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Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) civilian personnel were assigned to each basic command unit of the Avon and Somerset constabulary in each year since 1997. 
|Police officers||Police staff|
|Bath and North East Somerset||228||224||224||43||56|
Ms Blears [holding answer 7 February 2005]: Information on police service strength is published annually in a Home Office statistical bulletin and half-yearly in an online report. The latest figures were published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin number 13/04, Police Service Strength England and Wales, 31 March 2004".
|Police officers||Police staff||Community support officers||Traffic wardens||Total strength|
|31 March 1997||2,989||1,439||||108||4,536|
|31 March 1998||2,976||1,393||||114||4,483|
|31 March 1999||2,999||1,425||||115||4,539|
|31 March 2000||2,934||1,436||||59||4,429|
|31 March 2001||2,994||1,452||||48||4,494|
|31 March 2002||3,096||1,611||||44||4,751|
|31 March 2003(193)||3,149||1,767||||43||4,959|
|31 March 2004(193)||3,401||1,952||45||34||5,432|
|Proceeded against||Found guilty|
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what grant schemes are available for CCTV in (a) villages in Lancashire and (b) railway stations at (i) Coppall, (ii) Acklington, (iii) Astley Village, (iv) Clayton and (v) Euxton. 
Ms Blears: All Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) within Lancashire receive the following grants, which could potentially be used to purchase and install CCTV cameras within each district:
No applications have been received to establish a local child curfew scheme under section 14 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The powers in the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 for the dispersal of
21 Feb 2005 : Column 444W
groups and the removal of persons under 16 to their place of residence have been used in preference to this power.
Paul Goggins: The Government believe that prison should be reserved for serious, violent and seriously persistent offenders. For all other offenders, alternatives to prison can often be more effective in addressing offender behaviour than short custodial sentences. The new generic community sentence, provided by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, will be commenced on 4 April 2005. This will give the courts a flexible range of tough community punishments suitable for dealing with a wide range of offenders whose offence is too serious for them to be fined but who do not fall into the serious, violent or seriously persistent category.
That is why the National Offender Management Service has launched a major communications campaign which aims to demonstrate that community sentences are both tough and demanding whilst providing the opportunity for offenders to give something back directly to the community. It will target national, regional and local media to secure the broadest public audience.
There is a national visibility scheme in place to identify community work done by offenders. In the next few weeks a 'Clean Up' campaign will start in 10 regions, which will give local people the opportunity to have a say in the unpaid work to be done by offenders as part of their community punishment.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the 20,000 community support officers the Government proposes to recruit by 2008 are to be posted in Greater London; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: Community support officers are a key element of neighbourhood policing. We have made provision of £50 million available for the first phase of the Neighbourhood Policing Fund by enabling forces to commence recruitment of an additional 1,568 community support officers (CSOs). The Metropolitan police were allocated 250 of these CSOs. The City of London police applied for their first allocation of CSOs and received 16 in this funding round. These CSOs will help to build the total number in England and Wales to 5,500 by 31 March 2005.
Decisions about further allocations will be made in the coming months to assist forces in reaching the target of 24,000 CSOs in 2008. We are currently discussing the criteria for investment under the Neighbourhood
21 Feb 2005 : Column 445W
Policing Fund with the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Association of Police Authorities and other stakeholders.
The law of contempt plays a vital role in safeguarding the administration of justice and there are no plans to reform it. The Attorney General issued guidance to the media on the publication of articles amounting to contempt in his keynote address to the Law for Journalists Conference in November 2003 (available at www.lslo.gov.uk) and in his speech to the Weber Shandwick Contempt Seminar in November 2004 (available from the Attorney General's press office).
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