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Lord Bassam of Brighton: The estimate is supported by theoretical modelling of the offender population carried out by the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS). It represents an early estimate and is subject to modification in the light of research currently in hand in connection with monitoring the rate of growth of the DNA database.
Thus, while the present target is to populate the database with the profiles of three million offenders by 2004, the target may change during the course of the project to reflect best estimates of the criminally active population.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government regularly produce statistics and research reports on the criminal justice system which include information on race, gender and costs as required under Section 95.
A recent example of such a publication is Ethnic Differences in Decisions on Young Defendants dealt with by the Crown Prosecution Service by Gordon Barclay and Bonny Mhlang and published as Section 95 Findings No. 1 on 3 March 2000.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: There is an opportunity whilst pre-sentence reports are being prepared to consider what childcare arrangements should be put into place, should a custodial sentence be an option. We do not have any plans to bring forward such legislation in the immediate future.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Under the British Nationality Act 1981 adults, including Irish citizens, may be naturalised as British citizens if they have lived in the United Kingdom for the preceding five years (three years if married to a British citizen) at the date of application and they meet certain other requirements. A person who holds British citizenship can apply for a British citizen passport.
Irish citizens born before 1949 who have also remained British subjects are eligible for British subject passports. British subjects are entitled to registration as British citizens if they have lived in the United Kingdom for the preceding five years and meet certain other residence requirements.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Belfast Agreement does not contain or imply any undertaking by the British Government to confer British citizenship on the basis of residence in the Republic of Ireland and there are no plans to amend the British Nationality Act 1981 to provide for this.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government are seeking to encourage greater co-operation, on an international level, on matters relating to the criminal exploitation of methods for protecting data and communications, such as strong encryption. This forms part of a package of measures the Government are putting in place to help deal with the threat posed by rising criminal use of new technologies. Encouraging the development of such a new international framework was a specific recommendation contained in the May 1999 report Encryption and Law Enforcement, published by the Cabinet Office Performance and Innovation Unit.
Government officials have engaged in bilateral exchanges with, for example, the European Commission and the United States and through the informal G5 Information Security Group comprising France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In addition, United States Government and industry representatives attended the second United Kingdom Government-Industry Forum on Encryption and Law Enforcement on 9 May 2000, and United Kingdom officials will attend a similar event in the United States during October. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary and my honourable friend the Minister of State for the Home Office (Mr Clarke) have been in contact with the Attorney General of the United States of America and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation respectively about the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 following Royal Assent.
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Responsibility for this subject has been devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly and is therefore no longer a matter for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Government selected Dome Europe as preferred bidder because it offered the best proposals evaluated against the competition criteria, including the benefits of continuity of use and greater funding certainty. However, the proposal from Legacy plc was a strong one and following Dome Europe's decision to withdraw the Government has entered into discussions with Legacy plc as the sole remaining shortlisted bidder in the competition to sell the Millennium Dome. Legacy plc could be granted "preferred bidder" status as long as they make satisfactory progress with their proposals.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Following the decision by Dome Europe to withdraw from the competition for the future use of the Dome, the Deputy Prime Minister requested that English Partnerships produce a paper on the options for the future use of the Millennium Experience site. This exercise is being run in parallel to the current competition for the Dome and the discussions that are taking place with Legacy plc. The Government remain committed to a long-term future for the Dome.
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