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Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) individuals and (b) organisations giving immigration advice for profit are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner; and how many such individuals and organisations are in the process of registering with OISC. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 7 November 2001]: I understand that, as of 5 November 2001, the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) had registered 130 immigration advisers in business for profit. Of these, 83 are sole practitioners and 47 are organisations comprising two or more practitioners. The OISC has under consideration 15 registration applications from sole practitioners and eight from organisations comprising two or more practitioners.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the value of (a) compulsory and (b) voluntary identity cards in combating terrorism in the United Kingdom. 
However the policy on identity cards is kept under review and the Government are considering whether a universal card which allowed people to prove their identity more easily and provided a simple way to access a range of public services would be beneficial. Such an entitlement card scheme could also help to combat illegal working which disproportionately affects the poorer sections of our society by undercutting the minimum wage and encouraging unscrupulous employers. It could also reduce fraud against individuals, public services and the private sector.
8 Nov 2001 : Column: 388W
Mr. Denham: The Home Office started to fund the Rape Crisis Federation with effect from 1 April 2001 for its work in supporting the network of rape crisis centres throughout the country. This year's grant is £406,000.
Mr. Denham: (a) I am afraid that this information is not kept centrally and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, for the last two years Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has collected data from all forces in England and Wales according to a range of 62 staff functions, one of which is fraud. The staff function for fraud is defined as "staff who predominantly investigate fraud cases (not including staff who are predominantly employed in asset confiscation duties)" and "staff who are predominantly employed to support the investigation of fraud cases (not including staff who are predominantly employed to support asset confiscation duties)". The data are as follows:
|Police force area||Police officer||Civilian staff||Police officer||Civilian staff|
|Avon and Somerset||17||1||15||2|
|City of London||74||12||70||11|
|Devon and Cornwall||10||0||18||5|
|England and Wales||616||55||560||84|
8 Nov 2001 : Column: 390W
(b) I am afraid that this information is not kept centrally and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the recorded crime figures for fraud and forgery for all police forces in England and Wales between April 1996 and March 2001 are as follows:
|Police force area||April 1996 to March 1997||April 1997 to March 1998||April 1998(26) to March 1999||April 1999 to March 2000||April 2000 to March 2001|
|Avon and Somerset||4,209||3,655||9,950||8,518||9,211|
|Devon and Cornwall||2,272||2,255||7,064||6,925||6,564|
|City of London||384||507||862||1,214||1,145|
|England and Wales total||135,975||136,232||279,503||334,773||319,324|
(26) New Home Office counting rules were issued for recorded crime on 1 April 1998
8 Nov 2001 : Column: 391W
Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average length of time it took each of the national forensic laboratories to complete an investigation, from referral to conclusion in the last 12 months. 
Angela Eagle: Figures available to the Home Office only include the work of the Forensic Science Service in England and Wales. Response times vary dependent on the offence type. There can be more than one referral in an investigation. The average turn around time for individual referrals was 26 days for the 12-month period from April 2000 to March 2001. In the year to date since March 2001 the average turn round time was 28 days.
Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many forensic scientists were employed by the national forensic laboratories in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
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