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To ask Her Majesty's Government how many persons are in immigration or asylum detention; and how many have been in detention for (a) under six months; (b) six months to one year; (c) one year to 18 months; (d) 18 months to two years; (e) two to three years; and (f) over three years. [HL1178]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): As at 27 September 2008, a total of 2,415 persons were recorded as being detained within the UK Border Agency detention estate solely under Immigration Act powers; of these, 1,690 had sought asylum at some stage. These figures are rounded to the nearest five. This is the latest date for which published statistics are available.
Information on how long these individuals have been detained for is not held centrally and would be available only through the detailed examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost.
Statistics on all persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers by length of detention are not available after September 2006. Information up to that date for each year is available from the Library of the House and in Table 9.4 of each years Asylum Statistics: United Kingdom publication from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html.
A robust new method for calculating the length of time detainees are held solely under Immigration Act powers is currently being formulated. This is currently undergoing quality assurance before the statistics can be published on a regular basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why removal directions do not routinely state the date, time and route of the proposed removal, and port to which the removal is proposed; and what proportion of current removal directions are open-ended. [HL1168]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Individuals to be removed from the UK must be served with a form known as an IS151D which routinely requires inclusion of the following informationname of individual being removed; flight/ship number; name of the country to where the individual is being removed; time of flight; and date of flight. It also requires the content of the form to be explained to the individual in English or a language they understand and that the service of the form is not an appealable decision. The UK Border Agency does not set open-ended removal directions.
The policy and guidance on removal directions is set out in chapters 48 and 60 of the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance Manual, which is available to view at the following website: www.ukba.homeoffice. gov.uk/policyandlaw/guidance/enforcement/
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will use the United Kingdom's international development budget to offset the falls in capital flows to the poorest developing countries during the current economic crisis. [HL1164]
Lord Tunnicliffe: The current global economic and financial crisis will negatively affect capital flows to developing countries. Recent papers published by the World Bank and others estimate capital inflows at $466 billion in 2008, compared to $564 billion in 2006 and $929 billion in 2007. Recent forecasts from international institutions and credible experts such as the Institute for International Finance suggest that capital flows could fall to around $165 billion in 2009.
In response, DFID is working with its partner countries and international institutions:a. to uphold its ODA commitments to keep the UK on track to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on ODA by 2013;b. to maintain the focus of its bilateral programmes (in 2007/08, our country specific bilateral aid was £2183 million of which £1920 million went to low income countries);c. to ensure a robust multilateral response to support less developed countries, including through the countercyclical response of international finance institutions - such as increasing World Bank lending threefold, accelerating disbursements from the International Development Association (IDA) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) facilities that aim to mobilise close to $30 billionand by exploring the option of a vulnerability fund to support developing economies;d. to work on remittances to ensure that flows remain efficient, cost-effective and transparent; ande. to maintain a substantial investment climate reform programme to help improve the environment for both foreign and domestic investment flows.
Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the subject matter and content of the communications from a company representative of BT, Phorm or 121 Media to a Home Office official on (a) 15 November 2006 at 1.19 pm; (b) 23 January 2007 at 5.58 pm; and (c) 16 August 2007 at 12.59pm; and what response was given to those communications; and [HL728]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the subject matter and content of the communications from counsel for BT, Phorm or 121 Media to a Home Office official on (a) 9 July 2007 at 2.32pm; and (b) 14 August 2007 at 4.46pm; and what response was given to those communications; and [HL729]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the purpose and agendas of meetings between Phorm and the Home Office on 4 and 8 February 2008; who attended those meetings; and whether they will release minutes of the meetings. [HL753]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): These communications were seeking a view from the Home Office on the application of Part I of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in relation to proposals for the provision of targeted online advertising services.
The Home Office provided an informal written view on targeted online advertising in February 2008. Only one meeting has taken place between Phorm and the Home Office and I refer the noble Baroness to the answer I gave on 29 September 2008 for the details.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in protecting the rights and meeting the humanitarian needs of Assyrian Christians in Iraq. [HL1163]
Lord Tunnicliffe: We are concerned that some people in Iraq, including the Assyrian Christians, may be vulnerable due to their ethnic or religious affiliation. However, it is not the UK's policy to limit assistance to particular religious groups. Rather, we channel our assistance through established international organisations, notably the United Nations, with a mandate to assist all vulnerable people.
The Department for International Development (DFID) has provided over £170 million in humanitarian assistance to international agencies working in Iraq and the region since 2003. This funding has provided immediate assistance such as food, shelter and medical supplies to those most in need. It is also helping to create the conditions to allow displaced people to return to their homes in Iraq.
Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach
To ask Her Majesty's Government further, to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 28 January (WA 51), whether, in view of 0.876 per cent of inspections on land resulting in the discovery of an infringement compared with 7.69 per cent of inspections at sea, there will be a switch from land-based to sea-based inspections by the Marines and Fisheries Agency. [HL1345]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There are no current plans to switch Marine and Fisheries Agency resources from land-based to sea-based inspections. Monitoring compliance with fisheries legislation requires a complex mix of enforcement tools, including land-based and at-sea inspections as well as aerial surveillance, satellite monitoring (vessel monitoring systems), other intelligence-gathering methods and data analysis. Deployment of these tools is carried out using intelligence-based risk assessment techniques and is kept under constant review to ensure that they are used in the most effective manner.
Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the requirement in regulation 18(4), Risk maps, of the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/2349) that the occupier must keep a copy implies that the original goes elsewhere; and, if so, when; to whom; and under which regulation. [HL1250]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Regulation 18(4) of the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008 is not intended to imply that the copy in question is of an original. For operational reasons, an occupier may well have several copies of the risk map. The purpose of Regulation 18(4) is to require the occupier to have a copy of the risk map available for inspection for compliance-checking purposes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many United Kingdom passports were returned to the Identity and Passport Service in 2008 on the death of the holder. [HL1054]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Identity and Passport Service does not routinely collect data on the volume of passports returned upon the death of the holder.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many British passports have been issued by the Belfast Passport Office in each of the past five calendar years. [HL1333]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The numbers of passports issued from the Belfast office over the last five complete calendar years are shown below:
Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their reasons for not putting the criteria for the withdrawal of passports from British citizens on a statutory basis. [HL1342]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): In the White Paper The Governance of BritainConstitutional Renewal (March 2008) and in the report Governance of Britain: One Year On (July 2008), the Government confirmed their intention to introduce comprehensive legislation on the procedures for issuing passports in place of the royal prerogative and this would cover the criteria for withdrawal of passports from British citizens.. A timetable for publishing draft legislation will be announced in due course.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which faith and denominations are recognised as religions for the purposes of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855. [HL1358]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 provides for places of meeting for religious worship to be certified to the Registrar General, but does not apply to the established church. When considering the registration of a building which has been certified as a place of religious worship, the Registrar General applies the judgment by the Court of Appeal in the Segerdal case.
The main finding in the judgment is that the words place of meeting for religious worship in the Act connote a place of which the principal use is for people to come together as a congregation to worship God or do reverence to a deity. Apart from the Church of England and the Church in Wales, any faith or denomination which meets these criteria would be capable of recognition under the 1855 Act.
Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 26 January (WA 19), why the National Association of Muslim Police is the only religious group to
12 Feb 2009 : Column WA236
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Any of the national diversity staff associations in the police service can seek grant in aid funding from the Home Office. The only national faith-based staff association to apply for funding in 2008-09 was the National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP).
NAMP exists to increase the trust and confidence of police amongst Muslim communities and increase the recruitment, retention, and progression of Muslim officers and staff.
The total amount of grant in aid paid to NAMP since its inception is £33,750.
Grant in aid is reviewed annually and approval follows submission of a formal annual bid. Payments from the annual approved amount are reviewed each quarter.
Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 26 January (WA 19), what is the total amount of grant in aid paid to the British Association for Women in Policing since its inception; and whether and how often the grant is reviewed to determine whether it is still necessary. [HL1210]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The total grant in aid paid to BAWP is:
Grant in aid is reviewed annually and approval follows submission of a formal annual bid and financial accounts. Payments made from the approved annual amount are reviewed on a quarterly basis.
Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 4 June 2007 (WA 171), what was the outcome of their discussions with the National Black Police Association concerning the recommendations of the Home Office Auditor's final report on funding for the Association; whether funding has been resumed; and, if so, what is the amount of current funding. [HL1211]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Funding was stopped from April 2008 and no funding is currently provided to NBPA. This followed the NBPA's own auditor disclaiming its 2006-07 accounts.
The Home Office audit report led to an IPCC investigation that recently concluded (5 February 2009).
The Home Office will review the position with regards to funding the NBPA after it has had an opportunity to review the IPCC and other relevant reports.
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