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15 Jan 2007 : Column WA121

Lord Lofthouse of Pontefract asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Truscott: Overall, 31,000 (19 per cent) of vibration white finger claims await settlement. Around 5,000 general damages claims are awaiting offers and 26,000 services claims remain outstanding.

Crime: Gender Balance

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Home Office research into the causes of crime has not included any exploration of the potential role of biological factors in the increased propensity shown by men or women to commit crime.

Research summarised in The Impact of Corrections on Re-offending: A Review of What Works (HORS 291, 2006) discusses a range of factors, or “criminogenic needs”, predictive of offending in relation to the differences between men and women in the frequency and nature of offending. Evidence suggests that female offenders have higher levels of need in the areas of relationships and emotional well-being, while male offenders had higher levels of need with regard to offending, alcohol misuse, thinking and behaviour and attitudes.

Self-report offending studies have consistently shown that men are more likely to commit offences than women although the gender gap varies according to type of offence. The existing research does not show that the gap is caused solely by social factors or solely by biological factors.

The Home Office has recently published Statistics on Women and the Criminal Justice System which provides further details of the nature of offending carried out by women (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs06/s95women0405.pdf).

EU: Constitutional Treaty

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): According to the conclusions of the June 2006 European Council, the German presidency will present a report at the June 2007 European Council based on extensive consultations with member states. The report will contain an assessment of the state of discussion on the constitutional treaty and explore possible future developments. We expect these discussions to commence shortly. The Government's approach to these discussions was set out in a Written Ministerial Statement to the House by my right honourable friend the Minister for Europe on 5 December 2006 (Official Report, col. 10WS-11WS).

Immigration: Face Covering

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Specific operational guidance on the examination of passengers wearing veils or other face coverings is available to immigration officers and states that passengers wearing veils or other face coverings are to be asked to remove the covering in order that they may be identified as the rightful holder of their passport or travel document.

A copy of the relevant instructions will be placed in the House Library.

Immigration: Fast-track Procedure

Baroness Williams of Crosby asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): These data are derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.

As at 8 December 2006, the latest date for which data are available, there were 170 claimants detained under the detained fast-track (DFT) process of whom 125 were male and 50 were female (figures are rounded to the nearest five). For details of nationality and length of detention, please see the attached table.

National statistics on the total number of people detained under sole Immigration Act powers are published quarterly and annually. Copies are available from the Library of the House and on the Home

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Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

There were 125 male claimants from 33 nationalities in the detained fast-track (DFT) process. The average period in detention per detainee since date of entry to the DFT process was 45 days.

NationalityNumber of Male Detainees (1)Average Number of Days in DFT

Afghanistan

15

27

Angola

5

33

Bangladesh

10

44

Dem. Rep. of Congo

5

39

Gambia

5

41

Jamaica

5

33

Kenya

5

58

Nigeria

5

70

Pakistan

15

46

Russia

5

14

Sudan

10

81

Turkey

15

37

Uganda

5

101

Other nationalities

20

35

Total

125

45

(1) Figures are rounded to the nearest five

There were 50 female claimants from 22 nationalities in the detained fast-track (DFT) process. The average period in detention per detainee since date of entry to the DFT process was 21 days.

NationalityNumber of female detainees(1)Average Number of Days in DFT

China

5

22

Gambia

5

24

Georgia

5

16

Nigeria

10

22

Pakistan

5

23

Uganda

5

31

Other nationalities

20

18

Total

50

21

(1) Figures are rounded to the nearest five

Immigration: Joint Report

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): We understand that the joint report by Refugee Action and Amnesty International published on 7 November 2006 is entitled The Destitution Trap. The Government are aware of the detailed recommendations made in the report, which are directed at a range of government departments and other agencies. It will take them into account

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when formulating policy on dealing with the legacy of older cases and in dealing with new cases under the New Asylum Model. Failed asylum seekers have had their asylum claims carefully considered by the Home Office and, where appropriate, by the independent appellate authorities. It has been decided that they do not require international protection and they are therefore required to leave the UK.

Prisoners: Deportation

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): On arrival in prisons, HM Prison Service provides the Immigration and Nationality Directorate with details of all foreign national prisoners, and all prisoners whose nationality has not been established, to enable the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to conduct inquiries and confirm nationality.

All foreign national prisoners have the opportunity to provide representations against deportation and long-term residency in the United Kingdom is a factor that is taken into consideration when assessing whether a prisoner from a European Economic Area (EEA) country is liable to deportation. Consideration to deport prisoners from EEA countries is made in accordance with the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006.

On 9 October the Secretary of State for the Home Department explained that in view of the interpretation given to current provisions in respect of EEA nationals, HMG will seek to bring forward changes in the law in order to clarify and strengthen the link between criminality and deportation. In the mean time we will ensure that only those cases which have a reasonable prospect of success within the current interpretation of the legislative provisions will be given priority, and robustly pursued.


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