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Violent Crime (Wales)

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of (a) rape, (b) assault, (c) murder, (d) violent theft and (e) armed robbery there were in Wales in each year since 1997. [36422]

Mr. Denham: The available details from recorded crime data are given in the table. For assault, the total of offences of assault on a constable, common assault and racially aggravated common assault has been used; the former two categories were introduced as recorded crimes on 1 April 1998, and the latter was counted separately from 1 April 1999. The total for all homicides is given, and for violent theft, the robbery total is given. Armed robbery includes offences where air weapons were used.

Also, the British Crime Survey has shown that, in England and Wales as a whole, the number of violent crimes recorded in the survey decreased by 19 per cent. between the 1999 and 2000 calendar years, whereas violent crime recorded by the police increased by an estimated five per cent. Violent crime recorded by the police may therefore not necessarily be a reflection of real changes in the level of violent crime.

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The annual risk of being a victim once or more of violent crime in Wales was 2.4 per cent, this being based on results for 1999 and 2000 from the British Crime Survey. This was lower than for any English region with the England and Wales average risk being 3.9 per cent.

There was a change in counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, which expanded the offences covered, and placed a greater emphasis on counting crimes in terms of numbers of victims. Numbers of recorded crimes after this date are therefore not directly comparable with previous years.

Recorded crimes in Wales

YearRapeAssaultsHomicideRobberyRobbery using a firearm

(42) Calendar year

(43) Year ending March

It should be noted that recorded violent crime is subject to changes in reporting and recording. For example, the 2001 British Crime Survey found that, over England and Wales as a whole, reporting to the police of common assault rose from 29 per cent. in 1999 to 39 per cent. in the year 2000.

Departmental Publications

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the publications issued by his Department in each of the last four years; and what the (a) circulation, (b) cost and (c) purpose of each was. [34188]

Angela Eagle: Details of the titles and costs of all the applications produced by the Home Office from 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2001 have been placed in the Library. Prior to 1 April 1999, the production of printed material was not centralised and no records exist.

Documents distribution is largely carried out by the commissioning client and no central circulation records are held. The purpose of printed material is to communicate Home Office policies to a wide range of target audiences including the general public and stakeholders, such as the police, courts and criminal justice system, and crime reduction organisations.

Civil Servants

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many new entrants to the civil service employed in his Department in each of the last five years were aged 50 and over. [32886]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 6 February 2002]: Information on the number of new entrants to the civil service aged 50 and over who joined the Home Office and its agencies is set out in the table. It has increased substantially since 1997 and the Home Office has recently changed its aged retirement policy to allow staff below the senior civil service to remain in work beyond the age of 60.

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Home Office2835109244204
Forensic Science Service4811721
United Kingdom Passport Service432347354
Prison Service382502481480577
Fire Service College(44)27224

(44) Responsibility for the Fire Service College transferred to Department for Transport, London and the Regions (DTLR) in June 2001.

Asylum Seekers

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2002, Official Report, column 302W, if he will place in the Library the two recent letters received from Merseyside police in relation to the use of Landmark and Inn on the Park to house asylum seekers. [33598]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 5 February 2002]: I am making arrangements for copies of these letters to be placed in the Library.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations he has had with groups representing the interests of asylum seekers about the location of the proposed asylum accommodation centres; and if he will make a statement. [34482]

Angela Eagle: We have not had any consultation specifically about the location of accommodation centres with groups representing the interests of asylum seekers. My officials have had general discussions about accommodation centres with a number of groups representing the interests of asylum seekers. In addition, the White Paper "Secure Borders, Safe Haven: Integration With Diversity in Modern Britain" sets out our proposals for accommodation centres and we would welcome comments in response to that. Officials are discussing with relevant planning authorities the best way of consulting the public and other interested parties in the areas identified as having potential accommodation centre sites.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he collates on the (a) number, (b) source, (c) destination and (d) place of residence in the United Kingdom of (i) asylum seekers and (ii) other immigrants without leave to remain. [34677]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 8 February 2002]: The Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) collates information on the number of asylum applications in the United Kingdom lodged both at port and in country, as well as information on the nationality of the principal applicants, and the numbers of asylum seekers removed. These data are published quarterly on the RDS website at immigration1.html.

Figures detailing the number of persons against whom enforcement action has been initiated—illegal entrants detected and persons issued with a notice of intention to deport, recommended for deportation by a court or proceeded against under Section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999—are published annually in the Command Paper "Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom", a copy of which is also available in the Libraries and on the RDS website.

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Reliable information is not available on the number of illegal entrants resident in the United Kingdom. However, the Home Office has commissioned a study which will consider methods of estimating the size and characteristics of the illegal population.

Information on the entry routes of asylum seekers from their country of origin to the United Kingdom and the destination of persons who are removed from the United Kingdom is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only by examining individual case files at disproportionate cost.

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the cost of building and running asylum seeker accommodation centres will be met by local authorities in the localities proposed for such centres. [34581]

Angela Eagle: None.

The costs of building and running the trial accommodation centres will be met by the Home Office.

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of asylum seeker accommodation centres in the Netherlands. [34586]

Angela Eagle: Home Office officials are having regard to information about accommodation centres in the Netherlands as they develop policy. In addition, the Home Office has recently commissioned research on the reception policies and practice of four European countries including the Netherlands. The research has two main objectives:

This research will provide valuable primary data on asylum and reception processes in other European countries and analyse alternative models of reception and accommodation systems for asylum seekers.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the application of human rights legislation to illegal immigrants and asylum seekers. [34149]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 7 February 2002]: There has been no formal assessment of the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 to illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.

Any individual subject to immigration control who makes an application to remain in the United Kingdom on human rights grounds will have those grounds considered. There is no opportunity to appeal to the Immigration Appellate Authority against an adverse decision.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if the reference to a 3,000 total capacity in asylum accommodation centres in paragraph 4.30 of "Secure Borders, Safe Haven" refers to the total capacity the Government intends to provide; and if he will make a statement; [36708]

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Angela Eagle: We intend to provide 3,000 accommodation centre places on a trial basis. Decisions on any expansion of accommodation centres beyond those 3,000 places will be taken in the light of emerging evidence, here and abroad, about what works. Subject to that, our aim is to phase out the current system of support and dispersal.

We are still considering the details of the evaluation process for accommodation centres.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if sites under consideration for an asylum accommodation centre which are not selected for one of the trial centres will be considered for later asylum accommodation centres. [36711]

Angela Eagle: It is possible that we may wish to consider sites identified as potential locations for trial centres for any future expansion of the accommodation centre programme.

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