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24 Feb 2004 : Column 373Wcontinued
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the effect of the initiative to deactivate stolen phones upon mobile phone theft. 
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.
Mr. Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers are undergoing firearms training; and what the figure was five years ago. 
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Ms Blears: The requested information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many serving police officers are qualified in the use of firearms; and what the figure was five years ago. 
Ms Blears: The number of authorised firearms officers (AFOs) in police forces in England and Wales for years 19982003 is shown in the table.
|Number of authorised firearms officers (AFOs)|
Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what offences arrests can be carried out by a police officer only in uniform; and what the reason is for this condition. 
Ms Blears: The full information requested is not readily available and further research is required to provide a comprehensive reply. I will write to my hon. Friend.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police cells are in use in Lancashire. 
Ms Blears: The Chief Constable of Lancashire informs me that there are 176 cells in use within the police area.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police cells are available per head of population in each police force area. 
Ms Blears: Information on the number of cells is not held centrally.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cells were used for housing prisoners in each police force area on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Ms Blears: This information is not held centrally. This is an operational matter that falls within the remit of the individual Chief Constables.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what basis he has calculated the provisional increase in direct Home Office grant to police authorities for 200405. 
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. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 26 January 2004]: The distribution of money from the Airwave grant to police authorities in 200304 is as shown in the following annex 'A'.
In 200405, the Airwave grant payable to police authorities is to be absorbed within the general Home Office grant to the police.
This funding is to be distributed as shown in the following annex 'B'.
|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|
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the
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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.
Funding for future years is the subject of discussion as part of the 2004 settlement.
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.
The Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary tells me that the total cost to Durham Constabulary regarding the President's visit to Sedgefield on 21 November was £985,000. This figure may change.
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