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Hinduja Brothers

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who acted as referees in the application for naturalisation submitted in 1998 by S. P. Hinduja. [149592]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 8 February 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) and the hon. Members for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) and for Bury St. Edmonds (Mr. Ruffley) on 30 January 2001, Official Report, column 166W.

Mr. Cawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which persons other than his Department's (a) officials and (b) Ministers are permitted access to the files relating to the applications for naturalisation of S. P. and G. P. Hinduja; and what requests he has received from such persons for access to those files. [150041]

Mr. Straw: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) and the hon. Members for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) and for Bury St. Edmonds (Mr. Ruffley) on 30 January 2001, Official Report, column 166W.

Offences (Hertsmere)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will break down the offences committed within the Hertsmere police division in each year since 1992. [150050]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information requested was not collected centrally prior to September 1999 and is currently collected only for offences of violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, domestic burglary, theft of a vehicle and theft from a vehicle. Table 1 presents the number of offences recorded in Hertsmere in the year to September 2000; there are no previous comparable year data held centrally. This information, and that on all other Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships, was published in table 5 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin 1/01, "Recorded Crime England and Wales October 1999 to September 2000", available in the Library.

Table 1: Hertsmere Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership--notifiable offences recorded by the police
October 1999-September 2000

Title/referenceHertsmere Hertfordshire
Population (thousand)97.3
Households (thousand)39
Violence against the person (class 1-8, 11-15, 37/1, 104, 105)
Offences731
Per 1,000 population7.5
Sexual offences (class 16-27, 74)
Offences50
Per 1,000 population0.5
Robbery (class 34)
Offences51
Per 1,000 population0.5
Burglary dwelling (class 28,29)
Offences489
Per 1,000 population5.0
Per 1,000 h/h12.6
Theft of a motor vehicle (class 37/2, 48)
Offences344
Per 1,000 population3.5
Theft from a vehicle (class 45)
Offences1,309
Per 1,000 population13.5

12 Feb 2001 : Column: 61W

Emergency Services (Hoax Calls)

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 5 February 2001, Official Report, column 435W, on emergency services (hoax calls), what proportions of (a) 999 calls received by the Metropolitan police and (b) hoax calls and calls to which a police response was not deemed necessary were made from mobile phones. [149657]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has informed me that this information is not collected.

British Citizenship Applications

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria govern the access of (a) the security service, (b) the secret intelligence service and (c) the police to information about individual applications for British citizenship. [148340]

Mr. Straw: No Department or agency routinely seeks access to information about individual applications for British citizenship. On the infrequent occasions when information is sought for legitimate crimefighting or national security purposes it will normally be provided.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on inviting other Government Departments and agencies to comment on individual applications for British citizenship. [148341]

Mr. Straw: In furtherance of the requirement laid down in the British Nationality Act 1981 for me to be satisfied, before granting naturalisation that an applicant is of good character, my Department carries out checks with the police and where appropriate comments may be sought from other Government Departments and agencies.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for naturalisation were received by his Department during

12 Feb 2001 : Column: 62W

(a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999 and (d) 2000; what was the average time taken to determine an application in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. [147600]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 29 January 2001]: Persons wishing to become British citizens under the British Nationality Act 1981 apply under two broad categories. Some, including all minors, apply for registration, either as an entitlement or at the Home Secretary's discretion. Others apply for naturalisation, which is always discretionary, on the grounds of residence or marriage to a British citizen. The Integrated Casework Directorate has reliable intake figures only for both types of application combined. Separate intake figures for naturalisation are not available.

The table therefore gives total nationality intake for the years in question, and the average waiting times for all naturalisation cases.

Year Total intakeAverage waiting times (naturalisation) for the whole year (months)
199766,00016.9
199868,03019.9
199967,00020.5
200069,71418.5

The average waiting time for naturalisations at the end of January 2001 was 14.4 months.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average annual per person cost of employing an additional Immigration and Nationality Directorate caseworker is, including training and capital costs. [149545]

Mrs. Roche: By April 2001, staffing levels in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) are expected to have doubled compared to 1998. Since November 1999, we have recruited about 500 extra asylum decision-makers and recruitment is still continuing. Staff who take asylum decisions are normally Executive Officer grade. The annual average unit cost of employing an Executive Officer in the Integrated Casework Directorate is £21,000. This figure includes salary, Earnings Related National Insurance Contributions (ERNIC) and superannuation costs. Other overhead costs such as training, Information Technology and accommodation overheads are not currently recorded in a way which can be attributed to casework staff alone.

Migrants

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last received representations from (a) Caritas Europa, (b) the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe, (c) the Commission of the Bishop's Conferences of the European Community and (d) the International Catholic Migration Commission; and if he will make a statement. [147517]

Mr. Straw: So far as I can ascertain I have received no representations from these organisations.

12 Feb 2001 : Column: 63W

Public Relations (Expenditure)

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total expenditure and the breakdown of expenditure was in his Department for the financial years (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000, and what the planned expenditure and breakdown of expenditure for 2000-01 is on (i) public opinion research, (ii) television, radio and newspaper advertising and (iii) direct mail. [149256]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 8 February 2001]: For expenditure on public opinion research I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr. Clappison) on 25 January 2001, Official Report, column 718W and the answer I gave to the hon. Member on 8 June 2000, Official Report, column 373W. Further work would incur disproportionate cost.

Total expenditure on television, radio and newspaper advertising is as follows:

Year £ million (including VAT)
1996-975.23
1997-981.4
1998-991.8
1999-20005.65
2000-01(15)22.56

(15) Planned expenditure.


The budget for 2000-01 covers £8.67 million for a vehicle crime reduction campaign; £7.35 million for the police recruitment campaign; £3.34 million to publicise rolling electoral registration; £2.4 million on a fire safety campaign; and £800,000 on a campaign to make people aware of the introduction of the Human Rights Act.

Expenditure on direct mail on 1999-2000 was £716,537 spent on a United Kingdom-wide door drop as part of the campaign to explain changes to the voting system for the European elections campaign. In 2000-01 £683,807 was spent on a door drop in England and Wales as part of a fire safety campaign.


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