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Whether, in the light of the decision of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in the case of R v O on 2 September and of their intention to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, they will alter the existing protocols relating to immigration offences and ensure that they are fully implemented. [HL6095]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The existing guidance to prosecutors about trafficked victims charged with immigration offences is clear and is consistent with the findings of this case. There is therefore no need for their amendment, but I agree that it is essential to ensure duty solicitors and front-line immigration officers are aware of this guidance.
The implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings will include the introduction of a national referral mechanism (NRM) to help identify and protect victims of trafficking.
What is their response to the European Commission's proposal to negotiate bilaterally with Peru and Colombia rather than with the Andean Community of Nations; and what is the reason for the Commission's change of position. [HL6527]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): The EUs general approach for free trade agreements with low-income developing countries is to pursue them on a regional basis, as opposed to bilaterally. This was set out in the European Commissions 2006 paper, Global Europe: Competing in the World.
In the case of the Community of Andean Nations there have been some difficulties with the regional approach. These have arisen because the members of the CAN have struggled to reach a common position on the trade pillar with the European Union. Colombia and Peru have expressed a desire for those CAN countries that are ready to undertake negotiations to embark on a bilateral, fast-track approach. The European Commission has so far indicated that while it regrets the inability of CAN to find a common position, it is open-minded to this suggestion. The European Commission has stressed that next steps will be dependent on the will of EU member states.
The UKs response to the suggestion of fast-track negotiations with Colombia and Peru is that this request should be considered seriously. Although there are benefits to the overall regional approach, it is also important that countries that are ready to proceed
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Home Office does not maintain records of such associations which support police officers and police staff within individual police forces. There are four associations with membership drawn from across police force areas: the National Black Police Association (NBPA); the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP); the National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP); and the Christian Police Association (CPA).
Whether any associations based on race, colour, gender or religion operating in the Metropolitan Police or other United Kingdom police forces receive grants from public funds; and, if so, what they are. [HL6320]
Lord West of Spithead: The Home Office does not maintain records of such associations, and funding received, which support police officers and police staff within individual police forces. The Home Office is paying grant-in-aid to two associations with membership drawn from across police force areas. They are the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP) and the National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP).
Further to the Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 28 October (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 1469), whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the assessment of the recruitment, retention and progression of minority-ethnic staff of police forces. [HL6183]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My right honourable friend the Home Secretary published the Policing Minister's Assessment of Minority Ethnic recruitment, Retention and Progression in the Police Service on 20 November 2008.
Lord West of Spithead: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary set 10-year race employment targets for police forces in 1999. Police forces' targets and their progress against them are published every year in Race Equality: The Home Secretary's Employment Targets. The latest report, for 2007-08, which was published on 20 November 2008, can be found on the Home Office website, at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/publications/staff-equality-targets/.
How the 200809 budget for policing in Northern Ireland was negotiated; by whom; what effect the budget shortfall announced by chief constable Sir Hugh Orde will have on recruitment; and what will be the medium effects and long-term effects on policing. [HL6258]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The 2008-09 policing budget was set in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review following negotiations between the NIO and HM Treasury, and the NIO and the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
My honourable friend the Minister of State for Northern Ireland (Paul Goggins) met members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board on 25 November and is hopeful that in 2008-09 the necessary adjustments can be made to meet any budget shortfall without impacting on recruitment. The prioritisation of spend within the budget is principally a matter for the chief constable in consultation with the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Any police staff association, whatever its scope, must demonstrate that its objectives, membership policies, and activities further the aims and objectives of the police service. These include that associations and their members must comply with applicable statutory requirements.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of POL, to reply direct to the noble Lord. Copies of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
Baroness Vadera: The Government are providing up to £1.7 billion to 2011, to maintain a national network with reasonable access to Post Office products and services and to put it on a sustainable footing. This financial support includes £150 million a year for non-commercial branches.
Whether compensation paid to convicted prisoners can be withheld until the prisoners' victims are informed; whether they provide assistance such that such victims can seek recompense where the convicted person subsequently acquires assets; and whether they will deduct from such compensation the costs involved in imprisoning the individuals. [HL5885]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): A prisoner may be eligible to claim compensation for any perceived wrongdoing that they suffer while detained in prison, such as an injury sustained during an accident. Each litigation case is dealt with on its merits and, so far as the evidence allows, all claims are robustly defended. The amount of compensation is determined following a full analysis of all the available evidence and taking account of the Judicial Studies Board guidelines.
Given that the claim and any subsequent compensation is a separate incident from the original crime, it does not provide grounds for the victims of the original crime to be informed of the claim. In some circumstances, a victim may be eligible for legal aid to pursue action seeking recompense from offenders who subsequently acquire assets. Deductions are not made from prisoners' compensation to offset the costs of imprisonment.
If the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) receives a claim for compensation from a prisoner or ex-prisoner in relation to injuries sustained as a result of negligence or breach of statutory duty, it will inform the Northern Ireland Compensation Agency accordingly. If the compensation agency has previously paid compensation
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Why the Howard League for Penal Reform social enterprise inside HM Prison Coldingley was closed; and whether the Prison Service plans to implement lessons from the scheme about employment for long-term prisoners, including their ability to support their families and to pay tax. [HL6470]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): It is disappointing that the Howard League for Penal Reform has taken the decision to close the small design studio workshop at HM Prison Coldingley. The Prison Service has been supportive of this project from the outset. The service has been, and continues to be, willing at all times to give further consideration to any proposals to expand the same business model into other establishments.
Whether they will review the decision of the Prison Service that prisoners inside prisons may not be employed by outside employers because such employment would curtail the prison governor's powers, given that prisoners in open prisons who are employed outside are subject to the prison rules. [HL6471]
Lord Bach: Prisoners who are employed in partnership with private industry or any other third party to carry out work while in prison are not directly employed by the organisations involved. This enables the governor to rightly retain primacy on prison control and prisoner management issues. Prisoners who are released on temporary licence to work outside the prison are also subject to prison rules. The policy remains appropriate.
Lord Bach: Significant numbers of prisoners are already meaningfully employed on a daily basis in a wide range of activities. This includes essential work producing a variety of goods for internal consumption and providing in-house services such as catering, cleaning and laundries. This reduces the cost of imprisonment and has an element of restitution while producing real work opportunities. Employment in prison also acts as an aid to good order and control and aids resettlement through skills and qualifications.
Increasingly, prisoners are employed to carry out work in partnership with other organisations and there are a number of employer partnerships with private industry that provide not only real employment and training but also the potential for employment on release. The Government are keen to grow these initiatives so that an increasing number of prisoners and society can benefit.
Prison Service Order 4460 on prisoners' pay, a copy of which has been placed in the House Library, sets out minimum rates of pay for prisoners who participate in purposeful activity. The order requires governors and directors of contracted prisons to devise local pay schemes that reflect the regime priorities of their establishment.
HM Revenue and Customs takes the view that because prisoners working inside prisons, whatever the category of prison, are working under prison rules, they cannot be treated as employees for tax and NIC purposes.
Whether they will meet representatives of the Howard League for Penal Reform to discuss the findings of the recent independent evaluation into the social enterprise experiment employing prisoners at HM Prison Coldingley. [HL6473]
Lord Bach: In relation to a meeting with representatives of the Howard League for Penal Reform, my right honourable friend the Minister of State for Justice (David Hanson) visited the Barbed design studio at HMP Coldingley and met Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, to discuss its social enterprise venture in July 2007. He is willing to meet the Howard League again to discuss Professor Green's evaluation report.
For each year since 1997, what was the overall annual cost to public funds and the annual cost per member of (a) the House of Commons; (b) the House of Lords; (c) the Scottish Parliament; (d) the National Assembly for Wales; and (e) the European Parliament. [HL6354]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Information for the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the European Parliament for 1997-98 to 2001-02 was provided in the following Written Answers by Lord McIntosh of Haringey:22 July 1999 (WA 129-130);5 July 2000 (WA 133);12 July 2001 (WA 87); and21 June 2002 (WA 109).
|Per Capita Cost|
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