at which directions to leave can be issued from 16 to 10 so that the police can deal with all young people who are likely to be involved in crime and disorder and not just older children.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which (a) UK Ministers and (b) Ministers from devolved administrations, will be included in the UK delegation to the UN framework convention on climate change conference in Copenhagen. 
Joan Ruddock: The Department has not yet determined the full composition of the UK delegation, so we cannot say with certainty how many Ministers or officials will be included. This will depend largely on the state of international negotiations at the time of the conference. However, we would anticipate that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I will attend.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what reasons Power Factor Correction is not included in the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme; and whether he plans to include Power Factor Correction in the scheme. 
Mr. Kidney: Power Factor Correction (PFC) was considered for the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme (ECA) in 2006, but not included because it was concluded that existing instruments provided a more effective incentive for the use of PFC.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many Christmas functions arranged by his Department (a) he and (b) officials of his Department (i) hosted and (ii) attended in 2008; what the cost to the public purse was; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he plans to take to assess public opinion on the adequacy of police coverage across the district command units of Northern Ireland. 
Paul Goggins: A key role for the Policing Board and District Policing Partnerships is to engage directly with the public on policing matters, and to gauge public views on policing. This includes surveys on satisfaction levels with police patrols in local areas. In April 2009 the Policing Board published results of its Omnibus Survey 'Public perceptions of the police, DPPs and the Northern Ireland Policing Board'. This survey found that 42 per cent. of respondents were very/fairly satisfied with the levels of police patrols in their local area.
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