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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There are no restrictions in law in the United Kingdom to prevent British nationals serving in the Armed Forces of other countries. It would be a matter for the country concerned to decide whether to allow a United Kingdom passport holder to serve in their forces.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many petitions were presented to departments in (a) session 200607, and (b) session 200708; how many have been presented in 200809; and on how many occasions the responsible department did not respond. [HL815]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether departments are required by law to respond to petitions submitted to them; and, if so, whether those laws stipulate what steps the department should take by way of providing a response. [HL817]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the practice whereby the Police Service of Northern Ireland sends every investigation file to the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service to decide on further action; and whether they will re-introduce discretion for police to decide on cases where there is insufficient evidence or where they decide an informal caution is warranted. [HL920]
The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The separation of functions between the police as investigators and legally trained prosecutors reaching decisions as to prosecution is an important one which helps to maintain the integrity of the prosecution process. Currently, the Public Prosecution Service requires the police to submit a file in every case in which an investigation has produced evidence that an identifiable person has committed a criminal offence. What is required to be included in the file depends upon the nature of the police recommendation and a full file is required only where that recommendation is for prosecution. These arrangements are currently under review and consideration is being given to a number of options that may improve delivery of criminal justice without undermining the integrity and fairness of the process that is essential for public confidence to be maintained.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many break-ins to business premises have taken place in East Belfast during each month since January 2008; and what steps the Police Service of Northern Ireland is taking to reduce the number. [HL1188]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: That is an operational matter for the chief constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the noble Lord, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of police officers was dedicated to road traffic patrolling in (a) 1970, (b) 1980, (c) 1990 and (d) each year from 1997 to date, in (1) the Metropolitan Police, and (2) all other police forces. [HL1044]
The available data refer to the number of full-time equivalent police officers primarily employed in the traffic function includes staff who are predominantly employed on motorcycles or in patrol vehicles for the policing of traffic and motorway related duties. This does not include officers employed in accident investigation, vehicle examination and radar duties.
|Percentage of Police Officers (FTE)l whose main function is Traffic2|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the reduction in the rate of value added tax was not passed on through a lower toll charge by Severn River Crossing plc until 1 January; and, if so, how much revenue was collected by the concessionaire of the Severn Bridge crossing from the reduction in the value added tax rate not being passed on in December 2008. [HL1146]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The new toll levels introduced on 1 January 2009 were set as part of the annual inflation review and adjusted to reflect the reduction in value added tax.
Lord Adonis: Severn River Crossing's (SRC) total revenue from the tolls is fixed at a defined amount under the concession agreement and the concession period will end when SRC achieves that amount. The reduction in VAT produced a small increase in the net toll revenues in December. This means that the total revenue defined under the concession agreement will be met slightly earlier than anticipated. As such SRC has not gained any additional revenue. Revised toll levels for 2009 have now been set below the level of annual inflation to reflect the recent reduction in the rate of VAT.
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