Table 4 – Number of Incidents where Conventional Firearms were Discharged
Year
 2002/032003/042004/052005/062006/072007/082008/092009/102010/11

Incidents

10

4

5

9

3

7

5

6

3

% of incidents compared with number of authorised operations

0.067

0.024

0.031

0.048

0.017

0.033

0.025

0.032

0.00017

Source: Association of Chief Police Officers

(Does not include discharges for animal destruction or during police training)

Notes for tables:

1. Revised figure for 2007/08 from West Midlands Police.

2. Revised figure for 2008/09 from West Mercia Constabulary.

3. Cheshire did not record ARV operations for 2009/10.

Source: Home Office Public Order Unit, based on information aggregated from figures provided by individual police forces as part of the Home Office annual data requirement. This was followed by a further quality assurance process involving the Home Office asking individual forces to verify and sign off their figures.

The information provided is a regular annual update of figures previously published and available on the Home Office website here:

http://tna.europarchive.org/20100419081706/http:/www.police.homeoffice.gov.uk/operational-policing/firearms/index.html

Home Office guidance to forces for providing these figures is contained within the booklet Annual Data Requirement, Police Personnel and Performance Data, Notes for Guidance. For the purpose of this statistical return AFOs are deemed to be deployed when “

“they are required to conduct a specific task during which their possession of a firearm (with appropriate authorisation) is a required element” [Chapter 3, paragraph 3.1 ACPO Manual of Guidance on Police Use of Firearms].

In addition to the total number of operations, a further sub-category is required regarding those operations where the initial or sole response is by Armed Response Vehicle (ARV).

Each incident will be classed as only one operation regardless of the number of personnel/deployments or tactics employed to deal with the incident.

Deployments also include those incidents where AFOs “self-authorise”.

The number of officers authorised to use firearms as at 31 March 2011.

UK Border Agency

The Minister for Immigration (Damian Green): The UK Border Agency annual report and accounts 2011-12 will be laid before the House today. Copies will be made available in the Vote Office.

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Justice

Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mr Jonathan Djanogly): In response to the written parliamentary question from the hon. Member for Aberdeen North (Mr Doran) about the commencement of the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 (UIN 98039)—5 March 2012, Official Report, column 537W —I undertook to make a further statement before the summer recess.

The position remains that no date has yet been set to bring the Act into force. The Ministry of Justice is continuing to work with interested parties to prepare the way for commencement at the earliest practicable date. As stated in the report on the implementation of Law Commission proposals (HC 1900) presented by the Lord Chancellor to Parliament on 22 March 2012 this is unlikely to be until 2013.

I will make a further statement in the autumn.

Leader of the House

Public Reading Stage and Explanatory Statements on Amendments (Pilot)

The Leader of the House of Commons (Sir George Young): I am today announcing a pilot of the Government’s Public Reading Stage system for the Small Charitable Donations Bill.

Lobby groups, industry and other third parties, who tend to have a close understanding of the legislative process, already actively engage as a Bill goes through its various stages in Parliament. But there are thousands of other private citizens who may have expertise in a certain area but either do not know how to or are unwilling to use the current channels to get involved in providing MPs with their views. Public Reading Stage will allow us to end up with more open and better laws by harnessing the experience of the public.

A trial of a Public Reading Stage was undertaken for the Protection of Freedoms Bill in the previous session of this Parliament. Following an evaluation, my Office has worked with the Government Digital Service to develop a new, simple digital platform that allows members of the public to read the Government’s proposed Bill and related information, comment on specific clauses and to make suggested amendments. The site can be visited at: http://publicreadingstage.cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

It is the intention that a normal Public Reading Stage would run for around three weeks, from First Reading to seven days before a Public Bill Committee meets for the first time. In reflection of the pilot status of this stage and the natural interval that the summer recess provides, the site will be open for six weeks, until 23 August 2012, allowing the greatest possible number of comments to be made. Following this, officials in HM Treasury will collate these into a report to be presented to the Public Bill Committee and made available in the Vote Office and online.

I intend to bring forward proposals later in the session for a second Public Reading Stage pilot, following an evaluation of the Small Charitable Donations Bill Public Reading Stage.

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The evaluation will consider:

The volume of comments received and their relevance to the legislation.

Any amendments proposed to or made to the legislation in response to specific comments.

The reception of the Public Committee and the whole House at report stage to the comments.

Any other feedback received from contributors to the site and Members of Parliament who contributed to scrutiny of the Bill.

I would also like to remind the House that the Small Charitable Donations Bill will be the second of the pilots for the tabling of explanatory statements to amendments, covering both Public Bill Committee stage and report stage, as I set out in my written ministerial statement of 23 May 2012, Official Report, column 72WS.

The Government intend to continue to participate fully in the pilot, and I would encourage all Members who table amendments at both Public Bill Committee stage and report stage to take part.

Northern Ireland

Boundary Commission

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr Owen Paterson): I have today placed a copy of the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland’s annual report for the period 2011-12 in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies are also available on the Boundary Commission website at: www.boundarycommission.org.uk.

Prime Minister

Intelligence and Security Committee (Annual Report)

The Prime Minister (Mr David Cameron): I am grateful to the Intelligence and Security Committee for its valuable work and its latest annual report (Cm. 8403). Following consultation with the Committee over matters that could not be published without prejudicing the work of the intelligence and security agencies, I have today laid the report before the House.

The Government’s response to this report will be laid before the House after the summer recess.

Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Transport

Aviation Policy Framework

The Secretary of State for Transport (Justine Greening): In March 2011, the Government launched a scoping exercise towards developing a new sustainable policy framework for UK aviation. I am grateful to the more than 600 organisations and individuals who responded. We have given careful consideration to their responses in preparing the draft aviation policy framework consultation document, which I am publishing today.

The responses to the scoping exercise reflected a wide degree of consensus on aviation’s significant economic contribution and its other benefits, that its global and local environmental impacts are real and need to be tackled effectively and that maintaining the UK’s excellent

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international connectivity is critical. The consultation document sets out the Government’s high-level policy in each of these areas and seeks views on some of the measures we propose in support of our approach.

We clearly recognise the value of aviation as an important economic sector in its own right and as a key driver of UK economic growth. It contributes around £17 billion of economic output and employs over 220,000 workers directly and many more indirectly. And we recognise the strength of the UK’s aviation connections which give us the third largest aviation network after the US and China and make London one of the best connected cities in the world with direct links to over 360 destinations worldwide, more than either Paris or Frankfurt.

The Government have a package of measures underway to improve the passenger experience at our airports and make the best use of existing capacity, as well as taking forward a process to address the UK’s international connectivity needs in the medium and longer term.

First, we are improving efficiency at our borders. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is reviewing the UK’s visa regime, to improve the passenger experience and to ensure that our border policy supports our prosperity agenda whilst maintaining effective security. Any changes to the UK’s visa regime will be implemented during the course of 2013. The Home Office has also brought forward the recruitment of 70 additional staff at Heathrow to provide additional flexibility to secure the border while dealing with increased passenger numbers. And it is looking at how we can improve the role of automation in the expedited clearance of passengers, linked to the development of a registered traveller scheme to replace the current IRIS scheme which has been extended.

We are improving reliability and reducing delay at Heathrow through the trial of measures introducing greater operational flexibility. If operational freedoms show clear benefits in terms of resilience, reducing delays and allowing planes to land more effectively, thereby reducing the impact of noise for residents under the flight path, then we will consult on making these benefits permanent.

We are taking forward other recommendations of the South East Airports Taskforce, such as airport performance charters which will set out the level of service that airlines and their passengers should expect, as well as new guidelines developed in a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) chaired industry group which will make the best use of existing capacity.

We are transforming the economic regulation of airports through our Civil Aviation Bill to promote passengers’ interests. We propose to replace the current uniform approach to regulation—where designated airports are subject to mandatory five-year price caps—with a modern licensing regime where licence conditions can be tailored to the specific circumstances facing individual airports. By allowing for more proportionate regulation, the new regime also enables the CAA to take steps to reduce the degree or scope of economic regulation imposed on individual airports if they decide this would benefit passengers. The Bill will also ensure that airports can respond more flexibly to real-time events such as severe weather or volcanic ash and put in place a long-term framework for improving quality of service and investing in better infrastructure and facilities. The Bill is on

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track to receive Royal Assent by spring 2013 and we expect the new licensing regime to be implemented from April 2014.

We are improving surface access to airports with significant new investment. In total over this spending review period the Government are supporting investment of £1.4 billion on rail and road schemes which will directly or indirectly benefit airports across the UK.

This includes a fleet of 30 new electric trains on the Stansted Express to London which entered service last year and a £53 million upgrade of Gatwick airport station with improved passenger facilities, an extra platform and more track and signalling by 2013 and a regional growth fund contribution of £19.5 million for junction enhancements to be completed by 2014 which will improve access from the Ml to Luton airport.

And the Metrolink extension to Manchester airport is due to open in 2016 which will provide a tram every 12 minutes between Manchester airport and Manchester city centre.

In the future, Luton and Gatwick will receive improved rail services through the Thameslink programme and we expect Heathrow passengers to benefit from Crossrail.

But we recognise that we need to go further now in enhancing the capability of UK airports, particularly in the south east. So today we are also announcing:

The commitment of up to £500 million towards a western rail link to Heathrow, subject to a business case and conclusion of agreements with the aviation industry. This recognises the continued importance of Heathrow as our major international hub.

Businesses west of the airport have been calling for this vital investment for many years. It will cut typically 30 minutes off the journey to Heathrow from the west of England and south Wales, with significant benefits for growing cities like Swindon, Bristol and Cardiff. The service could come into operation as early as 2021. I will shortly publish a rail investment strategy, which will recognise the importance of transport investment to the economy, including improving connectivity between cities and airports.

Proposals to further liberalise the UK aviation market to encourage foreign airlines to develop new routes by extending to Gatwick and Stansted the ability for foreign airlines to pick up passengers when flying to other destinations.

Our proposal to remove bilateral restrictions on air services on a case-by-case basis. This will mean open access to airports outside the South East for new air services, in order to facilitate inward investment in new routes and extra choice for business and passengers without necessarily having to secure reciprocal access for UK airlines to the airports of the other country.

Our commitment, building on the Olympics and the GREAT brand, to develop a new marketing package, working with BIS, UKTI, and others to market the benefits of flying to a range of UK airports and to target new carriers, particularly carriers in emerging markets such as Latin America, India and south-east Asia.

That we will work with airports to explore, with the US authorities and others, the feasibility of US pre-clearance facilities being made available in the UK, which could improve the competitive offer airports operating such a scheme would be able to make.

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That we will invite train companies to explore the potential of “code-sharing” between flights and long-distance train services, to enhance competition between trains and domestic flights.

Our intention to identify options, within the EU legislative framework, aimed at ensuring that slots at our congested airports are used in the most economically beneficial way for the UK. The focus of this work is on seeking to optimise the functioning of the secondary trading market for airport slots. We expect to engage with key stakeholders later in the summer and publish a progress report in the autumn. We are also working with the EU, in the context of the Commission’s proposals on reform of the rules on landing slots to secure measures to support UK regional connectivity, such as protecting the provision of air services between Northern Ireland and Heathrow.

Our support for the introduction of new rules by airport operators aimed at maximising the use of existing capacity at our busiest airports—for example, by limiting access to smaller planes.

In doing so, we recognise the very substantial efforts the aviation industry is making in continuing to invest and respond to the market.

For example, Heathrow and Gatwick are investing £5 billion and £1 billion respectively over the next few years in better infrastructure and Birmingham airport will shortly begin constructing a £65 million runway extension which will increase the airport’s scope to open new routes to long-haul destinations.

Airlines are launching new routes to key emerging markets, such as British Airways who recently announced a new service to Seoul. China Southern Airlines is now flying from Heathrow to Guangzhou and Gatwick is showing its potential, for example with Air China’s new service to Beijing.

These are positive developments and will help to maintain the UK’s excellent international aviation connectivity in the short term. The Government recognise, however, that they must not only take steps for the short term but also address the issue of fixture airport capacity and we are committed to doing so.

Following our scoping exercise last year, our draft aviation policy framework is the next step towards that and we welcome responses to this consultation. We will follow this, later this year, by issuing an open call for evidence inviting stakeholders to submit specific, evidence-based proposals for consideration in identifying the medium and long-term steps needed to meet the Government’s economic and environmental objectives for aviation. This is a structured process towards delivering a solution that is sustainable, not only economically and environmentally but also politically. The failure of successive Governments to tackle this issue shows that we need to get it right this time. Success depends upon agreeing a solution that can be delivered regardless of the political cycle and that requires an objective evidence-based process which draws on the views of the full range of interested parties.

High Speed Rail (Property Compensation)

The Secretary of State for Transport (Justine Greening): In January I announced the Government would proceed with plans to build a high speed rail network linking

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London with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. This is a vital project that will create jobs, drive economic growth and provide a solution to the capacity crunch facing our existing rail network. Work on the project continues apace and I will be publishing my preferred routes for the second phase of the project in the autumn.

Alongside January’s decision I confirmed my intention to deliver a generous compensation package for those affected by the route which goes over and above the minimum required by law.

I am acutely aware of the impact that the proposals for HS2 are having on the property markets along the line of route from London to the west midlands. The impacts on property are some of the most direct and personal effects of HS2. This is why we have committed to going above and beyond the statutory requirements for property compensation.

Developing the right property compensation package is complex as it needs to be fair to those living and working along the HS2 London to west midlands route while recognising our broader responsibility to the taxpayer. It was clear from the responses to the consultation that we held last year that property compensation was an issue that generated a considerable amount of understandable concern from those affected. In addition, from personally dealing with the casework from the operation of the existing exceptional hardship scheme, I recognise the range and complexity of issues that the property and compensation package for HS2 will need to deal with. This all means that it is imperative that we put in place the right package.

I am keen to consult as soon as possible to provide people with certainty but, given the nature of the issue and its implications for phase 2 and work to assess stations and route options, it is clear to me that the detailed work to fully assess options means that we will consult on the property and compensation package for HS2 after Parliament returns from its summer recess in September. I understand that this delay will not be welcomed by individuals and businesses who had hoped to see an earlier resolution to the uncertainty surrounding HS2 property and compensation policies. However, this will enable the Government to put forward a comprehensive, practical and affordable package of property and compensation measures. I will be writing to those likely to be most directly affected by the project to explain this change.

Work and Pensions

Sure Start Maternity Grants

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): I am pleased to announce that later today we intend to lay regulations to extend entitlement to Sure Start maternity grants.

It is our intention that the scheme be extended to provide for payment of a Sure Start maternity grant where there is already a child under the age of 16 in the family, and there is a subsequent multiple birth.

This change recognises that even where there are already children in the family, additional items will be needed where there is a subsequent multiple birth and a Sure Start maternity grant will be provided for these requirements.

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The further extension of these rules will be due to come into effect for multiple births expected on or after 29 October 2012.

Independent Living Fund

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Maria Miller): In December 2010, the Government announced that the independent living fund (ILF) would not continue to run as a discretionary trust in parallel to the mainstream social care system. The system was poorly structured, leading to unnecessary complexity, duplication of some functions and an unjustifiable geographical variation in take-up. This was followed by the temporary closure of the fund to new users in 2010 when it became clear that insufficient funding had been made available to the fund by the previous Government.

The Government have committed to protect the programme budget for existing ILF users until the end of this Parliament in 2015 and committed to carry out a formal consultation on how support could be made available in the future.

In the care and support White Paper “Caring for our future: reforming care and support”, published this week, the Government have set out their plans for reforming care and support in England. This includes building on the progress that has been made in giving disabled people greater choice and control through the new legal right to a personal budget. It is in this context that we have considered how the future needs of ILF users can be met.

In a consultation document to be published today, the Government are proposing that funding is devolved to local government in England and to the devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales from April 2015. This will ensure that the needs of all ILF users are met within a single cohesive statutory system in line with local priorities and local authorities’ broader independent living strategies. The Government recognise the role that the ILF has played since it was created for a transitional five year period in 1988, but believe that transformed policy context means that to maintain a parallel funding stream for the provision of care and support for disabled people would perpetuate inequity in the system.

The consultation will last for 12 weeks and be on a UK-wide basis given the implications of the closure of the fund for all parts of the United Kingdom. It will be important that we get the views of as wide a range of interested individuals and organisations as possible, in particular ILF users and their carers, their families, local authorities and the many organisations that support disabled people in living independently.

Industrial Injuries Advisory Council

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Chris Grayling): In accordance with the Cabinet Office’s guidance on public bodies, which took effect from 1 April 2011, a review of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) was undertaken. It examined the council’s functions and whether it should exist at arm’s length from

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Government and ensured the council’s control and governance arrangements continue to meet the recognised principles of good corporate governance. The review is now complete and I am happy to inform the House that reviewers concluded the IIAC remain as an arm’s length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions and that it continues to meet the recognised principles of good governance. At the same time and in the interests of proportionality and value for money, IIAC was reviewed as a Scientific Advisory Committee. I will place a copy of the combined review in the House Library.

Social Fund and Social Fund Commissioner (Annual Reports)

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): The Secretary of State’s annual report on the social fund for 2011-12 is to be laid before Parliament and published later today.

The report records that total gross expenditure in 2011-12, excluding winter fuel payments, was over £940 million. This figure includes over 216,000 non-repayable community care grants and almost 3.2 million interest-free loans awarded worth over £581 million. Also, cold weather payments worth £129 million, funeral payments worth £46 million and Sure Start maternity grants worth £45 million, were paid.

In addition over 9 million households benefited from a winter fuel payment at an estimated cost of around £2.1 billion.

The Social Fund Commissioner’s report will also be published later today, and I will place a copy of this report in the House Library.

State Pensions Reform

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): I should like to inform the House about the progress this coalition Government are making with their plans for state pensions reform.

At Budget 2012, the Chancellor confirmed that we will reform the state pension system to introduce a simpler, single tier state pension for future pensioners to better support saving for retirement. A simple flat-rate state pension above the basic level of the means test will bring much needed clarity and simplicity to the pension system, and provide the foundation needed to support automatic enrolment into workplace pensions, enabling people to save for their retirement with confidence. The reforms will be introduced in the next Parliament and will not cost any more than the current system overall.

The Budget also confirmed that the Government will introduce a mechanism so that future increases in state pension age take changes in longevity into account.

Together, these reforms will deliver a state pension system that is fit for the 21st century.

Given the scale, complexity and importance of these two significant reforms we are still working on the details, to ensure we get them right. Therefore, we will

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set out further detail on both the single tier reform and state pension age review mechanism in a White Paper in the autumn.

Universal Credit

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Maria Miller): Universal credit has been designed to ensure that people are better off in work. The benefit will be for claimants both in and out of work, and will enable a smooth transition into work.

Universal credit will improve work incentives as financial support will be reduced at a consistent and predictable rate for claimants moving into work or increasing their working hours. People will generally keep a higher proportion of their earnings. The intention is that any work pays, in particular, low-hours work. Reducing the complexity of the current system and removing the distinction between in-work and out-of-work support, will make clear the potential gains to work and reduce the risks associated with moves into employment.

The new in-work incentives of universal credit mean that some current measures are not needed. To this effect, I am announcing today that the Government intend to end the following payments to prepare the ground for the introduction of universal credit. The payments will be removed beforehand to aid a smoother migration into the new system.

Job grant; a one-off payment made to eligible claimants who leave benefits to start work. Claimants must have been on benefits for at least 26 weeks.

In-work credit; a weekly payment made to eligible lone parents who leave benefits to start work. Claimants must have been on benefits for at least one year and can receive payments for up to 52 weeks.

Return-to-work credit; a weekly payment made to eligible claimants with a health condition or disability who leave benefits to start work. Claimants must have been on benefits for at least 13 weeks and can receive payments for up to 52 weeks.

Under universal credit, in-work support will be part of the benefit system. In this context, we do not believe that cash payments based solely on the amount of time

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a person has spent on benefit regardless of actual need make sense. Universal credit will provide in-work incentives to all who receive it rather than these specific groups and allow us to target help more effectively.

These payments will start to be phased out for new benefit claimants from October 2012; payments can continue into 2013 for those eligible. Further information will be made available shortly for those affected.

Work Capability Assessment

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Chris Grayling): Later today the Government will publish a call for evidence as part of Professor Malcolm Harrington’s third independent review of the work capability assessment (WCA).

Professor Harrington’s first two reviews were published in November 2010 and November 2011. His overall view was that the principle of the WCA was sound but the processes that supported the system were not working as well as they could. The Department have made a number of changes to the WCA process as a result of the recommendations made by Professor Harrington in his reviews. These were noted in his 2011 review when he said:

“The WCA has, in my view, noticeably changed for the better”.

The call for evidence is one of several methods Professor Harrington is using to gather information to support the review and inform its final recommendations. He is particularly interested in views and evidence about any changes that claimants have experienced since the introduction of the first year’s recommendations.

The call for evidence runs until 7 September 2012.

Professor Harrington will make his final recommendations to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by the end of the year.

I will place a copy of the call for evidence in the Libraries of both Houses it will also be available on the Department’s website later today.