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To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were convicted of (a) possession, and (b) use of an illegal firearm, in (1) 1997, and (2) the most recent year for which figures are available. [HL2546]
Lord West of Spithead: The number of persons found guilty at all courts for offences relating to possession and to use of an illegal firearm in England and Wales for the years 1997 and 2007 can be viewed in the attached table. Information for Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the. Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland Office respectively.
These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
|The number of persons found guilty at all courts for offences relating to possession, and use of an illegal firearm in England and Wales for the years 1997 and 2007 (1)(2)(3)|
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will discuss with the Government of Egypt the opening of the Rafah crossing, so as to allow access to Gaza for the transport of materials for reconstruction. [HL2042]
Lord Tunnicliffe: Rafah has limited capacity and the present agreement between the Egyptian authorities and the authorities in Gaza is for people only to cross into and out of Gaza. Due to this the UK Government have not raised the issue of the transport of materials for reconstruction through the Rafah crossing with the Egyptian Government. The UK Government continue to press the Israeli Government for improved access and for a relaxation of restrictions on the type of goods that are allowed across the border from Israel into Gaza.
Lord Tunnicliffe: The UK Government and the quartet have been consistently lobbying for unrestricted access for food and other humanitarian supplies into Gaza. The Israeli Government announced on 22 March that they will lift restrictions and allow all food products into Gaza.
Lord Tunnicliffe: According to the World Health Organisation, stress caused by the recent conflict is a key factor in a wide range of mental health and psychosocial problems. Children and adolescents are particularly at risk. Of the total affected population, approximately 25,000 to 50,000 people will need some form of psychological intervention to address long-term effects of the conflict.
The Department for International Development (DfID) does not provide funding to the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP). However, DfID has provided £409,000 to Mercy Corps for nine family drop-in centres to provide activities to improve the emotional well-being of children, and support to parents to deal with their children's problems. Other DfID-funded projects also have a psychosocial element: the Welfare Association gives support to the disabled, Islamic Relief are working with primary school children and their parents, and Save the Children are providing psychosocial activities in eight play areas. Organisations working in the mental health sector, including the ones that DfID fund, collaborate with GCMPH in their work.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The locus of UK counterterrorist exercising is the counterterrorism (CT) exercise programme administered by the Home Office which oversees the delivery of CT exercises. The programme is run in conjunction with the police and, depending on the nature of the exercise, involves the participation of other emergency services, government
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In addition to those delivered by the national exercise programme, some departments individually conduct or participate in smaller-scale internal or bilateral exercises some of which are CT in nature. The information in relation to these is not held centrally.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which information technology contracts with a value of £50 million or over have been entered into by the Attorney-General's Office since 1997; and which of those have been completed to budget, to time and to specification. [HL2713]
To ask Her Majesty's Government which information technology contracts with a value of £50 million or over have been entered into by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport since 1997; and which of those have been completed to budget, to time and to specification. [HL2718]
To ask Her Majesty's Government which organophosphate chemicals and other anticholinesterase chemical and medicinal products are licensed for use in the United Kingdom; and what is the purpose for which they are licensed. [HL2559]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The details of those medicines, pesticides and veterinary medicines licensed for use in the UK containing organophosphate chemicals or other anticholinesterase active substances have been placed in the House Library.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many research projects commissioned by the Ministry of Defence into Gulf War Illnesses have been placed with researchers at King's College, London, and how many have been placed with other institutions, since 1997. [HL2560]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Ministry of Defence funded a research project investigating neuromuscular symptoms in Gulf veterans conducted by the Department of Psychological Medicine at Guys, Kings & St Thomas School of Medicine. The MoD also funded the third phase of research undertaken by Kings College consisting of a longitudinal study of the changing health of Gulf veterans over time and a further analysis of the health of a Bosnia cohort examined in earlier studies, which was funded by the US Department of Defence. The MoD has been guided on the research to be undertaken into Gulf veterans illnesses by the Medical Research Council. The cost of the research to date is some £9 million. Information about the individual projects, researchers and organisations engaged to conduct the work is provided below. Note: all work except the rehabilitation has been completed.
Longitudinal study of changing health in Gulf veteransM Hotopf/Professor A David/Professor S Wessely (Department of Psychological Medicine, Guys, Kings & St Thomass School Of Medicine) (Third Phase).
To ask Her Majestys Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Bach on 19 March (WA 7678) regarding the consideration of immigration appeals, what is the policy which permits the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal to destroy files, and thereby make it unable to provide data on its decisions from 2005 and 2006; why the Administrative Court was able to provide statistics for the same period; and whether they have considered the figures for reconsideration in favour of the Secretary of State and orders in favour of appellants. [HL2602]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) policy on record retention and destruction is agreed between the tribunal, the departmental records officer and a national archive. All tribunal policies accord with the requirements of the Public Records Act 1958, which does not require the AIT to retain any files which are not selected for permanent preservation on the basis of having exceptional legal or procedural importance. All files created pre-2006 that were not selected for permanent preservation will now have been destroyed, or be in the process of being destroyed, in accordance with the retention and destruction policies for that period. Immigration judge decision(s) on file are transferred to Ministry of Justice archives. The AIT policy on file destruction at present is to retain files not marked for permanent preservation for 18 months only.
The Administrative Court was able to provide statistics for the period 2005-06 regarding applications for reconsideration from its own electronic database. These statistics provide only for applications to the Administrative Court directly for reconsideration of an AIT decision under the opt-in provision established by the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004. The AIT's electronic database incurred a problem with approximately 2,000 cases in 2005-06 which resulted in the data for the outcomes of reconsideration applications not being recorded correctly. This was because the outcome of the reconsideration applications was overwritten erroneously with the outcome of the reconsideration hearing. The incorrect data inputs could not be identified or corrected following this and the monthly reports for that period did not break down the outcomes into appellant and respondent. It has therefore not been possible to provide the statistical data for outcome of reconsideration applications for 2005-06.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the recent discussions between the Minister for Borders and Immigration, Phil Woolas, and the
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Phil Woolas met with Eric Besson, the French Minister for Immigration Integration, Nationality Identity and Solidarity-based Development, on 11 February 2009.
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