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9 Dec 2003 : Column 400Wcontinued
Ms Blears: There are currently funds available for the installation of CCTV in all locations, including villages, under the Building Safer Communities Fund. The Building Safer Communities Fund is allocated by the Home Office to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to enable them to tackle local crime priorities through a number of interventions, including CCTV. For 200304 the Building Safer Communities Fund has provided Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships with £72.3 million.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community support officers served (a) St. Helens, (b) Merseyside and (c) the North West region in each year since 1992. 
Ms Blears: The Community Support Officers (CSO) initiative began in September 2002. Accordingly between 1992 and September 2002, there were no CSOs in St. Helens, Merseyside and the North West region.
|Force||31 December 2002||1 April 2003||(21)Recruitment to date||(22)1 April 2004|
|Total North West Region||21||278||357||426|
(21) 1 December 2003
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Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimate he has made of the number of (a) violent crimes, (b) gun-related crimes and (c) burglaries which were drug-related in Merseyside in each year since 1992; 
Ms Blears: Statistical data on numbers of offences recorded in different areas do not indicate which may have been committed due to drug taking. However, results from the NEW-ADAM research programme of interviewing and drug testing arrestees between 1999 and 2000 sheds some light on the links between drugs and crime in 16 sites throughout England and Wales. Summary data published in 2001 found that:
However, it should be noted that because an arrestee tested positive for drugs it does not necessarily mean that the consumption of drugs caused the crime to be committed. As a result, while the NEW-ADAM study advanced our knowledge of the links between drugs and crime, it will always be difficult to calculate precisely what proportion of crime is drug-related.
In September 2003, the Home Office Arrestee Survey commenced at 60 randomly selected custody suites in England and Wales. The survey is ongoing, and involves interviewing and drug testing a representative sample of around 9,000 arrestees per year about their offending and drug use. The survey will enable research into the links between drugs and offending and will also provide robust data at a national level to allow tracking of the Home Office Public Service Agreement target to reduce drug related crime.
Numbers of crimes recorded by the police in St. Helens are collected and published at Basic Command Unit (BCU) level. At this level, data is available from 19992000 to 20022003, and the number of crimes recorded are published for six key offence groups, as given in the table.
|Violence against the person||1,693||1,795||1,913||2,406|
|Burglary in a dwelling||1,550||1,669||1,569||1,655|
|Theft of a motor vehicle||2,000||1,923||1,650||1,654|
|Theft from a vehicle||1,680||1,725||1,652||1,822|
(23) Merseyside implemented the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) on 1 April 2002. This will have had the effect of inflating the number of crimes counted. Therefore, following the introduction of the Standard, numbers of recorded crimes are not directly comparable with previous years.
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Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how may crimes were committed per head of population in West Derbyshire police force areas in the last five years for which figures are available; 
Ms Blears: Information on the total number of crimes in West Derbyshire is not available centrally. Recorded crimes per head of population relating to relating to the Derbyshire Constabulary area is given in the table.
(24) There was a change of counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, which had the affect of increasing the number of crimes counted. Numbers of offences for years before and after this date, and figures calculated from them, are therefore not directly comparable.
(25) The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced in the Derbyshire Constabulary area in April 2002. Nationally, the NCRS has had the effect of increasing the number of rimes recorded by the police. Therefore, following the introduction of the Standard numbers of recorded crimes and figures derived from them are not comparable with previous years.
Ms Blears: We are not proposing to privatise the Forensic Science Service (FSS). The reasons for the decision to transform the FSS into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) were set out in the Home Secretary's statement to the House on 17 July. The actions we are taking to establish a successful PPP will ensure that the
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FSS will continue to compete successfully in partnership with government, while continuing to protect the public interest and deliver major benefits to the wider criminal justice system.
We have accepted the recommendation of the independent Review of the FSS that the National DNA Database should remain exclusively under public sector control. Arrangements for the future ownership, governance and management are currently subject to consultation between Association of Chief Police Officers, the Association of Police Authorities and the Home Office.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what studies have been carried out to estimate the future level of investment needed by the Forensic Science Service in the years 2004 to 2007. 
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legislation is required to alter the status of the Forensic Science Service in line with the proposed Government plans for the service. 
Ms Blears: The Development and Remuneration Committee of the Forensic Science Service is responsible for advising on the organisation of the agency, the staff reward and recognition strategy, and its management and succession planning.
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Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will publish a timetable for the implementation of the recommendations of the Home Office Review of the Forensic Science Service. 
Ms Blears: The implementation of the recommendations of the independent review of the Forensic Science Service, including the timetable for its transformation into a Public Private Partnership, are currently the subject of detailed discussions with key stakeholders.
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