Baroness Doocey Portrait

Baroness Doocey

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Constitution Committee
28th Jan 2021 - 31st Mar 2022
House of Lords Commission
1st Sep 2016 - 28th Jan 2021
Finance Committee (Lords)
1st Sep 2016 - 28th Jan 2021
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Sport, Tourism and Cultural Participation)
1st Jun 2015 - 7th Sep 2015
Refreshment Committee (Lords)
20th Jun 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Draft Modern Slavery Bill
15th Jan 2014 - 3rd Apr 2014
Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee
16th May 2013 - 3rd Jun 2013
Draft Enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill (Joint Committee)
3rd Jul 2012 - 21st Nov 2012


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 27th April 2022
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 70 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 229
Speeches
Thursday 12th May 2022
HM Passport Office: Backlogs
My Lords, the Minister is aware that, far from enjoying exactly the same benefits as members of the EU, our …
Written Answers
Tuesday 6th April 2021
Human Trafficking: Children
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that police forces in England and Wales can …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Doocey has voted in 200 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Doocey Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(10 debate interactions)
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(4 debate interactions)
Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Conservative)
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
(3 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Home Office
(9 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Doocey's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Doocey, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness Doocey has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness Doocey has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Baroness Doocey has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Baroness Doocey has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


49 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 19 February 2016 (HL6037), whether the Crown Prosecution Service's IT systems can undertake electronic searches of relevant records by character string; and if not, whether a system update is planned.

There is no planned update or change to Crown Prosecutions Service’s existing IT systems to undertake electronic searches of relevant records by character string.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the annual cost of employment for each member of the House of Lords salaried under the Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975, including (1) employer national insurance contributions, (2) employer pension contributions, and (3) any other costs.

The information requested is not held centrally. The Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975 sets out the salary entitlements for different ministerial positions. Information on which ministers are paid a salary and data on the various salary levels are published on gov.uk. The Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991 provides for an allowance for ministerial and other office-holders in the House of Lords, as well provision for determining the Exchequer contribution to be paid into the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund. Information relating to national insurance contributions, employer pension contributions and any other costs, including allowances claimed, is not held centrally.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to address concerns from the tourism industry, including from tour operators, about employees who are unable to meet the requirement to work at least 33 per cent of their usual hours to qualify for support from the Job Support Scheme.

We recognise that these are extremely challenging conditions for businesses in the tourism sector, including tour operators. We continue to closely monitor the situation.

While it will not be possible to preserve every job or business, the Chancellor’s recent package of targeted measures will help businesses to protect jobs and manage their finances in the face of reduced or uncertain demand.

Tour operators have been able to access the Government’s comprehensive economic support package, which includes the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme until the end of October. It also includes a significant cut to VAT for most tourism and hospitality activities until the end of March.

We are offering impacted businesses generous terms for the repayment of deferred taxes and government-backed loans, as well as extending the application window of the government-backed loan schemes.

We are continuing to engage across Government and with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the recovery of tourism across the UK.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the economic impact on employers in the hospitality sector of the process of making payments through the Job Support Scheme in arrears.

My Department is in regular contact with Her Majesty’s Treasury to closely assess the impact of COVID-related support measures on the hospitality industry.

When it launches in November, the Jobs Support Scheme will help protect jobs within businesses facing lower demand due to COVID-19.

Alongside this, hospitality businesses can continue to make use of the Government’s comprehensive support package. This includes the various loan schemes, a significant cut to VAT until the end of March, plus business rates relief for eligible hospitality, retail and leisure businesses.

We continue to engage with stakeholders through the Visitor Economy Working Group to assess how we can most effectively support employers and employees within the hospitality sector.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on the hospitality sector of the decision to not permit conferences, exhibitions and events to take place.

We recognise that the events industry and its supply chain has been severely impacted by Covid-19. We continue to engage with the stakeholders, including through the Visitor Economy Working Group and the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel, to monitor the situation. As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

Events businesses can continue to make use of the broader support package available to them. This includes the Bounce Back Loans scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Meetings of up to 30 can still take place in permitted venues, as per the Covid-19 Secure guidance for the visitor economy.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what targeted, support they are making available to leisure centres, museums, parks and libraries both during and beyond the lockdown.

Organisations in the leisure and recreation sector have benefitted from the unprecedented Government support for business and workers. We know that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in particular, has been a lifeline for these sectors, protecting jobs while organisations are closed.

In general, it is expected that publicly funded bodies such as leisure centres and parks, including companies (public enterprises), will not need to access the various different government support schemes. Other organisations such as charitable libraries, leisure centres, and museums, may be able to benefit from a range of support measures including: A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England; the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund; the Small Business Grant Fund, which provides £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief; the Discretionary Grant Fund for Local Authorities in England to make grants payments to businesses not eligible for the above schemes; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; VAT deferral for up to 12 months; the Time To Pay scheme; and protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020.

There is also sector-specific support. For example, museums have had access to over £200 million of support from Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Historic England.

The Government continues to monitor the impact of these and other measures.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they are putting in place to support Coventry, as it prepares to become UK City of Culture 2021, to compensate for the downturn in tourism revenue due to COVID-19.

We recognise that COVID-19 has significantly impacted tourism revenue in regions across the country. We continue to engage with stakeholders to monitor the situation and to assess how we can most effectively support the sector’s recovery when tourism activity restarts.

Tourism businesses and workers in Coventry can access the Government’s comprehensive support package, including the recently extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan scheme.

The Government has invested over £15 million to support Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture, and the Department for Digital, Culture and Media and Sport is working closely with Coventry City of Culture Trust and partners to continue to ensure Coventry’s success as host city.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had, if any, with the tourism industry on improving the environmental sustainability of that industry.

My Department regularly engages with tourism stakeholders about environmental sustainability. For example, this was discussed at the Tourism Industry Council in June 2019 and at the G20 in Japan in October 2019.

The Tourism Sector Deal and the £45m Discover England Fund aim to contribute to a more sustainable tourism sector by spreading visitors more evenly throughout the year, and more broadly across the country. Successful Tourism Zones will be required to commit to making a sustainable development plan for their regions.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they regularly (1) collect, and (2) assess, data from all relevant local authorities relating to the placement of children and young people in unregulated accommodation.

Information on children who are looked after by local authorities (including information on placement setting) is submitted to the department by local authorities on an annual basis. The latest collection, which closed in August 2020, related to children who were looked after during the year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

The latest information on children looked after in England, including the number of looked after children placed in independent and semi-independent placements on 31 March 2020, is contained in the ‘Children looked after in England’ statistics release, which is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions. Information on numbers of looked after children by type of placement can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/fast-track/9fb76a8e-ab86-4746-871a-925810cfb302.

Children in care and care leavers are some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society. We must do all that we can to ensure that they have access to suitable, safe and secure accommodation that meets their needs and keeps them safe. Our consultation on unregulated provision for children in care and care leavers asked for views on a set of ambitious proposals to reform unregulated provision for children in care and care leavers, including banning the placement of children under the age of 16 in these settings and introducing national standards for providers to drive up quality, keeping young people safer and delivering better outcomes.

The consultation received a strong response from the sector, and care-experienced young people. We will publish the government’s response to the consultation in due course.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what targeted, support they are making available to businesses in National Parks both during and after the lockdown.

The Government has made available a wide range of support measures to businesses during these unprecedented times. This support is available to businesses in National Parks. These include help with business rates, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan scheme, and the discretionary fund set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

The Government has been working with the National Park Authorities (NPAs) from the outset to understand the impacts from Covid-19, ensuring Parks make full use of the existing Government support schemes. We continue to engage closely with each NPA to assess the level of further support required.

6th May 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what is the total annual cost of employment for each member excepted from the 20 July 2010 resolution on allowances in the House, by virtue of being salaried, including (1) employer national insurance contributions, (2) employer pension contributions, and (3) any other costs.

The employment costs for three Office Holders fall to the House of Lords budget – the Lord Speaker, the Chairman of Committees (also known as the Senior Deputy Speaker) and the Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees (also known as the Chair of the European Union Committee). In the 2019-20 financial year the total annual cost of employment was £382,328. This includes the salaries claimed, the Lords Office Holders Allowance claimed, and other employment costs not received by the office holders themselves, such as employer national insurance contributions and the apprenticeship levy.

29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what figures they hold on the number of (1) tourism attractions, (2) high street retailers, (3) railway stations, and (4) UK airports, that offer drinking water refill points.

The Government recognises the importance of making drinking water more readily available in public places, as a means of reducing single-use plastic bottles. As laid out in the 25 Year Environment Plan and the Resources and Waste Strategy, we are already taking action in this area

Ministers have supported transport hubs, particularly railway stations and airports, to offer free water refill points. Although the Government does not collect the precise data requested, we have seen positive responses from Network Rail and rail operators. We are also pleased that around half of the UK’s international airports now have water fountains enabling customers to refill their own water containers.

The Government is also supporting water companies, high street retailers, coffee shops and transport hubs to offer new refill points for people to top-up water bottles free in every major city and town in England. The water industry is developing a network of refill points through its Refill app, managed by City to Sea. There are now over 27,000 refill points available on the app, which is used by an average of 20,000 people each month and is estimated to have saved over 100 million single use bottles from entering our waste stream in 2019.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, in partnership with relevant businesses, to reduce the use of plastics in hotels.

The Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy for England, published in December 2018, sets out our plans to reduce, reuse and recycle more plastic than we do now. Our target is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the lifetime of the 25 Year Environment Plan, but for the most problematic plastics we are going faster - that is why we are working towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out various proposals that will help businesses, including hotels, reduce their use of single-use plastics. These include the introduction of a deposit-return scheme for drinks containers, bans on some of the most commonly littered single-use plastics such as drink stirrers, and extension of the carrier bag charge to all retailers.

The Government also supports the UK Plastics Pact (UKPP), a collaborative initiative to create a circular system that keeps plastic in the economy and out of the natural environment. UKPP members are working towards four key targets by 2025, including to eliminate the use of unnecessary single-use plastics. The UKPP has more than 120 business members, including many from the retail and hospitality sectors.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of (1) pubs, (2) cafes, and (3) restaurants, which fail to record customer contact details for NHS Test and Trace.

Designated venues, including hospitality businesses, must collect contact details of staff, customers and visitors and provide a National Health Service QR code for individuals to check in to the venue using the COVID-19 app. Local health protection teams can ask the venue for these records where it is necessary, for example if the premises has been identified as the location of a potential outbreak. Venues must share the requested information as soon as possible to help identify people who may have been in contact with the virus and help minimise the onward spread. NHS Test and Trace does not collect this data unless it is necessary for contact tracing following an identified outbreak.

In a recent poll 76% of visitors to restaurants, cafes and pubs stated they were asked to provide their details or scan an NHS QR code on entry. We continue to engage with business and enforcement officials to work towards 100% compliance.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals at immigration detention centres and other accommodation for asylum seekers have reported COVID-19 symptoms; how severe the symptoms have been in these cases; and what medical treatment has been provided.

There are currently no individuals within the immigration detention centre estate showing symptomatic signs of COVID-19. There have been three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the immigration detention centres since the outbreak began, none of whom were hospitalised. Information about the severity of these cases or what medical treatment has been provided is not centrally collected and neither is information on individuals in other accommodation for asylum seekers.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their guidelines on personal protective equipment for frontline medical staff are (1) based on expert medical advice and evidence or (2) also based on economic or other factors.

The guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health and social care workers is based on expert reviews and advice from the Department’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) as well as literature reviews by Health Protection Scotland. The guidance is updated regularly, in line with emerging evidence.

Public Health England has not undertaken an economic assessment of the PPE guidance.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timetable for the review by the NHS and Public Health England on the impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minorities; and what data they will publish before that review is completed.

Public Health England (PHE) has been asked by the Chief Medical Officer to review the potential that some ethnic minority groups are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The findings of the Review will be published at the end of May.

NHS England publishes data of deaths broken down by ethnicity and PHE is planning to include data by ethnicity in its weekly COVID-19 surveillance report.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they started to (1) collect, and (2) publish data relating to the ethnicity of those infected with COVID-19; and for what reasons this did not start at the beginning of the pandemic in the UK.

Data on those infected with COVID-19 are collected by Public Health England (PHE) for new diagnoses and hospitalised patients. Standard recording practice across laboratory systems requires recording of only minimal data (such as date of birth and name) as these records are not intended for disease surveillance purposes.

PHE has begun a rapid review to better understand how COVID-19 may be having an impact on different ethnic groups. As part of this review, PHE is matching thousands of laboratory records of COVID-19 cases to other health records to draw down accurate data on ethnicity, age, sex and geographical region. The first results will be published by the end of May.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they are (1) collaborating with international partners, and (2) leveraging foreign aid, to prevent (a) human trafficking in general, and (b) human trafficking that involves sexual exploitation.

The government is fully committed to the eradication of human trafficking and all forms of modern slavery by 2030, as unanimously adopted in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UK continues to be a champion within the international system, building on the Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking which we launched in 2017, which 92 countries have now endorsed. In October 2019 we appointed the UK's first International Modern Slavery and Migration Envoy to help drive forward our efforts on this agenda. The UK is working with bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as civil society, businesses and partners from academia to catalyse action on Target 8.7 of the SDGs. Examples include our support for international coalitions and UN forums such as Alliance 8.7, the Inter Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) and engagement with the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.

The government remains committed to using UK aid to help tackle modern slavery, address the root causes and reduce vulnerability. Funding will be focused on supporting the most vulnerable - particularly children, and women and girls. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office programming also includes up to £20m to tackle issues including the commercial sexual exploitation of children and up to £13m for programmes in Bangladesh, India and Nepal which assist women and girls who are vulnerable to trafficking.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they made to the government of China (1) prior to, and (2) subsequent to, the global outbreak of COVID-19 with respect to the regulation or closure of ‘wet’ markets.

Wet markets exist all around the world. All wet markets should follow best practice on hygiene and safety to avoid health issues, whether in China or elsewhere and that should include safe sourcing of animal and other products.

The UK has always been at the forefront of international efforts to ensure global trade in wild animals is sustainable and well regulated, including through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We are investing over £36m between 2014 and 2021 and last year pledged a further £30 million over three years to crack down on the abhorrent illegal trade in animals and plants.

On 24 February 2020 China's National People's Congress announced a ban on the trade and consumption of wildlife for food. We welcome this decision and urge China to ensure it is strictly enforced so that all meat for sale is sustainably and legally sourced and poses no threat to human health. We have been in regular contact with the Chinese authorities since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, including a phone conversation between the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister Wang-Yi on 20 March.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of jobs that could be lost in the nighttime economy where employees may not qualify for the Job Support Scheme.

The Job Support Scheme will assist businesses facing reduced demand over the winter due to COVID-19 to retain their employees and keep them attached to workforce.

The Job Support Scheme is just one part of a wider package of support that will minimise strains on companies’ cash flow and help them meet fixed costs.

Alongside the Job Support Scheme, the Government’s support package includes Bounce Back Loans, business support grants, an extension to the VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus to encourage employers to keep their previously furloughed staff employed.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to compensate pubs, restaurants and bars for any revenue lost as a result of the introduction of a 10pm closing time.

The Government recognises that the necessary restrictions on opening hours for hospitality venues will be disruptive for businesses in this sector.

We recognise that the sector is a vital source of employment across the country, and that is why – in addition to the CJRS, tax deferrals and loans – we have prioritised support for hospitality businesses. This has included:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England
  • The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
  • The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, which subsidised 100 million meals through August
  • A temporary reduction in the VAT rate from 20% to 5% on most tourism and hospitality-related activities.

On 24 September the Chancellor set out the next phase of our plan to support the economy, following announcement of measures to control the spread of COVID-19. This is a targeted package of measures to support jobs and business through the winter months, including a new Job Support Scheme, an extension of the reduction in VAT (5%) for the tourism and hospitality sector to 31 March 2021, and changes to the existing government backed loan schemes to help business access the finance they need and plan their cashflow.

The Government is continuing to collect evidence on the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector and to work with businesses and representative groups to inform our efforts to support this sector.

19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that police forces in England and Wales can collaborate with EU counterparts on missing children and trafficking investigations when a child has been trafficked from the UK to Europe.

Tackling modern slavery, including child trafficking, is a priority for this Government and we are committed to continuing to work closely with EU partners to address this heinous crime.

The UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) delivers a comprehensive package of capabilities that ensures we can work with counterparts across Europe to tackle serious crime. This includes enabling our law enforcement agencies to continue to share information on investigations, including those related to child trafficking, with EU counterparts.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to amend the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (1) to reflect, and (2) to combat, increases in reports of the number of potential human trafficking cases involving children.

The Government is committed to tackling modern slavery including cases involving child trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Modern Slavery Act 2015, gives law enforcement agencies the tools to tackle modern slavery, including maximum life sentences for perpetrators and enhanced protection for victims. In July 2018, the Government commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to identify what can be improved in the implementation of the Act. The Government’s response to this review can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act

We are committed to strengthening the law enforcement response to modern slavery and in 2020/21 we allocated over £2 million funding to the police to support the Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime programme. During the pandemic we have also worked closely with law enforcement to monitor any changes in the threat of modern slavery including cases involving trafficked children and sexual exploitation.

The Home Office continues to work with First Responders to ensure they understand the indicators of different exploitation types and can refer potential victims into appropriate support. In July 2020, we released an E-Learning module available to all First Responders to improve their understanding of their responsibilities and the support available.

With this greater awareness and improved understanding of modern slavery, more potential victims are being identified and protected. The latest statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The Home Office is currently addressing an earlier identified error that occurred in the data processing for the Q1-Q3 of 2020 statistics where some sexual exploitation referrals were miscategorised as ‘Not recorded or unknown’. Once this error is rectified, the number of sexual exploitation referrals will be higher than in the current statistical bulletins and the number of ‘not recorded or unknown’ referrals will be lower. The updated data will be released alongside the Quarter 4 (October to December 2020) statistics which are being prepared and will be released on 18 March 2021.

The Government continues to focus on improving identification and support for potential victims by embarking on an ambitious National Referral Mechanism Transformation Programme to build on our world leading efforts to identify vulnerable victims and provide the support that they need to rebuild their lives. This will ensure that victims are safeguarded and supported based on their individual recovery need, with a focus on supporting the most vulnerable and making good use of existing access to mainstream services. As part of this programme, we are progressing the roll out of the Independent Child Trafficking Guardians service.

The Government is committed to tackling the drivers that can lead individuals to become potential victims of trafficking. Local authorities are responsible for the safeguarding and promotion of welfare of all children in their area, co-operating closely with police and other statutory agencies to offer child victims required protection and support. In 2020-21, local government received an additional £1 billion grant for adult and children’s social care. This is on top of the continuation of the £410 million social care grant. In addition, we are investing £84 million in targeted, evidence-based interventions to improve the support provided to vulnerable children and their families and enable more children to stay at home thriving in stable family environments. The Government is also strongly committed to supporting victims of sexual exploitation and continues to provide investment in this area, including by allocating £76 million to support victims of modern slavery, sexual violence, and domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Home Office has committed to create a new Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy this year and ran a nationwide Call for Evidence from 10 December to 19 February to gather the views from a wide range of stakeholders to inform this strategy. The strategy will also consider wider work, including on modern slavery and sexual exploitation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to amend the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (1) to reflect, and (2) to combat, increases in reports of potential human trafficking cases related to sexual exploitation.

The Government is committed to tackling modern slavery including cases involving child trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Modern Slavery Act 2015, gives law enforcement agencies the tools to tackle modern slavery, including maximum life sentences for perpetrators and enhanced protection for victims. In July 2018, the Government commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to identify what can be improved in the implementation of the Act. The Government’s response to this review can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act

We are committed to strengthening the law enforcement response to modern slavery and in 2020/21 we allocated over £2 million funding to the police to support the Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime programme. During the pandemic we have also worked closely with law enforcement to monitor any changes in the threat of modern slavery including cases involving trafficked children and sexual exploitation.

The Home Office continues to work with First Responders to ensure they understand the indicators of different exploitation types and can refer potential victims into appropriate support. In July 2020, we released an E-Learning module available to all First Responders to improve their understanding of their responsibilities and the support available.

With this greater awareness and improved understanding of modern slavery, more potential victims are being identified and protected. The latest statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The Home Office is currently addressing an earlier identified error that occurred in the data processing for the Q1-Q3 of 2020 statistics where some sexual exploitation referrals were miscategorised as ‘Not recorded or unknown’. Once this error is rectified, the number of sexual exploitation referrals will be higher than in the current statistical bulletins and the number of ‘not recorded or unknown’ referrals will be lower. The updated data will be released alongside the Quarter 4 (October to December 2020) statistics which are being prepared and will be released on 18 March 2021.

The Government continues to focus on improving identification and support for potential victims by embarking on an ambitious National Referral Mechanism Transformation Programme to build on our world leading efforts to identify vulnerable victims and provide the support that they need to rebuild their lives. This will ensure that victims are safeguarded and supported based on their individual recovery need, with a focus on supporting the most vulnerable and making good use of existing access to mainstream services. As part of this programme, we are progressing the roll out of the Independent Child Trafficking Guardians service.

The Government is committed to tackling the drivers that can lead individuals to become potential victims of trafficking. Local authorities are responsible for the safeguarding and promotion of welfare of all children in their area, co-operating closely with police and other statutory agencies to offer child victims required protection and support. In 2020-21, local government received an additional £1 billion grant for adult and children’s social care. This is on top of the continuation of the £410 million social care grant. In addition, we are investing £84 million in targeted, evidence-based interventions to improve the support provided to vulnerable children and their families and enable more children to stay at home thriving in stable family environments. The Government is also strongly committed to supporting victims of sexual exploitation and continues to provide investment in this area, including by allocating £76 million to support victims of modern slavery, sexual violence, and domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Home Office has committed to create a new Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy this year and ran a nationwide Call for Evidence from 10 December to 19 February to gather the views from a wide range of stakeholders to inform this strategy. The strategy will also consider wider work, including on modern slavery and sexual exploitation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of potential human trafficking victims facing exploitation of a sexual nature.

The Government is committed to tackling modern slavery including cases involving child trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Modern Slavery Act 2015, gives law enforcement agencies the tools to tackle modern slavery, including maximum life sentences for perpetrators and enhanced protection for victims. In July 2018, the Government commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to identify what can be improved in the implementation of the Act. The Government’s response to this review can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act

We are committed to strengthening the law enforcement response to modern slavery and in 2020/21 we allocated over £2 million funding to the police to support the Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime programme. During the pandemic we have also worked closely with law enforcement to monitor any changes in the threat of modern slavery including cases involving trafficked children and sexual exploitation.

The Home Office continues to work with First Responders to ensure they understand the indicators of different exploitation types and can refer potential victims into appropriate support. In July 2020, we released an E-Learning module available to all First Responders to improve their understanding of their responsibilities and the support available.

With this greater awareness and improved understanding of modern slavery, more potential victims are being identified and protected. The latest statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The Home Office is currently addressing an earlier identified error that occurred in the data processing for the Q1-Q3 of 2020 statistics where some sexual exploitation referrals were miscategorised as ‘Not recorded or unknown’. Once this error is rectified, the number of sexual exploitation referrals will be higher than in the current statistical bulletins and the number of ‘not recorded or unknown’ referrals will be lower. The updated data will be released alongside the Quarter 4 (October to December 2020) statistics which are being prepared and will be released on 18 March 2021.

The Government continues to focus on improving identification and support for potential victims by embarking on an ambitious National Referral Mechanism Transformation Programme to build on our world leading efforts to identify vulnerable victims and provide the support that they need to rebuild their lives. This will ensure that victims are safeguarded and supported based on their individual recovery need, with a focus on supporting the most vulnerable and making good use of existing access to mainstream services. As part of this programme, we are progressing the roll out of the Independent Child Trafficking Guardians service.

The Government is committed to tackling the drivers that can lead individuals to become potential victims of trafficking. Local authorities are responsible for the safeguarding and promotion of welfare of all children in their area, co-operating closely with police and other statutory agencies to offer child victims required protection and support. In 2020-21, local government received an additional £1 billion grant for adult and children’s social care. This is on top of the continuation of the £410 million social care grant. In addition, we are investing £84 million in targeted, evidence-based interventions to improve the support provided to vulnerable children and their families and enable more children to stay at home thriving in stable family environments. The Government is also strongly committed to supporting victims of sexual exploitation and continues to provide investment in this area, including by allocating £76 million to support victims of modern slavery, sexual violence, and domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Home Office has committed to create a new Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy this year and ran a nationwide Call for Evidence from 10 December to 19 February to gather the views from a wide range of stakeholders to inform this strategy. The strategy will also consider wider work, including on modern slavery and sexual exploitation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 10 December 2020 (HL10798), how many new staff have taken up their posts to work in the Home Office Single Competent Authority since 10 December 2020.

Since 10 December 2020, over 260 new staff have been recruited to work in the Home Office Single Competent Authority, with 26 of these staff already in post. A recruitment exercise for a further 100 posts (which were not filled in the first recruitment round) is due to conclude this month.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the number of potential child trafficking victims recorded as facing an unknown type of exploitation under the National Referral Mechanism.

This Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that all victims, including children, are provided with the support they need.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This includes awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign and the #SlaveryonYourDoorstep campaign led by CrimeStoppers. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK resources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

Where children are found to be potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery their safety and welfare are addressed as a priority. Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area, including child victims of modern slavery. Local children's services will work in close co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies to offer potentially trafficked children the protection and support they require.

With regard to the types of exploitation experienced by child trafficking victims in the UK and any change in the types of exploitation being identified over the past 10 years, the Home Office publishes statistics on National Referral Mechanism (NRM) referrals on a quarterly basis. The NRM statistics for 2012 to 2016 can be found here: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20170404150655/http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

The NRM statistics for 2017 to 2018 can be found here: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications?search=&category%5B%5D=3&=%2Fwho-we-are%2Fpublications%3Flimit%3D15%26sort%3Dtitle%26direction%3Dasc&limit=100&tag=

The 2019 report and Q1-Q3 of 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics

With regard to why some potential child trafficking victims are recorded as having experienced an unknown type of exploitation, the Home Office is currently addressing an earlier identified error that occurred in the data processing for the Q1-Q3 of 2020 statistics where some sexual exploitation referrals were miscategorised as ‘Not recorded or unknown’. Once this error is rectified, the number of sexual exploitation referrals will be higher than in the current statistical bulletins and the number of ‘not recorded or unknown’ referrals will be lower. The updated data will be released alongside the Quarter 4 (October to December 2020) statistics which are being prepared and will be released on 18 March 2021.

At the Reasonable Grounds stage of the National Referral Mechanism, the standard of proof is ‘suspects but cannot prove’. In Q2 and Q3 of 2020, 96% of Reasonable Grounds decisions made on child cases were positive.

Prior to the NRM digital case working system going live in January 2020, data collection on NRM cases included an ‘unknown’ exploitation category for any unknown case exploitation types. Since the new system has been introduced, there is now an ‘other exploitation’ free-text box that First Responders can fill in on the referral form to explain why they are unable to identify the exploitation type. The information contained within this box is considered by a Decision Maker when making the Reasonable Grounds decision. However, for data reporting purposes, this is classified as ‘unknown’.

Reasonable Grounds decisions are made based on the account of exploitation submitted in the form and not specifically on the exploitation type data, which is recorded to enable data analysis rather than to specifically support decision-making.

The Home Office continues to work with First Responders to ensure they understand the indicators of different exploitation types and, in July 2020, we released a new First Responder e-learning module which includes support on this issue.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reason why some potential child trafficking victims are recorded as having experienced an unknown type of exploitation; and whether that can influence the outcome of any reasonable grounds decision made under the National Referral Mechanism.

This Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that all victims, including children, are provided with the support they need.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This includes awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign and the #SlaveryonYourDoorstep campaign led by CrimeStoppers. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK resources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

Where children are found to be potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery their safety and welfare are addressed as a priority. Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area, including child victims of modern slavery. Local children's services will work in close co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies to offer potentially trafficked children the protection and support they require.

With regard to the types of exploitation experienced by child trafficking victims in the UK and any change in the types of exploitation being identified over the past 10 years, the Home Office publishes statistics on National Referral Mechanism (NRM) referrals on a quarterly basis. The NRM statistics for 2012 to 2016 can be found here: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20170404150655/http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

The NRM statistics for 2017 to 2018 can be found here: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications?search=&category%5B%5D=3&=%2Fwho-we-are%2Fpublications%3Flimit%3D15%26sort%3Dtitle%26direction%3Dasc&limit=100&tag=

The 2019 report and Q1-Q3 of 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics

With regard to why some potential child trafficking victims are recorded as having experienced an unknown type of exploitation, the Home Office is currently addressing an earlier identified error that occurred in the data processing for the Q1-Q3 of 2020 statistics where some sexual exploitation referrals were miscategorised as ‘Not recorded or unknown’. Once this error is rectified, the number of sexual exploitation referrals will be higher than in the current statistical bulletins and the number of ‘not recorded or unknown’ referrals will be lower. The updated data will be released alongside the Quarter 4 (October to December 2020) statistics which are being prepared and will be released on 18 March 2021.

At the Reasonable Grounds stage of the National Referral Mechanism, the standard of proof is ‘suspects but cannot prove’. In Q2 and Q3 of 2020, 96% of Reasonable Grounds decisions made on child cases were positive.

Prior to the NRM digital case working system going live in January 2020, data collection on NRM cases included an ‘unknown’ exploitation category for any unknown case exploitation types. Since the new system has been introduced, there is now an ‘other exploitation’ free-text box that First Responders can fill in on the referral form to explain why they are unable to identify the exploitation type. The information contained within this box is considered by a Decision Maker when making the Reasonable Grounds decision. However, for data reporting purposes, this is classified as ‘unknown’.

Reasonable Grounds decisions are made based on the account of exploitation submitted in the form and not specifically on the exploitation type data, which is recorded to enable data analysis rather than to specifically support decision-making.

The Home Office continues to work with First Responders to ensure they understand the indicators of different exploitation types and, in July 2020, we released a new First Responder e-learning module which includes support on this issue.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the types of exploitation experienced by child trafficking victims in the UK; and whether they have identified any change in the types of such exploitation over the past 10 years.

This Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that all victims, including children, are provided with the support they need.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This includes awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign and the #SlaveryonYourDoorstep campaign led by CrimeStoppers. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK resources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

Where children are found to be potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery their safety and welfare are addressed as a priority. Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area, including child victims of modern slavery. Local children's services will work in close co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies to offer potentially trafficked children the protection and support they require.

With regard to the types of exploitation experienced by child trafficking victims in the UK and any change in the types of exploitation being identified over the past 10 years, the Home Office publishes statistics on National Referral Mechanism (NRM) referrals on a quarterly basis. The NRM statistics for 2012 to 2016 can be found here: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20170404150655/http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

The NRM statistics for 2017 to 2018 can be found here: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications?search=&category%5B%5D=3&=%2Fwho-we-are%2Fpublications%3Flimit%3D15%26sort%3Dtitle%26direction%3Dasc&limit=100&tag=

The 2019 report and Q1-Q3 of 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics

With regard to why some potential child trafficking victims are recorded as having experienced an unknown type of exploitation, the Home Office is currently addressing an earlier identified error that occurred in the data processing for the Q1-Q3 of 2020 statistics where some sexual exploitation referrals were miscategorised as ‘Not recorded or unknown’. Once this error is rectified, the number of sexual exploitation referrals will be higher than in the current statistical bulletins and the number of ‘not recorded or unknown’ referrals will be lower. The updated data will be released alongside the Quarter 4 (October to December 2020) statistics which are being prepared and will be released on 18 March 2021.

At the Reasonable Grounds stage of the National Referral Mechanism, the standard of proof is ‘suspects but cannot prove’. In Q2 and Q3 of 2020, 96% of Reasonable Grounds decisions made on child cases were positive.

Prior to the NRM digital case working system going live in January 2020, data collection on NRM cases included an ‘unknown’ exploitation category for any unknown case exploitation types. Since the new system has been introduced, there is now an ‘other exploitation’ free-text box that First Responders can fill in on the referral form to explain why they are unable to identify the exploitation type. The information contained within this box is considered by a Decision Maker when making the Reasonable Grounds decision. However, for data reporting purposes, this is classified as ‘unknown’.

Reasonable Grounds decisions are made based on the account of exploitation submitted in the form and not specifically on the exploitation type data, which is recorded to enable data analysis rather than to specifically support decision-making.

The Home Office continues to work with First Responders to ensure they understand the indicators of different exploitation types and, in July 2020, we released a new First Responder e-learning module which includes support on this issue.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to combat child trafficking.

This Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that all victims, including children, are provided with the support they need.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This includes awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign and the #SlaveryonYourDoorstep campaign led by CrimeStoppers. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK resources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

Where children are found to be potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery their safety and welfare are addressed as a priority. Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area, including child victims of modern slavery. Local children's services will work in close co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies to offer potentially trafficked children the protection and support they require.

With regard to the types of exploitation experienced by child trafficking victims in the UK and any change in the types of exploitation being identified over the past 10 years, the Home Office publishes statistics on National Referral Mechanism (NRM) referrals on a quarterly basis. The NRM statistics for 2012 to 2016 can be found here: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20170404150655/http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

The NRM statistics for 2017 to 2018 can be found here: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications?search=&category%5B%5D=3&=%2Fwho-we-are%2Fpublications%3Flimit%3D15%26sort%3Dtitle%26direction%3Dasc&limit=100&tag=

The 2019 report and Q1-Q3 of 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics

With regard to why some potential child trafficking victims are recorded as having experienced an unknown type of exploitation, the Home Office is currently addressing an earlier identified error that occurred in the data processing for the Q1-Q3 of 2020 statistics where some sexual exploitation referrals were miscategorised as ‘Not recorded or unknown’. Once this error is rectified, the number of sexual exploitation referrals will be higher than in the current statistical bulletins and the number of ‘not recorded or unknown’ referrals will be lower. The updated data will be released alongside the Quarter 4 (October to December 2020) statistics which are being prepared and will be released on 18 March 2021.

At the Reasonable Grounds stage of the National Referral Mechanism, the standard of proof is ‘suspects but cannot prove’. In Q2 and Q3 of 2020, 96% of Reasonable Grounds decisions made on child cases were positive.

Prior to the NRM digital case working system going live in January 2020, data collection on NRM cases included an ‘unknown’ exploitation category for any unknown case exploitation types. Since the new system has been introduced, there is now an ‘other exploitation’ free-text box that First Responders can fill in on the referral form to explain why they are unable to identify the exploitation type. The information contained within this box is considered by a Decision Maker when making the Reasonable Grounds decision. However, for data reporting purposes, this is classified as ‘unknown’.

Reasonable Grounds decisions are made based on the account of exploitation submitted in the form and not specifically on the exploitation type data, which is recorded to enable data analysis rather than to specifically support decision-making.

The Home Office continues to work with First Responders to ensure they understand the indicators of different exploitation types and, in July 2020, we released a new First Responder e-learning module which includes support on this issue.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they published their most recent strategy on the prevention of modern slavery.

The UK is regarded as a world-leader for its response to modern slavery. The UK response is underpinned by the Modern Slavery Strategy 2014 and the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the first legislation of its kind. The Modern Slavery Strategy 2014 is structured around a ‘four Ps’ framework including a strategic pillar on prevent.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This included successful awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign, as well as training for frontline responders to better prevent and spot the signs of modern slavery. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-slavery-training-resource-page/modern-slavery-training-resource-page) resources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

In addition, HMG is investing £10m to fund Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre to bring together and commission innovative research to enhance the evidence base on modern slavery, including on strengthening prevention initiatives.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to prevent re-trafficking of (1) known, or (2) suspected, victims of trafficking and modern slavery.

The UK government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and is working in a number of ways, both in the UK and upstream, to prevent re-trafficking.

Support provided through the National Referral Mechanism for potential and confirmed victims of modern slavery identified in the UK aims to protect individuals from further harm and prevent possible re-trafficking.

In addition, the UK has strong relationships with a number of countries from where many victims originate and is working with them to provide a range of support for victims, including reintegration, as well as awareness raising and operational capacity building activity to prevent trafficking from occurring. For example, our ODA-funded Modern Slavery Fund provides a range of essential support including direct assistance via shelters and medical aid, to economic skills training and raised awareness of risks.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in cases where a child awaiting a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) decision has been reported missing and does not return within 48 hours, how long is the NRM case file held open for before it is suspended.

When the Single Competent Authority becomes aware that an individual is missing, their National Referral Mechanism (NRM) case can be suspended unless there is already sufficient information available on which to make a decision. Suspended cases can be reopened at any time.

Sections 14.194 - 14.204 of the Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland Version 2.0 sets out the actions the SCA takes when suspending a case.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) the latest published NRM statistics can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. However, the statistics do not currently contain data on the number of cases suspended prior to a Conclusive Grounds decision.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many adult trafficking cases in the National Referral Mechanism have been suspended before a conclusive decision was made in the past three years.

When the Single Competent Authority becomes aware that an individual is missing, their National Referral Mechanism (NRM) case can be suspended unless there is already sufficient information available on which to make a decision. Suspended cases can be reopened at any time.

Sections 14.194 - 14.204 of the Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland Version 2.0 sets out the actions the SCA takes when suspending a case.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) the latest published NRM statistics can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. However, the statistics do not currently contain data on the number of cases suspended prior to a Conclusive Grounds decision.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many child trafficking cases in the National Referral Mechanism have been suspended before a conclusive decision was made in the past three years.

When the Single Competent Authority becomes aware that an individual is missing, their National Referral Mechanism (NRM) case can be suspended unless there is already sufficient information available on which to make a decision. Suspended cases can be reopened at any time.

Sections 14.194 - 14.204 of the Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland Version 2.0 sets out the actions the SCA takes when suspending a case.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) the latest published NRM statistics can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. However, the statistics do not currently contain data on the number of cases suspended prior to a Conclusive Grounds decision.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on (1) the level of child trafficking in the UK, and (2) their efforts to combat such trafficking.

This Government is committed to protecting those at risk from abuse and exploitation, including during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Home Office publishes statistics on National Referral Mechanism (NRM) referrals on a quarterly basis, and reports up to Q3 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics

NRM referrals for individuals who were potentially exploited as children for quarter 1 (January to March), quarter 2 (April to June) and quarter 3 of 2020 (July to September) were 1,237, 1,274 and 1,159 respectively. Quarter 4 statistics (October to December 2020) are being prepared and the release date will be confirmed here. national referral - Research and statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

During the Covid-19 pandemic, NRM referral rates may have been affected by a number of factors. This includes reduced levels of travel from other countries to the UK, and lockdown measures in the UK meaning victims have been less likely to interact with First Responders.

The Home Office recognises victims are coming into contact with different services during the pandemic and we have worked to raise awareness of the indicators of modern slavery with the providers of these services to ensure victims continue to be identified and supported.

The Home Office continues to work with a range of partners to identify and deliver effective prevention activity. This includes successful awareness raising initiatives such as the Government’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign and the #SlaveryonYourDoorstep campaign led by CrimeStoppers. We also have a dedicated GOV.UK resources page that provides up-to-date information on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns.

Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with law enforcement partners to monitor risks and ensure that social distancing measures do not impede their ability to carry out work to prevent and tackle crime or prevent victims coming forward.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many unaccompanied Albanian children have been granted discretionary leave to remain in each of the last three years.

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

Data on the number of asylum applications from unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC), and the initial decision on such applications are published in tables Asy_D01 and Asy_D02 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets), which include nationality breakdowns. Asy_D02 can be broken down to show grants of discretionary leave (DL) following an asylum application but does not show any grants of DL from non-asylum routes.

Data on the number of non-asylum related grants of discretionary leave granted in-country are published in tables Exe_D01 of the extensions detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets), which include nationality breakdowns. Exe_D01 can be broken down to show grants of DL but does not show the reason for the grant, or whether the grant was to an unaccompanied child


Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relate up to September 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in both the asylum and resettlement and extensions ‘summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement and extensions.

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).

The data from the tables mentioned above are outlined below.

Table 1 – The number of asylum applications the UK has received from Albanian Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) in the last three years and 2020 to date.

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Jan to Sep)

Albanian UASC Applications

265

293

238

67


Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics year ending September 2020 Asylum and Resettlement Table Asy_D01


Table 2 – The number of Albanian UASC granted discretionary leave (DL) at initial decision following an application for asylum in the last three years and 2020 to date.

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Jan to Sep)

Albanian UASC granted DL

0

0

2

0

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics year ending September 2020 Asylum and Resettlement Table Asy_D02

Table 3 – The number of Albanians granted non-asylum related discretionary leave (DL) in the last three years and 2020 to date.

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Jan to Sep)

Albanians granted DL

55

56

18

12

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics year ending September 2020 Extensions Table Exe_D01


Notes:

  1. Data for UASC provide a count of asylum applications received from main applicants who are treated as an unaccompanied child for at least one day from the date of application, up until the initial decision (where applicable), even if they are later persons found to be an adult following an age dispute. As a result, some UASC cases relate to over 18.
  2. Data on discretionary leave does not include those granted discretionary leave through non-asylum routes.
  3. Statistics on extensions of stay (also known as “after-entry applications to vary leave to remain”) relate to people wishing to extend or change the status of their stay in the UK.

The data on Discretionary Leave (DL) in the extensions dataset include all grants of discretionary leave to remain to non-EEA nationals except those granted DL following an asylum claim.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many unaccompanied Albanian children have claimed asylum in the UK in each of the last three years.

Table 1 – The number of asylum applications the UK has received from Albanian Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) in the last three years and 2020 to date.

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Jan to Sep)

Albanian UASC Applications

265

293

238

67

Note:

Data for UASC provide a count of asylum applications received from main applicants who are treated as an unaccompanied child for at least one day from the date of application, up until the initial decision (where applicable), even if they are later persons found to be an adult following an age dispute. As a result, some UASC cases relate to over 18.

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 from unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC), and the initial decision on such applications are published in tables Asy_D01 and Asy_D02 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets), which include nationality breakdowns. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relate up to September 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’ (see attached). The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

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).

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a specific team within the Single Competent Authority established under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 responsible for making trafficking decisions in relation to children.

The creation of the Single Competent Authority (SCA) was announced in Autumn 2017 as part of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) Reform Programme. The SCA was launched in April 2019, replacing the previous competent authorities for the NRM.

Decision makers within the SCA are fully trained to make both Reasonable Grounds decisions and Conclusive Grounds decisions on children who may be potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The figures below include all staff involved in the Single Competent Authority’s decision-making work (including all decision points such as Reasonable Grounds, Conclusive Grounds, Reconsiderations, Modern Slavery Discretionary Leave, and Recovery Needs Assessments) and includes all functions across the unit necessary for that activity (including management, case preparation, technical specialists, business support etc). The numbers provided are taken as of 30 November from a live operational database and may change as information on the system is updated.

Home Office Staff: 225 (181 full time and 44 part time)

Agency Staff: 3 (all full time)

Between now and March 2021, over 350 new staff will join the Home Office to work in the SCA. The vast majority of these staff will be decision-makers, with the remainder of the posts going to case preparation, workflow management, technical specialist and management roles essential for the operation of the Unit.

Recruiting in these numbers will give us the capacity to make significantly more Conclusive Grounds decisions than we are currently able to do with existing resource, and therefore will bring down decision-making timescales for victims.

The current Head of the SCA took up post on 4 April 2019.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Home Office (1) staff, and (2) agency staff, are employed (a) full time, and (b) part time, to make decisions on trafficking and modern slavery within the Single Competent Authority established under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The creation of the Single Competent Authority (SCA) was announced in Autumn 2017 as part of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) Reform Programme. The SCA was launched in April 2019, replacing the previous competent authorities for the NRM.

Decision makers within the SCA are fully trained to make both Reasonable Grounds decisions and Conclusive Grounds decisions on children who may be potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The figures below include all staff involved in the Single Competent Authority’s decision-making work (including all decision points such as Reasonable Grounds, Conclusive Grounds, Reconsiderations, Modern Slavery Discretionary Leave, and Recovery Needs Assessments) and includes all functions across the unit necessary for that activity (including management, case preparation, technical specialists, business support etc). The numbers provided are taken as of 30 November from a live operational database and may change as information on the system is updated.

Home Office Staff: 225 (181 full time and 44 part time)

Agency Staff: 3 (all full time)

Between now and March 2021, over 350 new staff will join the Home Office to work in the SCA. The vast majority of these staff will be decision-makers, with the remainder of the posts going to case preparation, workflow management, technical specialist and management roles essential for the operation of the Unit.

Recruiting in these numbers will give us the capacity to make significantly more Conclusive Grounds decisions than we are currently able to do with existing resource, and therefore will bring down decision-making timescales for victims.

The current Head of the SCA took up post on 4 April 2019.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the head of the Single Competent Authority established under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 took up their post.

The creation of the Single Competent Authority (SCA) was announced in Autumn 2017 as part of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) Reform Programme. The SCA was launched in April 2019, replacing the previous competent authorities for the NRM.

Decision makers within the SCA are fully trained to make both Reasonable Grounds decisions and Conclusive Grounds decisions on children who may be potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The figures below include all staff involved in the Single Competent Authority’s decision-making work (including all decision points such as Reasonable Grounds, Conclusive Grounds, Reconsiderations, Modern Slavery Discretionary Leave, and Recovery Needs Assessments) and includes all functions across the unit necessary for that activity (including management, case preparation, technical specialists, business support etc). The numbers provided are taken as of 30 November from a live operational database and may change as information on the system is updated.

Home Office Staff: 225 (181 full time and 44 part time)

Agency Staff: 3 (all full time)

Between now and March 2021, over 350 new staff will join the Home Office to work in the SCA. The vast majority of these staff will be decision-makers, with the remainder of the posts going to case preparation, workflow management, technical specialist and management roles essential for the operation of the Unit.

Recruiting in these numbers will give us the capacity to make significantly more Conclusive Grounds decisions than we are currently able to do with existing resource, and therefore will bring down decision-making timescales for victims.

The current Head of the SCA took up post on 4 April 2019.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that individuals who are arrested and questioned by the police have access to solicitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can access them in a way that conforms to social-distancing measures.

The Home Office are in regular contact with the National Police Chiefs' Counsel (NPCC) and other key stakeholders regarding custody related matters.

The NPCC have circulated guidance for all police forces in order for them to safely manage their custody suites with respect to their detainees, staff and visitors. The CPS has also published a temporary interview protocol which clearly sets out the situations where interviews should be prioritised and encourages solicitors to access interviews via video or telephone.

Police have guidance on the use of PPE and should make PPE available to essential visitors to the custody suite.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in using conducting asylum interviews and other procedures at Asylum Screening Units through remote means; and how many cases have been processed remotely.

We take the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously and we are adjusting processes and procedures to ensure asylum claims can be registered in a safe way that adheres to social distancing guidance – with in person contact and travel requirements for the asylum registration process being minimised.

Asylum in the UK should continue to be sought at the first available opportunity, however for those who have failed to claim on arrival, or whose circumstances have changed since arrival the Home Office has temporarily introduced additional locations to register claims. These are temporary arrangements which will be kept under review to align with HMG guidance.

An overview of key changes and messages are outlined below.

  1. Locations have been identified across the UK to facilitate this. The AIU in Croydon will continue to function as normal but will additionally be supported by limited operations in Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool, Leeds, Solihull and Cardiff. These will be to meet the demands of asylum registrations within the geographical area and will not operate a 5-day service.

  1. These changes do not represent a new operating model. They are contingency measures put in place during the COVID-19 epidemic in order to fulfil the UKs statutory requirement to register asylum claims.

Following guidance from Public Health England, we have cancelled all face-to-face substantive asylum interviews. We are continuing to explore ways to conduct interviews over video link.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what targeted, additional support they are making available to businesses in seaside towns during and beyond the lockdown.

The government has already invested £228m since 2012 in coastal towns, supporting 359 projects through the Coastal Communities Fund and a further £7.5 million though the Coastal Revival Fund.

In recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19, the government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been working across Government to provide £13 billion of grant funding to help small and rural businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors manage their cashflow through this period. This support is in the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). As of 10 May, these grants have been received by over 742,000 businesses and the performance of local authorities in disbursing funding is published on a weekly basis, including all local authorities covering coastal areas of England, this document can be found here at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses

In addition, on 1 May, the Business Secretary announced that up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants. This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced. The additional Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs but not liable for business rates or rates reliefs. Guidance, intended to support Local Authorities in administering the Discretionary Grants Fund, was published on 13 May. This does not replace existing guidance for the SBGF or the RHLGF.

Furthermore, High Streets Minister Simon Clarke announced on 24 May 2020 a new £50 million fund for councils to support their local high streets get safely back to business. To prepare for the reopening of non-essential retail when the scientific advice allows, the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England, including those with seaside towns, introduce a range of safety measures in a move to kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops. The announcement, including allocations, can be found (attached) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/50-million-boost-to-support-the-recovery-of-our-high-streets and the accompanying guidance at : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-high-streets-safely-fund-guidance

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much additional funding has been allocated to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; how any such additional funding has been allocated between (1) criminal court services, (2) civil court services, and (3) tribunal services;  and how much of any such funding has been spent in each such area so far.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service has received an additional £150m funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic recovery funding covers the provision of additional PPE equipment and cleaning across the HMCTS estate; the provision of additional staffing and judicial resources; the provision of safety and security works; the provision of technology to enable remote hearings, and the provision of additional courtrooms, often referred to as ‘Nightingale Courts’.

Where possible, HMCTS has utilised existing baseline budgets to cover COVID-19 requirements. However, the main challenge throughout the pandemic has been the ability to operate the criminal courts, especially the safe and secure operation of Jury trials in a socially distanced environment, resulting in higher levels of expenditure, as outlined within the table below.

Jurisdiction – Full Year Allocation

£000’s

Criminal court services

72,365

Civil and Family court services

36,795

Tribunals

14,803

*Multi-jurisdiction & corporate Expenditure

26,037

Total

150,000

The latest reported spend to date as at 31 January 2021, by business area, is set out below.

Jurisdiction – Expenditure as at 31 January 2021

£000’s

Criminal court services

32,018

Civil and Family court services

19,486

Tribunals

6,275

*Multi-Jurisdiction & Corporate expenditure

19,036

Total

76,815

Continued high levels of COVID-19 response and recovery activity remains in place to enable HMCTS to actively respond to the challenges of delivering a safe and effective service during these challenging times.

These efforts will be bolstered by the £110m being invested into a range of measures to boost court recovery and the £337m Spending Review settlement to deliver speedier justice to convict offenders, support victims, and protect the wider public.

*Multi-jurisdiction & corporate expenditure includes services delivered on a national basis covering several business areas, for which a single jurisdiction is not identifiable within the financial system; examples include additional PPE, some IT costs and telephone conferencing expenditure.