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Service Medals

Lord Chadlington asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: No. HMG's rules on the acceptance and wearing of foreign awards preclude the acceptance of medals for events in the distant past or more than five years previously. In addition, the rules do not allow for a foreign award to be accepted if a British award has been given for the same service. Eligible veterans of the Emergency or Confrontation in Malaya should already have received the Malaya Bar to their General Service Medal.

All British citizens require permission from HMG to accept and wear foreign state awards. HMG have, to date, received no request from the Malaysian Government for this medal to be presented to British ex-servicemen who are veterans of the Emergency or Confrontation in Malaya.

Prisons: Foreign Nationals

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The population of foreign nationals, as recorded on the Prison Service central IT system, in prison establishments in England and Wales was 8,996 on 31 October 2004.

Community Sentences: First-Time Offenders

Lord Dholakia asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The figures in the attached table are calculated from data held
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on the Offenders Index (OI). The Offenders Index only has data available on those convicted of a standard list offence. Offenders classified as first time offenders on the OI may have previous convictions for non-standard list offences; and several offences were added to the standard list in 1996.
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Number and proportion of first time offenders receiving community penalties, by year

Community service orders/
Community punishment orders
Probation/Community rehabilitation
All Community penalties
YearNumber in
number in
%Number in sampleEstimated number in year%Number in sampleEstimated number in year%
1992Data not available
2003Data not available

All community penalties include the following: Community rehabilitation orders, supervision orders, community punishment orders, attendance centre orders, community rehabilitation and punishment orders, curfew orders, reparation orders (since June 2000), action plan orders (since June 2000) or drug treatment and testing orders (since October 2000) and referral orders (since April 2002).

The data are based on a sample taken from the Offenders Index. From 1996 onwards 4-week samples were taken. Before 1996 the size of the sample varied.

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Custodial Sentences: Indictable Offences

Lord Dholakia asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The information requested, relating to England and Wales, is contained in the table.
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Persons sentenced for indictable offences at all courts, those sentenced to immediate custody and the custodial sentence rate, 1992–2003
England and WalesNumber of persons

The Crown Court
Total number sentenced81,11766,98068,46271,51870,86476,50977,02373,85270,92168,67172,87072,571
Number given custody36,05733,07436,01140,18143,42546,62347,08546,40045,30443,59945,86543,490
Percentage given custody44.549.452.656.261.360.961.162.863.963.562.959.9
Magistrates' courts
Total number sentenced241,416238,241243,595228,890227,983241,021262,613266,452253,961253,195262,653259,895
Number given custody11,79613,89817,33920,19522,01925,23730,22733,38835,48036,67439,28637,304
Percentage given custody4.
All courts
Total number sentenced322,533305,221312,057300,408298,847317,530339,636340,304324,882321,866335,523332,466
Number given custody47,85346,97253,35060,37665,44471,86077,31279,78880,78480,27385,15180,794
Percentage given custody14.815.417.120.121.922.622.81>23.424.924.925.424.3

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Bicester Accommodation Centre

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: A copy of the drawing has been placed in the Library.

People Trafficking

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Government are committed to ensuring guidance is available on how to deal with cases where human trafficking is suspected.

The Home Office has already published a best practice toolkit on trafficking that acts as a guide for immigration officers, police and other professionals who might potentially deal with the victims of trafficking, whether they are adults or children. In particular, it helps those concerned to treat victims of trafficking fairly and appropriately. This toolkit is available on the Internet, and the paper version was updated and republished at the beginning of this year.

All immigration officers who work on the immigration vice teams receive specially designed training and a period of one-to-one mentoring. This ensures that they are aware of issues relating to human trafficking. The Immigration Service has also issued a best practice guide that provides guidance on what immigration officers should do if they identify suspected trafficking at ports.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has produced internal guidance on trafficking called Trafficking of Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation: An Investigators Guide.

In addition, the National Centre for Policing Excellence is publishing a best practice guide on the Use of Immigration Powers Against Crime in the next few weeks. This provides information to the police on trafficking and guidance on the use of immigration legislation including trafficking offences.

We will keep the need for further guidance under review.

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