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Juvenile Crime

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to apply electronic monitoring technology to juveniles released from the custodial part of the detention and training order. [59797]

Beverley Hughes: Section 62 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000 provides for the electronic monitoring of prisoners released on licence. By virtue of section 62(5)(a), this includes young people during the community element of a detention and training order (DTO).

Electronic monitoring of those released from detention and training orders is already available in 84 youth offending team areas as part of the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme overseen by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.

Section 102(4) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 empowers the Secretary of State to release an offender:

The availability of electronic monitoring enables me to consider how we can make further use of the powers in section 102(4) to provide a useful transitional phase in the reintegration of trainees from custody back into the community.

I therefore propose to use electronic monitoring as a condition of the release of trainees serving a DTO of eight months or more for a period of one or two months prior to their current release at the half-way point. This form of release will be a normal feature of DTOs except in the case of trainees convicted of sex offences or serious violent offences. The possibility of release on electronic monitoring at this stage in the DTO will not be available to trainees who have exhibited violent or destructive behaviour to people or property within the secure facility; made exceptionally bad progress against the training plan as a result of consistent failure to co-operate or failure to take responsibility for their behaviour.

Annie Millhouse

John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to take a decision on the application for leave to remain on the basis of marriage of Annie Millhouse (Home Office ref: M718839). [56524]

Angela Eagle: A decision on this case was taken on 16 May 2002. Mrs. Millhouse will be notified of the result shortly.

Alisa Masokha

John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to issue a travel document to Alisa Masokha (Home Office ref: J1052415). [56525]

Angela Eagle: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) are not responsible for issuing foreign national travel documents.

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IND have no evidence of receiving Ms Masokha's national travel document in their offices. However, arrangements will shortly be made to issue Ms Masokha with a status letter which will enable her to obtain a replacement document from her national authorities.


Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long people granted naturalisation on grounds of (a) residence and (b) marriage in April or the latest month for which figures are available had waited before receiving the decision; and how long persons who have applied for naturalisation on each ground in 2002 can expect to wait for a decision. [56544]

Angela Eagle: The information available relates to the average waiting time for citizenship (naturalisation and registrations). The most recent published data relate to March 2001, when the average waiting time was 11.6 months.

I regret that information on waiting times for naturalisation applications only is not available.

We aim to reduce the average time taken to grant citizenship to qualifying applicants to 4.5 months by March 2003. It is expected that performance on this target will be reported on in due course, after the end of the financial year.


Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many probation and drugs treatment services have adopted oral fluid testing for drug abuse. [58514]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Home Office recently issued a probation circular, (PC7/2002:Revision of National Standards of Supervision of Offenders in the Community) which notified probation areas that they were no longer required to obtain specific written authority from the Home Office to use oral fluid testing in respect of the Drug Treatment and Testing Order. Prior to this announcement, twenty-three Probation Areas had requested the use of oral fluid testing. Oral fluid testing is also currently being used in the three probation areas piloting the drug testing provisions contained in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

Information regarding the practices of drug treatment services is not held centrally.

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug treatment or testing orders have been made which require the use of Naltrexone. [56542]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is not held centrally and could not be determined except at disproportionate cost.

Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the economic cost of drug misuse in the last year for which figures are available. [56713]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The University of York Centre for Criminal Justice Economics and Psychology (Culyer A, Eaton G, Godfrey C et al, 2002) has recently completed a

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research report for the Home Office entitled "The Economic and Social Costs of Class A Drugs Misuse in England and Wales, 2000". The report will be published as a Home Office Research Study (HORS) early to mid-summer, 2002.

Key findings from the research have been released (Home Office News Release, 12 February 2002). Annual economic costs (mainly to health service, criminal justice system and state benefits) are estimated to be between £3.7 billion and £6.8 billion. Adding social costs (mainly victim costs of crime) increases figures to between £10.9 billion and £18.8 billion. Problematic drug users account for around 99 per cent. of these costs with annual economic costs at £11,000 each compared with less than £20 for a non-problematic user.


Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the scope of the environmental impact assessment in relation to the proposed asylum accommodation centre at Throckmorton. [57341]

Angela Eagle: An environmental impact assessment will be included with the planning notification to be submitted shortly in relation to the proposed accommodation centre at Throckmorton. We are currently in discussions with Wychavon District Council to establish its scope.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the timetable for the planning process in relation to the application for the asylum accommodation centre at Throckmorton. [57236]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 20 May 2002]: We intend to submit a planning notification shortly. We will advise the hon. Member when the notification is submitted.

Asylum Accommodation Centres

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what date he estimates the first asylum accommodation centre will be open. [57343]

Angela Eagle: It is envisaged that the first centre will open in 2003.

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the number of dependants of asylum seekers under 18-years-old who will be housed in pilot accommodation centres. [51135]

Angela Eagle: We have yet to make a final decision.

Asylum Seekers

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to deter applications for asylum from citizens of countries that have democratic benign Governments. [57262]

Angela Eagle: The White Paper 'Secure Borders, Safe Haven' and the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill set out a range of measures to create an effective end-to-end system which will enable us to return swiftly those not in need of protection. There are also measures to

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combat illegal entry and illegal working. These measures should deter those who attempt to pursue unfounded asylum applications in the United Kingdom.

A key part of our strategy has been the use of the Oakington Reception Centre which allows us to process quickly those whose claims are determined to be manifestly unfounded.

We have also operated pre-clearance operations in Prague and we have deployed a network of airline liaison officers to prevent improperly documented passengers travelling to the United Kingdom.

Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he plans to establish an independent documentation centre to provide information about countries from which people have fled. [57999]

Angela Eagle: We have commissioned an evaluation of the content and accessibility of country information in the asylum process. This evaluation includes an assessment of whether the information provided by the Country Information Policy Unit, including the country assessments, meets the needs of its users. The finalised report will provide systematic, additional evidence on which to base decisions as to whether any further mechanisms might prove useful, and enable us to reach a decision on the need for an independent documentation centre.

Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill will allow families with children who are seeking asylum to be detained at the beginning of the asylum process. [57998]

Angela Eagle: The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill makes no change to the policy with regard to the detention of asylum seeking families. The policy for the detention of families is detailed in the White Paper "Secure Borders, Safe Haven" which makes it clear that families may, when appropriate, be detained while their identities and basis of claim are established, or because there is a reasonable belief they would abscond, or as part of the fast-track asylum process at Oakington Reception Centre, or to effect their removal.

Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what research his Department is conducting on the return of dispersed asylum seekers to the Greater London area; [57634]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 20 May 2002]: There are no statistics on the number of asylum seekers who have returned to London following dispersal to another area of the country. Nor are statistics available on those accepted as refugees or granted exceptional leave to remain (ELR) who, in both cases, are free to live where ever they like. The National Asylum Support Services (NASS) cannot require asylum seekers to remain in the accommodation provided. If they choose to leave the accommodation they can seek to alter their support package from subsistence and accommodation to subsistence only. Generally speaking asylum seekers are not provided with accommodation in London. The Home Office is currently reviewing the extent of and reasons for

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asylum seekers leaving their dispersal accommodation. The results will be made available as soon as possible following the completion of the project.

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