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Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost was of employing a police constable for a year in (a) a provincial police force and (b) London in the last 12 months. [32735]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 4 February 2002]: The pay related and notional pensions costs are set out in the table.


London forces Provincial
Constable (a)Constable (b)Constable (a)Constable (b)
Salary from September 2001 scales19,84225,09519,84225,095
London weighting1,7731,77300
London Allowance4,3381,01100
Housing/rent allowance05,86403,648
Earning Related National Insurance Contributions (ERNIC)1,8452,6061,3032,080
Notional pension costs (30 per cent. of salary)5,9537,5295,9537,529
Free travel12012000
South East Allowance00(24)0

(24) Figures do not include the South East Allowance paid since 1 April 2001 to officers appointed on or after 1 September 1994 who are not in receipt of a housing allowance. The allowance, including national insurance contributions, is £2,180 for officers in Thames Valley, Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire and Surrey and £1,090 for officers in Beds, Hants and Sussex.


1. (a) new recruit (b) Constable: average cost, including rent allowance, after eight years service.

2. On commencing service, a constable's pay from 1 September 2001 was £17,733. The direct pay element for new police recruits increases after successful completion of 31 weeks' initial training to £19,842. The latter figure is included in (a) above.

3. The figures for the Metropolitan police and City of London police include London weighting and London Allowance and the cost of free travel.

19 Mar 2002 : Column 287W

Police Authority Funding

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will commit money that has been made available for providing civilians with conferred police powers in a manner that recognises the imbalance in funding between different police authorities. [37905]

Mr. Denham: No financial provision for operational work is made in advance of statutory approval. Police grant funding mechanisms take into account the relative needs of different police authorities.

Police Pensions

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received on the impact on police forces of the payment of pensions to retired officers out of operational budgets; and what plans he has to change the present arrangements. [41688]

Mr. Denham: During the consultation period for the 2002–03 funding settlement that was announced on 30 January 2002, seven police authorities referred to pensions in their letters of representation. We are aware of police authorities' concern over the increasing burden of the funding of pensions. We have increased revenue funding from 12.9 per cent. in 1997–98 to 14.5 per cent. since 1999–2000. It will remain at this level in 2002–03.

As we made clear in our recently published White Paper "Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform", we are also aware of the need of police authorities and chief officers for a system which brings greater clarity about pensions obligations on individual police forces. The Home Office and Treasury are reviewing the options for a revised system of funding which would bring this about.

Metropolitan Police

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the approved number of officers in the Metropolitan police force is; and when that level was last reviewed. [39972]

19 Mar 2002 : Column 288W

Mr. Denham: The number of police officers in the Metropolitan Police service is the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police Authority within the budget set by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The budget set by the GLA for 2002–03 provides for an increase in Metropolitan police strength of 1,000 officers.

Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) members of the Metropolitan Police Authority, (b) business associates of those members and (c) companies in which such members have an interest have been in paid employment by the Metropolitan police service. [42740]

Mr. Denham: I am advised by the Clerk to the Metropolitan Police Authority that the Register of Members' Interests for members of the Metropolitan Police Authority is a public document available for inspection through the Clerk to the Authority.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has set improvement targets for individual Metropolitan police basic command units; and if he will make a statement. [41612]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 March 2002]: The Government have required all police authorities, including the Metropolitan Police Authority, to set targets for reductions in domestic burglary, vehicle crime and, in our major cities, robbery. Targets at basic command unit level are not set centrally.

The Police Standards Unit will monitor performance at basic command unit level in all forces and will work with basic command units to improve performance where appropriate.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis about the level of crime in London; and if he will make a statement. [41616]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 March 2002]: I have regular bilateral meetings with the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis where current issues about the policing of London are discussed.

19 Mar 2002 : Column 289W

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what targets he has set for the decrease in street robberies in the Metropolitan police force area. [41611]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 March 2002]: The Metropolitan Police Service's target is to reduce street crime (covering robbery and theft from the person, irrespective of location) by 15 per cent. by March 2005 from a baseline of 1999–2000.

19 Mar 2002 : Column 290W

Special Constables

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special constables there were, broken down by (a) police force and (b) local authority area, in each year since 1997. [42370]

Mr. Denham: The number of serving special constables in each police force area from September 1997 to September 2001 are set out in the table. Data showing the number of specials per local authority is not held centrally.

Police forceSeptember 1997September 1998September 1999September 2000September 2001
Avon and Somerset629584482416391
Devon and Cornwall1,079916908836780
Greater Manchester657567498408355
London, City of8469664634
Metropolitan police1,5281,2141,173754753
North Yorkshire337302245189186
South Yorkshire295266236193189
Thames Valley694587514463377
West Mercia558499512443364
West Midlands949784697662604
West Yorkshire604590572452371
Dyfed Powys241237237193174
North Wales388336262233203
South Wales362360331254250


Figures provided by Research, Development and Statistics

The Government are committed to increasing the size of the special constabulary and are working on a number of options designed to achieve this. These include improvements to the recruitment, training, conditions, management and deployment of specials—focusing their role on intelligence-led, high visibility patrolling and local crime reduction initiatives.

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