Written Question
Prevent Independent Review
15 Jul 2020, 5:48 p.m.

Questioner: Catherine West

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the independent review of Prevent is planned to recommence; and what plans the Government has to involve representatives of civil society in that review.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

A full and open competition to appoint the next Independent Reviewer of Prevent was launched on 27 April 2020 and applications for this post closed on 22 June 2020. The successful candidate will be announced in due course.

The Review will restart once the new Reviewer is in place. It will be for the new Independent Reviewer to decide how he or she wants to run the Review. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, our priority will be to ensure that the Review can be undertaken properly and safely.

Engaging with civil society organisations, members of communities and other external partners will be an important part of the Review.

The way the Reviewer decides to involve civil society will reflect the prevailing circumstances in the country.


Written Question
Public Houses: Coronavirus
15 Jul 2020, 5:40 p.m.

Questioner: Sir Edward Davey

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received from the police on the reopening of pubs on 4 July 2020 as part of the easing of covid-19 lockdown restrictions; and if she will make a statement.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Home Secretary holds daily meetings with policing partners about a range of issues linked to the response to Covid-19. This includes the measures in place to ease restrictions on 4th July with the reopening of pubs and premises.

We continue to work closely with the police to ensure the COVID secure guidelines for pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars set out the steps they should take to make sure people understand what they need to do to maintain safety. We expect people however to do the right thing and follow the guidance that will help keep us all safe.


Written Question
Immigrants: Detainees
15 Jul 2020, 5:17 p.m.

Questioner: Sir Edward Davey

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the longest amount of time is that a person has been detained in an immigration detention centre among those detainees currently being so detained.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Home Office publishes data on people in detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). Data on the longest length of detention of a person in detention under immigration powers as at 31 March 2020 are published in Table Det_03d of the ‘Summary tables’ (attached). The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

A report on Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020 (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020), released on 28 May 2020, provides further high-level information relating to detention and Covid-19.

Figures as at 30 June 2020 will be released on 27 August 2020. 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?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest).


Written Question
Visas
15 Jul 2020, 5:16 p.m.

Questioner: Kate Osborne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to improve efficiency in the processing of visa applications from the point at which a visa is granted.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

We are always looking for ways to increase efficiencies throughout the visa application process, including how we can ensure customers receive, as soon as possible, the official documentation relating to the decision on their applications (a visa vignette in their passport and/or Biometric Residence Permit, if applicable).

Currently global travel restrictions as a result of Covid-19 continue to have some impact on the application process however this impact will reduce as restrictions start to ease.


Written Question
Travel Restrictions: Coronavirus
15 Jul 2020, 5:15 p.m.

Questioner: Carol Monaghan

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting a further extension for people on a temporary visa due to the covid-19 pandemic, particularly where those people have underlying health conditions that may make international travel more hazardous.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting a further extension for people on a temporary visa due to the covid-19 pandemic, particularly where those people have underlying health conditions that may make international travel more hazardous. 72226

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting a further extension for people on a Tier 4 General Student visa due to the covid-19 pandemic.


Written Question
Entry Clearances: Overseas Students
15 Jul 2020, 5:15 p.m.

Questioner: Carol Monaghan

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting a further extension for people on a Tier 4 General Student visa due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting a further extension for people on a temporary visa due to the covid-19 pandemic, particularly where those people have underlying health conditions that may make international travel more hazardous. 72226

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting a further extension for people on a Tier 4 General Student visa due to the covid-19 pandemic.


Written Question
Asylum: Badersfield
15 Jul 2020, 5:13 p.m.

Questioner: Jerome Mayhew

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to help ensure the safety of (a) asylum seekers and (b) other members of the public while asylum seekers are housed in Badersfield during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Chris Philp)

For those asylum seekers in hotel accommodation the hotel services procured ensure access to a single room and all essential needs including three meals a day that cater to individuals’ dietary requirements, supplementary beverages, fruit and personal hygiene products. Where service users are isolating food is placed outside of their rooms, otherwise it is served in communal dining rooms with staggered meal times and appropriate marking to delineate social distancing. Providers are applying controls to further support social distancing, such as tape markings, and providing translated public health guidance and instruction to service users. Full laundry facilities are also made available to all. This replicates the services provided in most initial accommodation facilitates, although rooms there are shared where service users are not self isolating.

In Dispersed Accommodation (and self catered initial accommodation), where the significant majority of our service users reside and consists of houses or homes of multiple occupancy accommodating small numbers, service users have been provided guidance to ensure they socially distance or self-isolate in line with the advice provided to the general public. Additionally, service providers have enhanced their contact management and wraparound services to ensure access to medical care, food packages and other essential items.


Written Question
British National (Overseas): Hong Kong
15 Jul 2020, 5:13 p.m.

Questioner: Lisa Nandy

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether people accepted under the proposed bespoke immigration route for British Nationals (Overseas) passport holders from Hong Kong will be eligible to apply for integration loans.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

Integration loans are available for recognised refugees in the UK. Further details on eligibility can be found in the refugee integration loan guidance section on gov.uk.

Further details of the new immigration route for British Nationals (Overseas) from Hong Kong will be released in due course.


Written Question
Detention Centres: Self-harm and Suicide
15 Jul 2020, 5:12 p.m.

Questioner: Sir Edward Davey

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many instances of (a) self-harm and (b) suicide there have been in immigration detention centres in each of the last five years.

Answer (Chris Philp)

Staff at all immigration removal centres are trained to identify those at risk of self-harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. All incidents of self-harm are treated very seriously, and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. Formal risk assessments on initial detention and systems for raising concerns at any subsequent point feed into established self-harm procedures in every IRC, which are in turn underpinned by the Home Office Operating Standard on the prevention of self-harm and Detention Services Order 06/2008 Assessment Care in Detention Teamwork (ACDT).

Self-harm incidents requiring medical treatment in each immigration removal centre, for the last five years are shown in the table below. This is provisional management information that has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.

Year

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020
(up to 31 March)

Number of self-harm incidents

313

295

403

398

474

149

These are the number of incidents of self-harm requiring medical treatment; they do not necessarily equate to the number of individuals requiring medical treatment as one individual may have received treatment on more than one occasion.

Any death in immigration detention is subject to investigation by the police, the coroner (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) and the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

In the period 1 January 2015 to 8 July 2020 there have been three deaths of individuals detained in the immigration detention estate that have been determined by a coroner as a suicide on the balance of probabilities.

Since 2018, information on deaths in immigration detention has been included in published immigration statistics on an annual basis. Data on the number of deaths of people detained under immigration powers in each year from 2017, are published in table Det_05 of the Detention summary tables.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Antisocial Behaviour
15 Jul 2020, 4:59 p.m.

Questioner: Scott Mann

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of changes to licensing rules on alcohol free zones.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The provisions in the Business and Planning Bill currently progressing through Parliament include measures which will make it easier for licensed premises to expand outdoors by streamlining the processes for obtaining a pavement licence and a permission to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises. The provisions will not override existing alcohol-free zones previously set by local councils.


Written Question
Travellers: Trespass
15 Jul 2020, 12:30 p.m.

Questioner: Dame Cheryl Gillan

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish the Government response to its consultation on measures to enable the police to tackle unauthorised encampments more effectively.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

I refer my Rt Hon Friend to the answer I gave to UIN 62648 on 02 July 2020 to the Hon Member for Sevenoaks.


Written Question
Extradition: USA
14 Jul 2020, 5:42 p.m.

Questioner: Anthony Mangnall

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 4307, on Extradition: USA, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the difference in the level of successful extradition requests by the (a) UK and (b) US.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

The US sends more extradition requests to the UK than the UK does to the US - in the UK, the decision whether to send a request is a matter for the prosecuting authority. Requests to the UK are dealt with in accordance with extradition law, and the decisions on most issues are taken by the courts. There is also a difference in the number of unsuccessful requests. Since 2004, the UK has refused 21 requests from the US, while the US has refused one request from the UK.


Written Question
Extradition: USA
14 Jul 2020, 5:41 p.m.

Questioner: Anthony Mangnall

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of renegotiating the UK-US Extradition Treaty to require the US Administration to provide greater evidence when requesting extradition.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

There is no current intention to renegotiate the UK-US Extradition Treaty.


Written Question
Human Trafficking
14 Jul 2020, 5:31 p.m.

Questioner: Anthony Mangnall

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to prevent human trafficking.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery. We are identifying more victims of modern slavery and doing more to bring perpetrators to justice than ever before.

The Home Office works with range of partners to deliver effective prevention activity including successful awareness raising initiatives like the ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign which targeted frontline professionals in healthcare, recruitment and financial sectors to spot the signs of modern slavery.

We are committed to improving our understanding of this rapidly evolving threat. In July 2019 the Government announced a £10 million investment to create a new Policy and Evidence Centre for Modern Slavery and Human Rights to transform the evidence base underpinning our policy response to modern slavery.

In May, at the Prime Minister’s Virtual Summit on Hidden Harms, the Government reiterated the absolute priority that we prevent and protect those at risk from hidden harms. This year we have provided a further £1.4 million funding to the Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Unit to support the police to tackle modern slavery and build capacity to crack down on organised immigration crime.

We are also continuing work to prevent modern slavery in public and private sector supply chains. On 26 March 2020, we became the first country to publish a Government Modern Slavery Statement setting out the steps we have taken to identify and prevent modern slavery in our own supply chains. To make it easier for consumers, investors and others to scrutinise the steps that businesses are taking address their risks the Home Office is creating a new gov.uk registry for modern slavery statements. We have also consulted on proposals to strengthen the transparency in supply chains legislation and will publish a response to this consultation in the Summer.


Written Question
Police: Data Protection
14 Jul 2020, 5:28 p.m.

Questioner: Chi Onwurah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to require police forces to put in place appropriate independent oversight and governance of extracted data that is not relevant to an investigation.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

Data extracted in the course of a police investigation must be stored safely and securely and retained only in accordance with all relevant legislation and guidance.

We will work with operational partners to ensure public confidence in the use of extracted data in the criminal justice system.


Written Question
Visas
14 Jul 2020, 5:28 p.m.

Questioner: Stuart C McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what date she decided to reverse her plans to pilot a remote areas visa scheme.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

Given the Home Office has not had plans to pilot a remote areas visa scheme, there cannot have been a decision to reverse them.


Written Question
Police: Data Protection
14 Jul 2020, 5:27 p.m.

Questioner: Chi Onwurah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that police forces consult data protection officers on new projects involving the use of new technologies for processing personal data.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

Data protection legislation requires police forces to appoint a Data Protection Officer to monitor internal compliance and provide advice on data protection obligations. This includes providing advice on Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs), required by law before data controllers (including police forces) begin any type of processing likely to result in a high risk to personal data. This will often include the use of new technologies for processing personal data.

Where processing is likely to result in high risk, data protection legislation also requires a police force consult with the supervisory authority – the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Home Office works closely with various law enforcement agencies such as the National Police Chief Council and the College of Policing who are responsible for guidance for the police forces within the United Kingdom.


Written Question
Immigration: Health Insurance
14 Jul 2020, 5:27 p.m.

Questioner: Thangam Debbonaire

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in what circumstances her Department will use its discretion to waive the requirement for applicants with settled status applying for British citizenship to have had Comprehensive Sickness Insurance in order to satisfy the requirement that they have been legally residing in the UK.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

To meet the statutory requirements for naturalisation, a person of any nationality must have been in the UK lawfully during the residential qualifying period.

EEA regulations set out the requirements which individuals need to follow if they wish to reside here lawfully on the basis of free movement. In the case of students or the self-sufficient – but not those who were working here – the possession of comprehensive sickness insurance has always been a requirement.

The British Nationality Act allows us to exercise discretion over this requirement in the special circumstances of any particular case. We cannot therefore prescribe when discretion will or will not be exercised. UKVI consider cases sensitively, taking into account the nature and reasons for any period of unlawful residence alongside other information relevant to the individual.


Written Question
Ilois: Right of Abode
14 Jul 2020, 5:26 p.m.

Questioner: Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's announcement entitled, UK to extend residence rights for British Nationals (Overseas) citizens in Hong Kong, published on 1 July 2020, whether she has plans to extend those rights to (a) Chagosssians and (b) descendants of Chagosssians.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

Chagossians born on the British Indian Ocean Territory are British Overseas Territories Citizens, and also automatically became British citizens under the British Overseas Territories Act 2002. These individuals therefore already have the right of abode in the United Kingdom.

Under current British nationality law, citizenship is normally only passed on to one generation born abroad. British citizens can make use of existing immigration routes to bring their family members to the UK.

We have no plans to extend the arrangements for British Nationals (Overseas) set out on 1 July 2020 to Chagossians.


Written Question
Immigrants: Finance
14 Jul 2020, 5:24 p.m.

Questioner: Afzal Khan

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the effect of the No Recourse to Public Funds condition on BAME women.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Home Office has published its policy equality statement on the impact of the No Recourse to Public Fund (NRPF) policy on migrants on the 10-year human rights route. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-change-of-conditions-of-leave-to-allow-access-to-public-funds-if-your-circumstances-change.

The NRPF policy is based on the principle that migrants coming to the UK are expected to maintain and support themselves and their families without posing a burden on the UK’s welfare system. Access to benefits and other publicly funded services reflects the strength of a migrant’s connections to the UK and is normally linked to indefinite leave to remain.

People on the 10-year human rights route can apply to have the condition lifted. Other groups, such as refugees, are exempt from the condition.


Written Question
Travellers: Caravan Sites
14 Jul 2020, 5:23 p.m.

Questioner: Anthony Mangnall

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that (a) police and (b) local authorities have adequate enforcement powers to disperse illegal encampments.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

On 5 November 2019, the Government launched a consultation seeking views on measures to strengthen police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments. The consultation closed on the 5 March. We will announce the outcome of this consultation in due course.

Local authorities are best-placed to determine when it is appropriate to use their powers to evict unauthorised encampments under Sections 77 and 78 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994) and should work with the police and magistrates’ courts in their local areas.


Written Question
Asylum: Coronavirus
14 Jul 2020, 5:22 p.m.

Questioner: Stuart C McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2020 to Question 61728 on Asylum: Coronavirus, when the advice in relation to the pause of asylum support cessations and the subsequent review was received by her Department.

Answer (Chris Philp)

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and have sought advice about the cessations and review a number of times.


Written Question
Retail Trade: Crimes of Violence
14 Jul 2020, 5:22 p.m.

Questioner: Matt Western

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to develop a national strategy for tackling violence against retail workers.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Government published its response to the Call for Evidence on Violence and Abuse Towards Shop Staff on 7 July. In response to its findings, we are already working with retailers, the police and others through the National Retail Crime Steering Group to develop and deliver a programme of work to drive down violence and abuse towards shopworkers.

You can access the report here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/violence-and-abuse-toward-shop-staff-call-for-evidence


Written Question
Asylum: Coronavirus
14 Jul 2020, 5:21 p.m.

Questioner: Stuart C McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she made of the level of compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty of (a) the decision on 27 March 2020 to pause asylum support cessations and evictions and (b) the decision to lift that pause on 24 June 2020, as announced to refugee sector agencies on the Strategic engagement group; and what assessment she has made of the effect on BAME asylum seekers of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Chris Philp)

In accordance with our PSED duties, the HO has given due regard to equalities issues in respect of additional support provided to asylum seekers in response to COVID pandemic. The decision to temporarily extend support and accommodation for those who would otherwise no longer be eligible was undertaken in consultation with Public Health Agencies across the UK. We are continuing to work closely with public health, local government and others to plan an appropriate resumption to termination of statutory support, taking full account of equalities duties and potential impacts on those SUs with protected characteristics.


Written Question
Animal Experiments: Inspections
13 Jul 2020, 5:47 p.m.

Questioner: Kenny MacAskill

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report entitled, Animals in Science Regulation Annual Report (2018), for what reason there was a reduction in the number of inspections of laboratories from 966 in 2017 to 653 in 2018.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

The Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) undertakes a risk-based inspection and assessment programme based upon consideration of the factors specified in section 18 (2C) of the Animals Scientific Procedures Act 1986. These are:

• the compliance history of an establishment;

• any information relating to potential non-compliance;

• the number and species of animals kept; and

• the number and type of regulated procedures carried out.

The annual number of inspections therefore depends on a range of factors; the most significant of which are the size and complexity of the establishment and the type of work that is carried out there.

There is no single reason why there was a reduction in the number of inspections in 2018.