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14 Mar 2003 : Column 471Wcontinued
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 5 February 2003, Official Report, column 321W, what steps he is taking to monitor the effectiveness of the
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provisions cited in his answer in helping the UK to meet its obligations under the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention. 
Mr. Blunkett: Further to my answer of 5 February, statistical information on use of the powers under sections 113 and 114 of the Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCS) is collected regularly. The powers have been used in respect of two juveniles, detained on hoaxing charges and released on bail pending trial.
As a result of investigations in London, four people have been charged under section 2 of the Chemical Weapons Act 1996. In a subsequent investigation five other people have been charged under section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 with conspiracy to produce or develop chemical weapons. The protective security arrangements surrounding the security of pathogens and toxins under part 7 of the ATCS are being taken forward as part of the implementation of the Act.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Bolton, South-East of 11 October and 25 November 2002 and 8 January 2003 regarding the case of Mr. Uones Mahmad Nizar (HO Ref N1030237). 
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Bolton, South East of 12 September 2002, 29 October 2002, 4 December 2002 and 8 January 2003 regarding the case of Mr. Mohammed Iqbal (HO Ref J243444). 
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Immigration and Nationality Directorate will reply to a letter from the hon. Member for Vauxhall dated 21 November 2002 about a constituent, reference number D1066307. 
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people found guilty of a criminal offence escaped from court last year; and of these, how many failed to be recaptured. 
Hilary Benn: Information received from the Prisoner Escort and Custody Service shows that 34 persons escaped from courts in England and Wales in 2002, but information held centrally does not identify whether these persons were convicted or whether a recapture took place. As this information will need to be collated I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as the information is available. In addition, a further 21 persons escaped but were recaptured within 15 minutes.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in securing convictions against those responsible for the bombs in (a) Guildford on 5 October 1974 and (b) Birmingham on 21 November 1974. 
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place to ensure that all persons employed by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate are either UK citizens or have valid work permits. 
Beverley Hughes: All candidates who apply to work for the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) must meet the required eligibility criteria which is set out on each recruitment campaign. For administrative and executive grades candidates must be a British or Commonwealth citizen or a national of a state within the EU with no time limit on their stay in the UK. They should also have normally lived in the UK continuously for the previous three years. For Immigration Service grades candidates must be a UK national with five years residence in the UK.
When a candidate applies for a recruitment campaign their application form is checked to ensure they fulfil the relevant nationality criteria. If they are successful in reaching the interview stage they are then required to produce either a birth certificate or UK, EU or Commonwealth passport. These documents are photocopied and any passport other than a UK or EU document is checked to ensure that the holder has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. This means that anyone who is declared successful at interview does not have any restrictions attached to their stay in this country and is allowed to work here.
Prior to offering a start date to any candidate successful on a recruitment scheme enquiries are conducted into suitability for employment. These include security checks, inquiries into health and taking up employment or academic references and personal references. Only when we are content that all inquiries have been completed satisfactorily, will an offer of employment be made.
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|Substantive grades||Head count of full and part-time staff|
|Senior civil servants||20|
|Senior executive officer||319|
|Higher executive officer D||7|
|Higher executive officer||976|
|Chief immigration officer||631|
|Assistant immigration officer||624|
|Chief typing manager||1|
Beverley Hughes: Ms Lin was due to be removed from the United Kingdom on 6 March 2003. Ms Lin has since submitted a further application to remain in the United Kingdom. She will not be removed while this application is under consideration.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers are available to (a) the police and (b) local authorities to tackle problems caused by motorised scooters using pavements. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I understand that caselaw confirms that riding a motorised scooter on a pavement is an offence under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 the maximum penalty for which is a fine not exceeding Level 2 on the standard scale. The police will take action as they consider appropriate locally in each case to enforce the law. Where the offender is a child the police can warn him and advise his parents as necessary. Local authorities have no power to deal with the specific problem. They can make byelaws prohibiting the use of motorised scooters in particular areas.
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Beverley Hughes: I apologise for the delay in responding. At the time your letter was received in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) the file was in transit within the IND estate. As a result your letter could not be immediately linked to the file and responded to.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has held with the Secretary of State for Health about the availability to the general public of smallpox vaccinations. 
Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 7 March 2003]: I hold regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of issues. This is an integral part of the routine process of government but it is not Government policy to disclose details of specific conversations. Discussions between Cabinet colleagues fall under Exemption 2 in the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which covers Internal Discussion and Advice.
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