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3 Nov 2004 : Column 301W—continued

National Offender Management Service

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the role of probation officers dealing with serious sex offenders will be included within the National Offender Management Service. [172842]

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Paul Goggins: Offender managers will have responsibility for the full range of offenders, including serious sex offenders.

Overseas Corruption

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the cases on the register of allegations of overseas corruption offences have been categorised as requiring no further action. [194717]

Caroline Flint: The National Criminal Intelligence Service currently has 10 cases on the register of allegations of overseas corruption offences that have been categorised as requiring no further action.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the allegations on the register of allegations of overseas corruption offences have come from (a) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, (b) the Export Credits Guarantee Department, (c) foreign jurisdictions, (d) Interpol, (e) local police stations within the UK (f) suspicious activity reports, (g) whistle-blowers and (h) other sources. [194685]

Caroline Flint: The register of allegations of overseas corruption offences is made up allegations from the following sources:
(a) Foreign and Commonwealth Office15
(b) Export Credits Guarantee Department6
(c) Foreign jurisdictions0
(d) Interpol3
(e) Local police stations within the UK0
(f) Suspicious activity reports0
(g) Whistleblowers0
(h) Other sources13

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions the National Criminal Intelligence Service has reported to the authorities of a foreign jurisdiction allegations of overseas corruption that they believe to be worthy of investigation. [194716]

Caroline Flint: At this time the National Criminal Intelligence Service has not reported any allegations of overseas corruption to any authorities for further investigation, other than to the appropriate UK law enforcement agencies.


Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the net expenditure on policing in England and Wales has been in each year since 1979, expressed in real terms at today's prices, broken down by police authority area in England and Wales. [190842]

Ms Blears: Information in a common format has been available since 1990. Information for the years 1990–91 to 2003–04 has been placed in the Library.

Overall, police expenditure has increased in real terms by 38 per cent. since 1990–91.
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Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his target number is for police officers per head of population in (a) urban and (b) rural areas. [193909]

Ms Blears: No target is set by central Government for the number of police officers per head of population.

The Government have recognised the particular problems of policing sparsely populated areas. We are allocating an additional £30 million to 31 forces under the Rural Policing Fund. It is for the Chief Officer of Police to decide how he will deploy available resources to improve the policing of sparsely populated areas.

On 31 March 2004 there was 268 police officers to 100,000 population in England and Wales. Police/population ratios can be found on a force-by-force basis at Table 4 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin 13/04 ("Police Service Strength—England and Wales, 31 March 2004") published on 29 September 2004.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the first phase of police reform; what the key elements of the second phase of police reform are; and what the timetable is for further developments on police reform. [194860]

Ms Blears: The Government are engaged in a sustained programme of police reform which began with the publication of the white paper "Policing a New Century" in December 2001. The first phase of reform has produced real successes—a performance management culture has been embedded within the service; the National Intelligence Model has been implemented in all 43 forces ensuring an intelligence led approach to policing; we now have 4,000 Community Support Offices providing a visible, reassuring uniformed presence on the streets; we have a record 140,000 police officers and record investment in the service; and a major pay and conditions package has been implemented to provide a fairer, more flexible and modernised system of pay and rewards.

The Government will shortly publish a further white paper building on the first phase of reform and the broad endorsement for the direction of travel received in response to the November 2003 consultation "Policing: Building Safer Communities Together". The focus of this phase of reform will be around spreading a system of responsive neighbourhood policing throughout England and Wales and building a stronger customer service culture within policing. Further modernisation of the workforce and strengthened accountability mechanisms will help to deliver this vision.

Some of the proposals outlined in the paper will require legislation which will be taken forward as soon as parliamentary time allows. However, many of the changes can begin to be made immediately and the Government will work closely with police forces, authorities and other partners to take this forward.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the work of the Police Standards Unit. [194861]

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Ms Blears: The Police Standards Unit (PSU) was set up by the Home Secretary in June 2001 to help deliver the Government's commitment to raise standards and improve the operational performance of the police. The focus of PSU's activities is to:

Performance management

PSU has driven the development of 'iQuanta', an on-line analysis tool for police performance data. Through iQuanta there is now timely data on the performance of all forces and Basic Command Units across all the major crime types. This data is also available to forces themselves and police authorities, who now have a means of holding forces to account. PSU's work on the audit of performance data has helped ensure accuracy and consistency in recording practices across forces.

The development of a National Standard for Incident Recording (NSIR) should help measure and handle the police response to the weight of non-crime incidents more effectively.

The on-going development of the Policing Performance Assessment Framework (PPAF) is helping to understand police performance in the round. PPAF has been accepted by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the APA as a fair means of assessing the complexities of police duties.

Operational support

PSU is engaged with seven under-performing or "target" forces: Cambridgeshire, Cleveland, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Nottinghamshire, Northants, and West Yorkshire. This proactive role has changed the dynamic of the Department's relationship with the police service, underpinned by a sound analytical and evidence-based footing, and demonstrating a new and effective way of doing business. Each engagement has been different. In some, PSU has helped a force's own improvement regime to go further and faster. In others, the unit has been a catalyst for change. In the third category, PSU's involvement has a more fundamental process of attempting to put the force on a path towards recovery.

In liaison with the ACPO, PSU launched the high profile, national Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign. This links in to the government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy and aims to crack down on alcohol-fuelled disorder, as well as using tough enforcement measures to take action against irresponsible drinkers and vendors who are fuelling anti-social behaviour. This campaign was positively received and early data has provided a baseline to measure the impact and success of this.

PSU's work on national projects, such as Automatic Number-Plate Recognition (ANPR), National Video Identification (NVIS) and the Policing Priority Areas (PPAs) have been widely recognised as a success. In the period June 2003 to May 2004, during the ANPR project, 173,000 vehicles were stopped, 13,000 arrests made, 51,000 FPNs issued and £8 million property
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recovered. £1 million in hypothecated income has been generated and the rate of 100 arrests per full-time officer is 10 times the national average.

PSU's role in police use of forensic science has also been successful, in particular on DMA and NAFIS (Fingerprint Automation) and through reviewing and changing force-level forensic processes. This has helped the 62 per cent. increase in the number of DMA matches achieved and the 34 per cent. increase in the number of "DNA detections" delivered. PSD have led on the development of a computer simulation model for forces to identify blockages in their forensic processes. A work-package of good practice is to be disseminated to all forces.

Launched in March 2002, the Policing Priority Areas (PPA) Programme was aligned to the Government's Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal and sites were first piloted in Bradford, Bristol, Camberwell, Rhyl and Stoke. Each has demonstrated how working with small communities suffering from crime, the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour can bring about significant improvements in police and partnership working. This police-led programme has now been extended and there are now 29 identified sites. There has been significant success in reducing crime and providing public reassurance in the existing PPAs and the programme continues to build on the progress made so far.

Improving performance through applied knowledge for the policing community

PSU has established a Programme Board to bring together the main stakeholders: ACPO, HMIC, NCPE, PITO, as well as the Home Office Partnership and Regions Drugs Unit (PRDU), and Research, Development and Statistics (RDS). This will provide a forum for coordinating and driving forward our knowledge needs, and the roles of the key stakeholders have been mapped out to ensure that these fit together most effectively.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Government's main priorities are for the police in terms of science and technology. [194870]

Caroline Flint: The Government's priorities for the police's use of science and technology were first outlined in the Police Science and Technology Strategy 2003–2008, which was published by the Home Office in January 2003. A second strategy, which builds on the original and provides an updated position, was published in May 2004

The strategy identifies where science and technology can have the greatest impact on policing over the next five years. The priority applications for police science and technology set out in the strategy are, in order:

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The Strategy's key aims are:

The strategy builds on the Government's key priorities for policing as laid out in the National Policing Plan 2004–07. It also provides a framework for forces, police authorities, and key providers like the Forensic Science Service, the Police Scientific Development Branch and Police Information Technology Organisation, to draw up their individual plans for the use of science and technology.

Copies of both editions of the Police Science and Technology Strategy can be found in the Library.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the (a) work of and (b) resources available to the National Centre for Policing Excellence. [194903]

Ms Blears: All of the work by the National Centre for Policing Excellence (NCPE) on doctrine development is subject to extensive consultation with the Home Office, as well as the Police Service and other key stakeholders.

The NCPE itself was inspected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) during summer 2003 as part of its overall inspection of Centrex, and a report was published in January 2004. Future inspection will be based on the result of monthly performance reports which will be submitted to HMIC, and an annual European Foundation Quality Management (EFQM) self-assessment.

The NCPE is resourced from the overall grant-in-aid allocated to Centrex by the Home Office. This process is overseen by the Centrex Board, on which the Home Office are represented. The Home Office also allocate additional ring-fenced funding to the NCPE. In 2004–05 this additional funding amounts to £5 million. We are confident that the NCPE is adequately resourced in order to meet their key aims and objectives.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures will be introduced to address variations in training between police forces. [194905]

Ms Blears: From summer 2005, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) will collect information about training through its baseline assessment of all forces. This information will be analysed within HMIC and published on the internet. Any matters for concern in terms of trends, or individual forces being out of step with others, will be picked up by HMIC.
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Within the Home Office, officials are working with key stakeholders and forces to facilitate collaboration between forces and common standards in training.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary on the most recent National Policing Plan. [194906]

Ms Blears: To date, we have received no representations from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary on the draft National Policing Plan for 2005–08.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which major recommendations of the O'Dowd report on police bureaucracy remain unimplemented; and if he will make a statement on progress with implementation. [194910]

Ms Blears: We have made good progress with implementing the recommendations of the O'Dowd report. Those outstanding mostly require legislation, developments in IT or wide-ranging changes to the criminal justice system.

Among our achievements to date, over 7,700 forms have been made obsolete across all 43 forces; all 43 forces now undertake video identity parades; over 72,000 police officers and staff now use Airwave radios in 40 forces; the national rollout of the penalty notice for disorder scheme was completed in April 2004 with over 20,000 tickets having been issued at the end of August; and we are investing £13 million over two years into 10 pilot projects which test out new ways of using police staff.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will repeat the study, "A Diary of a Police Officer", in 2005. [194919]

Ms Blears: We have no plans to do so at present.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the effects of updating and integrating police IT systems on police bureaucracy. [194921]

Caroline Flint: We are committed to tackling the administrative burdens and inefficient working practices that keep officers from front line duties. A steering group has been set up to oversee the work on reducing bureaucracy in the police service, which includes the development and more efficient use of information technology.

The Custody and Case Preparation Programme will deliver an electronic and paperless system for the handling of an arrest through the provision of a case file for the Crown Prosecution Service and courts. It will also allow courts to input results of cases directly onto the case file, which will automatically update the Police National Computer.

The National Management Information System will reduce much of the work required of forces in their statistical and performance reporting to the Home
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Office. The Police Portal is already enabling both the public and police to benefit from efficiency savings through the development of the "minor" online crime notification facility.

Intelligence Management Prioritisation Analysis Co-ordination and Tasking (IMPACT), the programme to create a national IT system to support police intelligence and enable sharing of intelligence data between forces will deliver significant business benefits.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average spending per capita on policing in the Islington, North constituency was in each year since 1996–97. [194015]

Ms Blears: Resources are allocated directly to borough operational command units using the Service's resource allocation formula. I understand from the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis that the provision for Islington, North is now part of the overall provision for the Islington command unit and can be apportioned as follows:
£ per capita

1. In 1990–2000, separate budgets were available for Holloway division (Islington, North) which represented 47 per cent. of Islington borough's total budget. The following years have been calculated as 47 per cent. of Islington borough's total budget.
2. Earlier budget information is not available owing to a change in the financial system in April 1999.

In addition, borough units are able to call upon all London Units (such as dog sections, Territorial Support Group, Traffic and Air Support Units) when operational priorities dictate.

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