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11 Mar 2008 : Column 343W—continued


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many EU flags are (a) held and (b) owned by her Department and its agencies. [178939]

Mr. Byrne: My Department has an EU flag at its Marsham street headquarters building in central London. Information about EU flags held or owned across the rest of the Department is not held centrally.

Forced Marriage

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to introduce accredited training in respect of people in the criminal justice system dealing with cases of forced marriage. [188273]

Mr. McNulty: The Initial Police Learning and Development Programme administered by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) covers the police response to planned forced marriages, within the wider training material on domestic violence and child abuse.

Police officers also receive additional training on domestic violence and the NPIA are, in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), currently considering the development of forced marriage and honour-based violence training, although its use by the police service is optional. There are no immediate plans to accredit this learning.

In July 2007, a pilot on forced marriage/so-called honour-based violence commenced in four CPS which will aim to establish information about the prevalence of forced marriage and to inform the development of any national guidance and training for prosecutors to improve these prosecutions and increase support for victims. A final report on the pilot is due in summer 2008.

In relation to the judiciary, a programme of work being planned prior to the implementation of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 will include the development of the necessary court rules and forms, the setting up of the appropriate court processing systems, guidance developed for staff and judicial training undertaken.

Foreign Workers: Restaurants

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the likely effects of a points-based immigration system on recruitment in the restaurant industry. [188172]

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Mr. Byrne: Under the new points-based system (PBS) employers, including those in the restaurant industry, will be able to recruit skilled workers that meet the criteria of tier 2 of the PBS.

The Migration Advisory Committee will provide advice to government on specific sectors and occupations in the labour market where shortages exist which can sensibly be filled by migration. Migrants wishing to work in these shortage occupations will receive extra points under tier 2.

While tier 3 of the PBS is for low skilled workers, this tier is suspended for the foreseeable future in light of the available labour force within the enlarged European Union.

An impact assessment of tier 2 will be published prior to the launch of this tier.

Frontiers: Security

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the decision was taken to include a £92 million addendum within the eBorders contract. [188643]

Mr. Byrne: The decision to procure the additional functionality, covered by the addendum referred to above, and which forms part of the main e-Borders contract, was made in Summer 2007. Funding was agreed after the Prime Minister’s statement on 25 July 2007 concerning security and counter terrorism.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what extended (a) functionality and (b) services will be provided by the £92 million addendum to the Government's e-Borders programme. [188644]

Mr. Byrne: The addendum to the e-Borders contract will provide additional functionality to enable the agencies to:

Identity Fraud

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough of 25 February 2008, Official Report, column 1243W, on identity fraud, if she will break down by sub-heading the estimated figure of £1.7 billion. [192619]

Mr. Coaker: The following table gives a breakdown of the £1.7 billion figure. This was placed in the House Library on 2 February 2006 and is also available online at:

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Updated estimate of the cost of identity fraud to the UK economy—2 February 2006
Dept/Organisation Cost of identity fraud Notes

Association of British Insurers

£22 million

A number of insurers (representing approx 36 per cent. of the industry) estimated that their financial loss in 2003 due to identity fraud was £7.9 million, which translates to £22 million for the industry as a whole.

APACS, the UK Payments Association

£504.8 million

Losses resulting from plastic cards being used by criminals pretending to be the rightful owner or by criminals using a fictitious identity.

This figure comprises:

(i) Counterfeit (skimmed/cloned) cards—£129.7 million

(ii) Cards lost or stolen—£114.4 million

(iii) Card not present—£150.8 million

(iv) Mail non-receipt—£72.9 million

(v) Fraudulent applications—£13.1 million

(vi) Account takeover—£23.8 million

Audit Commission

£15 million

Audit Commission not included in 2002 Study.

Estimate of loss to pensions schemes due to identity fraud (extrapolated from Audit Commission National Fraud Initiative figures).

British Bankers’ Association

Figures for card fraud included in APACS totals

The BBA does not collect statistics on identity fraud. Figures from its members for card fraud are included in the APACS figures.

Building Societies’ Association

£3.1 million

A number of building societies representing just over 50 per cent. of the industry responded to a survey and estimated their financial loss due to ID fraud. The BSA extrapolated figures for the sector as a whole and estimate that this translates to approximately £3.1 million losses due to ID fraud over the past year.

CIFAS—The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service

£2.3 million

This represents the cost of identity fraud to the retail sector.

CIFAS figures have only been included with respect to the retail sector. This avoids double-counting on contributions made by other sectors directly.

Department for Constitutional Affairs

£29.9 million

Unpaid fines due to “tracking” problems—this is due to a number of reasons including false information being provided to the police.

£5.9 million

Unpaid fines due to identity problems—i.e. many people issued with fines do not turn up at courts to verify their alleged name and address. Given this, courts find it difficult to enforce the payment of a fine because they are not certain the identity on the fine is a true identity (many fines get issued to fictitious identities or identities with inaccurate spellings).

Department for Work and Pensions

£20 million

DWP estimates that 20m-50m of benefit fraud arises as a result of identity fraud (i.e. claiming benefit in false identities).

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

£2.5 million

Estimated cost of operational activity required to help prevent abuse of the driving licence in identity crime.

Driving Standards Agency

£1.12 million

Estimated costs of ensuring that DSA is satisfied as to the identity of candidates presenting for theory and practical tests. The resultant enforcement activity in preventing and detecting impersonations, ensuring that only those entitled can hold driving licences reducing the ability to commit identity fraud.

Finance and Leasing Association

£14 million

FLA not included in 2002 study.

This figure relates to identity fraud arising from the provision of motor finance by FLA members.

HM Revenue and Customs

Indirect taxation:

£215 million (MTIC fraud)

It is not possible to determine if the scale of this problem has changed since 2002. The figure from the original study has been included for illustrative purposes to help estimate any comparative changes to the overall cost of identity fraud since 2002.

Direct taxation:

£2.7 million

Tax Credits

HMRC has identified a number of fraudulent and potentially fraudulent tax credit claims based on false and stolen identities.

Some 6,800 fraudulent claims have been identified based on stolen DWP staff identities, of which 4,100 were fully intercepted by HMRC before any payment. The loss from this fraud is estimated at £2.7 million.

HMRC is currently subjecting around 30,000 potentially fraudulent tax credit claims to detailed investigation including claims based on the stolen DWP staff identities and on stolen Network Rail staff identities. It is too early to estimate the loss from this fraud.

Child Benefit

HMRC has experienced a small number of attempts to defraud the Child Benefit system by the use of false documents. These attempts have been successfully detected and it believes the risk of identity fraud to be minimal.

Home Office (Immigration and Nationality Directorate)

£56.2 million

Approximate cost to IND of undertaking enforcement activity against individuals who may be involved in some form of identity theft or identity fraud, potentially involving document abuse.

Local authorities


From an online poll of its members, LAIOG identified that £28,564 was specifically due to identity fraud. However, most LAIOG members contacted stated that as identity fraud was usually part of a larger fraud, it would not necessarily be recorded.

Money laundering

£395 million

The overall size of money laundered in the UK is not known currently but is believed to be substantial. This cannot be attributed to any single organisation.

No figures are available currently on the proportion of money laundering that relies on identity fraud. It is not possible to determine if the scale of this problem has changed since 2002. The figure from the original study has been included for illustrative purposes to help estimate any comparative changes to the overall cost of identity fraud since 2002.

Police Service

£1.73 million

It is not possible to estimate the overall cost of identity fraud to the Police Service. However, figures show that last year Police Forces in England and Wales spent 15,000 to 20,000 days dealing with bogus callers—a crime that relies heavily on false identities. Cost of £1.73 million is based on police forces in England and Wales spending 17,500 days (midpoint of 15,000-20,000 days) at a daily cost of £99.19 (made up of £82.19 per day per officer and support costs of £17.00 per day per officer) to deal with bogus callers.


£372 million

Telecoms not included in 2002 study.

The cost of identity-related fraud is a substantial component of the total fraud/revenue loss in the telecoms sector.

UK Passport Service

£62.8 million

The cost to UKPS of measures to counter identity fraud when processing applications for UK passports issued in the UK.


£1.72 billion

Illegal Immigrants

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment she has made of the average cost to the public purse of deporting (a) an illegal immigrant and (b) a foreign prisoner with a recommendation for deportation in the last 12 months; [186929]

(2) how much has been spent on deporting (a) illegal immigrants and (b) foreign prisoners in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [186930]

Mr. Byrne: The average cost of the removal of illegal immigrants and foreign prisoners is not disaggregated from the overall costs of the Border and Immigration Agency and therefore not readily available.

In 2007 we removed one person every eight minutes (over 63,000), including a record number of foreign prisoners (over 4,200).

Voluntary returns are always preferable but we will enforce returns where necessary. In doing so, we aim for the lowest available costs. The National Audit Office in 2005-06 estimated the average cost of an enforced removal as £11,000. The report can be accessed at:

We are committed to doubling our enforcement activity by 2010. This includes increasing the number of removals.

Latest published statistics on the total spend in the Home Office are set out in the Home Office Report a copy of which has been placed in both Houses. It is also available to view at:

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