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Special Advisers

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions since 1 May 1997 (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity; and if he will list the total cost, including (i) travel, (ii) accommodation and (iii) subsistence allowance, for each occasion. [37978]

Mr. Blunkett: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to Mr. Burns on 9 July 2002, Official Report, column 891W.

In addition, two official visits have been made by Special Advisers to the United States since 1997. One in August 2000 at a total cost of £2,117 and the other in August 2001 at a total cost of £2,900.

The advisor on international drug issues (who was employed on Special Adviser terms) has visited Belgium, Romania and the Czech Republic on official business at an average cost of £1,094 per trip.

Information for the period beyond March 2002 will be available in due course.

Police Complaints

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the complaints concerning the conduct of Deputy Commissioner Ian Blair by the

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National Black Police Association and by members of the public have been referred to him in accordance with Regulation 7 (3A) Police (Conduct) (Senior Officers) Regulation 1999; and if the referral requirement is mandatory. [39360]

Mr. John Denham: No referral has been made. I am informed by the Metropolitan Police Authority that, following further representations from the National Black Police Association, the Metropolitan Police Authority are making further preliminary enquiries.

When a complaint is made about the conduct of the Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, referral to the Secretary of State is not mandatory if the authority is satisfied that the conduct complained of, even if proved, would not justify criminal or disciplinary proceedings. Where referral is not mandatory, the Metropolitan Police Authority may deal with the matter at its own discretion, subject to the Regulations.

The Regulations allow for the authority to conclude, after preliminary enquiries, that no proceedings under regulation 11 need to be taken, and once this conclusion is reached by the Authority, no investigating officer needs to be appointed and no referral under regulation 7(3A) need be made.

Crime and Disorder Partnerships

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crime and disorder partnerships have a named anti-social behaviour co-ordinators. [41383]

Mr. John Denham: 236 of the 376 Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships have confirmed that they have a designated co-ordinator for action against anti-social behaviour. We are working to ensure that the remainder follow suit as quickly as possible. Section 92 (10) of the Police Reform Bill amends the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 so as to grant the Home Secretary the power to call for reports from Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships annually. This will enable Crime Reduction Directors to ensure that partnerships have appropriate strategies to deal with anti-social behaviour and that they are implemented effectively.

Policing (Cambridgeshire)

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) the Cambridgeshire Police Authority spend on the police and (b) the Government grant to the Cambridgeshire Police Authority in the years 1990–91 to 2001–02 and projected for the financial year 2002–03, adjusted for inflation at current values. [41749]

Mr. John Denham: The information is set out in the table.

Net Expenditure in real termsGovernment grant in real terms(93)

(93)Government grant includes Home Office Police grant, Department for Transport, London and the Regions (DTLR) national non domestic rates, revenue support grant, Crime Fighting Fund and rural policing grant. Before 1995–96 when most Police Authorities became independent local authorities, revenue support grant and national non domestic rates were paid as part of respective county council grant funding.

(94)The grant figures for 2001–02 and 2002–03 are not directly comparable, owing to changes from 2002–03 in the method of funding the National Crime Squad/National Criminal Intelligence Service. Based on the new arrangements, comparable expenditure and grant figures for 2001–02, in real terms, would have been £82,374,000 and £68,619,000.

Source for net expenditure: Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Police Statistics (Estimates only for 2000–01 and 2001–02).

Real terms are at 2001–02 prices using GDP deflator at 28.6.02

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Police Reform

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish a White Paper on Police reform; and if he will make a statement. [41924]

Mr. John Denham [holding answer 11 March 2002]: The white paper "Policing A New Century: A Blueprint for Reform" was published on 5 December 2001. My right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, made a statement in the House.

Superintendent Ali Dizaei

Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will order an investigation as to why telephone conversations between Superintendent Ali Dizaei, the legal advisor to the National Black Police Association and other officers and their lawyers were monitored and transcribed by officers investigating him. [42744]

Mr. John Denham: I have no plans at present to order an investigation. I would refer the hon. Friend to my letter to of 9 November 2001 to the hon. Member for Worthing West (Mr. Bottomley) which clarifies the position regarding the telephone calls that Superintendent Dizaei made in connection with his National Black Police Association business. A copy of this letter is in the Library.

Metropolitan Police

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to intervene in the operations of the Metropolitan Police; and if he will make a statement. [42630]

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Mr. John Denham [holding answer 12 March 2002]: Operational policy decisions are the responsibility of the chief officer of each police force. In the case of the Metropolitan Police, this is the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Sir John Stevens.

Where under-performance in a force has been identified by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Police Reform Bill contains a power which will enable the Home Secretary to require that the relevant police authority instructs the chief office to provide an action plan setting out the remedial measures which he/she will take to correct that under-performance. We have no current plan to use this power with respect to the Metrpolitan Police Service (MPS).

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have resigned from the Metropolitan Police force in each of the last three years. [51148]

Mr. John Denham: The information has been provided by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. Also included is information on the number of officers recruited by the Metropolitan Police in those years. Information for 2001–02 is not yet available.

All leavers (excluding transfers)1,3001,0201,154

Mobile Phone Thefts

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many mobile phone thefts there have been by (a) police authority area and (b) crime and disorder partnership area each year since 1997. [43029]

Mr. John Denham: The requested information is not collected centrally.

Estimates of the number of mobile phone thefts in England and Wales as a whole in 2000–01 vary widely, depending on the source of the data used to produce the estimate. A recent research study "Mobile Phone Theft" (by Victoria Harrington and Pat Mayhew, Home Office Research Study 235) contained a number of estimates. On the basis of figures from six police forces extrapolated to England and Wales, there were an estimated 330,000 offences recorded by the police in 2000–01, while the best estimate from analysis of data from three surveys indicates that there were some 710,000 phone thefts occurring annually at this time.

We are working with the police and the mobile phone industry to reduce mobile phone robbery, undertaking public awareness campaigns and joint tracking exercises. Our discussions with the operators have recently borne fruit. By the summer all five of the main operators will be able to bar stolen handsets by reference to the unique IMEI number which identifies the handset. All of the operators are also working together to develop a shared database of stolen phones, which will allow them to disable stolen phones if there is an attempt to use them

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on a different network. We believe that this is a very important step forward, as it should remove one of the major incentives for robbery.

Operators have also agreed to improve security as they invest in new systems. We are pressing the handset manufacturers for similar commitments. A start has been made, but more needs to be done before Britain's mobile phone system can lead the world in security. The mobile phone industry needs to show more interest in the security of phones they are selling to British consumers and, as the motor industry has done, do more to prevent their customers from becoming the victims of crime.

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