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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what methodology his Department used to determine whether answers to Questions in the formulation if he will set out with statistical information related as directly as possible to the tabling hon. Member's constituency the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 1997 could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the familial searches of the national DNA database have resulted in a prosecution since the creation of that database. 
Alan Johnson: Familial searches of the National DNA Database (NDNAD) are only carried out in cases of serious violent crime. They are undertaken on a case by case basis and only after authorisation from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) officer for the police force requesting the service. They are used to identify a suspect who does not have a DNA profile on the NDNAD but who may have a close relative who does have a profile on the NDNAD.
Data provided by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) indicate that, since 2003, 33 individual suspects have been identified subsequent to a familial search of the NDNAD which suggested a possible relative with a subject profile on the NDNAD. Of these 33 suspects, five were deceased. The remaining 28 suspects were prosecuted, of whom 27 were convicted.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 1 June 2009, Official Report, column 159W, on drugs: misuse, when the result of the commissioned research on the impact of khat will be available; and (a) how and (b) when the focus groups will be set up. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Department commissioned two studies in 2009 to explore the social harms associated with khat use. The first of these is a qualitative study exploring perceptions of the social harms associated with khat use; the availability of treatment services provided for khat users; and perceptions of the appropriate role of Government intervention. The second is a review of the national and international literature examining the evidence on the social harms associated with khat and the impact of legislation in countries which have legislated against khat use and supply. The work is now approaching completion and the Department aims to publish the findings of these studies later in 2010.
For the qualitative study, a total of 10 focus groups were conducted with members of the Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities in Sheffield, London and Cardiff. An additional focus with members of the general public was held in each of the focus group site areas. The composition of focus groups was men-only, women-only or young people-only. The focus groups were conducted in a mix of mother-tongue and English depending on the needs of the group.
Mr. Woolas: The hub and spoke system has been rolled out gradually since June 2007. This model, which separates the collection of applications from the place where the decision is made, has enabled the UK Border Agency to improve the efficiency and consistency of its visa operation, building on its network of visa application centres as well as increasing the security and integrity of our staff and delivering customer service benefits.
Management reviews of the impact of Hub and Spoke are undertaken at regular intervals, and assessments of hub and spoke arrangements have also been made by the independent chief inspector of UKBA. A recent internal evaluation has confirmed that hub and spoke has delivered a number of key benefits, including improvements in quality and consistence of decision making, efficiency and productivity, resilience and flexibility, and customer service.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many business visitor visas to the UK were issued in (a) Iraq and (b) Jordan to (i) Iraqi citizens and (ii) other nationals in each of the last 12 months. 
(b) (i) 1,220 and (ii) 3,049.
|Statistics, Visit-Business visas issued|
|Applications processed in Jordan|
|2009||Iraqi nationals||Other nationalities|
|Applications processed in Iraq|
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received on Iraqi citizens travelling to Jordan in order to submit an application for a business visitor visa to enter the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 30 March 2010]: United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) International Group receives very few direct representations in respect of Iraqi citizens who have travelled to Jordan in order to submit an application for a business visitor visa. Properly documented applications are normally resolved and a decision made, within five working days.
Due to cost and security considerations, Ministers have agreed that UKBA will currently offer a limited
visa application service in Baghdad and Erbil for certain designated categories of applicant (such as senior officials and diplomats), for those going to the UK under prime ministerial/Government sponsored initiatives and for urgent compassionate cases.
All other Iraqi nationals-including business people-can apply for their visas outside Iraq, in Damascus, Amman, and Beirut. The current processing time for straightforward applications made at one of these posts is usually within five working days.
UKBA International Group has recorded two recent cases of representations, from UK sponsors, regarding Iraqi citizens who would have preferred to submit their business visitor visa applications in Iraq.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many student visas were (a) applied for by and (b) granted to applicants from (i) India, (ii) Pakistan, (iii) Bangladesh, (iv) Sri Lanka, (v) Nepal, (vi) Malaysia and (vii) Nigeria in each of the last eight quarters. 
Tier 4 (students) of the points based system was introduced on 31 March 2009 providing a robust system aimed at ensuring legitimate students are able to come here to access our world renowned educational facilities while protecting the route from abuse. As a result of the review of Tier 4 commissioned by the Prime Minister in November, we announced in February a balanced and targeted package of measures to further tighten the robustness of the system. Measures include, among others, raising the standard of English required to study in the UK and introducing a "highly trusted sponsor" scheme.
In February we also implemented suspensions of Tier 4 applications in north India, Bangladesh and Nepal to ensure proper scrutiny of applications. We lifted the suspension for applications at degree level (and for foundation degrees) in north India at the beginning of March. The other suspensions remain in place and are being kept under review.
|October to December||January to March||April to June||July to September||October to December||January to March||April to June||July to September|
These data are based on management information. They are provisional and subject to change.
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