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24 Feb 2004 : Column 373Wcontinued
Ms Blears: Home Office research ("Mobile Phone Theft", December 2001) found that mobile phone theft was fuelling the rise in street robbery. The Government have worked in partnership with the mobile phone industry and the police to address the issue through the Street Crime Initiative.
As part of this work, from 1 November 2002, all six UK network operators have shared a database on mobile phones so that lost and stolen handsets can be blocked from use across all UK networks. A publicity campaign has informed people of this. There are now over 1.1 million handsets on the UK database, making them less attractive as objects of theft. Street robbery went down 17 per cent. in 200203 compared with 200102 across the 10 street crime police force areas as a result of the implementation of this and other measures.
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|Number of authorised firearms officers (AFOs)|
Ms Blears: We decided, exceptionally, on an increase of 3.25 per cent. in general grant to meet general inflationary pressures and allow all police authorities to set budgets that do not place excessive burdens on local taxpayers.
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David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he has put in place to ensure that police authorities receive sufficient funding to meet their commitments under their statutory Police Plans. 
Ms Blears: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary's key priorities for policing over the next three years were set out in the National Policing Plan 200407. This national plan provides the framework within which local policing plans are prepared. Local policing plans and the funding of commitments contained in them are matters for individual police authorities.
All police authorities in England and Wales will receive a 3.25 per cent. increase in general grants next year. This exceeds projections of general inflation of around 2.6 per cent. On top of this, funding for a range of targeted programmes and capital provision will be made available.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money has been provided to each police authority from Airwave grant in 200304; and what the planned provision is from Airwave grant for each police authority for 200405. 
|Avon and Somerset||505||||505|
|City of London||119||||119|
|Devon and Cornwall||0||||0|
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|Avon and Somerset||840|
|City of London||240|
|Devon and Cornwall||870|
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Government's policy for the funding for 200405 and future financial years of police authority expenditure now financed by the Airwave grant. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 26 January 2004]: The Government's policy is to give the police authorities maximum possible flexibility and discretion in the use of the grants provided to them by the Home Office. £38 million previously intended to be provided to police authorities as a grant specifically for Airwave in 200405 will now be provided to police authorities as part of the general Home Office grant to the police.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the estimate of the cost of security for the recent visit of President Bush to the UK is; and whether he expects that figure to change. 
Ms Blears: The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis informs me the total cost to the Metropolitan Police Service relating to the state visit of the President of the United States between 18 and 21 November 2003 was £3,924,680. This includes additional costs of £1.45 million, of which £0.8 million was incurred in overtime payments. These figures are not expected to change as all claims have been processed.
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