Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

15 Nov 2007 : Column WA31

Driving: Mobile Phones

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There has been a significant increase in the number of drivers caught by the police committing this offence. The latest figures, for 2005, show that the police took enforcement action against 129,700 drivers for the specific offence of driving while using a hand-held mobile phone. This is a 72 per cent (75,200) increase on the 2004 figure.

The message that the Government and the police want to get over is that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous and where drivers continue to flout the law and are seen by the police they will be prosecuted.

The offence became endorsable (three points) and the penalty was increased to £60 with effect from 27 February 2007. The Department for Transport also ran through the summer months a significant publicity campaign under its THINK! Road Safety umbrella to raise drivers’ awareness of the consequences of the offence.

Emergency Services: Sirens

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): I am confident that the emergency services are fully aware of the legal controls on the use of sirens. Individual police forces and other agencies may issue their own guidance, but subject to the law it is a matter for individual drivers of emergency service vehicles to decide when they need to alert to their presence other drivers and pedestrians or others using the road. These drivers are well aware that they should use sirens with restraint, so as not to cause a nuisance to other locals.

Energy: Nuclear Waste

Lord Jenkin of Roding asked Her Majesty's Government:

15 Nov 2007 : Column WA32

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The letter from Greenpeace dated 2 November was a response to the consultation document Managing Radioactive Waste Safely: A Framework for Implementing Geological Disposal. It is not usual practice to respond to individual consultation responses.

We are currently analysing responses and a summary will be published. We expect the outcome of the consultation to be the basis for a White Paper policy statement during the first half of 2008.

Personal Accounts Delivery

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): We were keen to establish the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority as quickly as possible. The Pensions Act 2007 provides for a minimum of three members of the authority at any time and, in line with accepted principles of good corporate governance, that at least half the board, excluding the chair, should be non-executives. The chair, chief executive and one non-executive director have been appointed as part of the first phase of board recruitment. Further appointments, including further non-executive directors, are planned for the first quarter of 2008.

Police: Level 2 Crime

Lord Dear asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We are working with police forces and authorities to create additional capability and capacity across the country for the delivery of protective services, including the police response to level 2 crime, by encouraging them to explore opportunities for collaboration. We have also asked police forces and authorities to assess their demand for protective services and put in place plans to improve their delivery. We will be measuring forces’ performance in these areas from 2008-09 and new national standards have been introduced by the Association of Chief Police Officers, which set the benchmark for inspections that are currently under way by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

We have also invested in the development of an intelligence unit to tackle level 2 crime in each police region and we have contributed to the growth of a serious crime investigatory unit in the east Midlands.

15 Nov 2007 : Column WA33

Police: Senior Officers

Lord Dear asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Unlike in the United Kingdom, the police service in Sweden is a national force, reporting to a national police board and to parliament and ministers. The educational programmes of the Swedish National Police Academy are formed in accordance with the directives issued by the Government and parliament. It is thus a more centralised system than that which exists than in this country.

The tripartite arrangement for policing in the UK means that the Swedish model is not one that would be suitable for direct import here, although the National Policing Improvement Agency has been working with the Swedish National Policing Agency and police from other EU countries in this area.

Putting aside the predetermined career path that the rank structure imposes, there currently is no mandated

15 Nov 2007 : Column WA34

development path for police officers. However, at the national level a number of mechanisms exist to assist senior police officers in their career development. Importantly, these also assure the quality of senior police leadership.

Zaire: RAF Flights

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): In November 1996, a Canberra PR9 photo-reconnaissance aircraft was sent to Entebbe to assist the humanitarian efforts being made in the Rwanda conflict. The flights over Zaire were part of this support. Details of the dates, times and remarks on the flights made by the Canberra PR9 from Entebbe are provided in the table below. They are taken from the operational record book of No. 39 Sqn RAF.

15 Nov 2007 : Column WA35

15 Nov 2007 : Column WA36

DateLocal time upLocal time downPurpose and sortie comments

23 Nov



No refugees seen in Biluma, Katale, Rumango and Rugari.



2,000 to 3,000 refugees in vicinity of Medaka. Mudaka to Karago and Hombo to Bunyakiri roads covered.

26 Nov



1,000 to 2,000 refugees travelling south on road between Kashewe and Mingasi. Four other areas cleared.



Road from south of Walikale to Makote cleared.

27 Nov



Main road from Goma to Sake containing approx 3,000 refugees probably moving towards Sake refugee camp at Minova.

28 Nov



Minova refugee camp still occupied. 5,000 to 10,000 travelling north-west on road in river valley west of Lake Kivu.



Shabunda and Walikale areas. 2,000 to 3,000 refugees on road moving towards Walikale. Checkpoint noted on road.

30 Nov



Three roads flown and cleared; no refugee activity seen.

1 Dec



Goma to Sake road cleared. Small number of people on road side near Lake Kivu.

2 Dec



The Lowa river valley area. Large number of refugees camped along the road in the valley. Total 150K+. Minova camp now unoccupied.

3 Dec



Volcano only.

4 Dec



Goma airfield. Nzibi area flown as a mini-survey. No refugees were located.

5 Dec



Due to cloud targets not covered. An area search (TGT [Target] of opportunity) found no refugee activity.



Colour [photography?] of refugees in Lowa valley.

6 Dec



Lowa river valley. Refugees still present; however, new camps have been established and some of the older camps have been abandoned. General direction of drift is away from Rwanda.

8 Dec



No photography.

9 Dec



Road from Walikale to Lubutu. Small camp largely abandoned on side of road approx—500 occupants 2mm (sic) SE Lubutu.

10 Dec



PFO of volcano eruption.

11 Dec



Goma to Sake road cleared. Refugee camp 1,500 to 2,000 occupants in vicinity of Kingulubu. This camp has been in existence for several weeks but is probably getting larger.

12 Dec



Total camera failure. Crew report nil refugees seen along route Lubutu to Shabunda.

13 Dec



Roads from Lubutu to Kindu and around Shabunda cleared. No refugees were seen.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page