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16 Jan 2006 : Column 1078W—continued


Wildlife Crime

13. Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the resources available to police officers for tackling wildlife crime. [41781]

Fiona Mactaggart: All Police forces have a policy for dealing with wildlife crime and the chief constable and police authority are responsible for allocating resources to deliver that policy. The enforcement capability of officers on the ground is supported by the Partnership Against Wildlife Crime; a multi-agency body comprising representatives of all the organisations involved in wildlife law enforcement in the UK. In addition, the National Criminal Intelligence Service houses the National Wildlife Crime Intelligence Unit, which supports all forces.


14. Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the likely costs of police force amalgamation. [41782]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Further to a previous reply, we are currently analysing the proposals put forward to ensure that we understand fully the real costs of change and the future benefits. Until that analysis is complete, I am not prepared to comment further on the likely costs.

19. Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received from the Association of Police Authorities about the merger of police forces. [41787]

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Hazel Blears: The Home Secretary has received a number of representations from the APA both in writing and in person on the review of police force structures. The issues raised by the APA are important and will continue to be considered carefully in the light of the proposals we have received from police forces and authorities and as we move into the implementation phase of the review. The APA has been and will continue to be fully involved in our deliberations.

23. Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ensure that local communities are consulted about police force amalgamations. [41792]

Mr. Charles Clarke: As part of developing options for change forces and authorities were asked to consult with all relevant local stakeholders including local communities so as to ensure their views were taken into consideration. There will also be further consultation at a national and local level as the final proposals for change in each region become clear.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was of policing per head of population in Surrey in (a) 1997–98 and (b) 2005–06, broken down by (i) council tax, (ii) police grant, (iii) national business rates, (iv) revenue support grant and (v) other funding sources. [34200]

Hazel Blears: The information is set out in the table. The figures are not directly comparable because in April 2000 the area covered by the Surrey police authority was increased as a result of a boundary change with the Metropolitan Police area.

We do not distribute grant to police authorities purely on the basis of population. The police funding formula uses a range of socio-demographic data to reflect reasonably the relative needs of each authority. Grant allocations take into account the relative resources of each authority. They are also adjusted to limit year-on-year variations.
Cost of policing per head of population in Surrey

(i)Council tax per head of population19.5169.33
(ii)Home Office police grant per head of population57.8054.29
(iii)National non domestic rates per head of population19.7216.25
(iv)Revenue support grant per head of population20.0115.39
(v)Other funding sources per head of population(62)3.0912.28

(62) Approximately half the 'other' funding for 2005–06 is from Home Office specific grants.
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Figures of 'other' income provided by Surrey police.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the tendering process which led to the drug testing equipment being supplied to the police by Cozart Bioscience Ltd. was. [40319]

Paul Goggins: The Department tendered for the provision of drug testing equipment to the police by issuing an advertisement in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in 2003. Interested companies
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were short-listed against the criteria specified in the OJEU advertisement, with the contract being awarded to Cozart Bioscience Ltd.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the drug testing equipment supplied to the police by Cozart Bioscience Ltd. [40344]

Paul Goggins: The Cozart drug testing equipment was assessed against the criteria specified in the procurement notice advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union in 2003. In accordance with contractual arrangements, the Home Office monitors the performance of the equipment provided by Cozart Bioscience Ltd.

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have been employed in Rayleigh, Essex, in each year since 2002. [40033]

Hazel Blears: Rayleigh is a basic command unit (BCU) within Essex. The deployment of police officers to the Rayleigh BCU is a matter for the chief constable of Essex.

In 2002, there were 154 police officers in Rayleigh. In 2003 there were 148 officers, 165 in 2004 and 163 in 2005.

The numbers of police officers are based on full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures are as at 31 March.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of the police are from ethnic minorities. [39792]

Hazel Blears: As at 31 March 2005, 3.5 per cent. of the total number of police officers, full-time equivalent, in England and Wales were from an ethnic minority background.

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there have been in (a) Ruislip-Northwood constituency and (b) the London borough of Hillingdon in each year since 1997. [39956]

Hazel Blears: Data on police officers are not collected centrally at constituency level. Data for the number of police officers in the London borough of Hillingdon is provided in the following table. Data are available only from 2000–01 onwards.
Number of police officers in Hillingdon (full-time equivalent)—2001–05

As at 31 MarchFull-time equivalent

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers have been introduced in (a) Ruislip-Northwood constituency and (b) the London borough of Hillingdon; and what assessment he has made of their impact on (i) crime and (ii) antisocial behaviour. [39957]

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Hazel Blears: As at 30 June 2005, there were 56 community support officers (CSOs) assigned to Hillingdon. Data on CSOs is not available for constituencies. The allocation of CSOs to individual Borough Operational Command Units is an operational matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

Initial findings from the Home Office evaluation on CSOs, published on the Home Office website ( on 28 October 2005 confirm that CSOs are providing a valuable service to the police and public alike in terms of visibility and a reassurance presence in the community. They are being used to tackle low level crime and antisocial behaviour as well as youth disorder and alcohol-related issues. I have no information specifically about the impact of CSOs in Hillingdon.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list police buildings which operate under private finance initiative contracts; and if he will make a statement. [39060]

Hazel Blears: The following list shows all grant supported police private finance initiatives (PFI) projects which are in operation or under construction. Information is not held on any PFI projects developed without grant support.
Police ForcePFI Project
ClevelandRationalised Custody
KentDivisional HQ—Medway
CheshireCentralised Custody Suites
GMPProperty Review—Divisional/Sub Divisional HQ and Police Stations
Cleveland/DurhamFirearms Facility
CumbriaWorkington Police Station
DerbyshireIlkeston Police Station
DerbyshireDivisional HQ and City Police Station
DorsetDivisional HQ and 3 New Police Stations
Dyfed PowysAmmanford Police Station
GloucestershireForce HQ
GwentYstrad Mynach Police Station
N WalesDivisional HQ and Major Incident Unit
NorfolkHQ, Operations and Communications Centre
NorthumbriaMounted Facilities
NottsTraffic Wing and Vehicles Services
SussexCentralised Custody Suites
TVPAbingdon Area Divisional HQ
WiltshireDivisional HQ and Satellite Facilities
WiltshireAir Support

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken to process Police Community Volunteer applications in (a) the East Midlands and (b) England was in the most recent period for which figures are available, broken down by constabulary. [40883]

Hazel Blears: This information is not collected centrally.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many records on the Police National DNA database fall within the voluntary category. [41878]

Andy Burnham: As at 10 January 2006, there were 15,316 voluntary records on the National DNA Database.
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Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he will take to ensure that the extra costs of police forces with relatively large budgets which are merged with police forces with smaller budgets will not be met by council tax payers; what transitional financial arrangements he proposes to introduce; and if he will make a statement. [39930]

Hazel Blears: The Government will be considering grant arrangements for police authorities in the light of changes to police authority boundaries and in the way the new larger authorities might operate.

My Department, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Welsh Assembly Government, Her Majesty's Treasury and police representative bodies are currently participating in examining the financial aspects of reorganisation, including the impact of restructuring on budgets, grant and council tax.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has had discussions with police authorities on the suspension of further appointments to high level vacancies in police forces, subject to their possible restructuring. [40687]

Hazel Blears: I have had no specific discussions with police authorities on this matter. However, in his capacity as chair of the Senior Appointments Panel Sir Ronnie Flanagan, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC), recently wrote to police authorities addressing the implications of HMIC's Closing the Gap" report on the current structure of policing.

Reflecting the views of the Senior Appointments Panel, the letter advised police authorities that, except where specific approval had already been granted, the common sense approach would be not to proceed with existing or future plans to recruit new chief constables during the restructuring process. Where police authorities wished to recruit deputy or assistant chief constables, the panel would exercise its professional judgement on a case by case basis and decide whether or not there was merit in filling the post at that point in time.

A copy of this letter has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police hours were worked (a) in total and (b) per police officer in post (i) in the period immediately before the implementation of the European Working Time Directive on policing and (ii) in the period following that date. [39568]

Hazel Blears: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there were in each police authority area in England and Wales in each of the last 20 years, grouped according to region and listed in descending order according to the percentage change over that period. [39297]

Hazel Blears: The information requested is set out in the following table.
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Police forceMarch 1985March 1986March 1987March 1988March 1989March 1990March 1991March 1992
East Midlands
London, City of789774771787801799813808
North East
North West
Greater Manchester6,7366,7686,7806,9656,9356,9927,0147,061
South East
Thames Valley3,2593,2973,4213,4903,6003,6593,7143,772
South West
Devon and Cornwall2,7222,7392,7742,7872,8492,8522,8732,898
Avon and Somerset2,9822,9583,0093,0133,0143,0943,0923,081
North Wales1,2711,2531,2861,3001,3271,3371,3491,347
Dyfed Powys910930932917931935935947
South Wales(64)3,0733,0663,1003,1263,1023,1353,1373,168
West Midlands
West Mercia1,9191,9391,9291,9461,9481,9912,0262,034
West Midlands6,5446,5206,6566,6396,7616,8556,8766,941
Yorkshire and the Humber
North Yorkshire1,3321,3611,3531,3721,3701,3791,3871,398
South Yorkshire2,8662,8482,8622,9122,9402,9232,9913,008
West Yorkshire4,9915,1455,1425,1845,2785,2605,2685,087

Police forceMarch 1993March 1994March 1995March 1996March 1997March 1998March 1999
East Midlands
London, City of825893885869859825778
North East
North West
Greater Manchester7,0606,9677,0376,9386,9226,9496,810
South East
Thames Valley3,8403,9083,8543,6743,6953,7763,748
South West
Devon and Cornwall2,9102,9142,8772,8992,8652,9622,887
Avon and Somerset3,0683,0333,0002,9812,9892,9762,999
North Wales1,3601,3521,3661,3781,3691,3961,391
Dyfed Powys9679659769911,0051,0021,026
South Wales(64)3,1763,1313,0143,0272,9762,9862,981
West Midlands
West Mercia2,0542,0592,0462,0172,0402,0102,025
West Midlands6,9537,0147,0197,1457,1137,1567,321
Yorkshire and the Humber
North Yorkshire1,3931,3181,3001,3241,3381,3671,337
South Yorkshire3,0323,0233,0403,0733,1593,1823,168
West Yorkshire5,0375,0465,0505,1425,2095,1554,982

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Police forceMarch 2000March 2001March 2002March 2003March 2004March 2005Percentage change
East Midlands
London, City of73270376480885387611
North East
North West
Greater Manchester6,7956,9097,2177,3438,0428,04119
South East
Thames Valley3,7403,7033,7623,8334,0344,11426
South West
Devon and Cornwall2,8412,9343,0533,2023,2983,36924
Avon and Somerset2,9342,9603,0963,1493,4013,38413
North Wales1,4031,4441,5061,5391,6031,65230
Dyfed Powys1,0401,0551,1321,1491,1671,17429
South Wales(64)2,9263,1003,2223,2393,2793,2817
West Midlands
West Mercia1,8871,9512,0182,2562,3552,36723
West Midlands7,1947,4237,6817,7517,8878,05623
Yorkshire and the Humber
North Yorkshire1,2831,3051,4171,4441,5291,54316
South Yorkshire3,1633,1973,1993,1833,2783,26514
West Yorkshire4,8224,8154,8895,0295,2755,63113

(63) Boundary changes on 1 April 2000 tranferred resources from the Metropolitan Police to Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey forces.
(64) Boundary changes on 1 April 1996 moved resources for the policing of the Rhymney Valley from South Wales Police to Gwent Police.

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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) civilian support staff to the police there are in (i) each of the English regions and (ii) Wales. [40046]

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Hazel Blears: The numbers of (a) police officers and (b) police staff in each of the English and Welsh regions are provided in the following table.
Police officer and police staff strength by English Government office regions and Wales (full-time equivalents) as at 31 March 2005

English Government office regions and WalesPolice officersPolice officers less staff on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave(66)Police staffPolice staff less staff on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave(66)
North East7,5157,4422,9762,948
North West19,51019,3279,0128,892
Greater Manchester8,1198,0413,3033,248
Yorkshire and the Humber12,79012,6696,7066,650
North Yorkshire1,5601,543928928
South Yorkshire3,3073,2651,7291,698
West Yorkshire5,6715,6313,0162,998
East Midlands9,4379,3435,1655,066
West Midlands13,85413,7146,5496,454
West Mercia2,3802,3671,4921,471
West Midlands8,1548,0563,1433,083
London, City of881876298298
Metropolitan Police31,07330,71013,56113,127
South East16,67616,38410,22610,110
Thames Valley4,1894,1142,6112,573
South West10,80810,7176,3946,321
Avon and Somerset3,3983,3842,0051,984
Devon and Cornwall3,3993,3692,0342,007
Dyfed Powys1,1831,174531525
North Wales1,6761,652867841
South Wales3,3163,2811,5101,465
Total of all 43 forces141,060139,49571,20770,032
National Crime Squad (NCS)1,0591,059674674
National Crime Intelligence Squad (NCIS)121121121121
Central Service Secondments555555
Total strength142,795141,23072,00270,827

(65) This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items.
(66) Comparable with previously published figures.

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Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a conviction for the (a) use of and (b) possession of cocaine while a teenager continues to disqualify a person from successfully applying to become a police officer in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [39601]

Hazel Blears: The Home Office provides guidance to police forces on vetting applicants who have a criminal record but it is for the police force concerned to make decisions on individual cases.

Guidance is provided in HOC 54/2003. Forces are advised that convictions which will lead to rejection unless there are exceptionally compelling circumstances include serious involvement in drugs including possession of a Class A drug or more than one Class B drug and/or supplying drugs of any kind.

Each case is treated on its own merits, and if the offence is deemed sufficiently serious, a person will be rejected irrespective of age at the time of offending.

Generally, a juvenile conviction within the last five years for any recordable offence will lead to rejection.

However, any offence committed as an adult or a juvenile which results in a prison sentence (including custodial, suspended or deferred sentence and sentences
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served at a young offenders' institution or community home) will lead to rejection unless there are exceptionally compelling circumstances.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average waiting time has been in each of the last five years between police recruits applying to and starting training in the Thames Valley Police Force, broken down by (a) sex and (b) ethnic origin. [39639]

Hazel Blears: This information is not held centrally.

This is an operational matter for the chief constable and the question should be directed to Thames Valley police.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on charging the organisers for policing of events which do not fall within his definition of normal policing which (a) are and (b) are not organised with the intention of making a profit; what his definition is of normal policing for this purpose; and what events which do not constitute normal policing are taken into account in determining his Department's financial support for police forces. [39567]

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Hazel Blears: Section 25 of the Police Act 1996 enables Chief Officers of Police to provide special police services upon request and in return for payment at a rate set by the police authority. Home Office guidance is that where the police charge for special services arrangements should be made for full recovery of costs, but authorities may decide to recover a lesser amount.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has produced guidance to encourage a consistent and transparent approach to the calculation of policing costs.

The provision of special police services is not taken into account in determining the provision of grant for police forces.

Where a force has to meet an exceptional level of expenditure that affects its financial position to the extent that normal operational policing is at risk, the Authority can make a special grant request to the Home Secretary. In such circumstances the approval of such a grant is entirely at the discretion of the Home Secretary.

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