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Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the estimated proportion of police funding which will be allocated to police pension costs in each of the next four years; what is the estimated annual increase in real terms for police funding under the comprehensive spending review after pension costs are taken into account; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 27 July 2000]: In the time available it has not been possible to complete the answers to these questions. I shall write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the numbers of staff required by the Travel Document Section to prevent the backlog of applications increasing. 
Mr. Boateng: Since autumn 1999 the number of staff in the Travel Document Section has increased from 20 to more than 90, which is nearly at full complement. Once the present backlog has been eliminated, and in the absence of any unforeseen circumstances, present staff levels should prevent an increase in the backlog of applications.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to registration officers regarding checks on the passports of persons intending to marry; if the registration officers are explicitly instructed not to check that any visas in passports are valid; what guidance has been issued to registration officers who discover that a visa has expired; and if he will make a statement. 
28 Jul 2000 : Column: 1154W
Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 20 July 2000, Official Report, column 323W, on road safety, (1) how many fixed penalty fines were imposed on people cycling on pavements in the period 1 August 1999 to the latest available date in each division of the Essex Police Authority; 
(3) if he will list the four police authorities which had not issued a fixed penalty fine for people cycling on pavements since it was introduced on 1 August 1999; and what fines have been imposed since 1 January in those police areas. 
The four police forces mentioned in my answer of 20 July 2000, Official Report, column 323W, for which information was not currently available were Cambridgeshire, Essex, Humberside and West Yorkshire. Data have now been received from Humberside (which shows that 19 fixed penalty notices were issued for cycling on the pavement in the period August to December 1999) and from Essex (76 such notices). Information by individual police divisions within Essex is not available.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the planned number of new police officers is in (a) the UK and (b) England for each of the next three years; and what the total number was in Devon and Cornwall in each of the last three years. 
|31 March 1998||2,962|
|31 March 1999||2,887|
|31 March 2000||2,841|
28 Jul 2000 : Column: 1155W
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he plans to respond to the second report of Session 1999-2000 from the Home Affairs Committee on controls over firearms (HC 95). 
Mr. Charles Clarke [pursuant to his reply, 24 July 2000, c. 449W]: The Home Affairs Committee Report raises a number of complex issues which the Government are carefully considering with a view to publishing a response by way of a Command Paper over the summer.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of planned spending on Home Office Central Services in (a) 2000-01, (b) 2001-02, (c) 2002-03 and (d) 2003-04. 
Mr. Straw: Planned spending on Home Office Central Services in 2000-01 is £98 million. I shall be considering the spending review settlement over the summer and making detailed plans for future years in due course.
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the (a) purposes, (b) duties, (c) location and (d) personnel of the Europol National Unit; and what is the proposed Europol budget for 2001. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The purposes and duties of member states' Europol National Units are set out in Article 4 of the Europol Convention. The United Kingdom's Europol National Unit is situated within the International Division of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) at their Headquarters in London. The personnel of the Europol National Unit, 12 staff in total, are all NCIS employees.
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his reply of 11 July 2000, Official Report, columns 518-19W, concerning Europol, what the membership is of the Europol Working Group; how often it meets and who provides its Secretariat; and who represents the interests of the United Kingdom Government on this Group. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Europol Working Group comprises from all the European Union member states the Commission and Europol. The Working Group meets periodically at the invitation of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Since 1 July 1999, the date that Europol officially took up its duties, the Group has met five times, twice under each of the Finnish and Portuguese Presidencies and once so far under the French Presidency. The secretariat of the group is provided by the General Secretariat of the Council. The Home Office, in consultation with other departments and agencies, represents the interests of the United Kingdom at the Working Group meetings.
28 Jul 2000 : Column: 1156W
|Number of crimes recorded||Percentage of change compared to the previous year|
(1) Old rules.
(1) New rules.
The rules for recording crimes changed in April 1998 which led to a large increase in the number recorded. Essex collected data based on the old rules and the new rules in 1998-99.
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