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15 Jan 2008 : Column WA243

15 Jan 2008 : Column WA243

Written Answers

Tuesday 15 January 2008


Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): A total of 29 citizenship ceremonies were held in Northern Ireland during 2007. Five hundred and forty-five people became British citizens at these ceremonies.

The information has been provided from local management information and is not a national statistic. As such it should be treated as provisional and therefore subject to change.

Immigration: BIA

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): As indicated in the Border and Immigration Agency's response to the Complaints Audit Committee's annual report, the agency makes CCTV footage available to the police to assist them in reaching a decision. The conduct of an investigation by the police is an operational matter for the chief officer of the force concerned. Any complaints relating to the conduct of an investigation should be referred to the individual chief officer.

Immigration: Detention and Removal Centres

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Home Office publishes a quarterly snapshot of people detained solely under Immigration Act powers on the last Saturday of each quarter, broken down by gender and people recorded as being under 18 at the time of the snapshot. The latest published information pertains to persons detained as at 29 September 2007 and is published in the quarterly web-based asylum statistics bulletin and in the annual statistical bulletin Asylum Statistics United Kingdom. These statistics exclude persons detained in prison establishments, police cells and those detained under both criminal and immigration powers.

Children are detained in only two limited circumstances: first, as part of a family group whose detention is considered appropriate; secondly, when unaccompanied, while alternative care arrangements are made and normally only overnight. While the detention of families with children is very regrettable, it nevertheless remains necessary in appropriate cases in order to maintain an effective immigration control and to tackle abuses of the asylum system.

Information on the number of people who were detained awaiting deportation after completing their sentence is not available.

The current total capacity of the immigration detention estate is 2,557 beds.

Copies of the publications and others relating to immigration to the UK are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at

Immigration: Detention Centres

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There has been no analysis carried out of the number of immigration detainees who are moved from one removal centre to another. Moves of detainees are kept to a minimum but are necessary in managing a national and dispersed removal estate. A detainee could be moved several times to make optimum use of the detention space available and for his/her own needs.

Immigration: Temporary Residency

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): As the then Home Secretary set out in his evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 23 May 2006, following the dismantling of routine embarkation controls beginning in 1994, no Government have been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally, and that remains the case.

A clear goal has been set to reintroduce systems to count everyone in and out of United Kingdom (UK). The e-Borders programme, scheduled to commence in 2008, will strengthen and modernise our border control including providing an electronic record of all those entering and leaving the UK.

In the mean time, targeted embarkation controls continue to take place at major ports to identify failed asylum seekers and other immigration offenders who are leaving the UK, and the Border and Immigration Agency is reviewing its capacity to extend these.

The total number of individuals arrested on enforcement visits between December 2006 and November 2007 is 10,662. It is difficult to ascertain exactly how many of those arrested overstayed their temporary residence, without looking at their case files. However, a proportion of these individuals will have overstayed their leave. The monthly breakdown of this figure is attached at Annexe A. These data are based on management information and are not a national statistic. They should be treated as provisional as they are subject to change.

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Annexe A
Number of individuals who have been arrested in each of the last 12 months as a result of enforcement visits

December 2006


January 2007


February 2007


March 2007


April 2007


May 2007


June 2007


July 2007


August 2007


September 2007


October 2007


November 2007




Railways: Automatic Ticket Barriers

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Ticket barriers are not being installed at railway stations for security reasons. Train operating companies are required to protect revenue under their contracts with the Department for Transport. This may include the installation of ticket barriers at stations.

For security measures, the department aims for proportionate and effective measures at railway stations which still allow people to go about their day to day business. Security regimes for the railways have been developed in consultation with operators in full recognition of the open nature of systems; consequently they seek to be commensurate with the terrorist threat, effective, practicable and sustainable.

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