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Due to staff turnover and role changes, the total number of police officers trained over a given period is not representative of the number of officers that could be called on to respond to an incident. The most recent audit carried out by the Police National CBRN Centre (mid-April 2008) recorded 8,124 fully trained, equipped and deployable CBRN police officers in the UK.

Baroness Neville-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord West of Spithead: The police “PREVENT” strategy and delivery plan was launched by the Association of Chief Police Officers in April. This was complemented by The Prevent Strategy: A Guide for Local Partners in England, which the Government published in June. At the same time, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary announced the allocation of new police posts for 24 forces in 2008-09. Recruitment for these posts is under way, with a view to them being in place by the autumn.

Progress is being made in forces in the following key areas in particular: developing effective links with institutions to strengthen resilience to violent extremism, for instance through safer schools partnerships and links with other educational establishments; supporting vulnerable individuals through multi-agency interventions, tailored to the individual’s needs—10 channel sites are now up and running, and there are plans to extend the scheme to further areas this year; delivering intelligence and community engagement training in seven different sites in preparation for national rollout to all forces later this year; and ensuring that preventing violent extremism is the core business of police activity at all levels, including neighbourhoods, and that information and intelligence is shared collaboratively with other key partners.

All forces in England and Wales will be inspected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary later in the year against its implementation of the police “PREVENT” strategy.

Baroness Neville-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: Since its establishment in 2001, the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) resilience programme has made considerable progress in providing:

a range of national guidance publications covering all aspects of the CBRN response;specialist training for emergency service personnel through the establishment of the Police National CBRN Centre;detection equipment for first responders;decontamination equipment through the new dimension programme; andmore effective personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders, such as the civil responder 1 (CR1) suit.

Further details on the status of the CBRN resilience programme are available online at www.security.home office.gov.uk/cbrn-resilience.

Baroness Neville-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord West of Spithead: Further to the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s Written Ministerial Statement on 14 November 2007, the Government have made good progress in implementing the conclusions of the reviews.

On crowded places, we have introduced a standard way of assessing risk which will for the first time provide baseline data about local areas with crowded places at highest risk. The investment of a further £1.5 million during the financial year 2008-09, for additional counterterrorism security adviser (CTSA) posts, has meant that there are now more than 180 officers to support this work. We have also tripled the capacity of the national barrier asset (which provides temporary protection for the highest risk locations).

In the autumn, we will consult publicly about two key guidance documents: a new strategic framework to encourage greater partnership working at local level to reduce vulnerabilities of crowded places; and a counterterrorism supplement to the existing guidance Safer Places—The Planning System and Crime Prevention, which will act as a practical guide for designers and planners.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) is due to publish shortly two new protective security guidance booklets for cinemas, theatres, restaurants and hotels. Guidance tailored for the requirements of major events, education and health sectors, religious sites and commercial centres is also being prepared to supplement existing protective security guidance.

CTSAs have now delivered more than 460 ARGUS exercises (counterterrorism scenario-based training exercises for primarily retail businesses located in crowded places) since January 2007. A new ARGUS “professional” has been developed aimed at architects, planners, designers and developers following four pilots carried out earlier in 2008 across the UK. NaCTSO has also developed an ARGUS exercise for the “night-time economy”, which will be available from CTSAs from August 2008 onwards. Regional-based counterterrorism awareness briefings are also being provided to police architectural liaison officers in 2008-09.

On critical national infrastructure (CNI), a new infrastructure categorisation scheme has now been implemented. Sector sponsor departments and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) are reviewing our essential services to produce a new, up-to-date catalogue of national infrastructure. This includes information networks as well as physical sites for a more comprehensive picture of the UK’s critical national infrastructure. The catalogue will be reviewed on a regular basis.

We are developing guidance to explain the Government’s strategic approach to infrastructure protection, outlining the roles and responsibilities of those involved in critical national infrastructure protection, for sharing with key partners. We have also accelerated the research and development work being led by the CPNI.

On transport, the review recognised the scope and nature of our transport security programmes and that there was no requirement for a fundamental change in how we regulate counterterrorism security. The

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Government had already been working to address the security of public areas at airports and on the railways prior to the incident at Glasgow airport in June 2007, building on existing security procedures which apply to both airports and the railways.

We continue to balance the necessary response to the ongoing level of threat with the need for people to travel. Where necessary, we introduce additional requirements, such as those proposed in the transport security Bill. Where appropriate, we develop capability, such as our three-year operational trial of an extension to the British Transport Police's passenger screening announced on 26 June, and the introduction of vehicle restraint measures at key stations. Where possible we minimise the impact, such as lifting the “one bag” restriction on aircraft cabin baggage at 50 UK airports.

On the review of hazardous substances announced by the Prime Minister in November 2007, I refer the noble Baroness to the Statement I laid before this House today.

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The £12.5 million announced on 3 June is the money that the Home Office has allocated to a number of departments, agencies and organisations to deliver programmes to support vulnerable individuals. This comprises a range of activities rather than a single programme that the Government invited bids for.

The £12.5 million from the Home Office is to help prevent extremism in communities and will be spent on funding projects specifically to support institutions or individuals vulnerable to radicalisation. New schemes will include:

£1 million for the Home Office to extend police-led multi-agency projects to identify and support vulnerable individuals at risk of being targeted by violent extremists;£3.5 million to youth offending teams and youth secure establishments on new work to prevent violent extremism, focused on supporting young individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system;£7.25 million to the National Offender Management Service and partner agencies to do further work in prisons and the community to tackle vulnerability to radicalisation among offenders;£750,000 for the Home Office to fund further grassroots projects aimed at tackling radicalisation.

All of the £12.5 million will be spent in the 2008-09 financial year.



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The Home Office regularly carries out cross-government consultation with all its key stakeholders including the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills among others. Organisations with experience in dealing with vulnerable individuals were identified and projects created to contribute to the delivery of the PREVENT strategy. All approved projects are scrutinised by governance boards, which feed into the NSID(E) board chaired by the Prime Minister.

Crime: Knives

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The knife referral project involves ensuring that young people who have been convicted of possession of a knife understand the risks and consquences of their actions. If they do not receive a custodial sentence, they will attend, as part of their community sentence, a weapons awareness programme and this may include discussions with A&E professionals and victims’ families.

There is no proposal that offenders who have committed violence involving knives should visit their victims in hospital.

Crime: Online Fraud

Lord Broers asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): In 2007-08, 23,344 cases of fraud by false representation that involved a cheque, plastic card or online bank account were recorded by the police (this includes some instances of the similar offence of cheque and credit card fraud committed under old legislation in place before 15 January 2007).

Those offences could have been referred directly by a financial institution, reported by an account holder or merchant who was not refunded moneys by their financial institution or dealt with as a direct call for service to the police where a suspect was believed to be committing a crime at the time. The offences will in some instances relate to online fraud, but there is no specific category of recorded crime to separately identify them.



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Department for Communities and Local Government: Architects, Planners and Surveyors

Baroness Whitaker asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The department currently employs eight planning officers. The department does not have specialist grades for architects, landscape architects and chartered surveyors. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) is the Government's advisor on architecture, urban design and public space.

Department for Transport: Publications

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Total payments coded as expenditure for magazines, newspapers and other publications in the Department for Transport’s accounting systems during the last three complete financial years is recorded as:

2005/06—£553,881

2006/07—£277,389

2007/08—£302,267.

The totals exclude data from the Government Car and Despatch Agency and the Driving Standards Agency, which could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

From 2006-07, the central department introduced a revised coding structure. Prior to this, it was not possible to separate expenditure on books and purchases of other official material. The total for 2005-06 therefore includes this expenditure.

The figure provided by the Highways Agency for 2005-06 also includes publications purchased for specific road projects. The data used to complete the answer rely upon correct coding of expenditure by finance staff.

Deportation

Baroness Neville-Jones asked Her Majesty’s Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Memoranda of understanding on deportation with assurances were signed with Jordan, Libya and Lebanon in 2005. Separate arrangements, set out in an exchange of letters in July 2006, apply in respect of Algeria.

The Government are pursuing agreements regarding deportation with assurances with a number of countries. Identification of the parties would prejudice these negotiations. Copies of any agreements concluded will be placed in the Library in due course, as has been done previously.

Since July 2006, no one has been deported to Jordan, Libya or Lebanon on grounds of either national security or unacceptable behaviour. Six men have been deported to Algeria since that date, all on national security grounds.

Discrimination

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): We note the judgment of the European Court of Justice in this case, as such decisions can only help to ensure that member states are fully compliant with the directive. The case broadly concerned the enforcement powers that may be required to deal with situations where unlawful discrimination is apparent, but no individual victim has been identified. The Equality and Human Rights Commission is already empowered to bring enforcement proceedings in situations where no identifiable victim has come forward—for example, where it identifies discriminatory advertisements, discriminatory practices or where it otherwise thinks an unlawful act is likely to be committed. Our initial view, therefore, is that our existing legislative framework is compliant. We are, however, considering the judgment in detail and will be analysing it in terms of our wider proposals for the new Equality Bill.


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