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28 Oct 2002 : Column 632Wcontinued
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The National Criminal Intelligence Service published their annual assessment of the threat to the United Kingdom from serious and organised crime on 22 July. The assessment, based on available information and intelligence, is important in providing an authoritative statement on the threat and informing the Government's response to it.
Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) amendments and (b) new clauses he has introduced to the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill (i) in the Commons between Second Reading and the commencement of Committee stage, (ii) in the Commons during Committee stage, (iii) in the Commons during Report stage and (iv) subsequently. 
Beverley Hughes: The numbers of Government amendments and new clauses introduced into the Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Bill since 12 April 2002 are set out in the table. The majority were minor or technical. The substantive amendments which were introduced in the Lords reflected new policy developments and additional time was given to the Bill with the recommitment of Parts III, V and VIII.
|Bill stage||Amendments||New clauses|
|(i) between Second Reading and Committee||3||1|
|(ii) during Commons Committee stage||105||5|
|(iii) during Commons Report||95||7|
|(iv) subsequent to Commons Report||139||12|
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) civilian staff were employed by the Nottinghamshire Police on (i) 31 March 1997, (ii) 31 March 1998, (iii) 31 March 1999, (iv) 31 March 2000, (v) 31 March 2001, (vi) 31 March 2002 and (vii) 31 September 2002; and what the projected number is for 31 March 2003. 
Mr. Denham: The information requested is set out in the table. Police strength information for September 2002 is not yet available. Plans for strength in March 2003 are a matter for the Chief Constable.
28 Oct 2002 : Column 633W
|Year as at 31 March||Police Strength||Civilian Support Staff|
Home Office Statistical BulletinsPolice Service Strength19972002.
Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to ensure that those released from Oakington Reception Centre pending appeals have a duty to report daily or weekly to the police or other authorities. 
Beverley Hughes: Those released from Oakington are granted temporary admission. As part of the conditions attached to this they can be required to live at a specified address and to report at specified times to an immigration or police officer.
It is Government policy that wherever possible asylum seekers on temporary admission should be required to report at regular intervals to immigration officers, who are best placed to monitor progress on the application and act on up-to-date information.
The Immigration Service already has eight reporting centres for this purpose and more are planned. Immigration officers also operate reporting in a number of police stations in the regions. In all cases where those released from Oakington are granted temporary admission to an area with existing reporting facilities, reporting restrictions will be imposed. In addition the Immigration Service will shortly be introducing teams of visiting officers and a mobile reporting van. This will result in more asylum seekers being required to report to an immigration officer on a regular basis.
Hilary Benn [holding answer 23 October 2002]: Last week we announced that a persistent offender scheme will start in February 2003 across the whole criminal justice system. Its aim will be to target the most prolific offenders, to bring more offences committed by them to justice, and to rehabilitate them more effectively. This scheme is an important part of the 'Narrowing the Justice Gap' programme which aims to reduce the difference between the number of crimes reported to the police and the number of offences brought to justice. In addition the Government have already: given the courts new secure remand and tagging powers for 12 to 16-year olds who repeatedly offend on bail; funded the Youth Justice Board's intensive supervision and surveillance programmes for the most prolific young offenders; and renewed its commitment to maintain the time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders at or below 71 days.
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Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to recruit part-time police officers and to allow full-time officers to change to part-time if they wish to (a) before and (b) after they have completed 30 years service. 
Mr. Denham: All new recruits may apply to work part-time, as may established police officers of all ranks, regardless of whether officers have completed 30 years' service or not. Managers must give full consideration to all requests to change to part-time working, taking into account operational needs.
As part of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) Agreement of 9 May, part-time working will be made easier for officers in all ranks, regardless of whether they have completed 30 years service or not. We plan to remove the current 16-hour a week minimum requirement for part-time working by 1 April 2003, together with the requirement for job sharing in respect of middle and senior ranks.
Mr. Denham: The Police Negotiating Board (PNB) Agreement of 9 May, approved by the Secretary of State, contains a number of measures that will improve the pay and conditions of all police officers and particularly frontline officers from 1 April 2003. There will be a new special priority payment scheme which is targeted on frontline operational officers in particular and gives extra rewards to officers in the most difficult and demanding posts. In addition, there will be increases in basic pay on top of the annual police pay award, shorter pay scales and competence-related pay for the most experienced officers in the federated ranks.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make a statement on proposed changes to the police funding formula and their impact on future police authority funding. 
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Mr. Denham: The number of police officers in England and Wales is the highest ever, 129,603 officers on 31 March 2002. Police strength is on track to reach our target of 130,000 officers by March 2003. We have set a further target for it to reach 132,500 officers in 2004.
Community Support Officers (CSOs) will have a vital role to play in support of the police. By tackling anti-social behaviour and the host of public nuisance, disorder and environmental problems that accompany it, they will make an invaluable contribution to community safety and regeneration.
More than #19 million has been made available this year to recruit, train and deploy CSOs. Twenty-seven police forces in England and Wales bid for a share of this fund and we were able to fund them all. Hertfordshire made a successful bid for 14 CSOs to provide reassurance and a visible presence for communities in Watford and Stevenage.
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