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1 Apr 2008 : Column 773W—continued

Safer Neighbourhood Teams

Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to resize safer neighbourhood teams. [195107]

Mr. McNulty: Decisions over the size of a Safer Neighbourhood or Neighbourhood Policing Team are operational considerations for the chief constable, in consultation with community partners and the communities themselves. Sir Ronnie Flanagan has recently endorsed this in his review, saying that there should be no “one size fits all” model or strategy.

Terrorism: Convictions

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals were convicted of terrorist offences in the UK in each year since 1978. [194235]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 14 March 2008]: The number of individuals convicted since 1978 under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976 is available on the Home Office website in “Statistics on the Operation of the Prevention of Terrorism Legislation, Great Britain”. This publication details detentions under this Act and outcomes
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including statistics on individuals found guilty. It is available quarterly through the ‘archive’ page back to 1979.

The Terrorism Act 2000 came into force on 19 February 2001. Statistics compiled from police records are available on the Home Office website from 11 September 2001 to 31 March 2007:

These detail arrests under this Act and under other legislation where the investigation is considered terrorist related and the outcomes to those arrests, including convictions.

For this period, there were 41 Terrorism Act convictions. There were also 183 convictions under other legislation.

In addition to the aforementioned, statistics on the number of convictions in significant terrorist cases are collated for 2007 and 2008. In 2007, 37 individuals were convicted in 15 significant terrorist cases. 21 of those individuals pleaded guilty. So far in 2008, 21 people have been convicted in seven significant terrorist cases. Of these 21, 10 individuals pleaded guilty.

Figures are complied from police records and are subject to change as cases go through the system. The Home Office is currently working with the police to review how terrorism statistics are collated.

Terrorism: Detainees

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 505W, on terrorism: detainees, if she will provide an update on the numbers of people (a) held, (b) charged and (c) released without charge. [195178]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 19 Match 2008]: Pre-charge detention came into force on 25 July 2006 as part of the Terrorism Act 2006. The latest figures are given in the following table. To date 11 individuals have been held for over 14 days pre-charge detention. Six individuals have been held for the maximum 27 to 28 day period. Of these three individuals were charged and three individuals were released without charge. Statistics are collated from police records and are updated accordingly.

Pre-charge detention to date
Period of detention (days) Number of persons held Charged Released w/o charge

14 to 15

1

1

18 to 19

1

1

19 to 20

3

3

27 to 28

6

3

3


Work and Pensions

Access to Work Programme

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions under what circumstances (a) criminal and (b) credit checks of employers claiming access to work funding are undertaken. [198253]


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Mrs. McGuire: At present there are no criminal or credit checks on employers of Access to Work customers.

Access to Work Programme: Fraud

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what procedures are in place to prevent fraudulent claims for access to work funding. [198254]

Mrs. McGuire: Jobcentre Plus has a responsibility to use taxpayers' money wisely. Access to Work assessment procedures evaluate customer needs and identify the most cost effective but suitable support solution. In the majority of cases, external assessors carry out workplace based assessments. Once support has been agreed the customer or their employer purchase the support from a supplier of their choice up to the agreed funding level and claim reimbursement from Access to Work.

Managerial checks are carried out to ensure validity of applications and that claims are adequately checked before payments are made. These checks also ensure that the correct amount is paid promptly to the relevant person or organisation and the amounts claimed are in line with the spend profiled for the customer.

To further mitigate the risk of fraudulent claims or inappropriate support, all Access to Work customers receiving ongoing support are reviewed at least once annually to confirm that the appropriate support is being claimed and received. All customers complete a renewal declaration stating that any change of circumstances has been notified and the support meets their needs.

Children: Maintenance

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 17 July 2007, Official Report, columns 205-06W, on children: maintenance, what the reasons were for recent statements by the staff operating the Child Support Agency (CSA) MP hotline that they are unable to contact the Bolton office of the CSA by telephone. [196304]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 25 March 2008]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephan Geraghty, dated 1 April 2008:

Construction: Death

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons the Health and Safety Executive has ended its publication of a running current total of construction fatalities. [196432]

Mrs. McGuire: The Health and Safety Executive does not publish a running total of construction fatalities. Its practice of providing such information to inquirers on request continues, on the understanding that numbers given are unvalidated, and therefore subject to change.

Partially validated statistics on fatal injuries for all industries (including construction) are published on the HSE website on a quarterly basis, as are unvalidated details of fatalities presented in monthly reports made by HSE's Chief Executive to Health and Safety Commission (HSC) meetings.

Council Tax Benefits

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of households in England entitled to but not claiming council tax benefit at the latest date for which figures are available; and what savings accrue to the public purse from such non take-up of entitlement. [195252]

Mr. Plaskitt: Estimates of the numbers not claiming their entitlement to council tax benefit, and the amount of council tax benefit that is not claimed are available in the DWP publication series entitled "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2005-06". Estimates relate to Great Britain only. Copies of the latest publication, plus past reports, can be found in the Library.

There is no saving, relative to spending plans, from take-up of benefits being lower than 100 per cent. Forecasts of spending on benefits are based on estimates of those who will actually receive the benefit, not those who are entitled. This is in accordance with Government accounting rules that require forecasts to be taut and realistic.


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Departmental Internet

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 2806W, on the departmental intranet, whether his Department's IT system is able to provide a record of Wikipedia entries (a) created and (b) amended from within his Department. [195834]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions is not able to provide a record of Wikipedia entries (a) created and (b) amended from within the Department as the cost of obtaining such data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Pay

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the hourly rates of pay of all non-permanent staff working for his Department and its agencies were in each of the last 12 months; and how many staff were receiving each rate in each of those months. [196445]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Working Hours

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many hours (a) in total and (b) on average per employee were worked by civil servants in his Department in the last year for which records are available. [195816]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions does not collate records of the total or average hours that were worked by it's employees.

To extract this information from individual records for the period requested would be at a disproportionate cost.

Housing Benefit: Antisocial Behaviour

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 22 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1122-3W, on housing benefit: antisocial behaviour, what level of proof is needed for (a) individuals and (b) households to (i) be made the subject of an order for possession on grounds of anti-social behaviour and (ii) be found to have unreasonably refused to engage with the help and support offered as specified in a written warning notice. [197027]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 26 March 2008]: The Anti-social Behaviour Act ensures the courts must give particular consideration to the actual or likely effect which the antisocial behaviour has had or could have had on others when considering whether it is reasonable to grant a possession order on the grounds of nuisance or annoyance. This consideration does not remove the duty on the court to consider fairly the case against the tenant who is accused of committing or failing to prevent antisocial behaviour. This might include any particular circumstances that may have led to such conduct, (issues of mental health or drug or alcohol abuse for example). But in doing so, the court must also
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take into account the effect of their behaviour on their victims and the wider community.

When a sanction in housing benefit is being considered, decisions on whether a household has unreasonably refused to engage with the help and support offered, will normally be made by a panel composed of senior officers drawn from relevant local authority departments and key support agencies. The panel should ensure that the package of support offered was properly determined, that a reasonable attempt has been made to engage with the household and also consider whether the household has good cause for failing to undertake action specified in the warning notice.

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued detailed guidance on all aspects of the operation of the pilot schemes to the eight local authorities in the pilot areas; a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

ICT: Disabled

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what projects his Department has to assist disabled people to use computers; and how much funding each of these programmes received in the last 12 months. [196985]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for a range of mainstream and specialist employment programmes which can help disabled people move into or retain work.

For example, subject to an assessment, Access to Work can provide whatever adjustment a customer needs to access a computer in order to do their job. Some WORKSTEP provision can assist customers to use computers if the job requires use of computers. Work preparation courses can also assist customers to use a computer if this is necessary to achieve and sustain their job goal. However, it is not possible to allocate programme costs specifically by activity.

Income Support: Lone Parents

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parents in receipt of income support in the most recent period for which figures are available had (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four and (e) five or more children. [197144]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 26 March 2008]: The requested information is in the following table.

Number of children in lone parent families in receipt of income support in Great Britain
Number of children Lone parents in receipt of income support

All claimants

765,630

One child

351,820

Two children

246,700

Three children

110,410

Four children

39,690

Five or more children

17,000

Notes: 1. Lone parents are defined as single claimants with children under 16 and not receiving incapacity benefits. 2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 3. Totals may not sum due to rounding. 4. Data are to May 2007. Source: 100 per cent DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

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