Previous Section Index Home Page

Merseyside Police

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there were in Merseyside police in each year since 1992. [19559]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 3 December 2001]: The information requested is given in the table.

Year as at 31 March 2001Police officers(13)Civilian support staff(13)

(13) Full time equivalents

I understand that the Merseyside police has a budgeted work force total of 4,272 officers for 31 March 2002.

Special Hospitals

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the implementation of the recommendations of the Tilt report concerning security at special hospitals and the amount of money so far spent on implementation by his Department. [16620]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 22 November 2001]: Responsibility for special hospitals lies with the Department of Health. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Health on 22 November 2001, Official Report, column 418W.

Police Shootings

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Police Complaints Authority review of police shootings since 1998 will take into consideration the need for appropriate procedures when the potential aggressor is known by the police to suffer from a mental disorder. [19777]

Mr. Denham: The terms of reference set by the Home Secretary for the review does not prescribe specific areas for consideration; it sets the coverage as all shootings by the police since 1998 that resulted in death or injury. However, the terms of reference do include the planning, control and conduct of these operations.

6 Dec 2001 : Column: 484W

There is guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers that firearms officers should take account of when called to deal with a situation involving a person with a mental disorder. If any of the cases under review did involve such a person then the Police Complaints Authority will consider the appropriateness of this guidance to the situation, how well it was followed and its affect on the planning, control and conduct of the operation and will make recommendations.

Police Training

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training is given by police forces in England and Wales to help their officers deal with mental health crises. [19778]

Mr. Denham: The basic training received by all recruits to the police service includes an element designed to raise awareness of mental illness and to highlight the importance of communicating effectively and sensitively with people suffering from a mental disorder. Individual forces also provide further training for their officers on these issues. Details are not held centrally of such local provision.

Best Value

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate the cost in the latest available year of the best value regime to (a) his Department and (b) police authorities. [19597]

Mr. Denham: The best estimate of costs falling to the Home Office in 2000–01 is in the region of £500,000. This covers estimated staff time based on average salary costs. It also includes travelling and subsistence costs for Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary when they are carrying out best value inspections.

The costs of implementing best value, which falls to police authorities, is not collected centrally.

Stolen Vehicles

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many stolen vehicles have been recovered through use of the Schengen Information System. [19591]

Mr. Denham: None. Article 100 of the Schengen Convention relating to data on motor vehicles which have been stolen, misappropriated or lost has not yet been implemented.

Credit Card Fraud

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidance he gives to credit card issuers on reporting credit card fraud; [18999]

6 Dec 2001 : Column: 485W

Mr. Denham: No Home Office guidance is given to credit card issuers on reporting credit card fraud. However, I understand that the Association of Chief Police Officers' National Working Party on Cheque and Card Fraud has agreed guidelines on reporting cheque and payment card fraud to the police to encourage best practice in combating credit card fraud.

No estimates of the level of under reporting of credit card fraud have been made by the Government. However, a National Economic Research Associates Report commissioned by the Home Office recognised under reporting of all frauds.

Information on the number of offences of cheque and credit card fraud recorded by the police is available for the last two financial years only, as follows:


The Association of Payment Clearing Services has estimated the cost of reported losses due to credit card fraud over the last four years as:

Year£ million


APACS Fraud in Focus 2001

Proof of Age Card

Ms Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will give approval for a proof of age card in a standardised format. [19461]

Mr. Denham: The Government have no plans to develop a standard format for a proof of age card or to introduce a single national proof of age scheme. The Government welcome the recent initiative by the British Retail Consortium proposing to develop agreed standard design criteria and methods of accreditation for the various proof of age cards which currently exist so that retailers can be assured of the status of the cards presented to them.

Court Appearances

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time was between arrest and court appearance of a person charged with an offence in England or Wales in the last 12 months. [20434]

Mr. Wills: I have been asked to reply.

It is not possible to provide figures for the average time between arrest and court appearance as details of arrest dates are not collected. I am, however, able to provide figures for the average number of days between charge and first listing, the first appearance in court, for all defendants charged with indictable cases for the period September 2000 to September 2001.

6 Dec 2001 : Column: 486W

The figures are taken from the Magistrates Courts Time Intervals Survey, which is published quarterly by the Lord Chancellor's Department.

Survey dateAverage number of days from charge to first listing
September 20006
December 20005
March 20016
June 20016
September 20016


Commission for Health Improvement

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the change in expenditure and manpower that will result from the CHI's proposed new functions. [16614]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 22 November 2001]: Any significant change in expenditure and manpower resulting from the Commission for Health Improvement's proposed new functions will be assessed in the context of decisions on budgets for next year which will be announced in due course.

Digital Hearing Aids

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to share with the Scottish Executive the interim evaluation results of the 20 First Wave NHS trusts that are providing digital hearing aids. [18008]

Jacqui Smith: Officials from the Department are in regular contact with officials in the Scottish Executive and the results of the evaluation will be made available to them.

Stem Cells

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the operation of commercial services to members of the public to collect and freeze blood from umbilical cords with a view to stem cell use to treat children later in life; and what proposals he has to regulate commercial firms offering these services. [19299]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 29 November 2001]: Informal representations have been received from commercial cord blood banks and numbers of concerned health professionals. The Department has implemented an accreditation scheme to ensure the safety and quality of traditional human tissues that are supplied to the national health service via tissue banks. Measures needed to regulate emerging technologies such as stem cell technology are being kept under review by the Department.

Next Section Index Home Page