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6 Apr 2010 : Column 1266W—continued

Entry Clearances: Pakistan

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to determine the appeal of Shaheen Kausar lodged on 19 May 2009 in Islamabad against refusal of entry clearance. [325050]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 30 March 2010]: Shaheen Kausar's appeal against the refusal of her application for entry clearance was dismissed by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal on 21 October 2009 (AIT reference: VA/45370/2009).

Greater Manchester

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Manchester, Gorton constituency, the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 1997. [322139]

Alan Johnson: Manchester, Gorton comes within the Manchester Community Safety Partnership (CSP). Prior to one March 2010, CSPs were referred to as crime and disorder reduction partnerships (CDRP). The available statistical information therefore relates to the Manchester CSP.

In terms of police recorded crime in the Manchester CSP, between 2002-03 and 2008-09, total recorded crime fell by 18 per cent. More specifically:

Data prior to 2002-03 are not directly comparable because of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. Additionally, no data at CSP level are available prior to 1998-99.

Manchester CSP is covered by Metropolitan, North Manchester, South Manchester and Trafford basic command units, which had a total of 2,167 police officers as at 30 March 2009. The number of police officers has decreased by 74 since 2003. Comparisons with 1997 at BCU level are not available. There were 218 police community support officers as at 30 March 2009 while there were none in existence in 1997.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 saw positive effects with the statutory duty to create a crime and disorder reduction partnership (CDRP). These are now referred to as community safety partnerships (CSPs). The Manchester CSP has brought new ways of working in a cross cutting way with the police, council and other key stakeholders and genuine partnership working to help tackle complex issues.

Neighbourhood police teams are in place and the Manchester, Gorton constituency is served by a number of such teams from the Greater Manchester police's metropolitan division. Neighbourhood policing is a crucial partnership with the public and is helping to reduce crime and enhance community confidence in the police. The visible policing presence is augmented by information on neighbourhood policing in each area which is available on the internet. None of this was in place in 1997.

All CSPs, including Manchester, are putting in place minimum standards to tackle antisocial behaviour (ASB). By tackling ASB and providing support for victims, these will help to reduce local perceptions of ASB and improve public confidence. This was not in place in 1997. In addition, before 1997 there were no bespoke powers to tackle antisocial behaviour whereas there are now a range of powers to deal with this issue. These include antisocial behaviour orders and designated public places orders (DPPO) from the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. Manchester is in the top 50 national priority areas for alcohol-related harm. The effects of the Department's policies on crime, antisocial behaviour, policing, and night time economy management have been consistently positive and instrumental in supporting the city centre's development as a safer, more popular and vibrant place to visit.

Detailed and comprehensive analysis is being used by Manchester, along with specific action plans to ensure reductions in serious violent crime. The Manchester Violent Gang Board has recently been commended for their approach to the issues within Manchester and have been given a Green Flag by the Audit Commission for their work in relation to guns and gangs. Gun crime is down significantly-Greater Manchester police's Xcalibre operations have had notable success in targeting the gang culture and securing convictions against gang leaders and members. Firearms discharges have reduced in Manchester over the last three years. This is helping to improve safety in Manchester, Gorton.

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Since 1997 a key element of Home Office policy in addressing domestic violence has been driven through the Home Office-led cross-Government National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan. This includes the Specialist Domestic Violence Court programme (Manchester gained accreditation in 2008). It also includes Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs), the Government's approach to identified high risk victims of domestic violence. Manchester is developing three MARACs covering all three police divisions. Victims of domestic violence are supported by independent domestic violence advisers (IDVAs)-trained specialists who provide a service to victims who are at high risk of harm which have been shown to decrease victimisation. Manchester now has 10 IDVAs.

Since 1997 a key element of Home Office policy in addressing sexual violence has been driven through the delivery of the Home Office-led cross-Government Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Abuse which aims to increase access to health and support services for victims; improve the response of the criminal justice system for victims, and to prevent sexual violence in the first place.

This has led to expanded services such as sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) and independent sexual violence advisers (ISVAs) to improve victim care. Home Office has supported the continued development of St Mary's SARC in Manchester and the development of an ISVA service at the centre.

Manchester is a recipient of Youth Crime Action Plan funding and has rolled out a programme of initiatives designed to tackle youth crime. Manchester also receives funding from the Tackling Knives Action Programme and has engaged in a number of enforcement and educational activities to tackle and deter young people from involvement in all forms of serious youth violence. These include Safer Schools Partnerships.

The drug treatment system in Manchester has developed by means of joint planning and commissioning of services over many years. The introduction of national drug strategy and the establishment of pooled treatment budget arrangements in 2001-02 have done much to formalise and enhance partnership working. This has resulted in the development of an integrated treatment system. Manchester has an effective drugs intervention programme (DIP).

Manchester is achieving significant reductions in acquisitive crime, but recognises that there are still challenges, particularly in tackling issues such as domestic burglary and robbery. Robust plans are in place to tackle these. There is a real focus on student safety and Manchester has developed a Student Safety Business Model. Manchester is a Vigilance area and Safer Homes Fund area which are Home Office programmes aimed at tackling acquisitive crime, particularly burglary and robbery. Greater Manchester police's Operation Storm has had real success in recent reductions in domestic burglary in particular.

From 1 April 2010, CSPs are required formulate and implement a strategy "to reduce reoffending". One of Manchester's priorities includes reducing the offending of prolific and priority offenders and the partnership is currently exceeding the targets set in the Local Area Agreement. Manchester will shortly introduce Integrated Offender Management (IOM) based on the Greater Manchester Spotlight model and will have three co-located IOM teams covering the city. This will manage the most
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serious offenders including those responsible for acquisitive crime, and violent and domestic violence offences.

The Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at:

Group 4 Securicor

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions there have been with Group 4 Securicor (G4S) on the service offered by G4S Policing Solutions; and if he will make a statement. [324858]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 29 March 2010]: The UK Border Agency has engaged in discussions with G4S about G4S Policing Solutions. Joint Immigration Crime Teams operating across the United Kingdom include a number of seconded police posts, five posts are at present being filled temporarily by non-warranted civilian investigators supplied by G4S Policing Solutions, for up to two months.

Planning is being finalised for resourcing this function into 2010-11.

Idcardsyoudecide Website

Mr. David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hits the idcardsyoudecide website has received since its launch. [325243]

Meg Hillier: There have been 5,301 page views on the website since its launch to present (28 March 2010):

Mr. David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much had been spent on the idcardsyoudecide (a) website and (b) short films on the latest date for which figures are available. [325242]

Meg Hillier: The information is as follows:

Identity Cards

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Ministers in his Department have (a) been issued with (i) an identity card and (ii) a biometric passport and (b) their details on the National Identity Register. [320674]

Alan Johnson: The Identity and Passport Service holds in confidence personal information about those people who have been issued with a passport or an identity card and it would not be proper to publish whether any particular individuals have been issued with a passport or identity card with their identity details recorded on passport records or on the National Identity Register.

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Identity Cards: Bus Services

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration (a) his Department and (b) the Identity and Passport Service has given to the use of identity cards to indicate entitlement for free local bus travel for the over-60s. [325324]

Meg Hillier: There are no current plans to use identity cards to indicate entitlement for free bus travel for the over-60s. However, an identity card is a convenient proof of age and could be used for the holder to prove that they qualify for age related services such as applying for a bus pass.

Identity Cards: Greater Manchester

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what means police in Greater Manchester are able to verify that an identity card is valid. [314774]

Alan Johnson: We expect a number of checks will be based on visual verification of the card. We have provided detailed guidance on the security features that can be checked to ensure an identity card is genuine. Also, the police can request that the Identity and Passport Service check the validity of an identity card against the National Identity Register for prescribed purposes set out in legislation. These are for the prevention and detection of crime, national security, or to help identify a victim of an event which has caused loss of life or injury.

Identity Cards: Passports

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy not to combine the identity card and biometric passport schemes. [318773]

Alan Johnson: The Government's intention is to offer British citizens aged 16 and over the choice of being issued with a passport or an identity card or both documents and for applicants' identity details, including facial image and fingerprint biometrics, to be held on the same National Identity Register. As the Government are to introduce fingerprint biometric passports and essentially the same information will be recorded for the issue of a passport or identity card, it will be far more cost effective and secure to introduce a single application process and to hold the identity information of people issued with passports and identity cards on a single register rather than duplicating that information on separate but almost identical databases.

Illegal Immigrants

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to Baroness Warsi of 17 March 2010, Official Report, House of Lords, column 190WA, on Houses of Parliament: illegal staff, whether the individual who was the subject of the report to the UK Border Agency worked for the House of Commons Service. [324623]

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Mr. Woolas: The individual referred to in the answer to Baroness Warsi of 17 March 2010, Official Report, House of Lords, column 190WA, was engaged directly by a contracted cleaning company.

Immigration: Gurkhas

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Gurkha veterans have claimed resettlement rights since August 2009; and how many of them are receiving (a) pension credit, (b) housing benefit and (c) council tax benefit. [325777]

Mr. Woolas: Any former member of the Brigade of Gurkhas who served for four years or more is eligible to apply for settlement in the UK. Since we published our revised guidance in 2009 we have granted settlement to 2,179 individuals.

The UK's benefit systems do not record the nationality of people receiving benefits because nationality is not a condition of entitlement.

Islamist Militants

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate he has made of the funds raised in the UK for overseas Islamist militants. [325029]

Mr. Hanson [holding answer 29 March 2010]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary published on 22 March this year the first annual report on progress against the objectives set out in the Government's overall strategy for countering international terrorism (known as 'CONTEST'), which includes information on work to tackle terrorist finance. For reasons of national security it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the details of the Government's assessments of the levels of funds raised in the UK for terrorism overseas.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the health effects of khat. [320108]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The HO commissioned two studies in 2009 to explore the social harms associated with khat use. The first of these is a qualitative study exploring perceptions of the social harms associated with khat use; the availability of treatment services provided for khat users; and perceptions of the appropriate role of Government intervention. The second is a review of the national and international literature examining the evidence on the social harms associated with khat and the impact of legislation in countries which have legislated against khat use and supply.

The perceived health effects of khat are briefly reported on in each of the studies. The Home Office has not commissioned any overall evaluations of the health effects associated with khat use.

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Mobile Phones: Surveillance

Mr. David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department has spent on (a) contracts with Roke Manor and (b) other projects relating to the Celldar mobile telephone monitoring system. [325266]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 30 March 2010]: The Home Department has not spent any money on (a) contracts with Roke Manor or (b) other projects relating to the Celldar mobile telephone monitoring system.

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