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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the causal requirement for Council Decision 2005/169/EC, adding Israel to the list of states with which the Director of Europol may conduct negotiations. 
Andy Burnham: The Europol Convention provides for Europol to establish and maintain relations with third states where this is necessary for Europol to perform its functions as described in the Convention. The rules governing these relations provide for Europol to conclude agreements to, in particular, exchange liaison officers and share information. Any agreement to share personal data would be subject to an opinion of the independent Joint Supervisory Body established by the Convention. This Council Decision, of 24 February 2005, adds Israel to the list of states with which the Director of Europol may enter into negotiations. The Government considers the negotiation of a co-operation agreement with Israel to be a useful step in the fight against serious and organised cross-border crime.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many football banning orders are in place; and how many of these prevent the person from travelling abroad to watch football matches. 
Paul Goggins: As at 25 May 2005 there were 2,982 persons subject to football banning orders. In accordance with their banning order conditions, all of these individuals are prohibited from attending regulated football matches played at home and overseas.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government are taking to tackle the practice known as happy slapping. 
Hazel Blears: There are a number of offences which cover the practice of happy slapping". These include common assault and battery where one person recklessly or intentionally causes another person to fear immediate violence or to sustain unlawful personal violence, plus a range of offences where actual injury is caused. Maximum penalties range from six months' imprisonment for common assault up to life for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The Government take the issue of violent crime and its impact on people's lives very seriously. Even though the British Crime Survey shows that violent crime has fallen by 26 per cent. since 1997, it fully recognises public concern and is taking forward several initiatives to tackle violent crime in all its forms and make the country as safe as possible for law-abiding citizens. In particular, the Government will shortly introduce the Violent Crime Reduction Bill which will target irresponsible drinking, imitation firearms and knives.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to the
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police in the use of reasonable force by householders defending themselves, others or property from intruders. 
Hazel Blears: The Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers issued guidance in February 2005 which sets out in plain language what householders' rights are and the level of force that they can use if faced with an intruder in their home. In supporting this, the Home Office has issued general guidance which is contained in our Guide to Home Security" and Be Safe, Be Secure" leaflets and on the Crime Reduction website www.crimereduction.gov.uk.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the contribution identity cards may make to the prevention of terrorist attacks on the UK. 
Mr. McNulty: Dialogue has been ongoing with the security services in relation to the effectiveness of the proposed identity card. The security services have said that an ID card will help in tackling terrorism. The Security Service have stated that a card scheme would disrupt the use of false identities by terrorist organisations, for example in money laundering and organised crime. We know that at least one-third of terrorist suspects make use of false identities. An ID card will reduce the opportunity for those facilitating terrorist and organised criminals to operate using multiple identities. The scheme would also be a useful tool in helping to monitor and disrupt the support activities of terrorist networks.
Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to ensure that police forces are trained to deal with cases of identity theft from mobile telephones. 
Hazel Blears: [holding answer 6 June 2005]: The National Specialist Law Enforcement Centre (NSLEC), which is part of Centrex, is responsible for developing and delivering training for the police service to equip them to tackle high tech crime. Training courses are available at all levels, from new recruits through to specialist investigators. In addition, the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) has developed a National Mobile Phone Register to hold information on registered mobile phones, information on crime reports from police forces and information from the mobile phone industry's own lost or stolen list. About a third of forces are making use of this system and the unit is working to make the register available to all forces in England and Wales.
Mr. Greg Knight:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had concerning the operation of the Kent County Council Act 2001; whether he has consulted with persons or
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bodies representing traders in secondhand car parts, known as autojumbles on the operation of the Act; and if he will make a statement. 
Hazel Blears: There have been no consultations by the Home Office on the Kent County Council Act. We are planning to consult on the licensing of secondhand traders later in the year. All interested parties will have the opportunity to participate.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total cost was of policing the Notting Hill Carnival in 2004. 
Hazel Blears: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is responsible for the operational management of the force. I will ensure that he receives a copy of the question and replies to you directly in response to your concerns.
Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on steps taken by his Department to maintain the public's confidence in the police in rural areas. 
Hazel Blears: The Government see neighbourhood policing as central to further reducing crime and people's fear of crime and increasing public trust and confidence in policing. The Government have made a commitment that by 2008, every area in England and Wales will benefit from dedicated neighbourhood policing teams which will be led by police officers and involve Special Constables, Community Support Officers, volunteers and neighbourhood wardens among others. These teams will provide a visible, accessible and responsive police presence in rural and urban areas. By the end of 2005, every force in England and Wales will have a pathfinder area (in what are known as Basic Command Units). Forces will be able to develop local approaches to neighbourhood policing which are tailored to their local needs, including those for rural areas. New measures have been introduced to the policing performance assessment framework which report on customer satisfaction with the services delivered by the police and public confidence in the police in the local area.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there are in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham; and how many there were in (a) 1997 and (b) 2001. 
Hazel Blears: Prior to 31 March 2002, data on the number of police officers were collected at police force area level only. The number of police officers in Hammersmith and Fulham on 31 March 2004 was 516.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to re-introduce police foot patrols in Hertfordshire; and if he will make a statement. 
Hazel Blears: Foot patrols in Hertfordshire are an operational matter for the chief constable. However, the Government have committed to ensuring that every community in England and Wales benefits from neighbourhood policing by 2008. This will ensure that every area has dedicated, visible, accessible and responsive neighbourhood policing teams. Hertfordshire are currently moving towards a system of neighbourhood policing.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average age of a police officer was in (a) 1995, (b) 2000 and (c) 2005. 
Statistics on the age of police officers were collected annually for the first time as at 31 March 2003 but only in age groups. The latest available data show that, of the 140,070 officers in post in England and
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Wales police forces on 31 March 2004, 14,148 (or 10 per cent.) were aged 25 or under; 75,309 (or 54 per cent.) were aged 26 to 40; 50,028 (or 36 per cent.) were aged 41 to 55; and 585 (or 0.4 per cent.) were over 55.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much total Government grant was given to each police force in England and Wales in each year from 199798 to 200506; and what the per capita allocation was in each case. 
Hazel Blears: The information is set out in the tables. Government funding for police authorities is chiefly allocated using a funding formula that distributes resources on the basis of relative policing need. The formula is currently being reviewed to ensure it remains up to date. Funding is not, and never has been, distributed on a per capita basis.
|Avon and Somerset||94.52||96.85||97.60||101.29||112.31||110.22||117.39||120.77||125.49|
|Devon and Cornwall||88.03||94.04||96.17||100.10||109.74||109.40||113.28||116.67||120.96|
|Avon and Somerset||138.3||142.1||144.3||150.8||168.6||166.1||174.1||180.0||189.3|
|Devon and Cornwall||135.7||145.1||149.2||156.0||172.2||173.6||178.8||185.6||193.7|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers, excluding support staff and community support officers, were employed in each police authority in England and Wales
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in each year since 1997. 
Hazel Blears: The information requested is given in the following table.
|England and Wales||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||(22)2003||(22)2004||(22)2004|
|Avon and Somerset||2,989||2,976||2,999||2,934||2,994||3,096||3,149||3,401||3,399|
|Devon and Cornwall||2,865||2,962||2,887||2,841||2,934||3,053||3,202||3,298||3,310|
|London, City of||859||825||778||732||703||764||808||853||875|
|Total all forces||125,051||124,756||123,841||121,956||123,476||127,267||131,426||137,128||138,305|
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what obstacles there are to the retention of biometric data on the police national computer database. 
Hazel Blears: There are no obstacles to the retention of biometric data. The Police National Computer (PNC) has markers that indicate if biometric data has been taken (fingerprints or DNA) primary biometric data, in the form of fingerprints, is held on the IDENT1 (previously NAFIS) service. DNA data is held on the DNA database, managed by the Forensic Science Service.
Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to increase the numbers of full-time police officers over the next five years (a) in England and Wales and (b) in Norfolk. 
In line with our manifesto commitment we will carry on funding the police service to enable it to continue to employ historically high numbers of police officers. There were 140,135 police officers in England and Wales at the end of September 2004 and 1,536 in the Norfolk constabulary There are 6,300 community support officers (CSO) as of 31 March 2005, including 69 in Norfolk. Our booklet Neighbourhood Policing: your police; your community; our commitment" (published in March 2005) set out plans for effective
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neighbourhood policing over the period to 2008. This includes freeing up the equivalent of 12,000 police officers from back-office bureaucracy and our plans to provide funding to support an increase to 24,000 CSOs by 2008, through the Neighbourhood Policing Fund.
Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time police officers are serving in Norfolk. 
Hazel Blears: The full-time equivalent police officer strength for Norfolk was 1,536 as at 30 September 2004.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers assigned to Chiltern Vale Police, broken down by rank, left Thames Valley Police for other police forces in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003 and (d) 2004; and if he will list those other police forces. 
Hazel Blears: The information requested is not collected centrally.
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