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Mr. Charles Clarke: I understand from the Chief Constable of the Sussex Police that on 31 May 1997 the force had 3,038 police officers and that on 13 July this year there were 2,891 officers. I have been told that recruitment in the Sussex Police is on course to reach its target of 228 new constables for this year and this number includes the 69 constables to be recruited under the force's Crime Fighting Fund allocation.
I have been informed by the Chief Constable that it is not possible to provide information on the number of officers in the East Downs Division for 1997. But there were 269 officers in the East Downs Division on 13 July this year. I understand that the East Downs will benefit from the extra constables being recruited by the force.
(1) Includes police grant and other specific grant.
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Police statistics.
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staff were employed by the Essex Police Authority and its predecessor bodies in (i) 1970, (ii) 1980, (iii) 1990 and (iv) 1999. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The available information is set out in the table. Information for civilian support staff numbers, on a force by force basis is only available from 1974. Data for the previous years have not been retained by the Department.
|Year(1)||Number of police officers||Number of civilian support staff|
(1) As at 31 March.
(1) In 1970 the force was known as the Essex and Southend on Sea Joint Constabulary.
(1) As at 30 September.
Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licences to conduct animal experiments were granted to (a) commercial organisations and (b) non-profit organisations; and what the mean time was between the application for a licence being submitted and its being granted, in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Table 19 of the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals 1998, and the corresponding tables in the equivalent publications for 1989 to 1997, provide a breakdown of the total number of project licence holders and scientific procedures by type of designated establishment in 1998. Information on the number of project licences granted during the year is not collated separately by type of establishment.
The Home Office does not hold historical data on the time taken to process project licence applications. However, figures collected for the early part of this year show an average processing time for a project licence of just under 40 working days from receipt of the application to issue of the licence.
The Home Office is committed to processing project licence applications as expeditiously as possible, but no targets have been, or indeed can be, set for the time needed to consider any particular application. This depends greatly on the nature of the application. A well-drafted application for a replacement licence to continue existing work or for a minor amendment to an existing licence may be assessed quickly. One for a new study could take a considerable time to examine--indeed, some may take months where complex scientific issues are involved. There are usually negotiations between the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate and the applicant to ensure that the 3Rs (the Refinement of scientific procedures; Reduction in numbers of animals used; and their Replacement wherever possible) are rigorously applied in every case. Applicants may also take time preparing supplementary or revised material for consideration. The situation is further complicated when
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advice is needed from experts outside the Home Office, or if the application needs to be referred to the Animal Procedures Committee.
I am aware of the concerns among scientists about the length of time that appears to be taken in some cases from the initial conception of a project to the issue of a project licence, including the requirements of the ethical review process that need to be met locally before the application reaches the Home Office. I have, therefore, asked my officials to work with the Department of Trade and Industry, to review the operation of these arrangements to ensure that the processes are as efficient and effective as possible without compromising animal welfare.
Mr. Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the figures relating to scientific procedures performed on living animals in Great Britain in 1999. 
Jean Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many local exchange trading schemes projects are operating in the UK; and whether he will make a statement on local exchange trading schemes and their relationship with the economy. 
Mr. Boateng: Research carried out in 1999 indicated that there were approximately 303 Local Exchange and Trading Schemes in the United Kingdom with about 22,000 members and a turnover equivalent to some £1.4 million. Their effect on the economy is therefore minor, although for the individuals and communities involved they are significant in helping to rebuild a sense of community and community involvement.
Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what support is available to local authorities which wish to set up neighbourhood warden schemes; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what discussions he has had with local authorities about neighbourhood warden schemes; 
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Mr. Charles Clarke: In 1999, the Home Office conducted a study with the aim of collecting information on the types of neighbourhood warden schemes operating in Britain and where possible to examine the effectiveness of such schemes. Fifty existing and recent neighbourhood wardens projects were examined, a good proportion of which were funded at least in part by local authorities. Partnership proved to be a crucial aspect of a large number of the initiatives. It was concluded that further research was needed to establish the impact of neighbourhood wardens schemes on levels of crime and disorder and quality of life in local areas and to identify elements of good practice. The Home Office subsequently commissioned further research which is examining eight neighbourhood warden schemes in detail. The report of this research will be available later this year.
The Home Office study of neighbourhood warden schemes was conducted in support of Policy Action Team (PAT) 6 on Neighbourhood Wardens set up by the Social Exclusion Unit. Following the report of PAT 6, a Neighbourhood Wardens Unit was established jointly funded by the Home Office and the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR). An Advisory Committee was set up to advise the Unit on a broad range of issues on neighbourhood wardens. The Advisory Committee meet quarterly and consist of representatives who have a key interest in neighbourhood wardens, including the police and local authorities. More specifically, the advisory committee includes members from:
Some £13.5 million of Government funding has been made available over three years until March 2003 for the funding of new or expanded neighbourhood warden schemes and for evaluation of those schemes. The Neighbourhood Wardens Fund is being administered by the Neighbourhood Wardens Unit in the DETR. Local authorities and others have been eligible to apply for this funding.
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