|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to reduce the volume of crack cocaine entering the United Kingdom from (a) Jamaica and (b) other countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Our strategy for combating cocaine trafficking is to disrupt the flow of cocaine as near as possible to the source of supply and the main transit areas. We do this by working closely with the Governments and law enforcement agencies of the countries concerned, including Jamaica, and by strengthening their own counter-narcotics capability with the provision of training, specialised equipment and expertise. My right hon. Friend the then Financial Secretary (Mr. Boateng) recently announced agreement with Jamaica to operate IONSCAN equipment at both Kingston and Montego Bay Airports.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the merger of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise investigation teams into drug and migrant trafficking with NCIS and NCS to create a new organisation relating to international and national organised crime. 
12 Jun 2002 : Column 1306W
Customs, NCIS and NCS work closely together to tackle organised crime threats including drug trafficking and people smuggling. We have established multi-agency working groups to co-ordinate the response to key threats, including the Concerted Interagency Drug Action Group (CIDA) for class A drug trafficking and REFLEX for organised immigration crime, which involve key law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many instances in the last 12 months the Metropolitan police have been requested to attend the administrative removal of failed asylum seekers in London. 
The following table shows the number of asylum seekers (including dependants) who are being supported in National Asylum Support Service (NASS) accommodation as at the end of each of the last five quarters.
|As at end:||Number|
1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Figures exclude cases where the asylum seekers support has been ceased.
Information on the number of asylum seekers supported by NASS is published quarterly and is available on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ rds/immigration1.html.
Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if asylum seekers who appeal against a decision to refuse support will receive support pending the outcome of any appeal of this decision. 
12 Jun 2002 : Column 1307W
Beverley Hughes: The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) may only provide or arrange for the provision of support for asylum seekers or their dependants who appear to the Secretary of State to be destitute or likely to become so within 14 days.
Where NASS refuses an application for support or terminated the grant of support early, there is a right of appeal against that decision. There is no right to receive support while an appeal against refusal or early termination of support is outstanding.
Beverley Hughes: The nationality, immigration and asylum Bill contains a provision to withdraw support from those who fail, without reasonable cause, to report as required. This provision applies to asylum-seeking families with dependant children in the same way as it does for others. Asylum seekers accepting an offer of support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) will be fully informed of the need to comply with a requirement to report and that support may be terminated if they do not do so.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times the revised certificate he signed last December with respect to section 28 of the Data Protection Act 1998 has been used by the Security Service in relation to its functions; and if he will make a statement. 
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many subject access requests have been received by the Security Service since the right of access afforded by the Data Protection Act 1998 came into effect; how many of these requests were from data subjects who were not employed or contracted to the service; and what requests for access have resulted in personal data being obtained by data subjects. 
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if organisations which choose to disclose personal data to the Security Service in a way which is subject to Section 28 of the Data Protection Act 1998 are given a copy of the revised certificate signed by him last December; and if he will make a statement. 
12 Jun 2002 : Column 1308W
Mr. Blunkett: If an organisation asked about the national security exemption in respect of the disclosing of personal data to the Security Service, the Service would explain the operation of section 28 of the Act which, depending on the circumstances, may include providing a copy of the revised certificate.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on the future structure of (a) drug action teams and (b) crime and disorder partnerships in areas with two-tier local authorities. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In view of the close links between drugs and crime, we believe that there are clear benefits to bringing together the work of Drug Action Teams and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships. These include reducing the burdens on agencies in terms of representation; simplifying the Home Office lines of accountability for community safety issues; giving the delivery of the National Drugs Strategy a statutory mechanism; and ensuring more effective targeting of resources.
However, we do not intend to be prescriptive about the structure of any new partnership. That is why we are consulting Drugs Action Teams (DATs), Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) and other stakeholders on how to deliver the new partnership, seeking examples of good practice where they exist to be replicated around the country. Guidance for the new partnerships will be ready for dissemination in September 2002 and, through our regional offices, we will be working with partnerships to identify the best fit for their particular area.
Beverley Hughes: All immigration officers on general enforcement duties, whether recruited directly or from those already serving at ports of entry, will have received, as part of basic induction training, sessions on the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000. They will also have received sessions on asylum, including the screening of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) video; professional standards; equal opportunities legislation and diversity issues; and the handling of complaints made by members of the public.
In addition, immigration officers selected for arrest teams, in other words, to conduct arrests in the community without police assistance, undergo a police-led training course which is pass or fail, and which includes mandatory sessions on community relations and diversity issues.
We have judged introduction of arrest teams in London a success, and they are being extended nationwide; however, the issue of equal opportunities, community relations and diversity training is regarded as highly important and so the form and content are being kept under close review.
12 Jun 2002 : Column 1309W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|