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Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he plans to take following recent convictions of offenders who had obtained duplicate passports; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 4 July 2002]: The United Kingdom Passport Service has a range of checks in place to prevent and detect passport fraud including a check on the death records of under 18-year-olds in England and Wales. This check is a significant step forward in our efforts to crack down on the fraudulent use of birth certificates. Enhancing its capability to prevent and detect fraud is a business priority for the Passport Service. It is implementing a comprehensive fraud action plan, and is working actively with other agencies to develop its identity validation techniques.
Mr. Denham: Police strength in West Mercia increased by 125 between the end of March 2001 and the end of January this year, when it reached 2,012 officers. The force plans to have record police numbers in the course of 200203.
The Government's Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) has played a major part in driving up the number of officers. It is enabling forces to take on 9,000 recruits over and above previous plans in the three years to March 2003. In the first two years of this recruitment initiative West Mercia appointed 109 CFF recruits and they will be able to take on a further 43 CFF recruits in 200203.
Overall, I understand that West Mercia Police Authority's budget will support a planned increase in strength of 300 officers in 200203. I congratulate the police authority and the force in setting itself this goal, which will contribute to our target of 130,000 officers in England and Wales by spring 2003.
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low level furniture in visits areas to aid visibility;
closed circuit television in visits areas;
an initiative to ban visitors found smuggling drugs into prisons;
mandatory drug testing of prisoners.
Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners serving life sentences in England and Wales have served (a) up to five years more than their tariff sentence, (b) five to 10 years more than their tariff sentence, (c) 10 to 15 years more than their tariff sentence and (d) in excess of 15 years more than their tariff sentence. 
Hilary Benn: The tariff is the minimum period a life sentence prisoner must serve to meet the requirements of retribution and deterrence before being considered for release. After this minimum period has been served release will only take place where the prisoner is judged no longer a risk of harm to the public.
(b) five to 10 years more than the minimum period199,
(c) 10 to 15 years more than the minimum period97 and
(d) in excess of 15 years more than the minimum period20.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) cost and (b) saving has been from the Department's pursuit of Service Delivery Agreement targets in each year since they were introduced. 
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many performance targets he has set for his Department; and how many that were included last year have been dropped this year. 
Beverley Hughes: The Home Office Public Service Agreement states the Department's key targets for this year. The Service Delivery Agreement targets underpin them. These targets are set over the period 200104 and therefore the targets set last year are still valid. New targets for the Home Office are currently being discussed as a result of the Spending Review 2002 process. These will commence from April 2003.
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Additional targets are set out in the Home Office's Business Plan. This was published on 13 June as a combined document with the annual report. All our targets for the coming year are outlined in this document as are last year's targets and whether they have been achieved or are on-going.
|Value of Remploy products purchased|
The number of purchases have declined because of a change of focus within Remploy's activities towards production associated with education. As a result, Remploy were not able to guarantee service requirements by our main purchaser centrex.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many questions are asked by the Criminal Records Office of those for whom criminal records checks in connection with work with children are sought; and of those which are essential to the conduct of a check. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 24 July 2002]: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure Application form has a total of 42 questions, 25 of which are considered essential to enable the CRB to undertake the necessary checks. The remaining questions are asked to enable the CRB to process applications more quickly, or relate to referee details that, in some circumstances, the CRB may need to contact for additional details.
Applicants can apply for a Disclosure either by completing and posting an application form, or over the phone. The telephone operator will ask a minimum of six questions, (to establish contact details), and applicants then have the option of supplying almost all of the information required for the form over the telephone.
Hilary Benn: The Criminal Records Bureau is not meeting its Disclosure Application processing service standards. At present these are taking five to six weeks and this applies to both 'standard' and enhanced Disclosures.
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To address this, the bureau has introduced a performance improvement plan. This should ensure that, over the coming weeks, service levels will improve steadily until the full service standards are met.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are in place to monitor the activities of overseas students in the UK to ascertain whether they have become involved in organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he makes to screen individuals applying from overseas to study in the UK for connections to proscribed organisations under the Terrorism Act 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Blunkett: There are mechanisms in place to identify individuals seeking to enter the United Kingdom who are members or supporters of terrorist organisations. It is not in the public interest to publish details of these mechanisms.
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