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20 Dec 2004 : Column 1504W—continued

Immigration Control (Domestic Violence)

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will change the immigration and benefits rules to exempt victims of domestic violence subject to immigration control from the no recourse to public funds provision. [199969]

Mr. Browne: Persons still subject to immigration control are excluded from access to public funds under section 115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and we do not feel that it would be appropriate to make an exception for this particular group. It could lead to people making fraudulent applications, which would not benefit the real victims of domestic violence.

However, we are providing the means by which victims attempting to leave a violent relationship can get access to refuge accommodation. This year we have given a total of £80,000 to Women's Aid towards their last resort fund. Refuges can apply for financial support from the fund to cover the rent and living expenses of women who are making an application for indefinite leave to remain because of domestic violence.

Information Misuse

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many instances of misuse of computer information and databases by (a) civil servants, (b) police officers and (c) immigration officials have been recorded by his Department in each year since 1997. [205353]

Fiona Mactaggart: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Negligent Driving (New Offence)

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward proposals to introduce an offence of causing death by negligent driving. [205640]

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Paul Goggins: We have commissioned a review of road traffic offences to cover all levels of bad driving. It is largely complete but there are a number of issues which require further careful consideration before a consultation paper can be published. We intend to publish the consultation paper shortly.

North Yorishire Police

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on funding for North Yorkshire Police for 2005–06. [205652]

Ms Blears: I announced details of the provisional police funding settlement for next year on 2 December. North Yorkshire Police Authority will receive general grants totalling £75.4 million, an increase of £2.7 million or 3.75 per cent. over 2004–05. Because of the grant floor, the authority receives £2.9 million than it otherwise would. In addition to general grants, North Yorkshire will receive around £6.2 million in specific grants for targeted programmes.


Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of the (a) adult and (b) total population of the UK held a passport in each of the last 20 years. [202193]

Mr. Browne [holding answer 6 December 2004]: The table indicates within a range (a) the percentage of the adult population aged 16 and over and (b) the percentage of the total population of the UK that held a valid passport in each of the last 20 years.

(a) Adult population holding passports(b) Total UK population holding passports

The upper end of the range represents the total number of UK passport issues. The lower end of the range represents the minimum number of people holding passports, allowing for the fact that throughout the life of a 10-year adult passport, and 5-year child passport, a certain number of passports will have been
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replaced before their validity expired (for example to replace lost and stolen passports or to change details on passports). The actual percentage of adult/total population holding a passport therefore lies within these two limits. Prior to 1993 the UKPS only has figures for total passport issues.

Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the proportion of pensioners who own a passport. [203024]

Mr. Browne: The UK Passport Service estimates that between 50.5 per cent. and 59.5 per cent. of pensioners own a valid passport.


Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average sentence in each of the last six years was for people charged with supplying Class A drugs. [204779]

Caroline Flint: Figures on the average sentence length for people charged with supplying Class A drugs only are not collated. However, we do have data on the average sentence length for people charged with supplying all drugs and average sentence length for people charged for drug offences by type of drug. This information, which can be accessed via the Research Development and Statistics website, can be found in the Home Office Drug Seizure and Offender Statistics Supplementary Tables publications as follows:
Tables S2.6
and S2.12
Tables S2.6
and S2.12
Tables S2.6
and S2.12
Tables S2.6
and S2.12
2001 and
Tables S2.6a,
S2.6b and
S2.12a, S2.12b

This data is only available online for the last five years.

Port Security

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many weapons have been seized at ports of entry to the United Kingdom in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) type of weapon and (b) location of seizure. [203530]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

The table shows the number of weapons seized by HM Customs and Excise each year since 1996–97. The figures include all weapons within the definition of a firearm in the Firearms Act 1968 but exclude parts of
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firearms. Offensive weapons include knives, knuckledusters, swordsticks, and certain martial arts
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weapons. Customs have central records of offensive weapons seizures only for 2001–02 and 2003–04.
Financial YearRifles and handgunsShotgunsSelf defence spraysStun gunsOffensive Weapons
1996–97532323,452120Not available
1997–985073624,248344Not available
1998–99189512,343106Not available
1999–005121291,169101Not available
2000–01211442,428114Not available
2002–0322836866255Not available

A breakdown by location is not available. However, Customs' own analysis of the calendar years 2002 and 2003 has identified the following ports of entry where complete firearms (other than shotguns and parts) were seized:

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