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Police Numbers

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) male and (b) female police officers were serving in the London borough of Wandsworth on 1 November; and if he will make a statement. [199665]

Ms Blears: The latest available information on police service strength in police force basic command units was published online on 29 September 2004 along with Home Office Statistical Bulletin number 13/04. It showed that there were 612 full-time equivalent police officers in Wandsworth on 31 March 2004. Police officer strength for Basic Command Units is not available by gender.

Police Paperwork

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the evidence of the Minister for Crime Reduction, Policing, Community Safety and Counter-Terrorism to the Home Affairs Select Committee of 26 October, on what research his estimate of the number of items of police paperwork reduced since 1997 was based; and if he will make a statement. [200991]

Ms Blears [holding answer 29 November 2004]: The research was undertaken by North Yorkshire Police who contacted all forces to establish how many forms each had made redundant.

Police Training

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what competencies police recruits are trained at the police training college in Hendon. [200285]

Ms Blears: Police recruits at the Metropolitan police training centre, Hendon, are currently trained under the competency headings of community, operations, arrest, detention and prosecution, information technology and self development, relationships and safety. Attainment of the required standards is measured through knowledge tests and simulated exercises.

The Metropolitan Police Service is also one of the pilot forces for the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme. Under this programme, probationers will be assessed against 22 national occupational standards, and a full range of competencies.

Police (Lewisham)

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were deployed in the Lewisham, Deptford constituency in (a) 1997, (b) 2001 and (c) 2004. [201099]

Ms Blears: The Lewisham Deptford Parliamentary constituency is part of the Lewisham Borough Operational Command Unit (OCU). Information on strength at OCU level is collected annually and reflects the position at the end of March. Information on OCU strength is only available from 2002. The available information for the Lewisham OCU for March 2002 to March 2004 is set out in the table. It is not possible to provide police numbers at constituency level.
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Lewisham Borough Operational Command Unit

As at 31 March:Number of Police Officers

The deployment of officers to OCUs is a matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Sir John Stevens QPM) and within the Lewisham Borough OCU deployment of officers is a matter for the Borough Commander. The OCU is additionally supported by centrally provided services from the Territorial Policing Pan London Units and by specialist investigation units.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress made in securing voluntary contributions towards the cost of policing disorder from the alcohol industry as set out in the Government's Alcohol Strategy. [201415]

Ms Blears: We are currently developing proposals on the most effective administration arrangements for the voluntary funds to tackle alcohol-related harms as recommended in the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England. We are developing these proposals in close consultation with the industry. We remain committed to making the voluntary approach work, but we will review the level of contribution and impact early in the next Parliament and consider further measures, including legislation, if necessary.


Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) prison officers and (b) non-uniformed prison staff were working in HM Prison Service on 1 November. [199559]

Paul Goggins: On 1 November there were (a) 24,376 prison officers, senior officers and principal officers and (b) 24,244 other prison staff working in HM Prison Service. These two figures represent the total staffing of the public sector Prison Service but include 7,371 operational support grades and 1,284 nurses who would, like officer grades, be expected to wear a uniform.

Non-uniformed staff carry out a range of functions, covering operational management, chaplaincy, psychology, industrial work, administration, catering and farms and gardens.

Figures are stated on a headcount basis.

Seizure of Property

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the seizure of servers belonging to Indymedia, what statutes govern the seizure of private property in the UK by foreign law enforcement agencies without authorisation from UK law enforcement agencies. [201718]

Caroline Flint: Foreign law enforcement agencies are permitted to seek the seizure of private property in the UK to secure evidence in connection with a criminal investigation, by sending a request to the UK Central Authority (UKCA) at the Home Office through mutual
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legal assistance procedures under the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The UKCA considers such requests in conjunction with the appropriate UK law enforcement agency. If the request is approved UKCA will then issue a direction to the courts on behalf of the Secretary of State authorising an application for a search warrant.

In this particular case, I understand that, in accordance with a US Commissioner's subpoena, a US based company accessed its servers in London from the US, in order to comply with the terms of that subpoena. No UK law enforcement agencies were involved in this action.

Sex Offenders

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of sex offenders are participating in Home Detention Curfews. [199513]

Paul Goggins: There are currently no offenders on Home Detention Curfews (HDC) who are serving a sentence for a sexual offence. Prisoners subject to the registration requirements of Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 (now replaced by Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003) are statutorily excluded from the scheme and all other prisoners convicted of a sexual offence are presumed unsuitable for release on HDC.

Special Constables

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what competencies special constables are trained; where the training takes place; and how long it lasts. [200284]

Ms Blears: Special constables are trained within their force. Forces are responsible for ensuring that their specials receive the necessary training to enable them to undertake their duties. Duration varies depending on the resources and organisation of individual training departments, but also reflecting the voluntary nature of the special constabulary, whose members often have full or part-time work commitments.

We have been working to produce a competency based role profile, training and appraisal packages, and a national vocational qualification through a Champions Initiative project in South Wales police(the "Specials Professional Development Scheme". South Wales police are currently trialling the training scheme.

Street Crime

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to collect data on the ethnicity of those who are (a) stopped and (b) arrested under joint multi-agency street crime operations. [201386]

Ms Blears: The police already collect data on the ethnicity of those searched or arrested for all offences, including under joint multi-agency street crime operations, and by April 2005 all forces will be required to record such data for stops as well.
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