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21 Oct 2002 : Column 99W—continued

Special Constables

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special constables were serving in (a) Sussex police and (b) Highdown division in each year since 1997. [73923]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 15 October 2002]: Police Personnel statistics are collected by the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate every six months. The figures are collected per force and not at divisional level. The figures available for the Sussex Special Constabulary as a whole at 31 March each year since 1997 are given in the table below:



* Statistics provided by Research Development and Statistics Directorate.

The special constabulary is a key element of the reform agenda. Specials have a vital role to play in reducing crime and providing reassurance to the public. We are committed to increasing the number of specials. In May we announced a new headline role for specials, focusing on intelligence led patrolling and crime reduction initiatives. Also in May we introduced a new foundation training package for specials. With the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) we are preparing, good practice guidance which will help forces to develop their strategies for improving both the recruitment and retention of specials.

Hilda Murrell

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress made in the Hilda Murrell murder investigation. [73717]

Mr. Denham: A major crime review of the 1984 murder enquiry into the death of Hilda Murrell was launched in April 2002. It is being conducted in line with West Mercia Police force policy and guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), issued in 1998, which states that undetected major crimes should be periodically reviewed. The review is proceeding according to plan.

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The objectives of the review, drawn up by West Mercia Police force's Chief Officers, are:

I understand that in order to ensure that the potential of the review is fully explored, experts from a range of fields—including the National Crime Operations Faculty (CENTREX)—are being consulted.

The original enquiry was paper-based and pre-dated the HOLMES computerised enquiry system. It ran for over two years, nearly 3,000 statements were taken, over 2,500 exhibits seized or referred to and many thousands of other documents contained within the investigation file. A significant part of the review involves capturing the case information on modern computerised systems to allow more efficient analysis. Whilst this process is ongoing other material held by the enquiry is being assessed and reviewed for forensic potential and opportunities.

Due to the size and complexity of the review, the process of data capture will not be completed before the end of 2002. The forensic review will require a staged submission of identified items, and it is therefore difficult to accurately predict when that process will be complete. However, the current estimate is the last quarter of 2003 at the earliest.

Jubilee Celebrations

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimates he has received from the Metropolitan Police of the numbers of people present in and near the Mall on each day of the Jubilee celebrations. [73434]

Mr. Denham: The Metropolitan Police inform me that the following numbers of people were estimated to be present in and near the Mall on each day of the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Roadside Checks

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many roadside checks were carried out

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by each police force during the last 12 months for the purposes of (a) speed, (b) use of seat belts and child restraints, (c) vehicle safety and roadworthiness and (d) influence of alcohol or drugs. [73432]

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Mr. Denham: Information is not available centrally on the number of roadside checks carried out by the police on motorists. However, available information by type of police action is given in the table.

Motoring Offences (Speeding, seat belts, vehicle condition & driving after consuming alcohol/drugs) dealt with by official police action and police force area. England and Wales 2000

Speed limit offences(32)Seat belt offences(33)Vehicle defect offences(34)consuming alcohol/drugs(35)
Written Warnings Fixed Penalties Proceedings at magistrates' courts Total dealt with Written Warnings Fixed Penalties Proceedings at magistrates' courts Total dealt with Written Warnings Fixed Penalties Proceedings at magistrates' courts Total dealt with Written Warnings Proceedings at magistrates' courts Total dealt with
Avon & Somerset7036,1224,67140,86334,3601024,465751071,4461,62812,7192,720
Devon & Cornwall3928,0915,32433,45495,5881185,715261781,1021,3062,4212,421
Gt Manchester8959,76515,26375,1172110,24170610,968226472,4783,1475,1865,186
London, City of13532065601865191122302325193193
Met Police3254,8439,17564,050446,2706306,944451,7257,4799,249714,16614,173
North Yorkshire35,2951,3036,6011,293581,351181123905201,1601,160
South Yorkshire220,9872,76923,75855,7821355,922174701,6072,0942,3222,322
Thames Valley8771,8888,78480,75927,1421747,318102881,0611,35913,9213,922
West Mercia14422,1502,98925,2832,2661162,382383431,3511,7321,7411,741
West Midlands95,6684,0999,77633,4113103,724293802,2292,63815,2125,213
West Yorkshire1324,5956,22230,83094,4842364,729212831,7152,01913,7983,799
Total England21,981891,951143,6251,057,5575,305144,8735,422155,6001,5659,30748,31159,1838489,32989,413
Dyfed Powys58,8401,0359,88031,617481,668501054766311985986
North Wales2116,9802,98719,98842,533552,592201736248171,4301,430
South Wales2,05154,3832,89859,3328482,9901543,992612411,3261,62823,0753,077
Total Wales2,12296,72111,043109,88685810,42831811,6041466143,1813,94176,8316,838
Total England & Wales24,103988,672154,6681,167,4436,163155,3015,740167,2041,7119,92151,49263,1249196,16096,251


(32) All speed limit offences: Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 secs 16, 81, 84, 86, 88 & 89. Motor Vehicles (Speed Limits on Motorways) Regulations 1973. Parks Regulation (Amendment) Act 1926 and byelaws made thereunder

(33) Seat Belt offences: Road Traffic Act 1988 secs 14 (3), 15 (2) & (4).

(34) Vehicle or part in dangerous or defective condition: Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, Regs 7, 8, 11, 16, 18, 22 to 24, 25 to 27, 29, 30 to 39, 45 to 48, 61, 63, 71, 100. Schedule 3, Road Traffic Act 1988 secs 40A (a) & (b), 41A, 42 as added by the Road Traffic Act 1991, sec 8.

(35) Driving etc after consuming alcohol or taking drugs: Road Traffic Act 1988 secs 4 (1) & (2), 5 (1) (a) & (b), 6 (4), 7 (6). (Fixed Penalty Notices not issued for these offences).

(36) Amended data Northamptonshire Police have revised figures down from published figures of 70,298.

(37) Proceedings at magistrates' courts—estimates made for Staffordshire Police Force, who were only able to supply data for a sample of weeks in 2000, have been included in totals only.

..Not available

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