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4 Feb 2005 : Column 1153W—continued


Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what performance targets have been set for individual basic command units by his Department. [209170]

Ms Blears [holding answer 20 January 2005]: There have been no performance targets for basic command units (BCU) set by central Government. Individual performance targets are a matter for the chief constable and police authority of a given force to agree. In agreeing force or BCU targets regard must be had to the policing priorities as laid out in the National Policing Plan, however these do not set specific targets.

Police forces are also expected to contribute to other local targets which are not specifically police owned. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships, of which both police forces and police authorities are members, and Local Criminal Justice Boards will agree crime reduction targets and targets for numbers of offences brought to justice respectively.
4 Feb 2005 : Column 1154W

While these are not police targets, clearly the police service will have a significant role in their delivery.

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) community support officers have been employed by Staffordshire constabulary in each of the past seven years. [211708]

Ms Blears: The following table sets out Staffordshire police strength since 1997–98.
Staffordshire police

As at 31 MarchPolice officer strength
2004 (31 August)2,274

Community Support Officers (CSOs) were introduced by the Police Reform Act 2002 and CSO's were first recruited in Staffordshire in December 2003. By December 2004 there were 27 CSOs on patrol in Staffordshire.

Funding for an additional 35 CSOs for Staffordshire is being made available under the first phase of the Neighbourhood Policing Fund.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what records of (a) alcohol-related crime and (b) antisocial behaviour offences are kept by police forces; and if he will make a statement. [209246]

Ms Blears: The records kept by police forces are matters for their Chief Officers, except where they relate to requests for information by the Home Office. The Home Office does not currently request regular data on either alcohol-related crime or antisocial behaviour offences.

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the effect on policing in the event of the closure of the beat house in Preston Candover, Hampshire; and if he will make a statement. [210672]

Ms Blears: The decision by Hampshire Constabulary to sell the Preston Candover Beat House was taken in line with Force policy. Management of the police estate—and allocation of resources—are matters for the Police Authority and the Chief Officer, who are responsible for assessing local needs.

Preston Candover beat will continue to have a dedicated officer working full-time in the community. The constabulary are currently attempting to find an alternative beat office within the area from which the beat officer can work. A full assessment has been undertaken, and it is expected that there will be no impact on the delivery of service in the area.

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been employed as special constables in Stoke-on-Trent in each of the last seven years. [213062]

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Ms Blears: The data available on special constabulary strength in the Stoke-on-Trent Basic Command Unit is for 31 March 2004, when there were 109 special constables deployed.


Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many day releases there have been from London prisons during the last 12 months. [210312]

Paul Goggins: In the period 1 December 2003 to 30 November 2004 there were 50,625 day releases (known officially as Release on Temporary Licence) from London prisons, as recorded on the Prison Service central IT system.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children were in care as a result of their mother's imprisonment in the last year for which figures are available; and what percentage of these children were subsequently returned to their mother's care. [206280]

Paul Goggins: There is no automatic link between a mother's imprisonment and her child being taken into the care of the Social Services. Many female prisoners' children are cared for by the mother's partner, family or friends. In those cases, mothers will normally resume their care role on release from prison.

A child will be considered for care by Social Services only if a suitable alternative carer is not available. Whether the mother will resume care of the child on her release from prison depends upon her individual circumstances, and what is considered to be in the child's best interests by the Social Services and the courts.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of prisoners shared cells in each month since 1997. [205327]

Paul Goggins: A proportion of the prison population is held in accommodation certified to be shared in uncrowded conditions. However, information about the number of prisoners held in this type of accommodation is not held centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

It is sometimes necessary to hold prisoners in crowded conditions, for example two prisoners in a cell certified for one. Information on the number of prisoners held in crowded conditions is available from 1 April 1998 and is set out in the table.
DateNumber of prisonersPercentage of prisoners
1 April 199813,46620.6
1 May 199813,21120.3
1 June 199813,27620.2
1 July 199813,24319.9
1 August 199813,09319.9
1 September 199813,15820.0
1 October 199813,23820.2
1 November 199813,05519.8
1 December 199812,29319.2
1 January 199912,52019.3
1 February 199912,42119.6
1 March 199912,60319.6
1 April 199911,98318.6
1 May 199911,58218.0
1 June 199912,16618.9
1 July 199913,54320.8
1 August 199913,75021.0
1 September 199913,40920.4
1 October 199913,34220.2
1 November 199913,29920.2
1 December 199912,44520.1
1 January 200013,00520.4
1 February 200013,60920.9
1 March 200013,45320.6
1 April 200011,15117.3
1 May 200010,63416.2
1 June 200011,06117.0
1 July 200011,54617.5
1 August 200011,91718.1
1 September 200011,34117.5
1 October 200011,55818.0
1 November 200011,31717.7
1 December 20009,91516.1
1 January 200111,19817.7
1 February 200111,80618.3
1 March 200111,92718.2
1 April 200111,40117.4
1 May 200111,64217.6
1 June 200111,57417.4
1 July 200112,43518.5
1 August 200112,10118.0
1 September 200112,78519.0
1 October 200112,31218.1
1 November 200113,02119.0
1 December 200112,38918.8
1 January 200213,16819.4
1 February 200213,96320.0
1 March 200213,64219.5
1 April 200215,97322.6
1 May 200215,40321.7
1 June 200217,11824.0
1 July 200215,53121.8
1 August 200216,04922.5
1 September 200216,37122.7
1 October 200216,78623.1
1 November 200217,06323.6
1 December 200216,10323.1
1 January 200317,67224.9
1 February 200318,28325.3
1 March 200318,31825.1
1 April 200317,10023.5
1 May 200317,67724.3
1 June 200318,96225.7
1 July 200317,83124.1
1 August 200316,89523.1
1 September 200317,70224.0
1 October 200317,90724.1
1 November 200317,29523.4
1 December 200317,23423.8
1 January 200417,51023.8
1 February 200418,03124.1
1 March 200417,67523.5
1 April 200418,03023.9
1 May 200417,87223.9
1 June 200416,84522.6
1 July 200416,71122.3
1 August 200418,18324.2
1 September 200416,52022.1
1 October 200417,64023.6
1 November 200417,67723.5

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4 Feb 2005 : Column 1157W

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) prison officers and (b) staff have been injured in incidents involving fires at (i) Wetherby, (ii) Ashfield, (iii) Camphill, (iv) Durham and (v) Winchester prison establishments. [204621]

Paul Goggins: The information requested is in the following table. It covers incidents over the past 12 months.
Table 1. Officers and staff injured in incidents involving fires in the last 12 months:

Wetherby (22)50
Ashfield (private prison)00

(22) Stats began/compiled only from May 2004

The majority of fires in prisons occur in prisoners' cells. Prison Officers are responsible for managing the situation until the fire brigade attend the scene and are, therefore, more likely to be injured than are other staff.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the cost for the supplies of drugs and pharmaceuticals prescribed to prisoners in Prison Service establishments was in each year from 1997 to 2003, broken down by (a) juvenile, (b) women's and (c) men's establishments; [210599]

(2) what the average cost was of pharmaceuticals prescribed per prisoner in each year from 1997 to 2003; [210602]

(3) what proportion of expenditure on drugs in prison establishments in each year from 2000 to 2003 were spent on (a) anti-psychotics, (b) anti-depressants, (c) sedatives and (d) drugs to treat addiction. [210603]

Paul Goggins: This information is not available in the form requested. The report "A Pharmacy Service for Prisoners" (Department of Health/H.M. Prison Service June 2003) indicated that the Prison Service spent in the order of £7 million a year on medicines, with expenditure per prisoner varying widely. A study of prescribing across five prisons in 2000 showed a range in annual average cost per prisoner of between £78 in a category C training prison for men and £273 in a local prison for men.

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