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Written Question
Independent Advisory Group On Hate Crime
Monday 7th February 2022

Asked by: Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the full details and minutes of the meetings of the Independent Advisory Group on hate crime held on (1) 17 September 2019, and (2) 17 January 2020, including the details already disclosed in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

In April 2020, the Home Office briefly took over full responsibility from the Ministry of Justice for the oversight of the Independent Advisory Group on hate crime.

The Home Office had some concerns about the transparency and impartiality of the IAG, and planned to work with the group to resolve these issues. However, during the summer of 2021, the IAG moved under the oversight of the NPCC and is consequently no longer a Government-affiliated body. The IAG now serves as a body solely to inform and support policing requirements on hate crime.

The minutes of the meetings have been made available in response to a freedom of information request. I will send a copy to the Noble Lord.


Written Question
Hate Crime
Monday 7th February 2022

Asked by: Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the article by Dr Richard Norrie and Hardeep Singh 'Meet the SAGE of hate crime', published in The Critic on 13 January, and (2) the transparency and impartiality of their Independent Advisory Group on hate crime.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

In April 2020, the Home Office briefly took over full responsibility from the Ministry of Justice for the oversight of the Independent Advisory Group on hate crime.

The Home Office had some concerns about the transparency and impartiality of the IAG, and planned to work with the group to resolve these issues. However, during the summer of 2021, the IAG moved under the oversight of the NPCC and is consequently no longer a Government-affiliated body. The IAG now serves as a body solely to inform and support policing requirements on hate crime.

The minutes of the meetings have been made available in response to a freedom of information request. I will send a copy to the Noble Lord.


Written Question
Extradition: India
Monday 18th October 2021

Asked by: Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the collapse of the case against Piara Singh Gill, Amritivir Singh Wahiwala and Gursharanvir Singh Wahiwala, why they certified an extradition request from the Indian authorities for these individuals.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

Extradition requests from outside the European Union are governed by Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003 (‘the Act’). Under section 70 of the Act, if the UK has formal extradition relations with such a territory – as it does with India – and receives a valid extradition request from it, the Secretary of State must certify the request unless certain narrow exceptions in the Act apply. In this case, none of those exceptions applied and, by law, the Secretary of State was obliged to certify the extradition requests.

Certification of extradition requests by the Secretary of State is only one step in the extradition process. Requests are subsequently subject to the full scrutiny of the Court and the safeguards contained within the Extradition Act 2003.

Having considered these cases, the Court discharged the three individuals wanted by India on the grounds that a prima facie case could not be established.


Written Question
Gurpal Virdi
Tuesday 11th August 2020

Asked by: Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to conduct an independent investigation into racism experienced by former Metropolitan Police officer Gurpal Virdi.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

Investigations into the conduct of police officers are the responsibility of the professional standards departments of police forces and, where appropriate, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Such decision-making is independent of government. Complaints received from Mr Virdi were assessed by the IOPC as suitable for local investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service.


Written Question
Gurpal Virdi
Tuesday 11th August 2020

Asked by: Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they undertook a formal investigation into the conduct of those implicated in racism against former Metropolitan Police officer Gurpal Virdi; and if not, why not.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

Investigations into the conduct of police officers are the responsibility of the professional standards departments of police forces and, where appropriate, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Such decision-making is independent of government. Complaints received from Mr Virdi were assessed by the IOPC as suitable for local investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service.


Written Question
Offences against Children
Tuesday 21st July 2020

Asked by: Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their paper on group-based child sexual exploitation due to be published this year will include consideration of any (1) racial, and (2) religious, characteristics of group offenders.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The Government is determined to ensure failures of the past are not repeated and to do all we can to bear down on offenders and support victims. That is why on 19th May the Government announced its intention to publish a paper on group-based child sexual exploitation by the end of the year, following consultation with subject matter experts.

We intend this paper to present the best available evidence on this form of offending, bringing together all of the insights gathered in the course of the Home Office’s work on this issue. The paper will consider the extent to which conclusions can be drawn from available data about the characteristics of offenders and victims, including ethnicity, and the context in which these crimes are committed.

Details of the membership to the external reference group, which will be asked to review the paper before its publication, will be made public in due course.


Written Question
Offences against Children
Tuesday 21st July 2020

Asked by: Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government who will be the members of the Home Office's External Reference Group of experts which will review the research on group-based child sexual exploitation prior to its publication.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The Government is determined to ensure failures of the past are not repeated and to do all we can to bear down on offenders and support victims. That is why on 19th May the Government announced its intention to publish a paper on group-based child sexual exploitation by the end of the year, following consultation with subject matter experts.

We intend this paper to present the best available evidence on this form of offending, bringing together all of the insights gathered in the course of the Home Office’s work on this issue. The paper will consider the extent to which conclusions can be drawn from available data about the characteristics of offenders and victims, including ethnicity, and the context in which these crimes are committed.

Details of the membership to the external reference group, which will be asked to review the paper before its publication, will be made public in due course.


Written Question
Asylum: Afghanistan
Tuesday 17th July 2018

Asked by: Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the suicide bombing resulting in the death of 19 Sikhs in Jalalabad, Afghanistan in July, whether they intend to offer asylum in the UK to the families of those who were killed.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

There is no provision in the Immigration Rules for people to be allowed to travel to the UK to seek asylum. Those who need international protection should claim in the first safe country they reach – that is the fastest route to safety.

Our resettlement schemes offer a safe and legal route to the UK for the most vulnerable refugees. Membership of a minority religion or group is not in itself one of the vulnerability criteria used to assess eligibility for resettlement but members of minority religions or groups may qualify under the established criteria.

Our assessment of the situation for Sikhs in Afghanistan is set out in the relevant country policy and information note, which is available on the Gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-country-policy-and-information-notes.