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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many new passport applications were approved during 2001. [68448]

Beverley Hughes: Of the 5,668,272 passport applications made during 2001, 2,678,935 were classed as new applications. Of these, 1,209,017 were adult first- time applications and 1,469,918 were child applications. The remainder were made up of renewals, amendments and extensions.

Child Curfew Orders

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many child curfew orders have been imposed to date in Surrey. [68631]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 July 2002]: No applications have been received to impose child curfew schemes under section 14 of the Crime and Disorder Act

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1998. Sections 48 and 49 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which took effect on 1 August 2001, extended the upper age limit to 15 and allowed the police, as well as local authorities, to initiate schemes. Local areas are assessing the implications of these changes and we know that local consultation is taking place.

Heartbeat Detectors

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions a heartbeat detector machine at Dover has broken down or failed to function in the last six months. [68627]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: The heartbeat detector requires a structure to protect it from adverse weather, such as high winds. The mechanical doors allowing entry and exit from this structure have, on occasion, failed.

There have also been occasions when the heartbeat detector itself has required minor attention, but rarely has the fault caused the equipment to be taken out of service. Where it has, the Immigration Service has been able to rely on other methods to detect clandestines, including body detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, X and gamma ray scanners, to maintain an effective deterrent and detection capability.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many heartbeat detector machines are installed at (a) Dover, (b) Folkestone, (c) Coquelles and (d) Calais. [68625]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: The Immigration Service currently deploys two heartbeat detector machines—one in Dover and one in Coquelles.

At present there are no ferry services using the port of Folkestone, and consequently, there is no current demand for the deployment of detection technology there. Freight vehicles using the Eurotunnel Freight Shuttle service do, however, arrive at Cheriton, near Folkestone. These are subject to search at or before the British Control Zone at Coquelles before travel.

A programme is now under way to procure additional heartbeat detectors and other detection technology for deployment at various continental ports serving the United Kingdom, including Calais.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of lorries passing through Dover from France are checked by a (a) dog, (b) heartbeat detector machine, (c) carbon dioxide stick and (d) X-ray machine. [68628]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: Based on collated intelligence and profiling, the Immigration Service currently checks approximately 12 per cent. of lorries which arrive at Dover on cross-channel ferries. Immigration Officers use a combination of all the methods of detection referred to, the choice of which is determined by the characteristics of the vehicle to be searched. No figures are held which illustrate the frequency of use of one method over another.

National Identity Card Scheme

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the (a) costs

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and (b) change in the levels of crime which would result from a compulsory national identity card scheme; and if he will make a statement. [67693]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made a statement to the House on 3 July 2002 announcing the publication of a consultation paper on Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud. The consultation period will last until 10 January 2003. The Government have made it clear that the introduction of an entitlement card would be a major step and that it would not proceed without consulting widely and considering all the views expressed very carefully. The consultation paper rules out a scheme where it would be compulsory to carry a card but does raise the option of a universal scheme where everyone would have to register and obtain a card.

The paper includes a number of estimates of what a scheme would cost, depending on the sophistication of the card. A reasonable estimate would be that a scheme would cost around £1.3 billion over a 13-year period covering the three years it would take to set up the necessary information technology systems and the 10-year period for which the first cards would be valid.

This would include much more stringent identity checks than currently apply for passports and driving licences in response to increased levels of fraudulent applications.

It would also include the costs of using biometric information (fingerprints or iris images) which would uniquely link the card holder with a card.

A universal entitlement card would be a powerful weapon in the fight against crimes of identity fraud which cost the economy at least £1.3 billion each year. It could also help to combat illegal immigration and illegal working. The degree to which a card scheme could reduce these crimes would depend on the type of card scheme introduced, to what services it was linked and the speed of its introduction. The Government will be consulting on these and other issues during the consultation exercise.


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of general calls to the force switchboard were not answered within 20 seconds in each police force in England in each year from 1990–91 to 2001–02, ranked from best to worst performance for the most recent year for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. [66884]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The information requested is not collected centrally, and I understand that forces do not routinely measure how long it takes to answer calls to their general switchboards. Times for answering 999 calls are collected and this information has been provided in response to a separate question.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken since 7 June 2001 to ensure that vacancies for the post of chief constable are advertised as quickly as possible. [66334]

Mr. Denham: In April 2001, we established the Senior Appointments Panel, chaired by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, to offer advice on the approval

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of chief officer candidates and to assist police authorities in the co-ordination and timetabling of the appointments process.

Work is currently under way to develop detailed guidance for police authorities on the recruitment and selection of chief officers, drawn up in close consultation with key stakeholders. That will replace the current guidance in Home Office Circular 52–96. The new guidance will set out a wide range of best practice on all aspects of chief officer recruitment and selection procedures, including the setting of an appropriate timetable for key steps in the process at the point a vacancy arises.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money was spent by the relevant pension fund on paying pensions to retired members of the police force in 2001–02; if he will estimate the corresponding amounts to be spent in (a) five years' time, (b) 10 years' time, (c) 20 years' time and (d) 30 years' time; if he will estimate in each case the proportion of such liabilities which will arise from (i) unfunded pension schemes and (ii) pre-funded pension schemes; and in the case of pre-funded schemes; if he will estimate the value of the corresponding pre-funded funds in each of these years. [66560]

Mr. Denham: The Police Pension Scheme is an unfunded scheme. The cost of police pensions in England and Wales in 2001–02 is estimated at £1.1 billion. Estimated costs to individual police authorities in 2001–02 are set out in the table. No projections of police pensions' costs in five, 10, 20 and 30 years' time are available. These are matters for individual police authorities.

As we made clear in the White Paper 'Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform', we are aware of the need of police authorities and chief officers for a system which brings greater clarity about pensions obligations on individual police authorities. With the Treasury we are examining the options for a revised system of funding which would bring this about.

Net pensions expenditure
Force £000
Avon and Somerset Police31,585
Bedfordshire Police9,078
Cambridgeshire Police10,674
Cheshire Police16,599
City of London9,578
Cleveland Police13,478
Cumbria Police10,765
Derbyshire Police14,473
Devon and Cornwall Police28,313
Dorset Police12,728
Durham Police10,991
Dyfed Powys8,435
Essex Police25,211
Gloucestershire Police10,301
Greater Manchester Police66,792
Gwent Police Authority9,621
Hampshire Police24,537
Hertfordshire Police12,308
Humberside Police18,572
Kent Police26,759
Lancashire Police28,568
Leicestershire Police14,706
Lincolnshire Police12,820
Merseyside Police43,542
Metropolitan Police (GLA)254,767
Norfolk Police12,354
North Wales13,249
North Yorkshire Police14,757
Northamptonshire Police8,484
Northumbria Police32,794
Nottinghamshire Police21,457
South Wales30,169
South Yorkshire Police22,805
Staffordshire Police22,866
Suffolk Police11,130
Surrey Police11,605
Sussex Police29,312
Thames Valley Police24,971
Warwickshire Police10,300
West Mercia Police18,183
West Midlands Police51,133
West Yorkshire Police47,066
Wiltshire Police9,272


The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Police Statistics 2001–02 (Estimates)

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Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police vehicles were involved in road accidents resulting in (a) slight injuries, (b) serious injuries and (c) fatal accidents in the last five years. [65786]

Mr. Denham: The available information is set out in table and relates to the number of injuries and deaths involving police vehicles engaged in immediate/ emergency response or pursuit only.

DeathsSerious injurySlight injury


(i) The information has been provided by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), to which forces submit statistical returns.

(ii) Data are missing from one force in 1998–99 and 1999–2000; and from two forces 2000–01.

(iii) All figures are for financial year.

(iv) The figures are numbers of deaths/injuries, not numbers of accidents.

(v) The figures include both police and civilian casualties.

(vi) The figures for 2001–02 are provisional only. Data are missing from four forces.

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police vehicles committed traffic violations and what was the (a) nature of these violations and (b) number of prosecutions arising from them in the last 12 months. [65758]

Mr. Denham: The information is not collected centrally.

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many guns each police force possesses, broken down by type; how many officers each force has trained in the use of guns, broken down by rank;

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and how many incidents there have been in each force in which guns have been used by officers in each of the last five years; and how many fatalities have resulted. [65641]

Mr. Denham: Information on the numbers and types of firearms held by each force, and details of the ranks of authorised firearms officers, is not held centrally. The collection of this information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

I have attached the most recently published figures on the number of authorised firearms officers and also on operations in which firearms were issued. The number of persons shot by police over the same period and the number of those whose wounds were fatal, are also attached.

Number of operations in which firearms were issued

Avon and Somerset3121398890
City of London308307147125
Devon and Cornwall1601336165
Greater Manchester214165160224
North Yorkshire651026961
South Yorkshire155302135237
Thames Valley215227158110
West Mercia106132130110
West Midlands270227305362
West Yorkshire617630662813
North Wales233310386371
South Wales59101148255

Number of authorised firearms officers (AFOs)

Avon and Somerset165161153150
City of London88815573
Devon and Cornwall15114782119
Greater Manchester209182217218
North Yorkshire108958359
South Yorkshire11010890100
Thames Valley185194179187
West Mercia155159139129
West Midlands88959293
West Yorkshire131114128110
North Wales72909792
South Wales134176169155

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Persons shot by policeFatally wounded

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) policemen and (b) police women there were in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2001; and if he will make a statement. [66468]

Mr. Denham: At 30 September 1997 there were 107,505 full-time equivalent male police officers and 19,357 full-time equivalent female police officers in England and Wales.

At 30 September 2001 there were 105,136 full-time equivalent male police officers and 22,094 full-time equivalent female police officers in England and Wales.

We have reversed the long-term decline in police strength. Police officer numbers had reached a record number by the end of January 2002. We are on track for our target of 130,000 officers by spring 2003.

The proportion of female officers has risen from 15 per cent. to 17 per cent., and raising the representation of women in the Police Service is an area we are continuing to address.

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Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines are issued to police forces regarding (a) colour blindness tests for recruits and (b) the standards which recruits must attain to be accepted. [66465]

Mr. Denham: Guidelines issued by the Home Office (Home Office Circular 7/98) state that candidates for the police service need to be able to pass the City University Colour Vision Test and achieve 7/10 of the plates to pass.

The Home Office are currently funding research to develop new job related medical and eyesight standards. The research includes whether there is a continuing need for a colour vision requirement. Draft recommendations on eyesight requirements are due shortly. These will be discussed with The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and police interest groups and are expected to be introduced later this year. All forces will be expected to apply the new standards consistently.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish his review of police pension arrangements. [65633]

Mr. Denham: As we stated in our White Paper "Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform", we are looking at ways of modernising police pensions to make them more flexible and affordable for future entrants and to reflect modern lifestyle patterns. This is a complex area, which needs careful consideration.

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) arrests and (b) prosecutions there were in the Peterlee Sub Division for (i) use of illegal substances, (ii) possession of illegal substances and (iii) the dealing in illegal substances in (A) 1999, (B) 2000 and (C) 2001. [65586]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The available information, relating to illegal drugs, is as follows.

Persons(56) proceeded against in the Easington petty sessional area for the possession of and dealing in a controlled drug, 1999 and 2000

Easington petty sessional area
Possession of a controlled drug
Dealing in a controlled drug(57)

(56) Persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with.

(57) Includes offences of importation/exportation, production, supplying, possession with intent to supply etc.

The number of arrests within the Peterlee Sub Division of Durham Constabulary are not available centrally. The 'use' of illegal drugs is not an offence.

Statistics for 2001 will be available in the autumn.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on improving public access to police stations in local communities; and if he will make a statement. [62291]

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Mr. Denham: The management of police property and allocation of resources are matters for each police authority and the chief officer who are best placed to assess local needs for the policing plan and local operational priorities, taking local opinion into account.

In guidance issued in 2001 we made it a requirement for police authorities to include in their annual policing/best value performance plans details of any police stations which have opened or closed in the previous financial year.

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