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Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list visits made by each Minister in the Department between December 2003 and April 2004, broken down by (a) date, (b) constituency visited and (c) cost. 
Mr. Blunkett: The Government publish on an annual basis the total costs of all ministerial overseas travel and a list of all visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500. Information for 200304 is currently being collected and will be published in due course.
Ms Blears [holding answer 14 May 2004]: None. I am not aware of proposals for such mergers. I will consider any proposals if they are put to me. The Home Office and a number of Police forces provide considerable support to local neighbourhood watch schemes.
Ms Blears: Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency is part of the Swale Basic Command Unit (BCU). Information on strength at BCU level is collected annually and reflects the position at the end of March. Information on BCU strength is only available from 2002.
Between March 2002 and March 2003 police strength for the Swale BCU increased by 10.3 per cent. (from 213 to 235). The deployment of officers to BCUs is a matter for the Chief Constable (Michael Fuller) and within the Swale BCU deployment of officers is a matter for the Divisional Commander.
|General government grants(16)||Annual percentage change in general government grants||Specific grants and|
|Total||Annual percentage change in all government grants|
|£ million||Percentage||£ million||£ million||Percentage|
Ms Blears: The Home Office encourages forces to use a variety of means to increase the accessibility and visibility of officers with their local communities, as part of a wider commitment to engage with communities on a routine and in depth basis to identify their needs and act on them. It is the role of chief constables, however, to decide whether the use of patrol by bicycle would best meet the identified needs of their communities.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many civilians were employed by each police force in England and Wales in the last year for which figures are available; and in what roles they were employed. 
Ms Blears: Published information on police staff strength by police forcearea is available in total but not by function. The latest available figures for police staff are those for 31 March 2003. For Community Support Officers the latest available is for 31 March 2004. The data are set out in the table.
|Police force||Police Staff as at 31 March 2003||Community Support Officers as at 31 March 2004|
|Avon and Somerset||1,785||46|
|Devon and Cornwall||1,834||55|
|London, City of||268||0|
|Total of 43 forces||62,581||3,459|
|British Transport Poll||624||(20)|
|Total other services||1,148||(20)|
|Total police service||63,729||3,459|
|Total police service (excluding BTP)||63,105||3,459|
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hours were spent by police officers (a) on patrol, (b) on reactive policing, (c) in offices and (d) attending court for each police force in England and Wales in the last year for which figures are available. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 17 May 2004]: This information is not available. Later in the year, the Government intends to publish the proportion of time spent by police officers on front line duties in each force.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what use is being made of geographic information systems to match police project funding to area-specific problems (a) in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, (b) by Government Office of the Regions area and (c) in England. 
Ms Blears: I understand that Cleveland Police use North East Regional Information Sharing System (NERISS) for crime mapping and data sharing. Cleveland also use Intergraph public safety mapping for command and control and Mapinfo for crime analysis and to inform tasking and co-ordination meetings and patrol patterns.
The Chief Constable of Cleveland Police informs me that resources are distributed locally according to an allocation model that is in part based on levels of deprivation. The force is in the process of adjusting its method of allocation to recognise, for example, the policing environment, in Middlesborough. The adjustment is informed by ongoing analysis of crime and disorder in the force area.
Comprehensive information on a national basis is not available but we are aware of police and local authorities using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in some instances to target funding and other resources.
[holding answer 13 May 2004]: The main powers of entry available to police officers are set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). Circumstances in which the police may enter private property without a warrant are:
19 May 2004 : Column 1043W
to arrest someone for an arrestable offence;
to arrest someone for whom an arrest warrant has been issued;
to search the premises of someone who has been arrested for an arrestable offence and where the police have reasonable grounds to believe that they will find evidence relating to that offence or of some similar or connected arrestable offence;
to search the premises in which an arrested person was immediately prior to his arrest, if the officer believes that evidence relating to that offence may be found there;
to recapture a person who is unlawfully at large;
to prevent or stop a breach of the peace;
in order to save life or limb; and to prevent serious damage to property.
Ms Blears: Since 1992 the Police Information Technology Organisation, with the support of the National Association of Police Fleet Managers, has put in place a number of national frameworks for the purchase of vehicles by the police service.
Under EC rules references in procurements to national origin are specifically prohibited as this contravenes the principles of the Treaty of Rome, of a single European Community internal market open to all.
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