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
(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
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 Neil O'Brien
(Harborough)
[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: 22 July 2019
Home Office
101 Calls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of calls to the 101 service were (a) answered in under 30 seconds, (b) answered between 30 to 60 seconds, (c) answered between 60 seconds and 120 seconds, (d) answered between 120 and 180 seconds, (e) answered between 180 and 300 seconds (f) answered between 300 and 600 seconds (g) answered after 600 seconds, (h) unanswered in each of the last three years for which information is available; and how many calls there were in total in each of those years.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 25 July 2019

The Home Office does not collect data on the 101 service, this is an operational decision for individual forces.

Q
Asked by Jo Stevens
(Cardiff 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: 22 July 2019
Home Office
European Arrest Warrants: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what contingency plans he has for the repatriation of UK defendants from the EU in the event the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement and is therefore no longer party to the European Arrest Warrant procedure.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 25 July 2019

In a No Deal scenario and the absence of access to the European Arrest Warrant, the UK will operate the European Convention on Extradition with EU Member States.

Q
(Worthing 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: 22 July 2019
Home Office
Gurpal Virdi
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the GOLD Group on Operation GIANNA overseeing the Metropolitan Police Department of Professional Standards investigation into allegations in relation to Gurpal Virdi, how many participants in the GOLD Group had the rank or role of (a) Deputy Commissioner, (b) Deputy Assistant Commissioner, (c) Commander, (d) Chief Superintendent, (e) Superintendent, (f) Detective Chief Inspector, (g) Detective Inspector, (h) Detective Sergeant, (i) member of SCD2 Sapphire, (j) member of the Department of Media and Communications and (k) member of the Department of Legal Services; whether representatives of the Crown Prosecution Service were ever present; how many meeting were held; which attendees asked whether there was any evidence that Gurpal Virdi was present at the arrest of the complainant in autumn 1986; which attendees asked whether there was evidence taken from PC Markwick on the arrest for which he was the officer in charge; which attendees asked why evidence was not sought from PC Mady on the arrest of the complainant in spring 1987; what assessment he has made of the equity of the only review of the investigation being conducted by the Department of Professional Standards into its original investigation; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 25 July 2019

Oversight and review of investigations conducted by professional standards departments are operational matters for forces and, where appropriate, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Such decision making is in-dependent of government.

Q
(Bolton North East)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Home Office
Fire Stations: Greater Manchester
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Ministers in his Department have held recent meetings with representatives of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service on proposals to reduce the number of fire stations and engines in the Manchester city region; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 24 July 2019

I refer my Hon Friend to the answer given to him on 21 February 2019, UIN 222621.

Operational decisions are for each fire and rescue authority to make as part of the integrated risk management planning process. The authority is best placed to act on the professional advice of their Chief Fire Officer.

Q
Asked by Ben Bradley
(Mansfield)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Home Office
Synthetic Cannabinoids: Misuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the penalties incurred for (a) possession and (b) supply and production of synthetic cannabinoids.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 24 July 2019

Synthetic cannabinoids are controlled as Class B drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. There is a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both for possession of a Class B drug and 14 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both, for the supply and production of a Class B drug.

There was a total of 281 convictions for the principal offence of possession of synthetic cannabinoids in 2018, up from 71 convictions in 2017 and no convictions in 2016. For the principal offences of either supply, possession with intent to supply or production of synthetic cannabinoids there were 18 convictions in 2018, up from 4 convictions in 2017 and 4 convictions in 2016.

The Government has commissioned the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to provide an updated harms assessment on their previous reports on synthetic cannabinoids. The commission also seeks recommendations on whether the current classification under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 of synthetic cannabinoids is appropriate. The advice is due in summer 2020. The full commission has been published online on the gov.uk website.
The Government will await the ACMD’s further advice and recommendations

Q
Asked by Alberto Costa
(South Leicestershire)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Home Office
Police
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Police Covenant will be introduced.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 24 July 2019

On 18 July the Home Secretary announced his intention to establish a police covenant demonstrating his recognition of the bravery and commitment of police officers.

The Home Office will work with policing partners and other government departments over the coming months to develop more detailed proposals. This will be followed by a public consultation on the principle and scope of the police covenant in due course.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Home Office
Private Rented Housing: Fires
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of domestic fires in the private rented sector in England that have occurred as a result of (a) smoking and (b) electrical fires since 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 24 July 2019

The Home Office does not collect this information. Data on electrical fires and those caused by smoking are available in tables 6.02 and 6.05 here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#cause-of-fire but we do not collect information on the tenure of the property in which the fire took place.

Q
(Tooting)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Home Office
Police: Wandsworth
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the number of police officers in the Borough of Wandsworth in (a) 2010 and (b) 2018.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 24 July 2019

The number of police officers in the Borough of Wandsworth is not collected centrally as the Home Office only collects this information at Police Force Area (PFA) level only.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of police officers employed by each police force in England and Wales on a bi-annual basis. These data are published in the ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletins.

Data on the number of police officers in each PFA as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2019 can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/817734/open-data-table-police-workforce.ods

Q
(Argyll and Bute)
[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 July 2019
Home Office
Hemp: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many licences for the cultivation of industrial hemp are in effect in the UK.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 23 July 2019

There are currently 55 licences in extant to cultivate low THC cannabis (Industrial Hemp) in England, Wales and Scotland.
There are currently 2 licences in extant to cultivate low THC cannabis (Industrial Hemp) in Scotland.

The licences are generally issued for a validity period of three growing seasons and therefore will include licences issued in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Grouped Questions: 279072
Q
(Argyll and Bute)
[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 July 2019
Home Office
Hemp: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many licences for the cultivation of industrial hemp are in effect in Scotland.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 23 July 2019

There are currently 55 licences in extant to cultivate low THC cannabis (Industrial Hemp) in England, Wales and Scotland.
There are currently 2 licences in extant to cultivate low THC cannabis (Industrial Hemp) in Scotland.

The licences are generally issued for a validity period of three growing seasons and therefore will include licences issued in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Grouped Questions: 279071
Q
(Easington)
[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 July 2019
Home Office
Police: Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on improving access to mental health services in order to reduce the number of mental health related incidents attended to by the police.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 23 July 2019

There are regular discussions between the Home Office and the Department for Health and Social Care on policing and mental health issues. In January, the Government announced an additional £2.3bn by 2023/24 to enhance mental health services, and to relieve some of the pressures on the police, as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Q
(Easington)
[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 July 2019
Home Office
Police: Mental Health
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much time is allocated for new police recruits to receive mental health training prior to their first deployment.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The College of Policing sets the standards for training and professional develop-ment for police forces in England and Wales. Initial training, which all new recruits must complete to the required standards, includes a specific module on awareness of the powers and policies related to mental health issues, recognising signs and symptoms and understanding the police role. The subject is also integrated throughout the rest of the programme.

Subsequent professional development for serving police officers is the responsibility of Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners and information on training undertaken by officers is not held centrally by the Home Office.

Grouped Questions: 278959
Q
(Easington)
[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 July 2019
Home Office
Police: Mental Health
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much time is allocated to police officers for continuing professional development in mental health training.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The College of Policing sets the standards for training and professional develop-ment for police forces in England and Wales. Initial training, which all new recruits must complete to the required standards, includes a specific module on awareness of the powers and policies related to mental health issues, recognising signs and symptoms and understanding the police role. The subject is also integrated throughout the rest of the programme.

Subsequent professional development for serving police officers is the responsibility of Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners and information on training undertaken by officers is not held centrally by the Home Office.

Grouped Questions: 278958
Q
(East Yorkshire)
[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: 16 July 2019
Home Office
Police: Sick Leave
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate his Department has made of the number and proportion of police officers who are signed-off from work with stress and work-related illness.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The number and proportion of police officers who are signed-off from work with stress and work-related illness is not collected centrally by the Home Office.

The Home Office collects and publishes information on the number of police officers on long-term absence as at 31st March each year, including long-term absence for sickness, but not specifically stress and work-related illness. Long-term absence includes officers on leave more than 28 days.

These data are available in the Absence Open Data tables published alongside the annual ‘Police workforce’ statistical bulletin, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-open-data-tables

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
[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: 16 July 2019
Home Office
Metropolitan Police: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding the Government has allocated to the Metropolitan Police Service in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The 2019/20 police funding settlement provides the biggest increase in police funding since 2010, with more money for local police forces, counter terrorism and tackling serious and organised crime

Total funding is increasing by over £1 billion in 2019/20, including council tax, extra funding for pensions costs, and the serious violence fund.

The Metropolitan Police Service are receiving £2,735.4m in total funding (including council tax) in 2019/20, an increase of £175.3m on 2018/19 and a total of £224.6m compared to 2017/18.

The table below sets out the core grant funding figures for the Metropolitan Police Service each year since 2015 including the National, International and Capital City Grant:

Core grant funding

2015/2016

2016/2017

2017/2018

2018/2019

2019/2020

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

MPS

2,087.5

1,904.6

1,882.1

1,882.1

1,927.1

Q
(Poplar and Limehouse)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Home Office
Electric Scooters: Fixed Penalties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fixed penalty fines have been issued to electric scooter riders by police in each of the last two years.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued for motoring offences in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales. However, information on the type of vehicle issued with a FPN is not collected. Data for the 2018/19 financial year is due to be published in October 2019.

Enforcement of road traffic law is an operational matter for the police to determine in line with local priorities. There have been no discussions with the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police or Transport for London on the enforcement of the regulations governing the use of electric scooters.

The Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, published on 19 March 2019 by the Department for Transport, includes a Regulatory Review to address the challenges of ensuring our transport infrastructure and regulations are fit for the future. One strand of this will look at options for enabling micromobility devices, and a consultation will be issued in due course. The Home Office will work with Dft as proposals are developed.

Grouped Questions: 277624 | 277625
Q
(Poplar and Limehouse)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Home Office
Electric Scooters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions he has had with (a) the Mayor of London, (b) the Metropolitan Police and (c) Transport for London on the enforcement of the regulations governing the use of electric scooters on roads, pavements and cycle highways.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued for motoring offences in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales. However, information on the type of vehicle issued with a FPN is not collected. Data for the 2018/19 financial year is due to be published in October 2019.

Enforcement of road traffic law is an operational matter for the police to determine in line with local priorities. There have been no discussions with the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police or Transport for London on the enforcement of the regulations governing the use of electric scooters.

The Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, published on 19 March 2019 by the Department for Transport, includes a Regulatory Review to address the challenges of ensuring our transport infrastructure and regulations are fit for the future. One strand of this will look at options for enabling micromobility devices, and a consultation will be issued in due course. The Home Office will work with Dft as proposals are developed.

Grouped Questions: 277623 | 277625
Q
(Poplar and Limehouse)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Home Office
Electric Scooters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Transport on the regulation of the use of electronic scooters.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued for motoring offences in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales. However, information on the type of vehicle issued with a FPN is not collected. Data for the 2018/19 financial year is due to be published in October 2019.

Enforcement of road traffic law is an operational matter for the police to determine in line with local priorities. There have been no discussions with the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police or Transport for London on the enforcement of the regulations governing the use of electric scooters.

The Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, published on 19 March 2019 by the Department for Transport, includes a Regulatory Review to address the challenges of ensuring our transport infrastructure and regulations are fit for the future. One strand of this will look at options for enabling micromobility devices, and a consultation will be issued in due course. The Home Office will work with Dft as proposals are developed.

Grouped Questions: 277623 | 277624
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