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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the status of Eurojust officials with respect to immunities. 
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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The status of national members of Eurojust is a matter for individual Member States and the United Kingdom member has diplomatic immunity. Under Article 30 of the Council Decision of 28 February 2002 establishing Eurojust, Eurojust staff have the same status as officials and other servants of the European Communities. This confers immunity from legal proceedings in respect of acts performed by them in their official capacity.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on planned expenditure in the UK under budget line B5-831, combating drug trafficking; and what role Europol will play therein. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There are currently no existing or planned bids from United Kingdom authorities in respect of budget line B5-831, combating drug trafficking.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the granting of immunities to Europol employees under 2002/C42/07, OJ C42 of 15 February. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Protocol under cover of the draft Council Act 2002/C42/07, OJ C42 of 15 February 2002 provides that Europol officials may participate in a support capacity in joint investigation teams (although they may not assist in any coercive measures related to arrest or detention).
It also provides that Europol officials shall not be granted immunities in relation to official acts undertaken while participating in joint investigation teams. Such officials would be treated as officials of the Member State of operation with respect to offences committed against them or by them. Europol would also be liable for any damage caused by them in accordance with the law of that Member State.
The Government fully supports these proposals.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special constables were serving in (a) England and (b) each Police Authority in each year since 198081. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 May 2002]: Statistics are given in the table. There is no reliable data before 1990. From 1990 to 1995, statistics on the strength of the special constabulary in England and Wales were collected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. These were compiled at the end of the calendar year until 1993, and then for the financial year 199495. Since 1995, these statistics have been collected by the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate. They are compiled at the end of March and September each year.
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Figures to March 1995 supplied by HMIC, figures from September 1995 supplied by Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
The government is committed to reversing this decline in numbers and achieving a stronger, increasingly professional special constabulary. Measures to achieve this include: A new headline role focusing on intelligence led patrolling and crime reduction initiatives; a new national foundation training package for special constables; joint Home Office/The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) good practice guidance covering recruitment, management and deployment of specials; new conditions of service and conduct regulations.
In January 2002 we ran a press campaign targeting Specials as part of the national recruitment campaign for the regular Police Service. And as my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary (Mr. Blunkett) also announced at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) last week, we will also be working with employers to encourage them to support employees who are specialsin particular by giving them extra paid leave to carry out their police duties
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the average hours worked by special constables in England for the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 May 2002]: Data on the average number of hours worked by special constables is not available.
The government is committed to achieving a stronger, increasingly professional special constabulary. Measures to achieve this would include: A new headline role focusing on intelligence led patrolling and crime reduction initiatives; a new national foundation training package for special constables; joint Home Office/The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) good practice guidance covering recruitment, management and deployment of specials; new conditions of service and conduct regulations and better management information.
In January 2002 we ran a press campaign targeting Specials as part of the national recruitment campaign for the regular Police Service. And as my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary (Mr. Blunkett) also announced at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) last week, we will also be working with employers to encourage them to support employees who are specialsin particular by giving them extra paid leave to carry out their police duties.
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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to make 20 mph speed limits enforceable by the police with fixed penalty notices; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 May 2002]: 20 mph speed limits are already enforceable by the police with fixed penalty notices.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) issued publicly available guidelines on speed enforcement in February 2000. These suggest that normally a fixed penalty notice should be issued when, in a 20 mph zone, a driver's speed reaches 25 mph. The police will however, use their discretion to take account of the particular circumstances of any individual speeding offence.
20 mph speed limit zones are normally engineered by the use of road humps, chicanes, etc. to be predominantly self-enforcing.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of police officers in Avon and Somerset have been on long-term sick leave in each year since 198586. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 May 2002]: The information requested is only available from 199697. This is shown in the table. The number of officers on long-term sick leave is as recorded at 31 March for each year. Long-term sick leave is defined as continuous sickness absence of 28 days or more.
|Year||Police Officers on Long-term Sick Leave||Average Number of Police Officers||Proportion of Police Officers on Long-term Sick Leave (per cent)|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there have been (a) in England and (b) in each police authority in each year since 198081. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 May 2002]: Police strength figures for each force for each year between 1980 and 1993 are published in the appendix to the Annual Reports of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, copies of which are in the Library.
Table A sets out police strength between March 1981 and September 2001 in England. Table B sets out police strength for each force for each year between March 1994 and September 2001.
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|Year (as at 31 March)||Number of Police Officers|
|200102 (30 September 2001)||117,835|
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|Police Force||March 1994||March 1995||March 1996||March 1997||March 1998||March 1999||March 2000||March 2001||Sept. 2001|
|Avon and Somerset||3,033||3,000||2,981||2,989||2,976||2,999||2,934||2,994||3,040|
|Devon and Cornwall||2,914||2,877||2,899||2,865||2,962||2,887||2,841||2,934||2,972|
|London, City of||893||885||869||859||825||778||732||703||699|
This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items.
It does not include officers on secondment to NCS/NCIS and their predecessors or to any central service organisation. This is because it is not possible to differentiate between English and Welsh police officers on secondment from Home Office records.
* These forces have been affected by the boundary changes which took place in April 2000.
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