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Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): A unit within the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) is responsible for supporting the Home Secretary in her consideration of applications for lawful interception warrants and for issuing notices under Section 12 of RIPA to communications service providers requiring the provision of technical capabilities to facilitate lawful interception. It also sponsors the Technical Advisory Board, an arm's-length body established under Part 1 of RIPA to hear industry concerns about the Section 12 notices.

The scheme, whereby industry is provided with a fair contribution towards the costs incurred in complying with requirements to support lawful interception, is administered from within OSCT.

People Trafficking: Children

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Local safeguarding children boards are the bodies which co-ordinate all safeguarding activity, including that designed to safeguard children at risk of being, or who have already been, trafficked. Some local and metropolitan authorities have already established trafficking sub-groups to promote best practice in co-operation between agencies. It is at this local level that relevant agencies come together to ensure their work is co-ordinated. The police and local authority children's services are already statutory members of local safeguarding children boards while the UK Border Agency is increasingly playing a proactive role working with LSCBs in key areas.

Multi-agency guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children who may have been Trafficked, published in 2007, provides guidance to all relevant agencies which may come into contact with a trafficked child.

The Government's Action Plan on Tackling Human Trafficking, updated on 2 July 2008, provides the framework to ensure that interagency co-operation concerning trafficked children is effective. This includes the development of a national referral mechanism for child victims of trafficking. The plan contains a number of new actions to assist agencies to record cases of child trafficking to ensure they are afforded entitlements as required by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

The police, local authorities, local safeguarding children boards, the UK Border Agency and the UK Human Trafficking Centre will all play a significant role in ensuring that the mechanism works effectively and that child victims are identified as early as possible and adequately safeguarded.

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Prisoners: Foreign Nationals

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The chief executive of the UK Border Agency wrote a letter to the Home Affairs Committee on 23 July in which she provided the most robust and accurate information available on the deportation of foreign national prisoners. A copy of the letter is available in the House Library.


Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The EU-Moldova and EU-Ukraine visa facilitation agreements were concluded under an element of the Schengen acquis in which the UK does not participate. The agreements do, however, contain provisions recommending that the UK concludes bilateral visa-facilitation agreements. Although the UK is under no formal obligation, we intend to do so. Formal negotiations have yet to commence with either Moldova or Ukraine.

Workers Registration Scheme

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We do not have any plans to allow applicants to defer the payment of £90 to join the Workers Registration Scheme until the first wage has been received.

Applications for the Workers Registration Scheme can only be made once the worker is in employment. The application should be made at any time within the first 30 days of employment. Some applicants will have already received their first wage within this timeframe.

Answers received between Tuesday 19 August and Tuesday 26 August 2008

Afghanistan: Provincial Reconstruction Teams

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Crawley: The UK has played a key role in supporting efforts made by the Government of Afghanistan and UNAMA to improve decision-making undertaken on security issues, as well as linking policy decisions on security more fully to those taken on reconstruction and development. This will help in the facilitation of exit strategies in the future for provincial reconstruction teams, on which a public debate has not yet started.

The UK recently supported a proposal from UNAMA to fold the policy advisory group into the Security Standing Committee of the Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board, the institution responsible for monitoring and reporting on progress against the Afghanistan national development strategy. This new structure will remove duplications in discussions and enhance decision-making. The policy advisory group was initially set up in 2006 to provide co-ordinated and consensus-driven policy advice and implementation plans to H.E. President Hamid Karzai to allow his Government to respond quickly and effectively to crises in the four southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabol.

Armed Forces: Pensions

Lord Craig of Radley asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We are working in partnership with the service charities fully to take account of the representations they have made and to involve them in agreeing the jurisdiction’s future in the new two-tier tribunal structure.

Lord Richard asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association, the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, the Royal British Legion, St Dunstan’s, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association and the War Widows’ Association of Great Britain were represented at the meeting. These organisations are all members of the Confederation of British Ex-Service Organisations (COBSEO). Lord Justice Carnwath, senior president of tribunals, has received no direct representations from COBSEO relating to that meeting. Following that meeting, COBSEO wrote to my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Bridget Prentice) and she met the chair of COBSEO alongside other representatives on 5 August.

Common Agricultural Policy

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): There is no precise definition of family which permits a satisfactory answer to this Question.

For per person estimates, I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 14 July 2008, Official Report, col. WA107.

Community Legal Advice Centres

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Community Legal Advice services (centres and networks) bring together advice services funded by the local authority with those funded by the Legal Services Commission (LSC).

CLA services are currently established in Gateshead, Derby, Leicester and Portsmouth and are planned for all the areas listed above. The precise services available through centres and networks to non-eligible clients will depend on each local authority’s priorities for their funding. However, every CLA service will provide

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general help, advice and information that is available to all people regardless of means. Some local authorities may also choose to fund non-means tested specialist advice as part of the service.

If a citizens advice bureau (CAB) is currently funded by a local authority and/or the LSC, then these sources of funding may be affected by a joint commissioning process. However, a CAB can bid for a CLA centre contract either by itself or in conjunction with other organisations. In addition, some CABs have additional sources of funding and would continue to exist even if they did not win a tender.

The rationale of joint commissioning is to improve the services available to clients. Services for non-eligible clients may continue but the provider of these services may change. The Community Legal Advice website will continue to provide free information and self-help packs on a number of frequently experienced problems.

Crime: Domestic Violence

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The table below sets out the number of new community orders or licences with a requirement to attend an accredited domestic violence programme and the number who commenced that programme in the year.











1 The data are based on information provided from probation areas and includes those who specifically receive a domestic violence programme, but not those who were convicted of a domestic violence offence who were sentenced to undertake another intervention.

The numbers awaiting to start a programme on a given day during the year will vary depending on the sentences received, the resources available in the area concerned matching demand, the individual's circumstances eg further court appearance, their motivation, other domestic factors, and possibly an assessment as to whether the programme will in effect meet their risks and needs. There is also a lead-in time while offenders prepare for the courses.

Probation boards meet the cost of delivering accredited programmes through their grant as they see fit to meet their statutory duties. Probation boards' budgeted expenditure on accredited programmes for 2007-08 was £86.5 million. It is not possible accurately to disaggregate the element for accredited domestic violence programmes. The number of offenders undertaking

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an accredited domestic violence programme has increased and the amount of money spent would therefore increase accordingly.

Crime: Knives

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The attached note provides information for England only because hospital episode statistics do not provide data for the whole of the United Kingdom.

We have provided two sets of data for this Parliamentary Question: the code W26—contact with a knife, sword or dagger; and the code X99—assault by sharp object. The code W26 is used for such diagnoses as accidental knife injuries and should exclude assault and intentional self-harm. The code X99 includes cases where someone has been attacked using a sharp object of some kind (including but not exclusive to knives). Stabbings with knives cannot specifically be identified by the clinical codes available.

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We understand that the intention behind the Question is to clarify how many people were treated in National Health Service hospitals for knife-related assaults and not accidental knife injuries. Therefore, please see the information provided in table on assault by a sharp object. The background analysis is based on this dataset.

Please be aware that there are two other codes which relate to incidents with sharp objects and which have not been used to answer this Parliamentary Question. They are: Y28—contact with sharp object, undetermined intent; and X78—intentional self-harm by sharp object.

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