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Asylum Seekers

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the longest period of detention a person at present seeking asylum in the United Kingdom has been held in detention since arrival at a port of entry in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [154453]

Mrs. Roche: The longest period of detention of an asylum seeker currently detained under Immigration Act powers and so detained since their arrival in the United Kingdom on 30 July 1999, is 600 days.

While detention under Immigration Act powers should always be for the shortest period possible, the decision on whether to maintain detention is strictly monitored and made on a case-by-case basis. Various factors influence that process, such as an individual's previous history, connections with the United Kingdom and an assessment on their willingness to comply with the terms of any temporary admission or release. In all cases detention must be considered essential for it to continue.

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy with regards to ethnic Albanians from Presevo returning to that part of Serbia after being refused asylum in the United Kingdom. [154260]

Mrs. Roche: Under the Milosevic regime, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) was not prepared to accept failed asylum seekers back into the country. It has therefore not been possible to make returns to FRY (apart from Kosovo) for several years. However, following the change of government and the restoration of full diplomatic relations, we are in touch with the authorities of the FRY about arrangements for returning FRY

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nationals with no basis for continued stay in the United Kingdom. We shall not seek to enforce returns unless we are satisfied that to do so would be consistent with our international obligations.

Deportations

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women have been deported in each of the last three years for (i) criminal and (ii) immigration offences; and if he will make a statement. [154459]

Mrs. Roche: The requested information on the number of persons deported in each of the last three years for criminal and immigration offences is shown in the table. Information on the gender of those persons removed is not held centrally and could be obtained only by examining individual case files.

Persons removed from criminal and immigration offences
1998-2000(1),(2)

19981999(3)2000(3)
Criminal offences
Conducive to the public good(4)115115(5)--
Following court recommendation(6)240250(5)--
Immigration offences
Breaches of Conditions of leave to enter and remain(7)1,350790(5)--
Deportation of family members(8)15(9)--(5)--
Total(1)1,7201,1701,705

(1) Includes voluntary departures

(2) Under the provisions of section 3(5) and 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1971

(3) Data are provisional

(4) Under section 3(5)(b) of the Immigration Act 1971. This may include instances of deportation where there was no conviction of a criminal offence

(5) Not available

(6) Under section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1971

(7) Under section 3(5)(a) of the Immigration Act 1971

(8) Under section 3(5)(c) of the Immigration Act 1971

(9) Less than 5

Note:

All figures rounded to the nearest five


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Animal Experiments

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of animals that were used for experimental purposes in England and Wales during the last 12 months. [154458]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Information relating to scientific procedures performed on living animals is collected and published for each calendar year and laid before Parliament in a Command Paper in late summer the following year. The number of animals used in scientific procedures which were started in 1999, the latest year for which figures are available, was 2.57 million. More detailed information is given in Table 1a of the publication Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain, 1999, a copy of which is in the Library.

Criminal Record Checks (Volunteers)

Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances business volunteers working as mentors in schools will be required to be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau; and if so whether they will be exempt from paying the fee. [154004]

Mr. Charles Clarke: On the assumption that the person's role was unpaid and entailed working in a school or unsupervised access to children, the person would be eligible for a high level disclosure which would be free of charge.

Cruelty to Animals

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were convicted of cruelty to animals in England and Wales in each of the last three years, who were sentenced to a term of imprisonment. [154455]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Information taken from the Home Office's court proceedings database showing the number of persons convicted of cruelty to animals who were sentenced to a term of imprisonment during the period 1997-99 is given in the table. The proportion of those convicted of an animal cruelty offence sentenced to a term of imprisonment rose from 4.9 per cent. in 1997 to 5.4 per cent. in both 1998 and 1999.

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Number of persons convicted at all courts and sentenced to a term of imprisonment(10) for offences relating to animal cruelty, England and Wales 1997-99

1997 1998 1999
OffenceConvictionsOf which sentenced to a term of imprisonmentConvictionsOf which sentenced to a term of imprisonmentConvictionsOf which sentenced to a term of imprisonment
Protection of Animals Act, 1911 (as amended)867458875682555
Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, Sec 88--2--1--
Protection of Animals Act, 19344--4------
Docking and Necking of Horses Act, 1949------------
Pet Animals Act, 19514--6--9--
Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act, 1954303193211
Animal Health Act, 1981, Secs 40-42, 46 and 49 and Orders made under Secs 8, 9, 37, 38, 39 and 4357--62--34--
Slaughterhouses Act, 1974----2--4--
Abandonment of Animals Act, 1960, Sec 121--26112--
Animals (Cruel Poisons) Act, 19621----------
Animal Boarding Establishments Act, 19632--5--6--
Riding Establishments Acts, 1964 and 1970----1------
Slaughter of Poultry Act, 19673--1517--
Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1968, Secs 1, 2 and 68--5--11--
Protection of Badgers Act, 1992 (except Sec 13)25104--104
Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, Sec 93----------
Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, Sec 11----3--3--
Wild Mammals (Protection) Act, 19963--72----
Breeding of Dogs Acts, 1973 and 19914--4--4--
Diseases of Animals Act74--65--39--
Wild Birds Protection Acts63--42--118--
Total1,177581,159631,10460

(10) Includes offenders sentenced to a term of detention in a Young Offender Institution


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Metropolitan Police (Suspensions)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Metropolitan Police officers have been suspended from duty for a period of over 18 months due to allegations about their conduct in each of the last five years. [154452]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has provided the information in the table:

Year of suspensionNumber of officers suspended
199613
199714
199840
199912

The figure for the year 2000 is not readily available because the 18 month period has not yet elapsed.


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