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Police Reform

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the new agenda for reform of the police, discussed at his meeting with the Prime Minister on 26 June; and if it has been discussed with representatives of the police force. [134861]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Calls for a Royal Commission or reforms of policing by other means have come from a number of police sources. On 9 October, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, held a seminar with the leaders of the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Association of Police Authorities, the Police Superintendents' Association, the Police Federation and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. Its purpose was to identify the areas in which the police service itself felt there was a need for change and development to meet future requirements. Further discussions with police representative bodies will take place over coming months to explore in more detail a wide range of issues identified

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at the seminar. As was made clear to seminar participants, the Government have no pre-set agenda but are interested in making any improvements which will help achieve our objective of crime reduction.

Criminal Records

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when the criminal conviction certificate, criminal record certificate and enhanced criminal record certificate will be introduced; and if he will make a statement; [134473]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Criminal Records Bureau will issue to individual applicants, on request, one or more of three different levels of certificate, according to the circumstances of the job or position in question:

Data on convictions will, in the main, be drawn directly from the Police National Computer. Fixed penalties are not recorded there, but it is possible that the police might consider that information about such a case, drawn from local police records, was relevant to the job for which the person had applied and should be included in an ECRC.

The immigration authorities of overseas countries will be able to ask potential emigrants from Britain for a criminal conviction certificate, but the CRB will not provide criminal record certificates or enhanced criminal record certificates for emigration purposes, except in certain circumstances where it can be demonstrated that the emigrant is being considered for a post for which such certificates would be issued if it were in the United Kingdom.

Detailed planning is continuing, but at present it is expected that the CRB will begin issuing CRCs and ECRCs from around July 2001, and CCCs from around July 2002.