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Written Question
Immigration: EU Nationals
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: David Simmonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the EU Settlement Scheme, what her Department's outreach and engagement strategy is to ensure (a) care workers and (b) other key workers from the EU in sectors with low pay and precarious employment arrangements are (i) reached, (ii) made aware of the scheme, and (iii)supported to apply.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

Over five million applications have been made to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), and over 4.5 million grants of status have been made, delivering on the government’s promise to secure the rights of millions of Europeans in UK law for years to come.

A comprehensive range of communications activity has been delivered to date to increase awareness of the EUSS across sectors and audience demographics including EEA and Swiss national key workers and those working in the social care sector.

Communications activity includes extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, a refresh of EUSS promotional materials, and an extensive new wave of targeted UK advertising on social media, website banners, catch up TV and radio, launched earlier this month, to ensure EEA and Swiss citizens are aware of the scheme and supported to apply.

To support applicants the Home Office has provided up to £17million in grant funding to a network of 72 organisations that provide bespoke support to vulnerable and hard to reach EU citizens and their family members eligible to apply to EUSS. We recently announced a further £4.5 million of funding to the 72 organisations to continue the support services beyond the 30 June 2021 deadline.

Communications to reach eligible workers via their employer have been ongoing since the scheme’s launch with hundreds of engagement events delivered alongside the provision of an employer toolkit, equipping organisations with the information required to support their staff. This has included a bespoke event for NHS employers, and with a number of regional strategic migration and enterprise partnerships.

NHS employers, Scottish Social services and Wales Social care also sit on EUSS advisory groups.

Workers in the social care sector were given early access under the pilot phases of the scheme and we have provided extensive outreach and support to the sector. We continue to work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care, and Local Authorities to provide support and materials to eligible individuals working in the sector.


Written Question
Visas: Applications
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Alison Thewliss

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to her Department's correspondence, reference CTS B2731/11 advising that applications are being processed in date order, how many different queues UKVI is operating; what the length was of each of those queues as of 19 February 2021; and on what date the applications that have been outstanding the longest were submitted.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Home Office is committed to ensuring that all applications are considered without unnecessary delay. Information on our immigration routes with service standards and whether they have been processed against these standards is available as part of our transparency data, at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

If an application is deemed complex and expected to take longer than the standard processing timescale, UKVI will write to the customer within the standard processing time and explain what will happen next. The published information on processing times for complex/ non straightforward visa applications is published as part of the Migration Transparency data, available at Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

All asylum claims are carefully considered on their individual merits on the evidence available to the decision maker. We are committed to ensuring that asylum claims are considered without unnecessary delay, so that those who need protection are granted as soon as possible. Although we concentrate on oldest cases there may be reasons where some applications may be prioritised due to a number of factors such as vulnerability. Delays may also occur where we require further information/investigations before a decision can be made on the application.


Written Question
Migrants: Finance
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Jessica Morden

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the processing times are for the removal of the no recourse to public funds condition in migrants' visas for applicants who have lost their jobs as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and are experiencing severe financial hardship.

Answer (Chris Philp)

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply, for free, to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if they are destitute or at risk of destitution, if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income, or where there are other exceptional financial circumstances.

The Home Office does not hold data on the processing times for the removal of the no recourse to public funds condition in migrants’ visas for applicants who have lost their jobs as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and are experiencing severe financial hardship. Data published covers all change of conditions applications, regardless of the reason the application has needed to be made.

Change of conditions decisions are being prioritised and are being dealt with compassionately. Data published in November 2020 shows that 85% of change of conditions applications have been granted and the average time taken to make a decision is now 17 days, down from 45 days in the previous quarter. Against a backdrop of a huge increase in change of conditions applications there has been a significant drop in processing times.


Written Question
Asylum: Crime
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Earl of Sandwich

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers given leave to remain in the UK over the last five years have committed (1) minor, and (2) serious, offences; and of this number, how many ultimately applied for and received indefinite leave to remain.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Asylum seekers who are granted refugee status or humanitarian protection will usually be granted a period of limited leave (for 5 years) along with any dependants included on the claim. When their leave is due to expire, they must apply for further leave for themselves and any qualifying dependants if they want to remain in the UK.

After 5 years limited leave, an individual becomes eligible to apply for settlement in the UK (which constitutes indefinite leave to remain) but this is a privilege and not an automatic right.

Settlement may be refused where protection is no longer required; or where there is evidence of criminality or concerns about their character, conduct or associations such that they should be denied the benefits of permanent residence in the UK. Those who no longer need protection can return home in safety or apply to stay under other provisions of the Immigration Rules. Those who are still at risk of serious harm in their country are not expected to return there and where appropriate they will be granted limited leave if they do not qualify for settlement.

The available published data on asylum-related grants of settlement (indefinite leave to remain) are published in settlement tables se_02_q and se_02 in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. The published data do not show whether the applicant had previously committed 1) minor, and (2) serious, offences.

To capture the numbers requested would require a manual trawl of data and to do so would incur disproportionate cost. There are no plans to identify these individuals separately within our published statistics.


Written Question
Immigration Bail
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the destitution of some highly skilled migrants without indefinite leave to remain who have not been issued with immigration bail letters granting them the right to work or benefit from Section 3C leave.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Home Office has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.


Written Question
Funerals: Coronavirus
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: John Hayes

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support funeral (a) directors and (b) venue owners will receive in the event that mourners break (i) the 30-person limit and (ii) other covid-19 regulations.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

It is the responsibility of the funeral director or venue owner to take all reasonable steps to ensure a funeral is Covid secure, and takes place in a way that complies with all relevant legislation, including around attendance.


A funeral director or venue owner can seek support from the police if they reasonably believe that the numbers attending are likely to breach the legal limits despite their best efforts to prevent this, or the numbers in attendance have unexpectedly exceeded the legal limits. The police can then decide the most appropriate action to take, which may include issuing a fixed penalty notice.


Written Question
Biometrics: Tees Valley
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Alex Cunningham

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to extend the provision of biometric enrolment services to the Tees Valley.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) centres are run by Sopra Steria Ltd (SSL) on behalf of UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI).

To determine the service points network when this service was incepted, SSL undertook market research to identify service locations; their research included the impact on customer travel time, cost and accessibility.

When Sopra Steria undertook this research, they found c.88% of customers would be within 25 miles of a service point. These locations are not fixed and are designed to evolve with demand through the contract term.

Where UKVCAS find there is excess demand for appointments they work to increase capacity at existing sites and open new sites in the region to ensure all customers are able to book an appointment.

Since the start of the contract, several new sites have opened to meet customer demand, including a new enhanced service point in Sunderland in July 2020 to improve appointment availability in the North East overall.


Written Question
Administrative Law Independent Review
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: David Lammy

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish her Department's submission to the The Independent Review of Administrative Law.

Answer (Chris Philp)

As the Lord Chancellor said when he gave evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on 8 December (https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/1369/default/), the Government will publish the report of the Independent Review of Administrative Law. We will consider publication of submissions made to the Review consistent with the usual disclosure provisions.


Written Question
Asylum: Housing
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Stephen Timms

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people claiming asylum were placed by her Department in accommodation in the London Borough of Newham in each of the last six months.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area, which includes those in hotel and wider government facilities. These statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Data is published on a quarterly basis, with the latest information published 26 November 2020. The next quarterly figures are due to be released on 25February 2021.


Written Question
Electric Scooters: Pedestrian Areas
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Catherine West

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what enforcement measures her Department is planning to tackle the anti-social use of e-scooters on pavements.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

It is illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on the roads and the pavements. How the police enforce road traffic laws is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers who will decide how to deploy available resources, taking into account any specific local problems and demands.


Written Question
Terrorism: Iran
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the recent conviction in Belgium of the Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, for terrorism offences, if she will take steps with her European counterparts to facilitate cooperation between law enforcement bodies in different countries to investigate whether other Iranian diplomats and embassies are involved in terrorism.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The safety and security of our citizens is the Government’s top priority. We will continue to work closely with our international partners to protect the UK and our interests from any Iran-based threats.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement includes a deal on law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation which delivers a comprehensive package of capabilities that will ensure we can work with counterparts across Europe to tackle serious crime and terrorism – protecting the public and bringing criminals to justice.

We remain committed to working together with European partners to counter the threats we all face, within Europe and beyond.

Specific investigations and prosecutions are a matter for the independent law enforcement agencies and prosecutors concerned. We do not comment on specific cases.


Written Question
Police: Cameras
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Browne of Belmont

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the efficacy in aiding police investigations, and (2) the number of successful prosecutions resulting from the use, of body-worn camera footage.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

The Government is committed to empowering police to use new technologies, like body-worn cameras, which equip officers with the tools they need for modern policing. Its deployment is an operational matter for each police force and decisions will be made based on local priorities.

There is no centrally held data on its efficacy in investigations or prosecutions, however the benefits are recognised widely in policing.


Written Question
English Language: Education
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Alex Sobel

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support the Government is providing to the English language teaching sector following the UK's departure from the EU.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

The Government has reformed and simplified immigration routes to ensure the English language teaching sector can recruit international students, including those from the EU.

The Visitor route now enables a student to study English at an accredited institution in the UK for up to 6 months.

The bespoke Short-term Study (English language) route is still available for longer periods of English language study. Students, aged over 16, can study an English language course for up to 11 months on this route.

Students who wish to study English for longer periods and at higher levels can use the Student route of the points-based immigration system. The Student route has been simplified and streamlined compared to the previous Tier 4 route, making it easily for students to apply to study within the UK, and significantly improving on our offer in the global marketplace.

The Government recognises the impact of COVID-19 on the English language teaching sector. A series of COVID-19 concessions have been implemented to support the education sector and international students. This includes permitting students to study remotely and ensuring students aren’t penalised for circumstances outside their control.


Written Question
Graduates: Visas
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Paul Blomfield

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason continuous residence in the UK under a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneurship) visa does not count towards the five years continuous residency condition for indefinite leave to remain.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) was a temporary route designed to enable graduates to bridge the gap between studies and the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)/ Innovator routes.

As a temporary route it did not lead to settlement and any time spent on this route would only contribute to meeting a continuous requirement under the provision for long term residents.

Individuals on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route are able to switch into either the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or Innovator routes at any point during their permission and start their journey to settlement.


Written Question
Visas: EU Countries
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to expand the Tier 5 visa scheme to include European countries.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

Following the end of free movement, as part of the new single global points immigration system, EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, alongside nationals of all other European countries, are able to benefit from the full range of core T5 (Temporary Worker) routes.

Whilst the Hon Member is not clear which of the routes under Tier 5 he is actually referring to, it might from the wording be the T5 (Temporary Worker) Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS). This is a cultural exchange programme, allowing young people aged 18 to 30 from participating countries and territories to experience life in the UK for up to two years. It currently includes one European Country, San Marino, following a bilateral agreement between our two nations.

Each YMS is subject to a bilateral, reciprocal agreement which also provides benefit to UK nationals. The Home Office will not add nations to the scheme unilaterally in the absence of such an agreement. We do however, remain open to concluding further agreements on this reciprocal basis, including with European countries.


Written Question
Police: Coronavirus
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Browne of Belmont

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional support they have provided to frontline police officers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

The Government has been clear that it will provide police forces with the support they need to continue protecting the public and keep communities safe through the coronavirus pandemic.

In October 2020 the Government announced an additional £30m of funding for police forces in England and Wales to step up their enforcement of coronavirus rules.

In addition, we have provided the police the powers and guidance they need to support compliance with covid-19 social distancing and lockdown restrictions. This includes the powers to issue FPNs against offences breaching the Coronavirus regulations

The Home Office continues to work closely with the policing sector to monitor and respond to their needs in these challenging circumstances.


Written Question
Police: Recruitment
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Browne of Belmont

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the current level of police recruitment in England and Wales.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

The Government is committed to increasing the number of police officers by 20,000 by March 2023 and good progress is being made to increase the numbers of officers across all forces in England and Wales.

As part of the Police Uplift, data on police recruitment is now published quarterly. The latest data to 31 December 2020, shows that 6,620 additional officers had been recruited in England and Wales as part of the police uplift meaning that we are on track to deliver this commitment.

Since November 2019 (when data collection began), 14,585 officers have joined police forces. 6,620 were recruited specifically as part of the uplift programme, with others joining forces through locally funded recruitment and to replace leavers.

As at 31 December 2020 provisional data show that there were 135,248 officers in the 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales, 5% above the baseline taking into account those recruited through the uplift programme and through other routes since the start of the campaign.

The Police Officer uplift statistics can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-officer-uplift-statistics


Written Question
Asylum: Applications
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Hylton

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they aim to have decided on all asylum applications within six months; and how they will ensure that such decisions comply with international law.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

We are fixing a broken asylum system and creating a new one which will be fairer and firmer and compassionate towards those who need our help.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the length of time to process asylum claims but we are determined to clear the backlog, speed up decisions and prevent people becoming stuck in the system for long periods of time.

We are working to streamline cases and have already made significant progress in prioritising cases with acute vulnerability, those in receipt of the greatest level of support including, Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children, and those that require a reconsideration.

Asylum Operations has developed a recovery plan focused on returning interviews and decisions back to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as possible. We are also seeking to secure temporary resources to assist from within the Home Office and other government departments, along with other potential options.

The Home Office publishes wide-ranging Asylum Instructions and Country Policy Information Notes which provide guidance on how asylum and human rights claims should be handled. All Decision-Making staff undergo comprehensive training and their work is regularly quality-assured to ensure that all decisions comply with International Law.


Written Question
Human Trafficking: Children
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Baroness Doocey

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

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.


Written Question
Human Trafficking: Children
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Baroness Doocey

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

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.


Written Question
Human Trafficking: Children
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Baroness Doocey

Question

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.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

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.


Written Question
Asylum: Military Bases
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many migrants accommodated in (1) Napier Barracks, and (2) the Penally military training camp, have been diagnosed with COVID-19; and whether there have been any COVID-19 related fatalities at these camps.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Due to pressures on the asylum system caused by the pandemic and high intake, the Home Office had to identify available contingency accommodation and put it to use quickly to ensure we could met our statutory duty to provide accommodation to any asylum seeker who would otherwise be destitute.

Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent. These sites were both suitable and immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers. The accommodation, which until recently was used by the MOD is safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing asylum accommodation standards contractual requirements.

We have appropriate health care provision at both sites, having worked closely with the Local Health Board in Pembrokeshire and Clinical Commissioning Group in Kent. At Napier Barracks, asylum seekers have access to a prescribing nurse on site, who is linked to the local GP surgery where the asylum seekers are all registered. Transportation is made available, where necessary, to take asylum seekers to any in person medical appointments required.

Our accommodation providers have worked closely with Public Health England and Wales to ensure that all Covid-19 regulations are met and social distancing can be adhered to, including while transporting asylum seekers to and from accommodation sites, this includes the deep cleaning of vehicles and restrictions on the number of people being transported at any one time.

We do not publish figures on the number of asylum seekers accommodated in initial accommodation (including temporary) sites, however the numbers of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support.

We also do not publish figures on the numbers of asylum seekers who have tested positive for, or have passed away, from Covid-19.


Written Question
Asylum: Military Bases
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many migrants are currently being accommodated in (1) Napier Barracks, and (2) the Penally military training camp, compared to the numbers accommodated in (a) December 2020, and (b) January 2021.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Due to pressures on the asylum system caused by the pandemic and high intake, the Home Office had to identify available contingency accommodation and put it to use quickly to ensure we could met our statutory duty to provide accommodation to any asylum seeker who would otherwise be destitute.

Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent. These sites were both suitable and immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers. The accommodation, which until recently was used by the MOD is safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing asylum accommodation standards contractual requirements.

We have appropriate health care provision at both sites, having worked closely with the Local Health Board in Pembrokeshire and Clinical Commissioning Group in Kent. At Napier Barracks, asylum seekers have access to a prescribing nurse on site, who is linked to the local GP surgery where the asylum seekers are all registered. Transportation is made available, where necessary, to take asylum seekers to any in person medical appointments required.

Our accommodation providers have worked closely with Public Health England and Wales to ensure that all Covid-19 regulations are met and social distancing can be adhered to, including while transporting asylum seekers to and from accommodation sites, this includes the deep cleaning of vehicles and restrictions on the number of people being transported at any one time.

We do not publish figures on the number of asylum seekers accommodated in initial accommodation (including temporary) sites, however the numbers of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support.

We also do not publish figures on the numbers of asylum seekers who have tested positive for, or have passed away, from Covid-19.


Written Question
Asylum: Military Bases
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether (1) Napier Barracks, and (2) the Penally military training camp, are (a) adequate, and (b) satisfactory, for the purpose of accommodating migrants.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Due to pressures on the asylum system caused by the pandemic and high intake, the Home Office had to identify available contingency accommodation and put it to use quickly to ensure we could met our statutory duty to provide accommodation to any asylum seeker who would otherwise be destitute.

Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent. These sites were both suitable and immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers. The accommodation, which until recently was used by the MOD is safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing asylum accommodation standards contractual requirements.

We have appropriate health care provision at both sites, having worked closely with the Local Health Board in Pembrokeshire and Clinical Commissioning Group in Kent. At Napier Barracks, asylum seekers have access to a prescribing nurse on site, who is linked to the local GP surgery where the asylum seekers are all registered. Transportation is made available, where necessary, to take asylum seekers to any in person medical appointments required.

Our accommodation providers have worked closely with Public Health England and Wales to ensure that all Covid-19 regulations are met and social distancing can be adhered to, including while transporting asylum seekers to and from accommodation sites, this includes the deep cleaning of vehicles and restrictions on the number of people being transported at any one time.

We do not publish figures on the number of asylum seekers accommodated in initial accommodation (including temporary) sites, however the numbers of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support.

We also do not publish figures on the numbers of asylum seekers who have tested positive for, or have passed away, from Covid-19.


Written Question
Asylum: Military Bases
23 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how social distancing is observed when transporting migrants (1) to, and (2) from, (a) Napier Barracks, and (b) the Penally military training camp.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

Due to pressures on the asylum system caused by the pandemic and high intake, the Home Office had to identify available contingency accommodation and put it to use quickly to ensure we could met our statutory duty to provide accommodation to any asylum seeker who would otherwise be destitute.

Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent. These sites were both suitable and immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers. The accommodation, which until recently was used by the MOD is safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing asylum accommodation standards contractual requirements.

We have appropriate health care provision at both sites, having worked closely with the Local Health Board in Pembrokeshire and Clinical Commissioning Group in Kent. At Napier Barracks, asylum seekers have access to a prescribing nurse on site, who is linked to the local GP surgery where the asylum seekers are all registered. Transportation is made available, where necessary, to take asylum seekers to any in person medical appointments required.

Our accommodation providers have worked closely with Public Health England and Wales to ensure that all Covid-19 regulations are met and social distancing can be adhered to, including while transporting asylum seekers to and from accommodation sites, this includes the deep cleaning of vehicles and restrictions on the number of people being transported at any one time.

We do not publish figures on the number of asylum seekers accommodated in initial accommodation (including temporary) sites, however the numbers of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support.

We also do not publish figures on the numbers of asylum seekers who have tested positive for, or have passed away, from Covid-19.