HC Deb 23 July 1985 vol 83 cc468-9W
Mr. John

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been brought against persons charged only with offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978 in each full year since July 1978; and what were the corresponding numbers of convictions.

Mr. Mellor

The information available to me, which may be incomplete, is given in the following table. Corresponding information for 1984 is not yet available.

Heathrow and other airports to receive and question such visitors in order to reduce the work load of the present number already employed there.

Mr. Waddington

Immigration service staff are deployed in a way that is designed to enable the majority of passengers to pass through the control in the shortest practicable time. But at peak arrival periods, particularly in the early mornings at Heathrow, terminal 3, the simultaneous arrival of large numbers of passengers is bound to lead to delays. We try to keep these to a minimum, but there are limits to the extent for which we can employ staff just to deal with this peak demand.

A small minority of passengers have to be referred for secondary examination and the substantial growth of passenger traffic this year has contributed to an increase in their numbers. Where further examination is necessary, priority is given to the elderly and those with young children. Cases requiring additional interviews can be transferred to the port or airport nearest to the sponsor's home.

The refreshment facilities are satisfactory at the detention units at Harmondsworth and Queen's Building, Heathrow. Drinks and light refreshments are available in the secondary examination area at Heathrow, terminal 3, but I am aware that there have been some recent difficulties at times of pressure and the present arrangements are being reviewed.

The availability of immigration service staff including interpreters to meet peak demands is kept under constant review and staff are redeployed between ports in the light of variations of traffic.