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Prosecution (Official Secrets)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been begun in each year since 1972 under Official Secrets legislation; and what the outcome was in each case. [28631]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The available information, from the Home Office Court Proceedings Database, relating to England and Wales for the years 1979 to 2000 is shown in the table. This covers proceedings under the Official Secrets Act 1911 and 1989 and tabulates the outcomes of cases completed in the years shown by category.

It is no longer possible, from the data held centrally, to identify court proceedings for such legislation prior to 1979, nor is it possible to identify summary offences under the Official Secrets Act 1920.

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Persons proceeded against for offences under the Official Secrets Acts, by outcome, England and Wales 1979 to 2000

Type of sentence
Proceeded againstWithdrawn, dismissed acquittedFound guilty and sentenced(48)FineCommunity service orderPartly suspended sentenceFully suspended sentenceImmediate custody

(48) Persons shown as found guilty may have been proceeded against in earlier years. In some cases a Voluntary Bill of Indictment was issued, so no magistrates' court proceedings will have taken place.

Government Technical Assistance Centre

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the role of the Government Technical Assistance Centre; and what (a) its budget and (b) establishment are in the current financial year. [28640]

Mr. Blunkett: The role of the Government Technical Assistance Centre, now known as the National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC), is to provide assistance to the investigations of United Kingdom intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

It will do so by providing techniques for lawful interception of modern multimedia communications and by processing those lawfully intercepted communications in order to provide intelligible material to the intercepting agencies. NTAC also provides techniques to derive intelligible evidence from lawfully seized computer data.

NTAC was established in response to the 1999 Cabinet Office Performance and Innovation Unit report "Encryption and Law Enforcement". It is a Unit within the Home Office and operates from the headquarters of the Security Services.

NTAC is not an investigative facility. Its function is to process lawfully acquired data on behalf of its customers so that such data may be made intelligible and then acted upon by investigators within the relevant customer agency.

Since the summer of 2001 NTAC has been operational in its role in respect of lawfully seized computer data. It plans to commence operational work in respect of lawfully intercepted communications in summer 2002.

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Budget 2001–02:

The NTAC budget for 2001–02 is £16 million. Of this, £1 million is Running Cost provision and £15 million is capital provision from an overall three-year Capital Modernisation Fund (CMF) allocation of £25 million. The purpose of the CMF moneys is to establish the technical facilities necessary for NTAC to undertake its operational role.

Establishment 2001–02:

The current (January 2002) operational establishment of NTAC is 16 and will rise to 18 by the end of the current financial year. This includes senior management, operational and support staff. The establishment will rise further as new operational capabilities come on stream.

NTAC also runs a technical programme which is developing its technical facilities. This currently comprises 14 staff and will disband when NTAC is fully operational.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what controls exist to regulate the monitoring of the location of individuals through signals sent by mobile phones. [28327]

Mr. Denham: Communications data, including location data, may be supplied voluntarily for specified purposes (e.g. investigation of crime) under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Telecommunications Act 1984. It may additionally be supplied in obedience to Court Orders.

A new regulatory regime will be provided by Chapter II of Part I of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. This will be brought into force in due course.

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Under Chapter II, an authorising officer must consider that the communications data are necessary for one of the purposes specified by the Act and that the conduct involved in obtaining them is proportionate to what it seeks to achieve.

Access to communications data will be subject to oversight by the Interception Commissioner. Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been

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initiated under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; what the outcome was in each case; and if he will make a statement. [28634]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: None. Stolen Equipment

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what equipment has been stolen from his Department since 1 May 1997; and what the approximate value of each item was. [26838]

Angela Eagle: A list of equipment stolen from my Department in the last four years and approximate value of each item stolen is provided in the following tables.

Description of the itemValue (£)
Analysis of 30 items of reported theft in 1997–98
Laptop computer6,000
Laptop computer3,000
Laptop computer3,000
Laptop computer3,000
Laptop computer3,000
Laptop computer2,000
Laptop computer2,000
Laptop computer1,500
Laptop computer1,500
Personal computer1,550
Personal computer1,005
Personal computer434
Computer printer1,593
Computer printer329
Computer monitor500
Computer keyboard40
Computer mouse22
Computer mother board150
Fax modem130
Mobile phone118
Video camera1,500
Video camera800
Field gates240
Pressure Washer3,317
Armoured cable200
Desk fan41
Desk fan40
Total value of 30 cases of theft37,490
Analysis of 15 cases of reported theft 1998–99
VCR taken from classroom—HMP98
Missing video recorded and four blank videos HMP106
Missing telephone/answering machine from Cleland House—HMP25
IT equipment missing—HMP0
Theft of laptop containing inmate records during course—HMP69
Loss of computer discs and equipment—HMP800
Loss of computer discs from Education Department—HMP992
Break-in at FSS outstation3,150
Missing IT equipment—HMP33,773
Theft of various computer items after break-in at Salford—DPASNot known
Handheld computer stolen from car—HMP400
Theft of laptops from storeroom—HMP20,421
Stolen memory from laptop—FSC0
Theft of hired video recorder—HMP80
Theft of Camcorder—HMP399
Total value of 15 cases of theft60,313
Analysis of four cases of reported theft 1999–2000
Computer keyboard stolen from office in QAG80
Theft of computer equipment from Grenadier House16,500
Theft of 25 PCs, servers and equipment from Quest House11,000
Theft of components from sun server from Quest House74,000
Total value of 4 cases of theft20,580
Analysis of 25 cases of reported theft 2000–01
Theft of 7 laptops31,000
Theft of IT equipment100
Theft of 2 Home Office computers from ICL premises6,000
Theft of computer parts4,000
Laptop and projector stolen on away day8,000
Video player stolen from locked room100
Theft of modem linking franking machine to supplier180
Eternet card discovered to be missing from laptop PC80
Laptop stolen in house burglary1,200
HMPS—Laptop computer unlocatable1,000
HMPS—Laptop computer taken from locked cabinet229
HMPS—Theft of pressure washer125
HMPS—Dictation machine gone missing377
HMPS—Theft of laptop computer (mugging)2,000
HMPS—Bicycle stolen from outside prisoner's place of work89
HMPS—A Hewlett-Packard laser jet printer stolen1,085
HMPS—Theft of laptop, printer and mobile phone73
HMPS—Theft of two video cassettes128
HMPS—Theft of industrial hoover200
HMPS—Prison Service employee house burgled—computer and printer stolen2,650
HMPS—Prison Service issue laptop stolen from boot of car1,000
HMPS—Training and development unit burgled5,000
HMPS—Theft of 3 canteen bags39
HMPS—Theft of portable generator340
HMFSI—Disappearance of 4 laptops from locked room9,000
Total value of 25 cases of theft73,995

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