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Written Question
Motor Vehicles: Theft
Tuesday 21st May 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of annual vehicle theft in the UK is accomplished by offenders cloning the signal from the vehicle owner’s remote locking device.

Answered by Baroness Neville-Rolfe - Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

Please see the letter attached from the National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority.

The Lord Birt

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

9 May 2024

Dear Lord Birt,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what percentage of annual vehicle theft in the UK is accomplished by offenders cloning the signal from the vehicle owner’s remote locking device (HL4379).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publish figures on the levels and trends of crime in England and Wales primarily based on two sets of crime statistics: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime data. The CSEW provides estimates of the prevalence of crime and different crime types as experienced by victims, which may not always be reported to the police.

Table 1 shows an estimate of the percentage of households who have experienced theft of a vehicle, where the method of entry into the vehicle was through manipulation of the signal from the remote locking device. This is taken from our Nature of crime: vehicle-related theft tables for the year ending March 2023 published on 3 April 2024. Due to the suspension of the CSEW during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, data are not available for the year ending March 2021 and the year ending March 2022.

Unfortunately, we do not hold any information from police-recorded crime which shows what percentage of annual vehicle theft in England and Wales is accomplished by offenders cloning the signal from the vehicle owner’s remote locking device.

Crime and justice statistics for Scotland can be found on the Scottish Government website and for more information please contact Justice_Analysts@gov.scot. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for producing crime and justice statistics for Northern Ireland and can be contacted at statistics.research@justice-ni.x.gsi.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Estimated percentage of theft of vehicles where method of entry was through manipulation of the signal from remote locking device, year ending March 2019 to year ending March 2023 CSEW

England and Wales - household incidents, percentages

Apr’18 to Mar’19

Apr’19 to Mar’20

Apr’22 to Mar’23 [1]

Entry to vehicle through manipulation of signal from remote locking device[2]

13

36

40

Unweighted base – number of incidents[3]

46

50

51

Source: Office for National Statistics – Crime Survey for England and Wales

[1]CSEW estimates for the year ending March 2023 have been temporarily suspended of their National Statistics status. Caution should be taken when interpreting these estimates because of the impact of lower response rates, and reduced interviewer numbers on the quality of the estimates.

[2]This category was added into the survey from the year ending March 2019.

[3]Estimates that are based on fewer than 50 respondents should be interpreted with caution.


Written Question
Railways: Standards
Thursday 16th May 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask His Majesty's Government how many signal failures there were on the rail system in the last year for which data are available; and how the rate of failure in the UK compares with rail systems in other leading countries.

Answered by Lord Davies of Gower - Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

The Network Rail metric for signalling failures indicates there were 2,936 signal failures on the rail system in Great Britain for the period 2023 to 2024. Network Rail does not hold data on how the rate of signal failures compares with other countries.


Written Question
Goldman Sachs
Thursday 2nd May 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have assessed the consequences for the UK economy of Goldman Sachs moving its head of financial institutions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from London to Paris.

Answered by Baroness Vere of Norbiton

Financial and related professional services employ more than 2 million people in the UK and the Government is committed to ensuring the UK remains the location of choice for leading talent from across the world. This is part of the Government’s mission to ensure the UK retains its position as one of the most innovative and competitive financial centres in the world. Most recently, at Spring Budget 2024, the Chancellor updated on the ambitious package of reforms which will help to deliver the Government’s vision for a financial sector that is open, sustainable, technologically innovative, and globally competitive.
Written Question
Brexit: Economic Situation
Thursday 2nd May 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Business and Trade:

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Johnson of Lainston on 16 April (HL3357), how they reconcile the data mentioned in the Answer with the independent analysis from Goldman Sachs which concluded that the UK's economy is 5 per cent smaller than it would have been if the UK had remained in the EU.

Answered by Lord Johnson of Lainston

Since the referendum, the UK has grown faster than Germany, Italy, and Japan (Q2 2016 – Q4 2023). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that between 2024-2029 the UK will see the third fastest growth in the G7. The UK’s relative productivity performance versus the G7 has remained around the average for the rest of the G7, from 2010 to 2022; ahead of Canada, Italy and Japan.

The Department for Business and Trade is focussed on delivering the opportunities through: new trade deals, removing market access barriers, and maximising regulatory freedoms to strengthen the UK economy.


Written Question
General Practitioners
Thursday 25th April 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the convenience and efficacy of the systems used by NHS GP practices for patients to make an appointment to see a doctor.

Answered by Lord Markham

We published our Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care in May 2023, which sets out how we are moving toward a ‘Modern General Practice’ model. This plan is backed by £240 million of retargeted funding going to provide digital services with the goal of increasing access. A copy of the plan is attached.

The sole method for general practices (GPs) to procure these digital services is via NHS England procurement frameworks, which list pre-approved suppliers for digital and IT services. This is to ensure consistency in service provisions, as each supplier must meet a set of requirements to be entered into a framework.

Each practice will run a procurement for these services and will select a supplier based on their differing specifications for how the IT systems will best meet their patients’ needs. Each supplier will offer varied services with varied benefits, including capabilities which allow patients and service users to request and receive support relating to healthcare concerns, at a time and place convenient for them.

As of March 2024, 93% of general practices now have digital telephony systems, this has enabled GP teams to manage multiple calls and helping to end the ‘8am rush’ for appointments. Trials show that this has increased patients’ ability to get through to their practice by almost a third.


Written Question
Brexit
Tuesday 16th April 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Business and Trade:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to commission a review into the (1) economic, and (2) other, (a) benefits, and (b) disbenefits, of Brexit.

Answered by Lord Johnson of Lainston

The Department for Business and Trade has no plans to commission a review into the economic, and other benefits or disbenefits of Brexit. However, to mark the fourth anniversary of Brexit, on 31st January this year, the Department for Business and Trade published an overview of Brexit successes: Brexit 4th Anniversary

Since the referendum the UK has grown faster than Germany, Italy, and Japan. Latest figures show that UK exports are £862bn in current prices and 2% above pre-COVID (2018) levels when adjusting for inflation. The lnternational Monetary Fund (lMF) predicts that between 2024-2029 the UK will see the third fastest growth in the G7.

The Department has secured free trade deals with 73 countries plus the EU, partners that accounted for £1.1 trillion UK trade in 2022 and simplified import tariffs to lower costs for businesses and households.


Written Question
Bridleways and Public Footpaths: Motor Vehicles
Friday 5th April 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the scale of damage to public footpaths and bridleways caused by four-wheel drive vehicles and scrambler bikes.

Answered by Lord Benyon

The recreational use of motor vehicles on footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways is not permitted, therefore no such assessment has been undertaken. Any damage caused by illegal activity is a matter for the appropriate authorities.

The Government is aware of damage and disturbance caused by excessive use of off-road motor vehicles on highways where such activities are legal, such as byways open to all traffic and on other unsealed roads which carry motor vehicle rights, often referred to as ‘green lanes’. This issue was included in the consultation on the recent Landscapes Review. The results of the consultation concluded that the current Traffic Regulation Order process is legally robust enough to protect green lanes with targeted local action in sensitive areas, while allowing vehicle users to responsibly enjoy the countryside.


Written Question
Department for Culture, Media and Sport: BBC
Tuesday 26th March 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 13 March (HL2878), how the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to safeguard the independence of the BBC should be exercised.

Answered by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay

The BBC is operationally and editorially independent of HM Government, and the Government rightly therefore does not interfere in these matters. The licence fee model confers on the BBC a unique responsibility to its audiences to place a particular focus on impartiality, which is the bedrock of trust in the BBC as an institution.

It is right that the Government engages constructively with the BBC to ensure that it upholds these high standards expected by the public. When there is a risk that trust and faith in the organisation may be undermined, that should be of concern to the BBC, of concern to Ofcom, and of concern to the Government and Parliament.


Written Question
Railways: Standards
Monday 25th March 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of trains on Network Rail did not arrive at their destination on time in the last four-weekly period for which data are available.

Answered by Lord Davies of Gower - Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

In the period 7 January to 3 February 2024, 66.7% of recorded station stops in Great Britain arrived ‘On Time’ (early or less than one minute after the scheduled time).


Written Question
Drax Power Station: Timber
Thursday 14th March 2024

Asked by: Lord Birt (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero:

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by BBC Panorama that Drax power station is burning wood from forests defined by the government of British Columbia as "old growth" primary forests which provide unique habitats, structures and ecological functions.

Answered by Lord Callanan

Government continues to engage with the Canadian Authorities to discuss interactions between sustainable sourcing requirements and old growth areas, such as raised in the BBC report mentioned. Electricity generators only receive subsidies for the electricity they generate from biomass that has demonstrated compliance with stringent sustainability criteria, and the regulator, Ofgem, is responsible for ensuring compliance with these criteria.