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What action they are taking regarding thefts of metal objects from public places, including gully grates in highways, street furniture and from the roofs of schools and other public buildings; and [HL4788]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We are aware that thefts of valuable metals have been increasing in many parts of the country and we are working closely with the industries affected and the police to develop plans to tackle these crimes. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has set up a metal theft working group chaired by the British Transport Police and with
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The working group strategy is based on ensuring that existing legislation (environmental and criminal) is adhered to by legitimate operators and that police tactics focus on identifying and closing down unlicensed operations in addition to developing a good practice guide for local enforcement and other stakeholders. The ACPO group is to examine closely the extent to which the current provisions under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 are effective and enforced, and assess whether its provisions need to be tightened or replaced.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): These data are not kept centrally. Crimes are prosecuted on the basis of the offence committed and not the medium used.
How much it cost to establish the My Life My ID website; what is the annual cost of maintaining it, including staff time; and how many unique daily visitors it has received on average since its launch. [HL4854]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The mylifemyid website is a temporary research website that is intended to be live for only three months (from 9 July to 15 Oct 2008). Therefore, there are no annual costs to maintain it. The total cost to establish the website is £45,855 excluding VAT, which includes procurement, set-up and agency staff time in maintaining it. IPS staff costs in setting up and maintaining the site equate to an additional £2,644.85 across the life of the website. Over the first five days of the website being live, the average number of unique daily visitors has been approximately 6,000.
What proportion of applicants for asylum or humanitarian protection the Home Office subjected to age assessment in each of the past five years; and what proportion of them were subsequently found to be aged under 18 at the date of application.[HL5078]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The available information, which relates to the number of asylum applications which are age dispute cases, by year since 2004, is shown in the table.
Information on the proportion of age dispute cases which were subsequently found to be aged under 18 years at the time of application is not held centrally and could be obtained only through the examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.
A working group made up of representatives of the UK Border Agency, major intake authorities, the Association of Directors of Childrens Services, the medical colleges, the Refugee Childrens Consortium and the Childrens Commissioner for England has been tasked with formulating, before the end of the year, recommendations for improvement of the age assessment process.
|Applications(1) received for asylum in the UK, and proportions of applications that are age-disputed, excluding dependants, 2004-2007|
|2004||2005||2006 (P)||2007 (P)|
(2) An age dispute case refers to an applicant who claims to be a child, but whose appearance and/or general demeanour strongly suggests that they are 18 or over, and whose age is disputed by the UK Border Agency unless there is credible documentary or other persuasive evidence to demonstrate the age claimed.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We currently have no plans to enforce the removal of failed asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe but we will continue to help those who want to go home voluntarily.
We are aware of recent developments in Sudan and have deferred enforcing returns of non-Arab Darfuris to Khartoum. The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal is due to consider a country guidance case on safety of return to Khartoum. A date for the hearing has not yet been scheduled but we expect the hearing to take place before the end of 2008.
What percentage of detainees, on average, have remained in Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre pending a removal decision for (a) more than 28 days and (b) more than six months during the last two years for which figures are available. [HL5050]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The information sought is not available in the format requested and it would be at disproportionate cost to provide it.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave to him on 30 June and in my letter of 18 June 2008, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.
On what date the Home Office first received enquiries seeking its view of the compatibility of Phorm/121 Media's behavioural targeting service with Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; who made those enquiries; what information was requested; and what response the Home Office made; and [HL4802]
Who attended the meeting between Phorm/121 Media and officials from the Home Office in August 2007; what the purpose of the meeting was; what the agenda was; and whether they will place the minutes of the meeting in the Library of the House; and [HL4804]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Government first learnt of the targeted online advertising trials in April this year. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) have held discussions with BT on this matter. The ICO is monitoring the situation closely.
The first request from Phorm (or 121 Media) was received in June 2007 asking about the compatibility of targeted online advertising with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The Home Office circulated a response dealing with the general issue of targeted online advertising and the compatibility with RIPA in February 2008.
Between June 2007 and December 2007 a number of requests for information concerning targeted online advertising were received. The issue was also discussed at an informal meeting with one targeted online advertising company. This meeting informed the response given in February 2008.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Phorm, one policy and one legal Home Office official. This was an informal meeting to improve officials understanding of the ways in which targeted online advertising could be undertaken. There was no agenda and no minutes were taken.
Online targeted advertising can be provided in a number of different ways, and the security implications of each would need to be considered on an individual basis. The Information Commissioners Office is responsible for overseeing the data privacy issues arising from the use of communications, including those raised by targeted online advertising, and for investigating the security of personal data. The ICO has stated:
Which United Kingdom authorities have received complaints regarding the interception or surveillance of communications and related traffic data for the purpose of online behaviourally targeted advertising; and which authorities are investigating or have investigated those complaints; and [HL5163]
Which United Kingdom authorities have received complaints about the trials of Phorm technology by BT in 2006 and 2007; which authorities have investigated or are investigating those complaints; and what conclusions they have reached. [HL5164]
Lord West of Spithead:: A number of authorities have received complaints about targeted online advertising and more specifically Phorm, including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, BERR, Ofcom, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office. Additionally, a number of police forces have been contacted with similar complaints. We are not aware of any active investigations.
BERR, the Ministry of Justice and the Information Commissioner's Office have spoken to British Telecom about its use of targeted online advertising. The ICO is monitoring the situation, in particular with reference to the ease with which customers might exercise their choice to opt in or opt out of any scheme.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Home Office has decided not to continue to fund directly the live 101 (single non-emergency number) pilot areas but will continue to provide funding to support the national 101 telephony routing infrastructure to ensure that the number remains available for use by local areas wishing to maintain or develop their own locally funded 101 service. This was a difficult decision taken in the context of significant pressures and competing policing and security priorities.
We acknowledge the many benefits achieved by the five pilot 101 partnerships and the commitment to improving services that these achievements represent. It is hoped that the lessons learnt about effective partnership working and improved access and quality of service in dealing with community safety issues will be mainstreamed into local operations wherever possible.
The Home Office has also made available a 101 delivery toolkit which brings together all the work that has been put into 101. The toolkit provides details of the evaluation and lessons learnt from the service to date and gives guidance, example documentation and supporting material to help areas explore, implement and operate the 101 service locally.
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