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How many individuals' data are stored on the national fingerprint database; and, of those, how many (a) are convicted criminals; (b) are currently serving a sentence; (c) have not been convicted of a crime; and (d) have never been charged with a recordable offence. [HL1308]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The number of individuals with fingerprints stored on the national fingerprint database is 7,356,285. The database does not store details of convictions. Information relating to the conviction status of those on the database could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): On 5 December in its response to Lord Carter of Coles' review of prisons the Government announced an additional 10,500 prison places. This is on top of the existing 9,500 capacity programme. Our aim is to achieve capacity of 96,000 places by 2014.
As new places are delivered they will ease the pressure on the prison population but crowdingthat is, prisons operating at a figure higher than their certified normal accommodationwill not end in the foreseeable future. However, no prison will be expected to operate at a level of crowding beyond that which the Prison Service area manager (or regional offender manager in the case of a contracted prison) considers safe.
The most recent figures for PFI projects can be found in tables 17 to 19 of PBR/CSR 2007: the economy and public financesupplementary charts and tables, which is available from the Treasury website at www. hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/2/B/pbr_csr07_ economy907.pdf.
What projections exist for increased private finance initiative contracts in 2008-09 in the United Kingdom; and what are the estimated debts arising from them to be incurred by the Exchequer. [HL1196]
Lord Davies of Oldham: Projections of future PFI projects are published at the Pre-Budget Report and Budget each year. The most recent can be found in tables 17 to 19 of PBR/CSR 2007: the economy and public financesupplementary charts and tables, which is available from the Treasury website at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/2/B/pbr_csr07_ economy907.pdf.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Andrews on 18 December 2007 (WA 130), whether, in developing their understanding of Muslim communities in the United Kingdom, they will obtain information about the number of mosques and their denominations. [HL1243]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Government are looking to develop their knowledge of the UK's Muslim communities through working with partner organisations and carrying out their own research. The Faith and Social Cohesion Unit in the Charity Commission, which is part-funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, is engaged in an ongoing exercise to map mosques in the UK to ascertain the number of mosques which are charities.
What is the total cost to the taxpayer of the recent horserace-fixing prosecution; what is the breakdown of those costs; and why the main prosecution expert witness was someone whose evidence was considered by the trial judge to have very little value. [HL1115]
The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Three cases emanated from the City of London Polices investigation into allegations of horserace fixing. The first was R v Rodgers & others. This case was concluded on 7 December 2007, when the judge directed the jury to acquit the six defendants in the case. The prosecution offered no evidence in respect of the two other trials.
The cost to the taxpayer would also include Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) staff costs; police costs; defence costs (which are to be paid out of central funds); and court costs. Staff costs are attributable to the operation of the CPS as a whole and cannot be assessed on an individual case basis. I am unable to comment on police, defence and court costs as these figures are not kept by the CPS.
On 7 December 2007, the judge in the R v Rodgers & others case delivered a detailed ruling. In it, he specifically commented that the expert witness's statements were clearly expressed in terms that suggested that he did have appropriate expertise in UK racing rules and practices and that, in 13 out of the 27 suspect races (which formed the basis of the prosecution's case), he had concluded that there was a prima facie case that the jockey in question was in breach of the relevant UK racing rule. The judge further commented that, when giving his evidence in chief, the expert witness said nothing to call into question his expertise in UK racing, either by reference to the rules or the practices of UK racing, and that remarkably, it was only as a result of and during (the expert's) cross-examination that the very
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Whether the recent horserace-fixing prosecution will have a detrimental effect on the future of horse breeding and horseracing in the United Kingdom; and where the responsibility for management of the prosecution case lies. [HL1116]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government believe that horse breeding and horseracing have a secure future in the United Kingdom, particularly in the light of developments such as the establishment of the British Horseracing Authority. Responsibility for the management of the prosecution of the recent case of R v Rodgers & others lies with the Crown Prosecution Service.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 12 December 2007 (WA 75), what reply is being sent to the further questions posed by the chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters' Trust in his letter to the Minister for Sport of 7 January; and what action they will be taking on the questions posed by him. [HL1259]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Minister for Sport received a further letter from Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the Manchester United Supporter Trust, on 9 January 2008 regarding ticket pricing and the future of football.
The Minister was grateful for the points raised by Mr Drasdo and will reply in full in due course. He intends to meet with Supporters Direct and
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): SARs make a contribution to a range of outcomes including asset recovery but also harm reduction, the building of intelligence on criminals and terrorists, and criminal convictions. In relation to terrorism, the information contained in SARs has been used to assist in the prevention of further terrorist activity, through being linked to ongoing enquiries, and regularly adds valuable new information.
Because the information contained in SARs is one of many inputs to these results it is not possible to quantify its contribution. It is not possible, nor indeed of any particular significance, to quantify the value of these in terms of amounts of criminal assets recovered.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My department is currently considering the appropriate process for waste collection authorities to express an interest in running a pilot waste incentive scheme to enable discussions to begin. Timings for this process will be subject to parliamentary progress on the Climate Change Bill. In the mean time, we continue to encourage and welcome authorities making enquiries on the implications of the legislation.
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