Previous Section Index Home Page

Police Sick Leave

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many days of sick leave were taken by the (a) police force, (b) fire service and (c) prison service in the last year for which records are available; and what the cost was. [56065]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 20 May 2002]: The number of days taken as sick leave in 2000–01 and the estimated costs are set out in the table:

Number of days sick leave takenEstimated cost £ million
Police officers1,516,147(37)280
Police support staff746,928(38)106
Fire service(39)(40)407,369(41)
Prison service614,150(42)68

(37) The average daily cost of a police officer is £185.

(38) The average daily cost of a member of support staff is £142.

(39) Responsibility for the fire service rests with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

(40) This is based on 45 out of the 50 brigades providing full information.

(41) Not available.

(42) The prison service figure is calculating using a daily costing of £110 for all staff.

23 Jul 2002 : Column 1054W

Investigatory Branch CIB3

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received regarding the progress of the investigatory branch CIB3 in investigating alleged misdemeanours. [69332]

Mr. Denham: I received representations on alleged malpractice in corruption investigations by the Anti- Corruption Unit of the Metropolitan Police Service's Directorate of Professional Standards (formerly CIB3) from my noble Friend (Lord Graham) of Edmonton, five hon. Members and a solicitor at a meeting on 20 March 2002. I received a dossier of written material from my noble Friend Lord Graham on 30 April. I have also received nine other pieces of correspondence on related issues.

We have received no other representations this year.

Deaths in Custody

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps he is taking to reduce the number of deaths in police custody; [70830]

Mr. Denham: The number of people dying in police stations has fallen from 16 to five in the period 1998–99 to 2000–01. Provisional figures for 2001–02 show that the decline is continuing.

The definitions of deaths in police custody or otherwise with the police were revised in 1996 to make them clearer, and to distinguish between deaths of those in police detention and other deaths involving the police. This resulted in a broader range of deaths being reported, for example people who died while attempting to evade arrest in vehicles. This has resulted in an increase in the published figures.

The increased figure for 1995–96 reflected the change to collecting the figures on a financial year basis rather than on a calendar year basis and were collected over a 15 month period (1 January 1995 to 31 March 1996).

Much has been done in recent years by the police, the Home Office and the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to identify the main factors responsible for deaths in custody and to consider how the position can be improved. Police forces in England and Wales are taking a range of actions to reduce such deaths. These include safer custody facilities, improved training, Close Circuit Television (CCTV) monitoring and an emphasis on better care, assessment and monitoring of detainees.

Special Constables

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about establishment, recruitment and retention in the special constabulary. [65610]

Mr. Denham: Special constables are a key element of our police reform agenda. We are working on a package of measures designed to help improve the way they are recruited, managed and deployed.

23 Jul 2002 : Column 1055W

We are particularly keen to improve liaison with employers. Later this year, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Home Secretary will publish a joint discussion paper on fiscal and other changes we can make to promote community service, including service as a special constable. A new headline role for specials has been published, focusing on intelligence-led patrolling and crime reduction initiatives. A new foundation training package for specials was issued in June and revised conditions of service regulations and new conduct regulations are being prepared.

Central to this process will be Home Office/the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) good practice guidance covering all aspects of the recruitment, management and deployment of specials, which will be issued by the end of the year. We have also set aside £300,000 to help "specials champions" forces drive forward initiatives to improve the recruitment and retention of specials. I have asked deputy chief constable Peter Fahy of Surrey police to help with this.

Bilateral Ministerial Meetings

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when Ministers in his Department have held meetings with Ministers and officials of the Irish Government since 1 June 2000; when and where each meeting took place; which Ministers were involved in each meeting; which Irish Government departments were involved in each meeting; and which Ministers and officials from the Irish Government attended each meeting. [63089]

Mr. Blunkett: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Peter Hain) on 20 June 2002, Official Report, column 533W.

Ring-fenced Funds

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funds allocated by (a) his Department and (b) its executive agencies are ring-fenced for specific purposes; and if he will list the allocations of funds involved. [22952]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 18 December 2001]: I regret the delay in responding to this question. Ring-fenced expenditure for the Home Office and Prison Service Agency for financial year 2001–02 is detailed in the table:


Home Office
Crime Fighting Fund159,000
Capital Modernisation Fund (CMF)207,900
Invest to Save30,897
Non CMF DNA46,000
Crime Research Programme110,900
Confiscated Assets Fund6,000
Criminal Justice System100,000
Active Communities Project10,900
Central Service Modernisation2,025
Youth Justice Board Operating Costs10,386
Youth Justice Board bail support10,000
Police Loan Charges grants14,200
Probation Loan Charges grants2,597
Superannuation of seconded police1,081
Prison Service Agency
Capital Modernisation Fund35,470
Invest to Save1,340
Invest to Modernise2,740
Drugs programmes51,950

23 Jul 2002 : Column 1056W

Conviction Rate

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes resulted in a conviction as a proportion of total recorded crime in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [55855]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is contained in the table.

Number of convictions for notifiable offences as a percentage of recorded crime, 1998–99 to 2000–01

Recorded crime5,109,1165,301,1715,170,196
Convictions for notifiable offences755,705756,629705,450
Convictions as a percentage of recorded crime14.814.313.6


1. A crime may involve more than one offender.

2. Each notifiable offence for which an individual was convicted is counted.

3. Some convictions will relate to crimes recorded in earlier years.


Recorded Crime Statistical Bulletin, Home Office, 12/01

Home Office Court Proceedings Database

Criminal Records Bureau

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether businesses that have lost money as a direct result of the failure of the Criminal Records Bureau to meet its published service standards will be entitled to compensation. [70238]

Hilary Benn: Part V of the Police Act 1997 imposes no time frame for the issue of disclosures and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has no liability in contract or tort for taking time to process applications. The CRB has sought advice about the circumstances in which it is suitable to consider paying, or declining to pay, WW compensation.

Next Section Index Home Page