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 2019-21 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
(Edinburgh West)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Interpol
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary General of Interpol on the abuse of Red Notices and diffusions.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 13 July 2020

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

Grouped Questions: 70481 | 70482
Q
(Edinburgh West)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Interpol
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Minister in her Department has responsibility for issues relating to Interpol.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 13 July 2020

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

Grouped Questions: 70480 | 70482
Q
(Edinburgh West)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Interpol
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of recommending to Interpol that they include in their strategic framework for 2021-24 further reform of Red Notices and diffusions.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 13 July 2020

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

Grouped Questions: 70480 | 70481
Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Forensic Science Regulator
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government has taken to support the Forensic Science Regulator’s accreditation timetable.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Government fully supports the Regulator’s timetables for accreditation. We continue to encourage forensic science providers to adhere to these timetables and will bring forward legislation to give the Regulator statutory enforcement powers at the earliest opportunity.

We have supported the creation of the Forensics Capability Network (FCN) as part of an £28.6m investment in forensic capability. The FCN is leading improvement in quality standards and accreditation attainment through a number of workstreams. These include Digital Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation activities and provide practical support to enable the requirements of the Forensic Science Regulator Codes to be met.

The FCN coordinates and aligns work across policing to improve quality standards, share skills and best practice as well as developing a forensic market strategic plan which will ensure police forces achieve and maintain high quality, sustainable forensic services across all forensic disciplines. All of the digital work packages identified in the plan will have the requirements of the Forensic Science Regulator Codes embedded into its activities and deliverables.

Grouped Questions: 70473 | 70474
Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Forensic Capability Network
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how the Forensic Capability Network has supported accelerated compliance with accreditation requirements for (a) digital forensics and (b) crime scene investigation activities.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Government fully supports the Regulator’s timetables for accreditation. We continue to encourage forensic science providers to adhere to these timetables and will bring forward legislation to give the Regulator statutory enforcement powers at the earliest opportunity.

We have supported the creation of the Forensics Capability Network (FCN) as part of an £28.6m investment in forensic capability. The FCN is leading improvement in quality standards and accreditation attainment through a number of workstreams. These include Digital Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation activities and provide practical support to enable the requirements of the Forensic Science Regulator Codes to be met.

The FCN coordinates and aligns work across policing to improve quality standards, share skills and best practice as well as developing a forensic market strategic plan which will ensure police forces achieve and maintain high quality, sustainable forensic services across all forensic disciplines. All of the digital work packages identified in the plan will have the requirements of the Forensic Science Regulator Codes embedded into its activities and deliverables.

Grouped Questions: 70472 | 70474
Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Forensic Capability Network
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress the Forensic Capability Network has made in developing a long-term commercial strategy so that all digital forensic services can be provided by accredited sources.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Government fully supports the Regulator’s timetables for accreditation. We continue to encourage forensic science providers to adhere to these timetables and will bring forward legislation to give the Regulator statutory enforcement powers at the earliest opportunity.

We have supported the creation of the Forensics Capability Network (FCN) as part of an £28.6m investment in forensic capability. The FCN is leading improvement in quality standards and accreditation attainment through a number of workstreams. These include Digital Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation activities and provide practical support to enable the requirements of the Forensic Science Regulator Codes to be met.

The FCN coordinates and aligns work across policing to improve quality standards, share skills and best practice as well as developing a forensic market strategic plan which will ensure police forces achieve and maintain high quality, sustainable forensic services across all forensic disciplines. All of the digital work packages identified in the plan will have the requirements of the Forensic Science Regulator Codes embedded into its activities and deliverables.

Grouped Questions: 70472 | 70473
Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Forensic Capability Network
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress the Forensic Capability Network has made in developing a workforce strategy to preserve and develop skills across policing and the private sector.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Forensic Capability Network (FCN) has commenced work to develop and design a Forensic Workforce Strategy. Engagement is under way across academia, policing, forensic providers and the Chartered Society of Forensic Science.

Education and training will form an integral part of the Forensic Workforce Strategy, which will also focus on recruitment, development, retention and planning for a national police forensic workforce.

Grouped Questions: 70476
Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Forensic Science
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to page 5 of the 2019 Implementation plan for the joint review of forensics provision, whether the education programme for the wider CJS stakeholders as defined with the forensic science capability roadmap has been established.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Forensic Capability Network (FCN) has commenced work to develop and design a Forensic Workforce Strategy. Engagement is under way across academia, policing, forensic providers and the Chartered Society of Forensic Science.

Education and training will form an integral part of the Forensic Workforce Strategy, which will also focus on recruitment, development, retention and planning for a national police forensic workforce.

Grouped Questions: 70475
Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
[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: 07 July 2020
Home Office
Social Distancing: Fixed Penalties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fixed penalty notices have been issued under regulation 7 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 for gathering in a group of more than six persons.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The NPCC have made data on compliance publicly available on their website and continue to update this regularly.

The latest data, which covers the period 27 March to 22 June, shows a total of 34 FPNs have been issued to individuals who have contravened the requirement to not participate in an outdoor gathering of more than six people.

Latest data can be found here - https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/statistical-update-on-number-of-lockdown-fines-given-by-police-1

Q
Asked by Sarah Olney
(Richmond Park)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Driving: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to extend the date by which a person is required to complete their Safe and Considerate Driving course during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The management of the Safe and Considerate Driving Course (SCD) is an operational matter for individual police forces and course providers. There are no plans to change this. Due to the current coronavirus situation, this classroom course has been cancelled until Monday 3rd August 2020 and replaced by a Digital Safe and Considerate Course (iSCD).

Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Immigration Officers: Protective Clothing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is mandatory for immigration enforcement officers to wear face masks when attending people's homes.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 13 July 2020

Under our safe systems of work, guidance issued to Immigration

Enforcement officers states that for all encounters in any operational setting, when officers encounter or are likely to encounter any unknown person where

maintaining social distancing of 2 metres is unlikely and physical barriers are not present, officers must apply a disposable facemask.

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Police: Forensic Capability Network
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how may police forces have voluntarily participated in the Forensic Capability Network.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Forensic Capability Network (FCN) is operated by policing on behalf of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. It aims to increase efficiency, quality and to manage demand. It has enabled all police forces to work with it, including through national incidents such as the response to Covid-19, where a national contingency plan has been enacted and national co-ordination of the supplier market is required.

The FCN has established a specialist scientific team, to identify and exploit future scientific opportunities. More information can be found here: https://www.fcn.police.uk/pillars/fcn-science

The ‘Office of the Chief Scientist’ is being established by the FCN. Its role is set out in the FCN Prospectus which can be read here: https://www.fcn.police.uk/sites/default/files/2019-09/FCN%20Prospectus_0.pdf

Grouped Questions: 71131 | 71132
Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Forensic science
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the terms of reference are for the Forensics Policy Steering Group.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Forensics Policy Steering Group was dissolved in 2019 and replaced by the Criminal Justice Board Forensics Sub-Group. The Sub-Group operates on behalf of the Criminal Justice Board to provide high-level leadership and oversight of forensic science in the Criminal Justice System (CJS).

The Sub-Group is jointly chaired by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, bringing together stakeholders from across policing and the CJS to ensure that forensic science capability and delivery is effective for all relevant parties.

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Innovation and Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress has been made by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice on establishing an effective co-ordination and oversight mechanism to serve the research and development spectrum in the UK.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

My officials have been working closely with colleagues across Government and the forensic science sector to improve co-ordination and oversight of Research and Development across the Criminal Justice system. A Science for the Justice System Advisory Group has been established, working with a UKRI project to devise options for future mechanisms to effectively and efficiently coordinate forensic science in the UK.

Initial consultation with key stakeholders has identified common areas of research need and the group will continue to work with UKRI and the research community to identify how research can better meet different forms of user need.

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Forensic Capability Network
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department has established a specialist scientific team within the Forensics Capability Network.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Forensic Capability Network (FCN) is operated by policing on behalf of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. It aims to increase efficiency, quality and to manage demand. It has enabled all police forces to work with it, including through national incidents such as the response to Covid-19, where a national contingency plan has been enacted and national co-ordination of the supplier market is required.

The FCN has established a specialist scientific team, to identify and exploit future scientific opportunities. More information can be found here: https://www.fcn.police.uk/pillars/fcn-science

The ‘Office of the Chief Scientist’ is being established by the FCN. Its role is set out in the FCN Prospectus which can be read here: https://www.fcn.police.uk/sites/default/files/2019-09/FCN%20Prospectus_0.pdf

Grouped Questions: 71128 | 71132
Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Forensic Capability Network
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether a Chief Scientist role has been established within the Forensics Capability Network.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Forensic Capability Network (FCN) is operated by policing on behalf of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. It aims to increase efficiency, quality and to manage demand. It has enabled all police forces to work with it, including through national incidents such as the response to Covid-19, where a national contingency plan has been enacted and national co-ordination of the supplier market is required.

The FCN has established a specialist scientific team, to identify and exploit future scientific opportunities. More information can be found here: https://www.fcn.police.uk/pillars/fcn-science

The ‘Office of the Chief Scientist’ is being established by the FCN. Its role is set out in the FCN Prospectus which can be read here: https://www.fcn.police.uk/sites/default/files/2019-09/FCN%20Prospectus_0.pdf

Grouped Questions: 71128 | 71131
Q
Asked by Neil Coyle
(Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Contracts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the implications for her policies of the July 2020 Refugee Action report entitled Wake Up Call and its finding that the transition from one set of Government asylum contracts to another in 2019 caused delays in people accessing asylum advice and resulted in inadequate support for people with newly granted refugee status.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 13 July 2020

We are currently reviewing this report and will respond to the authors in due course, however we reject the suggestion that we provide inadequate support to asylum seekers.

Q
Asked by Lisa Nandy
(Wigan)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Hong Kong
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people from Hong Kong have sought asylum in the UK from 21 May 2020 to 8 July 2020; and how many of those applications for asylum have been granted.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of asylum applications and the initial decision on such applications are published in tables Asy_D01 and Asy_D02 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets.

Data covering April to June 2020 will be published as part of the August release of Immigration Statistics.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Welsh Language
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to amend the immigration rules to ensure that Welsh language skills are awarded equal points as English.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 13 July 2020

We recognise the rich and unique contribution the Welsh Language makes to our United Kingdom as a whole.

We are assessing the potential merits of amending the Immigration Rules to include recognition of Welsh Language Skills in our immigration system and will provide our conclusion in due course.

Q
(Edinburgh West)
[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: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Interpol
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she had has with her (a) US, (b) Canadian, (c) New Zealand, (d) EU, Japanese and (e) South Korean counterparts on priorities for Interpol’s strategic framework for 2021-24.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Interpol Strategic Framework 2021-24 is currently under development by Interpol, and following its completion it will be shared with Interpol’s 194 members. Therefore, as yet no discussions have been had with the members identified within the question but engagement with members will be undertaken in the future.

Due diligence is undertaken by the UK Government into individuals seeking election to the Interpol Presidency and Home Office officials have discussed with officials in other countries prospective candidates for the role.

Grouped Questions: 71139
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