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9 Dec 2003 : Column 404Wcontinued
Caroline Flint: The National Treatment Agency is implementing Models of Care, which lays down a national framework for the commissioning and provision of local drug services. Models of Care sets quality standards, including on services for women and those with dependent children.
The NTA has also commissioned the University of Central Lancashire and Drugscope to work directly with drug services in three regions on meeting the needs of specific groups including women with dependants.
Ms Blears: We are encouraging more people to report crimes in all areas by improving the way in which crimes reported to the police are recorded. The National Crime Recording Standard, formally introduced in all forces in England and Wales in April 2002, aims to bring greater consistency to the way in which crime is recorded by the police and to ensure a more victim centred approach to crime recording.
There have also been crime specific initiatives aimed at increasing the numbers of such crimes reported to the police, particularly, domestic violence and sexual offences. For example, the British Crime Survey shows that there was a 5 per cent. Increase in the proportion of violent crimes being reported to the police in 200203 compared with the previous year.
With a total sample size of 40,000 interviews a year, more emphasis is now being placed on the British Crime Survey as a way of measuring crime, as it covers unreported and unrecorded crime as well as offences which are reported to the police. As the survey is unaffected by changes in the level of public reporting to the police or police recording, it provides a more accurate picture of crime across England and Wales.
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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK civilian police officers have been operating in Iraq in each month since May; and what plans there are for future deployment. 
There are currently 11 UK civilian police officers in Iraq, in both Baghdad and Basra. The first four officers were deployed in July. They were joined by six more officers in October and one in November. We intend to deploy 24 police officers soon to the Regional Police Training Academy in Basra to help train new recruit to the Iraqi Police Service.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what information his Department records on the types of knives used in assaults and other criminal offences; and what assessment he has made of the trends; 
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions his Department has had with Chief Constables on the use of stop and search powers to tackle the carrying of knives. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 3 December 2003]: There have been no recent discussions between the Home Department and Chief Constables on the use of stop and search powers specifically to tackle the carrying of knives.
However, we have consulted the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on the revision of PACE Code A. It provides the guidance for police officers on the use of the powers of stop and search, including the powers to stop and search for offensive weapons and dangerous instruments. This guidance has recently been reviseda new version came into force on 1 April 2003. A further revision will come into force in April 2004. ACPO will be consulted on future revisions.
A stop and search sub group has been set up under the Lawrence Steering Group to look at issues around stop and search. ACPO are represented on that group. The sub group's work includes considering ACPO guidance to the police on their powers to stop and search for offensive weapons and dangerous instruments under section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
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Ms Blears: The police play a crucial supporting role for Neighbourhood Watch at a local level. This includes providing advice on how to set up schemes and assisting with administration and publicity. In some cases co-ordinators and scheme members work as part of a "Watch Support Group" in police premises.
The Government along with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the National Neighbourhood Watch Association are building on this relationship to ensure that those who give their time to their local Neighbourhood Watch schemes and their communities will get as much support as possible from the police.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding was provided by central Government to the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: Neighbourhood Watch is a movement of over 155,000 local schemes covering around six million households. Local schemes are independent and largely self-financing. Police support for schemes can be considerable but its monetary value has not been calculated.
The Home Office supports the National Neighbourhood Watch Association. For the last three years it sponsored their annual conference at a cost of £80,000pa. The organisation is largely self-financing with funding from the private sector. Last year the Home Office provided a grant of £150,000 and this year it has provided £200,000 to date. This was to assist the Organisation during a period of transition between private sponsors.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Neighbourhood Watch schemes there are in England and Wales; and what estimate he has made of how many people belong to them. 
Ms Blears: The 2000 British Crime Survey (BCS) estimated that there were over 155,000 Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in England and Wales covering more than six million households. National Neighbourhood Watch Association estimates that there are approximately 10 million Neighbourhood Watch members in England and Wales.
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Ms Blears: The British Crime Survey contains a number of questions about Neighbourhood Watch, including an assessment of its effectiveness. The findings of the 2000 British Crime Survey have been published and a copy has been placed in the Library.
Mr. McWalter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what incentives he is providing to attract police officers who are of continuing value to the service to continue beyond 30 years of service. 
Ms Blears: The Police Negotiating Board (PNB) Agreement of May 2002 included outline provisions for flexible arrangements that would give managers in the police service scope to retain officers who are entitled to retire with maximum pension benefits where they wish to do so. The main points of the 30+ scheme subsequently agreed by the PNB are:
Re-engagement at former rank and pay level;
Pension abatement lifted to allow for any replacement allowances lost on retirement to be made good;
Eligibility for Special Priority Payments and Competency Related Threshold Payments on the same basis as other officers;
Officer ceases to be a member of the Police Pension Scheme but can accrue further pension benefits by taking out a personal pension.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to police forces in relation to police officers' membership of or affiliation to (a) political parties and (b) other political organisations; and if he will place copies in the Library. 
Ms Blears: Schedule 1 to the Police Regulations 2003 states that "A member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression among members of the public that it may so interfere; and in particular a member of a police force shall not take any active part in politics".
To provide stability in police funding following major changes for 200304, no changes to the structure of the police funding formula have been made for 200405 so formula change has not been the subject of consultation.
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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many additional police officers have been recruited in (a) England and (b) East Sussex in the last five years; and what percentage increase this represents in each case. 
|% change 31 March 1999 to 31 March 2000||5.9%||5.0%|
(26) Full time equivalent
(27) Figures are available for the Sussex Police Force as a whole and not East Sussex as requested.
Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have been (a) killed and (b) injured by drivers (i) failing to stop and (ii) evading arrest in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those injured have retired from the police service as a result. 
Ms Blears: Information in the form requested is not held centrally. Data on homicide of police officers where the method is described as being struck by a motor vehicle and the circumstances as resisting arrest or a reckless act involving a motor vehicle are listed in the following table:
|Resisting arrest||Reckless act involving a motor vehicle|
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