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16 Oct 2008 : Column 1426W—continued

Recruitment: Complaints

Sarah Teather: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many complaints the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate has received regarding the advertising of non-existent jobs in the last 12 months; and how many of these complaints have been upheld. [225348]

Mr. McFadden: Between 1 October 2007 and 30 September 2008, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate received 30 complaints regarding the potential breach of the regulation regarding the advertisement of non-existent jobs (regulation 27 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003). All 30 complaints were investigated and warnings were issued to 11 companies who were found to be in breach of the Regulations.

Recruitment: Fraud

Sarah Teather: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many companies have been found to be advertising non-existent jobs in each of the last 10 years. [225349]


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Mr. McFadden: The Department does not hold such information.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) acts to resolve complaints about advertisements in UK media, including television, radio, press, posters, direct marketing and some online advertising. The ASA publishes details of all formally resolved adjudications on its website. This database can be accessed at:

Sarah Teather: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what powers the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate has to prevent recruitment companies from placing advertisements for non-existent jobs. [225549]

Mr. McFadden: The Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate investigates all complaints received about recruitment companies that suggest any breach of employment agency legislation. This includes the regulations governing advertisements, where agencies cannot advertise specific vacancies unless they have the authority of the employer concerned in respect of that position.

Any breach of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 is a criminal offence and agencies can be prosecuted in the magistrate's court. In addition, the EAS has powers to seek to prohibit individuals from being involved in the running of an agency for up to 10 years.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he is taking to prevent the publication in print or via the internet of bogus notices from recruitment agencies and other organisations advertising non-existent jobs. [225550]

Mr. McFadden: Regulation 27 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 specifies that agencies cannot advertise specific vacancies in print or on the internet unless they have the authority of the employer concerned. The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate investigates any complaints received. Any breach of regulations is a criminal offence which can be prosecuted in magistrates court.

In addition, misleading advertisements made by both the recruitment agencies and other organisations about employment vacancies may be prohibited under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008, which is enforced by Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

More generally, all employers placing vacancies with Jobcentre Plus are required to provide specified information (including contact details) to help reduce the likelihood of bogus employers advertising vacancies and to safeguard jobseekers. Jobcentre Plus has a robust Employer Complaints process through which jobseekers can report any issues around inappropriate vacancies or employer activities. If Jobcentre Plus receives a complaint from a customer about an employer who is advertising fictitious vacancies it will be investigated. If the investigation concludes the employer is advertising bogus vacancies, they will be removed from their systems immediately and if appropriate, access to Jobcentre Plus services may be withdrawn to the employer.


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Additionally, Jobcentre Plus has put further measures in place to ensure that recruitment agencies only advertise genuine vacancies. Most importantly, before vacancies are accepted Jobcentre Plus requires them to sign a service level agreement (SLA) with Jobcentre Plus agreeing to the terms for using their services. Jobcentre Plus takes these conditions very seriously and will investigate any complaints that individual agencies are not complying with the terms of the SLA. This ultimately could lead to Jobcentre Plus terminating service with a recruitment agency in breach of their agreement.

Small Businesses: Regional Development Agencies

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what research his Department has (a) undertaken, (b) commissioned and (c) evaluated on attitudes of small and medium-sized enterprises to regional development agencies. [223820]

Mr. McFadden: The Department has conducted the following research into regional development agencies (RDAs), which included attitudes of small and medium-sized enterprises to RDAs.

TICC: Redundancy

Mr. Betts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 292W, on TICC: redundancy, how much was paid in compensation on a non-statutory basis; and under what authority. [226615]

Mr. McFadden: Nil. Only payments guaranteed by statute are payable from the National Insurance Fund to employees on the insolvency of an employer.

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been (a) charged and (b) convicted of persistently selling alcohol to children under section 147A of the Licensing Act 2003. [226025]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Section 147A of the Licensing Act 2003, as amended by section 23 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 came into force on 6 April 2007.


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As a result, complete data for this offence will be available for 2008 and beyond. Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009. Data in relation to individuals charged with offences are not held centrally.

Animal Experiments: Scotland

Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reasons are for the increase in the number of scientific procedures on animals at commercial establishments in Scotland from approximately 35,000 in 2006 to approximately 70,000 in 2007. [225097]

Meg Hillier: The apparent increase in the number of scientific procedures on animals at commercial establishments in Scotland in 2007 is principally explained by a change in the way in which the figures were calculated. Using the revised, more accurate methodology,
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the corresponding figures for 2006 and 2007 were, 67,776 and 70,296, respectively. The increase of 3.7 per cent. arises from a normal variation in the level of business activity.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders: Yorkshire and the Humber

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people (a) under the age of 18 years and (b) aged 18 years and over were served with anti-social behaviour orders in (i) Leeds and (ii) Yorkshire in each of the last five years. [226384]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Information on the number of Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) issued is not available below Criminal Justice System (CJS) area level.

The latest available data for the West Yorkshire CJS area are to 31 December 2006 and are shown in the following table.

Number of anti social behaviour orders issued at all courts in the West Yorkshire Criminal Justice System area, as reported to the Home Office by the Court Service, by age group( 1) , 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2006
West Yorkshire 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Total

10-17

11

60

156

115

81

423

18+

3

37

148

143

136

467

Age unknown(1)

1

2

3

Total

14

97

305

260

217

893

(1) Where age not reported to the Office for Criminal Justice Reform.
Notes:
1. Previously issued data have been revised.
2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Computers: Crime

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when sections 35 to 38 of the Police and Justice Act 2006 relating to computer misuse are expected to be brought into effect; and if she will make a statement. [226020]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Sections 35 to 38 of the Police and Justice Act 2006 were commenced on 10 October 2008 along with Part 2 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to extend the application of serious crime prevention orders to offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990; and if she will make a statement. [226021]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The Government are currently preparing a consultation document to enable a full public consultation on this matter. It is expected that this consultation will begin in November and run for 12 weeks. The outcome of the consultation will determine whether the application of serious crime prevention orders is extended to include offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

Crime

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the extent and nature of gang-related criminal activity; and if she will make a statement. [226023]

Mr. Alan Campbell: There is no single definition of a ‘gang’ and so it is difficult to assess the extent and nature of gang activity.

However, the Tackling Gangs Action Programme (September 2007 to March 2008) was set up to tackle gangs who use serious violence and firearms as a central part of their activities. The focus was in the four cities with the highest number of firearms homicides: London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.

As part of this work, police forces in these cities identified 774 individuals, of whom 655 had on average 11 convictions each, of which the majority were for public order, harassment, drugs, violence and acquisitive offences.

Crime: Cambridgeshire

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent evaluation has taken place of the efficacy of the prolific and priority offenders programme in (a) Peterborough and (b) Cambridgeshire; and if she will make a statement. [226066]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The Home Office has not commissioned a separate evaluation of the Prolific and other Priority Offender programme in Peterborough or Cambridgeshire. A report on the national evaluation of programme was published in February 2007 as Home Office Online report 08/07. This showed that those offenders first selected as Prolific and other Priority
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Offenders in September and October 2004 had a reduction of 62 per cent. in their overall level of convictions over their first 17 months on the programme. These findings are very positive, although we cannot necessarily attribute them solely to the programme because we do not know what would have happened had it not been introduced.

A copy of the full evaluation report is available on the Home Office and crime reduction websites

Crime: Peterborough

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding was allocated to the prolific and priority offenders programme in Peterborough City Council area in each year since 2001; and if she will make a statement. [226065]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The Prolific and other Priority Offender programme was launched in 2004 to tackle those offenders in every area of England and Wales who commit most crime or whose offending causes most damage to their local communities. The programme involves effective partnership working between agencies. It does not receive direct, dedicated funding from the Government. The costs of the programme are met locally.

Crime: Statistics

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to collect statistics on the number of recorded offences that are investigated by the police; and if she will make a statement. [224623]

Mr. Alan Campbell: There are no plans to collect this information centrally.

Crimes Against Humanity

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people suspected of (a) war crimes, (b) crimes against humanity and (c) genocide are estimated to be present in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [224628]

Mr. Woolas: The Home Office does not collate data on the total numbers in the UK who are suspected of these crimes. Certain applicants to the UK Border Agency are screened for involvement in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Figures on the numbers considered by the War Crimes Team are provided in response to question 224629, Official Report, column 1072W, although these are based only on applicants to UKBA and are not directly indicative of the numbers of suspects estimated to be present in the UK.


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