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Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many nationals of (a) Afghanistan, (b) Belarus, (c) Burma, (d) the People's Republic of China, (e) Colombia, (f) Cuba, (g) Democratic Republic of Congo, (h) the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, (i) Iran, (j) Iraq, (k) Israel, (l) the Palestinian Territories, (m) Pakistan, (n) the Russian Federation, (o) Saudi Arabia, (p) Somalia, (q) Sudan, (r) Syria, (s) Turkmenistan, (t) Uzbekistan, (u) Vietnam and (v) Zimbabwe were refused asylum in the UK in each month of (i) 2007, (ii) 2008 and (iii) 2009 to date; and how many in each category (A) are awaiting a decision on an asylum application and (B) have been forcibly deported. [300732]

Mr. Woolas: Table 1 placed in the House Library shows the number of principal applicants refused asylum, humanitarian protection and discretionary leave at initial decision in the UK in each month of 2007, 2008 and from January to June for 2009 for the requested nationalities. Information on asylum applications of those refused and awaiting a decision or who have been forcibly deported, by nationality, is unavailable and could be obtained only by examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost. Table 2 placed in the House Library shows the number of removals and voluntary departures of principal asylum cases, January 2007 to June 2009.

Information on immigration and asylum is published annually and quarterly. The latest statistics for Q3 2009 will be available on 26 November 2009. Annual statistics for 2008 and the latest statistics for Q2 2009 are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at:

Asylum: Democratic Republic of Congo

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many allegations his Department has received of ill-treatment of asylum seekers returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo in each of the last four years; and how many investigations his Department has carried out into such allegations in each such year. [300414]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 23 November 2009]: The UK Border Agency does not record the number of allegations of ill treatment on return to countries of origin. When specific allegations are made that a returnee to the Democratic Republic of Congo, or any other country, has experienced ill-treatment on return from the UK, then these are investigated.

Borders: Personal Records

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the governance structures for the e-borders programme. [300511]

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Mr. Woolas: The e-Borders governance structures were assessed in February 2009 following an Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Programme health check. Progress was then reviewed in May 2009 for the subsequent (OGC) Gateway 4 review, and then again in September 2009. The structures are under continuous review to ensure delivery of the e-Borders solution.

Child Migrant Programme

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether children sent to Australia under the Child Migrant Programme are entitled to (a) UK citizenship and (b) unrestricted access to the UK. [300516]

Mr. Woolas: Those sent to Australia from the United Kingdom under the Child Migrant Scheme are assumed to have been born in the United Kingdom. As such they will hold British citizenship and have a right of abode in the United Kingdom. This means that they can have access to British passports and consular services, and have the right to enter, live and work in the United Kingdom without restriction.

Crimes of Violence

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of (a) violent and (b) non-violent crimes committed in (i) urban and (ii) rural areas in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [300290]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The available information relates to offences recorded by the police in England and Wales and is given in the table. Forces have been classified as urban or rural in accordance with 'A Classification Of Residential Neighbourhoods' (ACORN) guidance as used in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 01/02 entitled 'Rural Crime in England and Wales'.

In addition to those forces classified as urban or rural, those forces classified as 'middling' have also been included in the table for completeness.

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Offences recorded by the police in England and Wales-2006-07 to 2008-09
Number of offences

Violence against the person Other offences All offences




















































(1) Comprises the police force areas of Cheshire, City of London, Cleveland, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, Northumbria, Nottinghamshire, South Wales, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, West Midlands, West Yorkshire.
(2) Comprises the police force areas of Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Devon and Cornwall, Durham, Dyfed-Powys, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, North Wales, North Yorkshire, Suffolk, West Mercia and Wiltshire.
(3) Comprises the police force areas of Avon and Somerset, Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Essex, Gwent, Hampshire, Humberside, Kent, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Sussex, Thames Valley, Warwickshire.

Departmental Energy

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) energy rating and (b) energy band of each building occupied by his Department and its agencies was in each of the last three years. [300521]

Mr. Woolas: Display energy certificates (DEC) were introduced in 2008. OGC publish central Government Departments' display energy certificate (DEC) operational ratings on a building by building level twice a year. The most recent data for the Home Office, published on 31 July 2009, which include DEC ratings up to and including 28 February 2009 can be seen via this link:

This information covers one Home Office Building, 16 UK Border properties and eight Identity and Passport Service buildings.

Data to October 2008 can be seen via this link:

Data relating to the month ending 30 September 2009 will be published on 18 December 2009.

Departmental Security

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many security passes his Department has issued in each of the last five years. [301556]

Mr. Woolas: It is not possible to provide figures for each of the past five years because the security pass database is regularly refreshed and does not retain details of deleted security passes issued for the core Home Office at 2 Marsham street. There are currently 8,551 active security passes for 2 Marsham street. This figure includes permanent core Home Office staff and contractors, temporary passes issued to visitors to the building and other HMG staff, many of whom are not permanently based at Marsham street.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many student visas were issued to students of each nationality in (a) 1997 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available. [300390]

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Mr. Woolas: I refer the hon. Member to the immigration statistics due to be published on 26 November. The hon. Member may also wish to refer to the annual visa statistics already published on our Visa Services website at

Reliable information on student visa applications for 1997 is not available.


Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has made an estimate of the number of Gurkha ex-servicemen who retired prior to 1 July 1997 likely to settle in Nepal if they were to receive a pension on terms equivalent to those of the armed forces pension scheme; and if he will make a statement. [300423]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 23 November 2009]: No such estimates have been made on the numbers of those opting to remain in Nepal rather than settle in the United Kingdom if, having retired from the Brigade of Gurkhas prior to 1997, they were to receive a pension on the same terms as those on the armed forces pension scheme.

Immobilisation of Vehicles

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to bring forward proposals for restrictions on the level of fines imposed by private vehicle immobilisation companies. [300742]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Under proposals contained in the Crime and Security Bill, laid before Parliament on 20 November, we plan to amend the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to introduce a requirement for all vehicle immobilisation businesses to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority and to adhere to a strict code of practice, when working on private land. The code will include restrictions on release fees and will regulate other aspects of the practices of vehicle immobilisation businesses.

More details of the Bill can be found at the following link:

Intelligence Services: European Convention on Human Rights

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure compatibility between the work of those intelligence services for which the Secretary of State is responsible and the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. [300384]

Mr. Hanson: The Home Secretary is accountable to Parliament for the activities of the Security Service.

The Service, unlike the police, has no powers of arrest or detention. It has no intrinsic powers of search or seizure of property. Its functions are governed by the Security Service Act 1989. That Act together with the Intelligence Services Act 1994 and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provides a firm statutory
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framework within which the Security Service operates. All work of the Service is undertaken in accordance with the law, including the European Convention of Human Rights as incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.

Authorisations for operational activities are subject to independent oversight by the Intelligence Services, or Interception, Commissioner to ensure that any conduct is lawful, and proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by that conduct.

Security Service operational guidance is kept under regular review. Any change to that guidance is submitted to the Home Secretary for approval.

Local Authorities: Finance

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding his Department provided to local authorities in 2009-10; how much it expects to provide in 2010-11 by (a) programme, (b) funding stream and (c) grant; what the nature and purpose of such funding was in 2009-10; and what mechanism was used for the allocation of funds between local authorities. [300296]

Mr. Woolas: The Home Office (including UKBA) has provided the following funding to local authorities during 2009-10. Details of the grant stream, and the purpose of each are included.

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