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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there have been preliminary results from the survey into the health effects of Tetra Systems being carried out by Imperial College announced in May 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were allocated to each local force within the Thames Valley police area in each year since 1997. 
Hazel Blears [holding answer 27 June 2005]: Information on the number of officers in Basic Command Units has only been collected since 2002 and is set out in the table. Data for the position on 31 March 2005 will be published shortly on the Home Office website. The Basic Command Units have access to the force's additional centrally provided operational units, such as tactical support and crime support. The deployment of officers to Basic Command Units is an operational matter for the Chief Constable (Mr. Peter Neyroud).
|Basic Command Unit||March 2002||March 2003||March 2004|
|Reading and Wokingham||369||387||434|
|Slough and District||254||264||297|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to change the
5 Jul 2005 : Column 404W
legislation relating to the drinking of alcohol to make it an offence to drink in public if a person is under the age of 18. 
Hazel Blears: The Government carried out a fundamental review of the alcohol licensing regime which resulted in the Licensing Act 2003. The suggestion that a change to the legislation relating to the drinking of alcohol to make it an offence to drink in public if a person is under the age of 18 did not feature in the responses to the public consultation on those proposals, nor during the passage of the Bill through Parliament. The Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Act 1997, as amended by the Licensing Act 2003 to allow the confiscation of sealed containers, already provides the police with a power of confiscation where young people are drinking on the street. The 1997 Act was designed to allow the police to deal with situations where drinking causes a nuisance to others or may lead to further bad behaviour. It does not create an offence for a young person to have an alcoholic drink in a public place and the police are not under a duty to confiscate alcohol from underage drinkers. During the course of the legislation, Parliament made it clear that it did not wish the power to be used where young people's drinking was not perceived to be a problem, for instance at a family picnic.
Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether restaurants and hotels with publicly accessible bars will be exempt from the alcohol disorder zone proposals in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill. 
Hazel Blears: The Violent Crime Reduction Bill provides for exemptions to be made from the charge in Alcohol Disorder Zones, where the principal use to which the premises is put do not include alcohol, and the availability of alcohol is not the main reason why individuals enter or remain on the premises. The intention is to exclude restaurants from the charge. Providing that a hotel also met the above criteria, then the establishment would be exempt from the charge.