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Drug Abstinence Order

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug abstinence orders have been issued. [51471]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 April 2002]: Drug abstinence orders and drug abstinence requirements were made available to the courts covering the three pilot sites, Nottingham, Staffordshire and Hackney on 5 November 2001. As at 28 February 2002, seven drug abstinence orders and 85 drug abstinence requirements have been issued.

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Drug Policy (Brixton)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on progress made on the new drug policy in Brixton; [51615]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 24 April 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has not met police representatives to discuss the drug policy in Brixton, but he has been following the progress of the Lambeth cannabis pilot very closely. I have met officers in Brixton additionally, officials from the Home Department meet regularly with representatives from the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Metropolitan police to discuss this and other issues.

The Home Secretary recognises that it is important to address policing cannabis issues such as those raised by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report, so as not only to bring consistency to policing practice on the streets but also to make the most effective use of police time.

I understand that the Metropolitan police are continuing their evaluation of the policy being operated in Lambeth to assess more accurately its precise impact. I further understand that the Metropolitan police have no plans to extend the operational pilot to other areas in advance of a full evaluation of all the issues being available.

Henry Kissinger

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from Spain concerning the visit of Henry Kissinger to the UK. [53675]

Mr. Blunkett: A letter of request from Spain for mutual legal assistance involving the evidence of Henry Kissinger was received in the Home Office on 19 April 2002. This request was refused on 22 April, since it did not comply with United Kingdom legislative requirements. No representations were received from Spanish authorities in this connection.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many induction, accommodation and removal centres for asylum seekers there are in (a) England, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales; where they are; and how many people each of them holds. [46981]

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Angela Eagle: Currently there is one induction centre in Dover. Generally speaking asylum seekers requiring accommodation will spend approximately one week in the induction centre before being dispersed. Other asylum seekers requesting either subsistence only support or who do not require support will spend between one and two days at the centre. We are proposing to open further induction centres over the coming months close to major ports such as Heathrow and Gatwick and a small number in the regions. There is no ceiling on the number who can be accommodated in an induction centre but typically there are between 200 and 500 in the centre at any one time.

There are no accommodation centres at present but we intend to establish a number of these with a total capacity of 3,000 to accommodate a proportion of new asylum seekers from application through initial decision and any appeal. This will be taken forward on a trial basis. We have identified eight potential sites for accommodation centres. Six of these are in England, one in Scotland and one in Wales.

They are located as follows:

The Government are committed to ensuring that the long-term mix of facilities for the support of asylum seekers and management of the asylum processes is based on evidence of what works. The operation of the trial accommodation centres will be thoroughly evaluated, taking account of a number of factors including costs, processing times, ease of access to integration programmes for those granted refugee status and the rate of returns in cases which are refused.

The following removal centres are located in England and Scotland.

Removal centres LocationTotal capacity(7)No. of family beds
CampsfieldKidlington, Oxford184
HarmondsworthWest Drayton, Middlesex55072
Tinsley HouseGatwick airport13714
Dover(8)Dover, Kent316
HaslarGosport, Hampshire160
DungavelStrathaven, South Lanarkshire15054

(7) Including family beds

(8) From end April 2002

The total detention capacity at immigration removal centres is 1,609. This figure excludes the 400 places at Oakington Reception Centre and the provision of detention places at Yarl's Wood Removal Centre that is currently unused.

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Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how detained asylum seekers are informed of rights they have to apply for bail. [48281]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The notice (IS91R) served on detainees to inform them of the reasons for their detention also contains details of their rights to apply for bail. The immigration officer serving the notice must sign this form to confirm that the detainee has been informed of these rights. If the detainee does not understand English, the immigration officer must ensure that the form's contents are interpreted.

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many families there were awaiting a final decision on their asylum application in each of the last six months. [51742]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 23 April 2002]: Information on the number of families awaiting a final decision on their asylum application is not readily available and would be obtained only by examination of individual case files to get information on the outcomes of initial decisions, of subsequent appeals to the Immigration Appellate Authority and to the Tribunal, which would incur disproportionate cost.

An initial decision has been served for around two thirds of asylum applications from families received in April to September 2001 (the latest period for which such data are available).

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the most recent Ofsted inspection of education provision in each (a) detention and (b) removal centre in England took place. [51661]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 23 April 2002]: There have been no inspections by Ofsted of the children's education provision at the two immigration removal centres which have such provision as neither Harmondsworth nor Dungavel have been operating long enough to warrant such an inspection.

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) separated children and (b) children in families arrived in the UK and made an asylum application in each of the last six months. [51743]

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Angela Eagle [holding answer 23 April 2002]: The table shows the number of unaccompanied children under the age of 18 who have made an asylum application in the period March to August 2001, inclusive. August is the latest month for which data are available.

Unaccompanied children(9),(10),(11), aged 17 or under, applying for asylum to the United Kingdom, March to August 2001

MonthTotal applications

(9) Unaccompanied at the point of their arrival, and not known to be joining a close relative in the United Kingdom

(10) Figures exclude disputed age cases

(11) Provisional data

Reliable information on the number of children who have applied for asylum in the United Kingdom, accompanied by an adult, is not readily available and could be obtained only by examination of individual case records and is, therefore, only available at disproportionate cost.

Information on unaccompanied minors is published annually in the statistical bulletin "Asylum Statistics United Kingdom", a copy of which is available in the Library and from the RDS website: rds/immigration1.html.

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