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Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 6 March (WA 116), whether it is lawful for the United Kingdom Passport Service or a local British consular post to refuse an otherwise valid British passport application because the applicant has refused to return the passport of their second nationality to the appropriate authorities. [HL5630]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Passports are issued under the Royal prerogative at the discretion of the Secretary of State. It is not a requirement that a passport of a second nationality is returned to the appropriate authorities before the issue of a British passport. British consular posts encourage dual nationals to return the passport of their second nationality to the appropriate authorities where this is appropriate.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The needs of mid-Wales and the Welsh Marches are covered by the new IPS interview offices to be located in Wrexham, Shrewsbury, Aberystwyth and Cheltenham (and potentially
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Warwick and Birmingham), together with the remote communities services planned for Anglesey, north Gwynedd and Pembrokeshire.
Whether they have received any evidence on the trafficking of children from the other European Union member states to the United Kingdom and vice versa; and, secondly, within the United Kingdom. [HL5636]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): There have been a number of cases of trafficking from the new EU member states, in particular Lithuania. Some of the victims recovered have been minors. Once trafficked to the UK, such victims will often be moved around and trafficked within the UK. Current intelligence does not suggest that there is a problem of trafficking of minors from the UK to other EU member states.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The financial implications of amalgamating different levels of precept remain under consideration. We are presently working on transitional arrangements to allow for convergence of precepts over several years. We are committed to paying 100 per cent of reasonable set-up revenue and
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capital costs of restructuring, net of reasonable savings. The projected level of these costs and savings is a matter for negotiations currently taking place.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Restructuring of the police service is about strengthening policing and ensuring that all police forces across England and Wales have the required capacity, capability and resilience to provide the most effective policing to the communities they serve. The number of police officers and police staff in each strategic force will be a matter for the chief constable and police authority concerned.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): As part of our approach to communities and civil renewal, we are encouraging local people to volunteer their time to provide positive support for offenders, helping them to turn away from crime. The National Offender Management Service is developing a volunteering strategy to underpin this aim, and has commissioned a review of international evidence on the impact of mentoring in reducing re-offending. A young adult offender project will take account of any significant findings which result from these initiatives.
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