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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the effective trials management programme. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The primary aim of the effective trial management programme is to reduce the number of ineffective trials by improving case preparation and progression from point of charge through to trial or earlier conclusion. By increasing the certainty of trial or hearing dates, the programme aims to bring more offences to justice and improve public confidence in the criminal justice system, particularly that of victims and witnesses. Effective trial management formed part of the wider criminal case management programme aimed at improving the end to end process, and which included the setting up of 165 Witness Support Units under the No Witness No Justice project, and the roll-out of the new charging scheme.
Implementation of the effective trial management programme, together with the other two elements of the wider criminal case management programme, has been completed in all criminal justice areas across England and Wales. The indications are that reductions in headline ineffective trial rates have been achieved. Stakeholder confidence and satisfaction in the changes remains high, with effective trial management being a priority at local and national level.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what emergency planning exercises (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible have carried out in the last six months. 
McNulty: The Home Office leads the National Counter
Terrorism Exercise Programme which is designed to test the preparedness
of the police to respond to major terrorist incidents and to drive
improvements to counter terrorist contingency planning within
government departments. As part of
this the Home Office runs three national exercises each year as well as up to 12 table top exercises.
In addition, the Home Office also carries out business continuity planning, disaster management and other contingency planning in order to ensure that its business can continue in the event of an incident that might otherwise affect its ability to function normally. Home Office Headquarters has not exercised these plans between September 2005 and August 2006. Details of emergency planning exercises held in individual immigration offices, immigration detention centres, immigration ports, prisons and other offices falling within the Home Offices remit, are not held centrally.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the result has been of his Department's consideration of the merits of establishing an independent licensing authority to tackle employment discrimination related to criminal records checks. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The setting up of a central register of ex-offenders was a key recommendation of Sir Michael Bichard's report into those working with children and vulnerable adults. This particular area of policy is led by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).
After considering all the options very carefully, including a licensing route, DfES introduced the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill in February 2006. This seeks to enact agreed proposals to establish a new central Vetting and Barring Scheme to ensure all those seeking jobs that give significant access to children or vulnerable adults are properly vetted. This approach has been consulted upon and endorsed by Sir Michael Bichard.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to be in a position to indicate to the hon. Member for North Thanet what discussions he held with representatives of The News of the World during the four weeks preceding 26 June 2006 in answer to question 79809. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 24 July 2006]: The Home Secretary replied to the hon. Member on 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1333W.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the points of entry are into the United Kingdom. 
Reid: There are many potential entry points to the UK
including small air and sea ports, marinas and
airfields. There are 35 air, sea and rail points of entry in the UK and in juxtaposed locations, which, by virtue of the nature and frequency of traffic and the numbers of passengers requiring leave to enter the port, have immigration official presence 24 hours a day or during operating hours. Other small points of entry are attended to cover scheduled services, or on a risk assessed basis, or in response to specific intelligence. The names of these points of entry cannot be disclosed as this could provide information of value to those seeking to circumvent immigration controls, thereby prejudicing the prevention and detection of immigration offences.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the letter dated 22 January 2006 from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department to the Chairman of Sub-Committee E of the House of Lords European Union Committee, what the title was of each case in 2005 where European arrest warrants were discharged by the UK courts for passage of time considerations; which court discharged each case; and what the length of time which had passed was in each case. 
Joan Ryan: There were four cases discharged due to the passage of time in the UK in 2005. Three of these were dealt with by Bow Street magistrates court, which deals with all extradition requests in England and Wales, and one by the Edinburgh sheriffs court. Additionally, one case was discharged in 2005 but the case was not formally confirmed until 2006, when an appeal against the decision was withdrawn and one was discharged for two reasons, the secondary reason being passage of time. Both these cases were also dealt with by Bow Street magistrates court. The cases were: Teresa Restas, where the alleged offences took place in 1985 and the European arrest warrant (EAW) was issued in 2005. Rafal Darek, where the alleged offences took place in 1995 and the EAW was issued in 2004. Ronaldas Pakstas, where the alleged offences took place in 1998 and the EAW was issued in 2004 Richard Rockiki (Scottish case) where the alleged offences took place in 1986 and the EAW was issued in 2004. The case where the appeal was withdrawn in 2006 was Peter Lewis, where the alleged offences took place in 1996 and the EAW was issued in 2004. The case discharged principally for another reason was Ravnik Bojan, where the alleged offences took place in 1992 and the EAW was issued in 2005.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many US citizens have been extradited from the UK since 1997; and how many UK citizens have been extradited from the US since 1997. 
Mr. McNulty: Neither the UK or US keep a permanent central record of the nationalities of those extradited between the two countries, because both countries have always been prepared to consider the extradition of its own citizens.
|Total extradited (of all nationalities) to the US from England and Wales|
The 2006 figure includes one person who is counted once but was returned to the US on two requests (both under the 1989 Act and 2003 Act for separate offences in two different States).
|Total extradited (of all nationalities) from the US to England and Wales:|
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests for extradition (a) were received in 2005 and (b) have been received in 2006 from each of the countries that were the subject of the part 2 Territories Designation Order 2003. 
Joan Ryan: The figures for those countries which were designated under the Extradition Act 2003 (Designation of Part two Territories) Order 2003, and which made requests under the Extradition Act 2003 during the periods in question, are given in the table. The figures do not include requests made to Ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland, who have devolved powers to make or grant requests.
|Part two Territories||(a) 2005||(b) 2006 (to 18 July 2006)|
Upon joining the European Arrest Warrant mechanism, these countries
were re-designated as Part one Territories on the following dates:
Czech Republic and Germany: 1 March 2005; France: 27 July 2004; Italy:
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in setting up a national forum against (a) extremism and (b) Islamophobia as proposed in response to the 7 July bombings. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 19 May 2006]: I have been asked to reply.
Six regional forums are to be created, led by key individuals and bringing together members of local Muslim communities, law enforcement and public service agencies to discuss how to tackle extremism and Islamophobia in their area. The forums will provide a safe space for sharing views and developing new thinking and action plans for dealing with extremism. The first 3 Forums have taken place in Leicester (18 June), Redbridge (24 June), and Dudley (3 July). A further three are planned before November.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been arrested in England and Wales for possession of (a) a false passport and (b) other false identity documents in each of the last five years. 
Joan Ryan: Information on arrests collected centrally in England and Wales is based on persons arrested for notifiable offences by main offence group only and does not identify individual offences.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of illegal firearms in circulation; what steps he is taking to reduce the number; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: There are no reliable estimates of the number of prohibited firearms in circulation.
we have introduced a five-year minimum sentence for possession of a prohibited firearm and are tightening legislation in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill with a new offence of using someone to mind a weapon;
we support dedicated and intelligence-led police enforcement operations focusing on gun crime, including the seizure of firearms, such as Operation Trident;
HM Revenue and Customs conduct operations to detect and seize illegal weapons. We also support community work aimed at helping young people who may be at risk of involvement in gun crime through the Connected Fund.
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