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Yarl's Wood

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his oral statement on the fire at Yarl's Wood removal centre, 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 441, what representations he has received on access to the site by Bedfordshire fire and police services; and if he will make a statement. [41243]

Angela Eagle: In the immediate aftermath of the events at Yarl's Wood on 14–15 February 2002 a number of anecdotal claims were made in the media and elsewhere that the emergency services could not gain immediate access to the site. To date, these claims have not been

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substantiated. It is likely that they arise from the fact that, on arrival at the scene, the first priority for the police was to establish perimeter security and also that firefighters could not be deployed within the site until a degree of order had been re-established. These issues will, of course, be considered by the separate inquiries being conducted by the Home Office, Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Group 4.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a breakdown of the asylum seekers who were detained at Yarl's Wood removal centre on 14 February by (a) nationality, (b) gender, (c) length of detention, (d) the stage of application and immigration status at the time of application and (e) those aged under 18; and if he will make a statement. [41148]

Angela Eagle: The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only by examination of individual case files.

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will ensure that the on-going policing requirements at the National Detention Centre of Yarl's Wood will not fall exclusively upon the Bedfordshire constabulary; [40851]

Angela Eagle: The Department is in discussion with Bedfordshire Police Authority about the policing costs of Yarl's Wood. The Government's position on this is clear. We will take whatever advice is necessary, and we will work with the police authority to protect their interests and those of the people they serve in Bedfordshire.

Policy responsibility for the funding of the fire service rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Mr. Byers).

Ministerial Design Champion

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what meetings the Ministerial Design Champion for his Department has attended in her capacity as Design Champion in the last month; and if he will make a statement. [41960]

Angela Eagle: Ministerial Design Champions meet at approximately four-month intervals. I, as Ministerial Design Champion for the Home Office, attended the most recent meeting on 17 January 2002. The next meeting will take place on 22 May 2002. The Design Champions Officials Group, which works to the Ministerial Champions Group, meets at regular intervals to support the work of Ministers.

I fully support the measures to underline the Government's commitment to the Better Public Buildings Initiative. My officials are working to deliver the Home Office action plan and I am pleased to have received a presentation from representatives of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), who outlined ways in which they can work with my officials on future design and construction across the Home Office estate. I have encouraged regular dialogue, both with

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CABE and other Government Departments, to address the common goals and to promote the sharing of best practice wherever possible.

Superintendent Ali Dizaei

Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officers are allocated to the investigation into the affairs of Superintendent Ali Dizaei. [42745]

Mr. Denham: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that 12 officers are currently allocated to the investigation of the affairs of Superintendent Ali Dizaei.

Metropolitan Police Service

Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) members of the Metropolitan Police Independent Advisory Group, (b) business associates of those members and (c) companies related to them have been in paid employment of the Metropolitan Police service. [42741]

Mr. Denham: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that the operating protocols of the Independent Advisory Group require members to declare any relevant pecuniary interest. Two members of the Independent Advisory Group are directors of Ionann Management Consultants Ltd., the company under contract to the Home Office to provide specialist support to the police service on community and race relations training. The other detailed information requested by the hon. Member is not collected by the Metropolitan Police Service.

Metropolitan Police (Internal Investigation)

Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will conduct an independent inquiry into the manner in which the Metropolitan police's Internal Investigation Command (CIB3) investigates black police officers. [42743]

Mr. Denham: We are currently considering representations on this issue from the National Black Police Association.

Experience Corps

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what initiatives are being undertaken by the experience corps volunteering in the constituency of Buckingham. [43287]

Angela Eagle: The Experience Corps Company began the implementation of this initiative in November 2001. This is across the nine English Government regions, five of which have operations under way. I understand that the experience corps company will launch in the south-east region, which includes Buckingham, during the spring.

It will be for the company to decide what initiatives it develops in this area in line with its targets and objectives agreed with the Home Office.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the experience corps that have been set up in the constituency of Buckingham; and what total funding each corps has received. [43288]

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Angela Eagle: The experience corps is a single initiative, which began its operations in England in November 2001. The experience corps will be launched in the south-east region, which includes Buckingham, during the spring.

The level of funding for the initiative in Buckinghamshire is a matter for the experience corps company to decide in line with objectives and targets agreed with the Home Office.

Metropolitan Police (Ethnic Officers)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Black and Asian police officers are serving in each of the Metropolitan police divisions covering the Greater London area. [43013]

Mr. Denham: The information requested has been provided by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and reflects the position on 14 March 2002.

London borough divisionNumber of Black officers(13)Number of Asian officers(13)
Barking and Dagenham33
Barnet35
Bexley54
Brent1320
Bromley6.64
Camden13.310
City of Westminster4546.4
Croydon219.4
Ealing830
Enfield107
Greenwich38
Hackney12.818
Hammersmith and Fulham12.56.4
Haringey1114
Harrow311.8
Havering2.82
Hillingdon38
Hounslow810
Islington2610
Kensington and Chelsea1719
Kingston upon Thames43
Lambeth2418.6
Lewisham137
Merton34
Newham1414
Redbridge69
Richmond upon Thames26
Southwark1513.8
Sutton22
Tower Hamlets10.613.7
Waltham Forest10.66
Wandsworth410
Total335.2353.1
Heathrow airport14
Non-borough units2914
Headquarters units99.453.9
Total464.5425

(13) Full-time equivalents


Armed Robberies

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many armed robberies have been committed in (a) England and Wales and (b) Greater London in each of the last three years. [43018]

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Mr. Denham: The number of robberies using firearms is given in the table:

Number of robberies using firearms (including air weapons)

Year (ending March)England and WalesGreater London(14)
1998–992,9731,138
1999–20003,9221,695
2000–014,0811,424

(14) Metropolitan Police and City of London police force areas. There was a boundary change on 1 April 2000 in which parts of the Metropolitan Police area were transferred to Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey, so that these police force areas followed county boundaries thereafter.



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