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Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research has been conducted by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies into compatibility issues between the Facial Images National Database and the National Identity Register. 
Mr. Browne: The Identity Cards Programme is actively researching the sets of standards which will need to be specified as requirements for the applicants' facial images. Both the Identity Cards Programme and the Facial Images National Database project are working towards adopting emerging international standards for best practice in facial image capture and storage. These come chiefly from the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the US National Institute for Standards and Technology and the International Standards Organisation.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) civil servants, (b) secondees and (c) consultants are employed in developing identity cards; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Browne [holding answer 17 January 2005]: The identity cards programme currently employs; 39 civil servants, two seconded staff and 45 consultants, on informing processes, policies and costs associated with the development of identity cards. Four of the civil servants work primarily on shorter term measures to counter identity fraud.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he expects the provisions for the introduction of identity cards in Wales to differ from those in the rest of the UK. 
Mr. Browne: The identity cards scheme will operate on a UK-wide basis and the provisions for the introduction of identity cards will therefore apply throughout the UK, including in Wales. However, it would be for the National Assembly for Wales to decide whether, and if so how, production of a card will be required to access public services for which it is responsible.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the estimated cost has been of (a) publishing and (b) delivering It's Your Call flyers; and if he will make a statement; 
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(4) how much (a) bill board and (b) telephone box advertising space is being used to display It's Your Call advertising; where the sites are; how much the advertising space cost; and for how long each advertising space will be maintained. 
Ms Blears: It's Your Call was launched on Monday, 17 January 2005 in Newcastle and cost an estimated £1,800 for production of boards and advertising bikes. The estimated cost of (a) establishing (b) maintaining It's Your Call is £63,000 including all technology and call-centre costs. The cost of publishing the flyers is an estimated £70,000 and the estimated cost of distribution and storage is £50,000. 900 six sheet poster sites and advertising in 300 phone boxes have been booked and purchased through the Central Office for Information. The advertising space cost £366,731 to purchase and will be maintained for a period of four weeks in each area. Iwill supply full details of site locations to my hon. friend when the information is made available.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions he had with Superintendent Thwaites prior to Southend-on-Sea police agreeing to become a Home Office Together Action Area and to take part in the first phase of the It's Your Call; when these dicussions took place; and how long they lasted; 
(2) what discussions he had with Chief Constable Stevens prior to the agreement that Southend-on-Sea police would become a Home Office Together Action Area and take part in the first phase of the It's Your Call; when these discussions took place; and how long they lasted. 
Ms Blears: On the 9 of August 2004 the National Director for Anti-Social Behaviour wrote to all Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships requesting expressions of interest in being a Together Action Area. On the 13 of October 2004 during a visit to Southend, Officials from the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit (ASBU) and Southend Council agreed that Southend would become an Action Area. During the same visit officials also met with Chief Superintendent Thwaites and Superintendent Currell.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Home Secretary has different levels of security depending on whether he is on ministerial, constituency or private business. 
Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons he has not yet provided substantive answers to questions reference 202178, 202631, 202632, 202633 and 202750. 
Mr. Browne [holding answer 9 December 2004]: The former Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Brightside provided answers to questions 202178, 202631, 202632 and 202750 on 14 December 2004, Official Report, column 1020W and to 202633 on 15 December 2004, Official Report, column 1165W.
Ms Blears: Information on the number of officers available for duty has only been collected since 2003 and is on the basis of headcount rather than full-time equivalent strength. Officers available for duty excludes those absent for career breaks, compassionate leave, maternity/paternity leave, special leave, study leave, long term sick leave and suspended officers. The number of officers available for duty is a snap shot of the position on 31 March: the number will vary from day to day. On 31 March 2004, the Metropolitan Police Service had a headcount strength of 29,534 officers available for duty.
|As at 31 March||Number of police officers|
|2004 (31 August)||30,021|
Following boundary changes on 1 April 2000 with Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey, the Metropolitan police district was reduced in size and some resources were transferred to the other three forces. Metropolitan Police Service strength data prior to April 2000 is therefore not comparable with later information.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department plans to take in response to the findings of Professor Sir William Stewart on the low frequency of the new police communication system; and if he will make a statement. 
We welcome the conclusion of the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) in its report Mobile Phones and Health 2004" that the special features of TETRA technology used by the new police radio communication system are unlikely to prove a hazard to health. Sir William Stewart is Chairman of the NRPB. The report by the board of the
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NRPB raised no new issues specific to TETRA for further investigation: we will, however, continue with our comprehensive programme of research into previously identified areas of uncertainty.
Ms Blears: Information on the number of officers available for duty has only been collected since 2003. The information is available only at force level and cannot be provided for Basic Command Units.
|As at 31 March:||Number of officers|
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of members of the police force in (a) Burnley and (b) Lancashire are community support officers; what powers community support officers have in Lancashire; and if he will make a statement. 
On 31 March 2004 (the latest date for which comprehensive data is published) Lancashire Constabulary had 3,550 police officers, 1,642 police staff (other than community support officers (CSOs) and traffic wardens), 110 CSOs and 17 traffic wardens. CSOs formed 2.07 per cent. of the total strength. There were also 336 special constables.
The powers designated to CSOs in Lancashire Constabulary by the Chief Constable are: the power to issued fixed penalty notices, to deal with alcohol consumption in designated places; to confiscate alcohol from young persons; to enter and search any premises for the purpose of saving life and limb or preventing serious damage to property; to require the name and address of a person acting in an antisocial manner; to remove abandoned vehicles; to seize vehicles used to cause alarm and distress; to confiscate tobacco from children; and the power of detention for 30 minutes pending the arrival of a constable.
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Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there were (a) in the Nottinghamshire Constabulary and (b) the City of Nottingham Division in each year since 1994; and what projections there are for numbers of officers in future years. 
Ms Blears: Information on police strength is set out in the table. Data on the number of officers in Basic Command Units has only been collected since 2002, but is only available for the city of Nottingham BCU from March 2003.
|Year (as at 31 March)||Number of|
|Nottingham (C) Divisionpolice officer numbers|
|2004 (31 August)||2,523||Not available|
The Home Secretary has not set projections of police strength for future years for England and Wales, or for individual forces. The number of police officers in any force is a matter for the Chief Constable and the Police Authority, subject to the available budget provision
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many enquiry and station police staff have been dismissed by (a) Essex police and (b) Southend police in each year since 1997; 
(2) how many (a) general building staff and handymen, (b) plant maintenance staff and (c) estates managers have been dismissed by (i) Essex police and (ii)Southend police in each year since 1997; 
(4) how many (a) senior communications operators (Police), (b) communications operators (Police) and (c) communications officers have been dismissed by (i)Essex police and (ii) Southend police in each year since 1997; 
(5) how many (a) central ticket unit managers, (b) central ticket clerks (speeding fines unit) and (c) fixed penalty notice processing unit staff have been dismissed by (i) Essex police and (ii) Southend police in each year since 1997; 
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