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Drug-related Murders

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of drug-related murders in (a) London, (b) England and (c) the UK in each of the last 10 years; and if he will provide the figures for last year in London, broken down by Metropolitan police district. [2711]

Mr. Denham: The available information is for years 1995 to 1997 and financial years 1997–98 to 1999–2000 and covers England and Wales only. This information is shown in the table.

Drug-related murders

Metropolitan police(17)EnglandEngland and Wales
199521313
199631415
199741313
1997–9831212
1998–99188
1999–2000011

(17) Excludes City of London where no drug-related murders were recorded.


The information is held on the Home Office's Homicide Index database. This records drug involvement when (i) either the suspect is reported to be under the influence of drugs at the time of the offence or (ii) the homicide is motivated by the need to obtain drugs, or money to buy drugs or is drug related in some other way, such as rivalry between dealers etc. Data have only been collected since 1995 for each police force area in England and Wales, and include information recorded as at 11 September 2000 when recording was closed for publication purposes. The data do not include homicide where there is no suspect and relate only to those homicides where a suspect is convicted of murder. Cases in the latest year may not have been dealt with by the courts and would not be included.

These data may contain some error due to the largely subjective interpretation of 'drugs related' and the amount of information available to the police on the motive for a particular homicide, varying from case to case. A current review of the Homicide Index is aiming to increase the accuracy of data on homicide.

Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when a decision is expected on changes to section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. [2983]

Angela Eagle: The Government have a clear commitment to freedom of information and are equally committed to the maintenance of the necessary protection for individual scientists and their research institutions from the actions of animal rights extremists. I am considering very carefully how these commitments can best be met. A decision on whether to repeal or amend Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 will not be made until later this year.

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Sri Lankan Tamils

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Sri Lankan Tamils seeking asylum in the UK have been deported from the UK in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [3216]

Angela Eagle: Information is only available on the total number of Sri Lankan nationals who have claimed asylum in the United Kingdom and subsequently been removed. These data are provided in the table. They will include any Sri Lankan Tamils who have been removed, but we are unable to identify this group separately. It will also include Sri Lankans who have been removed to a third country having claimed asylum here. Again, it is not possible to identify this group separately.

YearRemovals(18),(19)
199680
199795
1998135
1999(20)75
2000(20)90

(18) Asylum seekers removed under port and enforcement procedures.

(19) Includes 'voluntary' departures.

(20) Estimated due to data quality issues on the main Immigration Service enforcement database.

Note:

Data rounded to the nearest five.


Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Sir Lankan Tamil asylum seekers are held in (a) prison and (b) detention centres. [3215]

Angela Eagle: Our records show that there were 11 Sri Lankan nationals detained in Immigration Service detention centres and 65 in Prison Service establishments at 31 May 2001, the latest date for which information is available. We are unable to say whether any of these persons are Tamils as information of this kind is not held centrally. It is currently not possible to say how many of those persons had claimed asylum.

British Nationality Applications

Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time is for a citizen of Thailand married to a British citizen to apply successfully for British nationality. [3194]

Angela Eagle: It is not possible to provide the specific information requested.

The average waiting times for processing British nationality applications, for persons married to British citizens, is currently 11.5 months.

In addition there is also a requirement for the applicant to have been resident in the United Kingdom for three years prior to the date of application and not be subject to any time limit under the immigration laws.

Asylum Appeals

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken from receipt of an asylum appeal is by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to (a) the sending of the appeal to

17 Jul 2001 : Column: 131W

the Immigration Appellate Authority, (b) determination of the appeal by an adjudicator and (c) final determination of the appeal by the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. [3304]

Angela Eagle: For the 12 months ending 31 March, data from the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) for those cases where data are available indicate that the average time taken from the receipt of an asylum appeal by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to:




Corruption Legislation

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if new legislation concerning corruption and money laundering will make bribery of a foreign official a crime; and if bribery of a foreign person who is not a foreign Government official will remain legal. [4400]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Our corruption legislation applies to both the public and the private sector and makes it an offence for a person in this country to bribe someone who is an agent for another person. The term "agent" is defined to include someone who is employed by, or acts for, another irrespective of their nationality. Thus it is unlawful in this country to bribe a foreign agent. The definition of the term "agent" also includes a person serving under the Crown or any local or public authority. The planned legislation on corruption will make it clear that the offence extends to a person acting on behalf of a foreign Government.

It is also proposed to take jurisdiction over United Kingdom nationals who commit corrupt acts abroad.

Animal Testing

Dr. Palmer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many animals were involved in quality control testing for vaccines produced in the UK in each of the last three years. [2926]

Angela Eagle: The number of animals involved in pharmaceutical quality control in the United Kingdom for each of the last three years for which figures are available, is given in Table 10A in each of the publications 'Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain' and 'Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Northern Ireland', copies of which are in the Library. It is not possible to identify vaccines separately from other pharmaceutical products. No such testing was performed in Northern Ireland in 1997 or 1999.

Feltham Young Offenders Prison

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action has been taken in each of the last five years to improve (a) education, (b) training, (c) employment and (d) recreation opportunities for inmates at Feltham Young Offenders Prison. [3130]

Beverley Hughes: As this information will take more time to collect than that allowed for an answer to a parliamentary question, I will write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of my letter in the Library.

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Police Officers (Retirement)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to amend the scheme for retirement of police officers on health grounds. [3007]

Mr. Denham: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Mr. Gardiner) on 4 July 2001, Official Report, column 202W.


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