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9 Nov 2004 : Column 610W—continued

Criminal Records Bureau

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Criminal Records Bureau standard application information includes details of bank account (a) sort code and (b) account number; and if he will make a statement. [190728]

Ms Blears: Sections E and F of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure application form contains a number of fields for completion by applicants, including bank account details, for the purposes of assisting in verifying the individual's identity. However, since December 2002 the CRB no longer requires applicants to provide such details. The Bureau communicated this change to Registered Bodies in January 2003 and the Guidance Notes state that this section is no longer to be completed. The section was formally revoked by the Police Act (Criminal Records) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2003 with effect from February 2003.

In response to concerns from Registered Bodies, employers, voluntary organisations and customers about the need to provide the personal information asked for in Sections E and F of the application form, the CRB carried out a review of its authentication rules and processes. This review concluded that:

Departmental Recruitment

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many personnel the Department has recruited under the New Deal in each of the past five years. [193674]


 
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Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 25 October 2004]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office (Ruth Kelly) on 25 October 2004, Official Report, column 1052W.

Driving (Mobile Telephones)

Mr. Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people have been charged within the area of responsibility of the Metropolitan Police Service with the use of a mobile telephone while driving, at the latest date for which records are available; [195185]

(2) if he will require the Metropolitan Police Service to publish details of convictions for driving while using a mobile telephone on a borough basis. [195186]

Ms Blears: Data on the number of people charged by the police are not collected centrally.

Data on police action (written warnings, fixed penalty notices and court proceedings) for 2003 on the new offence of driving while using a hand held mobile telephone will not be available until early in 2005. The number of defendants convicted of this new offence in the Metropolitan Police Service area will be available by petty sessional area, which is a grouping of magistrates courts. Those in the Metropolitan Police force area are listed in the table.

We do not propose asking the Metropolitan Police Service to publish their figures on a borough basis.

2004 data are expected to be published in autumn 2005.
Petty sessional areas within Greater London

Outer London areaInner London area
Stratford (Newham MCC)South Westminster
Acton (Ealing MCC)South Eastern
BarnetNorth Westminster
BromleySouth Western
BexleyThames
CroydonSouth Central
SuttonWest London
EalingEast Central (Highbury)
Hendon (Barnet MCC)
Haringey
Enfield
Harrow
Brent
Wimbledon (Merton MCC)
Hillingdon (Hillingdon MCC)
Richmond upon Thames
Brentford (Hounslow MCC)
Kingston upon Thames
Waltham Forest
Barking
Red bridge

Merseyside Crime Initiative Unit

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the work of Merseyside Police's domestic violence units. [146243]


 
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Ms Blears: There are a number of initiatives to tackle domestic violence, which are being delivered by Merseyside Police Family Support Units. The units were set up in January to provide a pan-Merseyside multi agency approach to domestic violence to improve the services which are offered to victims.

There are six base command units within Merseyside Police, which cover Wirral, Sefton, St. Helen's, Knowsley and North and South Liverpool. Each of these units has a Family Support Unit, which liaises with their local Domestic Violence Forum, and Domestic Violence Steering Group to provide local services on domestic violence. The units also link to the multi agency public protection arrangements.

Responsibility for the forces domestic violence strategy lies with the Public Protection Unit. The Police Public Protection Unit and the Family Support Units meet on a monthly basis to discuss local initiatives and to share good practice.

The initiatives, which have been put in place within the Family Support Units, include:

In addition to these initiatives Merseyside Police will be running, the Operation Goodwill Christmas campaign this year. The focus of the initiative will be on offenders of domestic violence—with a clear message that offenders will be and can be prosecuted through independent prosecutions.

Police

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place to ensure that officers on career breaks are kept up to date with new developments. [194868]

Ms Blears: The career break scheme for police officers is set out in Home Office Circular 4/2001 and requires chief officers to agree with the officer concerned the obligations and expectations on the officer and the force during the career break. These should include any need to keep up to date with new legislative requirements, how this will be achieved and refresher training on return to the force.
 
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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when special priority payments in the police service will be evaluated. [194923]

Ms Blears: A review was carried out by the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) in October 2003. This resulted in agreement to increase the percentage of officers eligible to receive payments from 30 per cent. to 40 per cent. and a requirement that forces monitor the impact on diversity. The Home Office keeps under review all aspects of the impact of the 2002 PNB agreement on pay and conditions for police officers.

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were deployed in the Falmouth and Camborne constituency in each year from 1997 to 2004. [195081]

Ms Blears: The Falmouth and Camborne parliamentary constituency is part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Basic Command Unit (BCU) of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. 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. BCU strength between March 2002 and March 2004 is set out in the table.
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly basic command unit

As at 31 MarchNumber of police officers
2002706
2003737
2004774

It is not possible to provide police numbers at constituency level.

The deployment of officers to BCUs is a matter for the Chief Constable (Mrs. Maria Wallis QPM) and within the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly BCU deployment of officers is a matter for the Divisional Commander.


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