Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Dover)
Asked on: 14 February 2019
Home Office
UK-France Migration Committee
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12th February to Question 218262 on UK-France Migration Committee, for what reason the dates and locations of those meetings were not provided in the answer.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 09 September 2019

As previously advised in the response to Question 218262, the UK-France Migration Committee meets on a bi-monthly basis and is hosted alternately by the UK Home Office and French Interior Ministry. It is not Home Office policy to release detailed information on meetings that ministers and/or officials attend


As regards payments to the French Government, no additional payments have been made beyond those detailed in the response to Question 217548, dated 12th February 2019.

Grouped Questions: 221671
Q
(Dover)
Asked on: 14 February 2019
Home Office
Human Trafficking and Immigration: France
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February 2019 to Question 217548 on Human Trafficking and Immigration: France, whether any other payments in cash or kind have been made to France in connection with (a) border security, (b) infrastructure and (c) countering organised crime and people trafficking in addition to those set out in that answer.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 09 September 2019

As previously advised in the response to Question 218262, the UK-France Migration Committee meets on a bi-monthly basis and is hosted alternately by the UK Home Office and French Interior Ministry. It is not Home Office policy to release detailed information on meetings that ministers and/or officials attend


As regards payments to the French Government, no additional payments have been made beyond those detailed in the response to Question 217548, dated 12th February 2019.

Grouped Questions: 221662
Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 25 February 2019
Home Office
Firearms and Knives: Haringey
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information his Department holds on the number of incidents involving (a) knives and (b) firearms in the London Borough of Haringey for 2018.
A
Corrected answer by: Kit Malthouse
Corrected on: 09 September 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 05 March 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Home Office collects data on the number of offences involving knives or firearms recorded by the police in England and Wales at the Police Force Area level but not at local authority level.

Information on offences involving knives / sharp instruments or firearms by Police Force Area can be found in the Offences involving the use of weapons data tables published by the Office for National Statistics, available here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/offencesinvolvingtheuseofweaponsdatatables

The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Home Office collects data on the number of offences involving knives or firearms recorded by the police in England and Wales at the Police Force Area level but not at local authority level.

Information on offences involving knives / sharp instruments or firearms by Police Force Area can be found in the Offences involving the use of weapons data tables published by the Office for National Statistics, available here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/offencesinvolvingtheuseofweaponsdatatables

A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 05 March 2019

The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Home Office collects data on the number of offences involving knives or firearms recorded by the police in England and Wales at the Police Force Area level but not at local authority level.

Information on offences involving knives / sharp instruments or firearms by Police Force Area can be found in the Offences involving the use of weapons data tables published by the Office for National Statistics, available here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/offencesinvolvingtheuseofweaponsdatatables

The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Home Office collects data on the number of offences involving knives or firearms recorded by the police in England and Wales at the Police Force Area level but not at local authority level.

Information on offences involving knives / sharp instruments or firearms by Police Force Area can be found in the Offences involving the use of weapons data tables published by the Office for National Statistics, available here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/offencesinvolvingtheuseofweaponsdatatables

Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 April 2019
Home Office
Surveillance: Cameras
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, by what date the updated guidelines for the Surveillance Camera Code of Conduct will be published.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government committed in the Home Office Biometrics Strategy 2018 to review the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and it will be updated in due course.

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 June 2019
Home Office
Visas: Africa
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which UK visa application centres in Africa were closed between 2017 and 2019.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 09 September 2019

UK Visas & Immigration closed no Visa Application Centres in Africa between 2017 and 2019. However, in the same period we opened additional centres in Kenya (Mombasa), Morocco (Casablanca) and Algeria (Oran). We have also introduced an annual Visa Application Centre in the Seychelles for our customers applying for student visas.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 03 July 2019
Home Office
Home Office: Overtime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the amount of unpaid overtime worked by staff in his Department in the last 24 months.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Information about additional hours worked by staff is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Flexible work arrangements are available for staff to work outside core hours when necessary, e.g. flexi time, time off in lieu or for operational units Annualised Hours Work as an alternative to overtime. However, these arrangements are processed and monitored locally.

Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Home Office
Stop and Search: Merseyside
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the stop and search powers available to Merseyside Police officers who suspect an individual of carrying a knife.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Stop and search is a vital policing tool when used correctly and officers have the Government's full support to use these powers in a way that is fair, lawful and effective.

Under Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the police in England and Wales have the power to stop and search someone if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they are in possession of an offensive weapon, including a bladed article - such as a knife.

Under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the police in England and Wales have the power to put in place temporary “no-suspicion” stop and search zones – if they reasonably believe that incidents involving serious violence may take place in that locality during that time period. When this power is authorised, police can search anyone within that area without requiring reasonable grounds to search each person.

In March 2019, the Government announced that it would roll back additional controls on the use of Section 60 powers to make it easier for officers in seven forces, including Merseyside Police, to authorise this power – to help forces further target the recent increases in serious violence.

Whilst it is important for the police to have the right powers, they also need the resources to use them. This is why we are also supporting police with additional funding. On 13 March 2019 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £100 million fund to tackle serious violence. £63.4 million of this funding has already been allocated to 18 police forces, including Merseyside Police which received £4.2 million, to support surge operational activity, such as increased patrols.

This money is already being put to good use. The BBC recently reported that Merseyside had recovered 14 knives in a single week following stop and searches.

Q
Asked by Jo Swinson
(East Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Home Office
Drugs: Organised Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people involved in the criminal exploitation of vulnerable young people in county lines operations have been charged with modern slavery offences.
A
Corrected answer by: Victoria Atkins
Corrected on: 09 September 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 09 September 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

It is important that the police and local agencies have the powers they need to tackle local issues quickly and effectively. That is why we reformed the tools and powers available to tackle Anti-Social behaviour through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.In 2019/20 Lancashire Police are receiving £285.1 million of funding, an increase of £18.4 million, on 2018/19. Funding for 2020-21 for individual forces will be announced as part of the provisional police settlement later this year. Decisions about the allocation of police resources are for Chief Constables and democratically accountable Police and Crime Commissioners, who are best placed to meet the needs of their local community.

The police and Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) are responsible for charging decisions with regards to county lines related criminality. The key is that prosecutions are brought, and the charges should cover the full range of criminality involved including Modern Slavery offences.We are working with the police and the CPS to take full advantage of powers in the Modern Slavery Act when making charging decisions against county line gang members. The CPS have issued an overview of the approach to be taken in criminal investigations and prosecutions linked to ‘county lines’ offending, with a particular focus on the relevance of the Modern Slavery Act.

A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It is important that the police and local agencies have the powers they need to tackle local issues quickly and effectively. That is why we reformed the tools and powers available to tackle Anti-Social behaviour through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.In 2019/20 Lancashire Police are receiving £285.1 million of funding, an increase of £18.4 million, on 2018/19. Funding for 2020-21 for individual forces will be announced as part of the provisional police settlement later this year. Decisions about the allocation of police resources are for Chief Constables and democratically accountable Police and Crime Commissioners, who are best placed to meet the needs of their local community.

The police and Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) are responsible for charging decisions with regards to county lines related criminality. The key is that prosecutions are brought, and the charges should cover the full range of criminality involved including Modern Slavery offences.We are working with the police and the CPS to take full advantage of powers in the Modern Slavery Act when making charging decisions against county line gang members. The CPS have issued an overview of the approach to be taken in criminal investigations and prosecutions linked to ‘county lines’ offending, with a particular focus on the relevance of the Modern Slavery Act.

Q
Asked by Douglas Ross
(Moray)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Home Office
Emergency Services Network
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff have been employed in the programme team to deliver the Emergency Services Network, in each month since that Network was established.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Heidi Allen
(South Cambridgeshire)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Home Office
Armed Forces: Commonwealth
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent representations she has received on the level of visa fees for Commonwealth UK Armed Forces personnel applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain; and if she will (a) review and (b) undertake a public consultation on the current policy.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Home Office has listened closely to representations made by a variety of campaigns and MPs on immigration issues affecting Commonwealth members of HM Forces and their families.We have received recent representations from the Royal British Legion “stop the service charge” and are aware of a public e-petition to waive settlement fees for Commonwealth nationals who served in HM Forces.

While there are no current plans to offer an exemption from paying a settlement fee to former military personnel, this specific area of policy is regularly reviewed. There are no plans to launch a public consultation on the question of waiving settlement fees.

The Home Office remains committed to upholding our obligations under the Armed Forces Covenant. The Home Office, along with all Government Departments, recognises the outstanding service of all members of the Armed Forces, including the many service personnel who are foreign and Commonwealth nationals.

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Home Office
Fraud: Older People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to raise awareness of telephone scams that target elderly people.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Home Office
Police: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Prime Minister's Downing Street Statement of 24 July 2019, how the additional 20,000 police officers will be distributed to each region.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Grouped Questions: 282445
Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Home Office
Police: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement of 24 July 2019, how many new police officers will be deployed to (a) London and (b) Haringey.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Grouped Questions: 282444
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Home Office
Animal Experiments: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, how many project licences that include the forced swim test as an element of the programme of work (a) are currently in operation and (b) have been approved in each of the past five years; whether the forced swim test has been approved for use within multiple generic projects; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Data are not collected on numbers of project licences that include the forced swim test.

The Home Office ensures that animals are only used when necessary and under strict controls which keep suffering to a minimum. Any research which we licence must undergo a thorough harm-benefit analysis including ensuring that the planned work implements the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement).

Q
Asked by Neil Coyle
(Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Home Office
Domestic Abuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is Government policy to bring forward the Domestic Abuse Bill in autumn 2019.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Jo Stevens
(Cardiff Central)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Home Office
UK Visas and Immigration: Sopra Steria
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what penalties the Government could apply to Sopra Steria if it does not comply with its key performance indicators on the biometrics contract it has with UKVI.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 09 September 2019

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given on the 13th June 2019, UIN 262238

Q
(Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Home Office
Sikhs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the (a) research and (b) reports that her Department has commissioned and requested on (i) the Sikh community and (ii) Sikh groups and organisations in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by John Mann
(Bassetlaw)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Home Office
Football: Money Laundering
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many of the 92 football league teams have been the subject of money laundering investigations in the last five years; and how many of those investigations are ongoing.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Money laundering investigations are a matter for law enforcement agencies, who are operationally independent.

Q
Asked by Stephen Timms
(East Ham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 September 2019
Home Office
Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Written Statement of 23 July 2019 on Immigration, HCWS1803, when the review of guidance to ensure the right decisions are being made will be completed: and if she will publish its conclusions.
A
Corrected answer by: Seema Kennedy
Corrected on: 09 September 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 09 September 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

My Department recognises the importance of this issue. The Secretary of State will write to the Rt Hon member with an update when a decision has been made.

New guidance for decision makers is currently being drafted. My expectation is that the guidance, once finalised, will be published on gov.uk

A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 09 September 2019

My Department recognises the importance of this issue. The Secretary of State will write to the Rt Hon member with an update when a decision has been made.

New guidance for decision makers is currently being drafted. My expectation is that the guidance, once finalised, will be published on gov.uk

Q
Asked by Stephen Timms
(East Ham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 September 2019
Home Office
Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Written Statement of 23 July 2019 on Immigration, HCWS1803, when the update of operational guidance to ensure no further action is taken in cases where there is no evidence an ETS certificate was used in an immigration application will take effect; and if she will publish that updated guidance.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 09 September 2019

New guidance for decision makers is currently being drafted. My expectation is that the guidance, once finalised, will be published on gov.uk

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