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|Table 4: Offences of more serious wounding or other act endangering life recorded by the police in London2002-03 to 2005-06|
|Basic Command Unit||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06|
The National Crime Recording standard was introduced nationally in April 2002. Figures after that date are therefore not directly comparable with those for earlier years.
12. Mr. David: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of long-term investment in military accommodation over the last 25 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: Central records of the investment in accommodation over the past 25 years are not available as, until 2003, investment such as on estate maintenance, was incurred through a vast number of contracts placed by a number of budget holders across the Ministry of Defence.
The initiative to re-launch Defence Estates as an agency in 2003 has resulted in a major reduction in the number of contracts and central recording of maintenance expenditure. I can therefore say that in 2004-05 we spent some £650 million on military accommodation with that figure rising to £700 million for 2005-06 and this financial year. We are also planning to spend over £5 billion on housing and accommodation in the next decade.
14. Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of military helmets in protecting service personnel from bomb blasts and motor vehicle accidents; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence carries out a continuous programme of detailed testing designed to ensure that levels of protection provided by the helmet are maintained and wherever possible improved. The new Mark 6a helmet offers 40 per cent. more protection and is currently being issued to personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The combat helmet is designed to lessen the effects of fragmentation injuries. It is not specifically designed for motor vehicle accident protection, although it would clearly reduce the risk of injuries associated with such accidents.
15. Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made with the naval building programme since the Strategic Defence Review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: We remain fully committed to our substantial programme of investment in new warships. Since 1997, one submarine and 28 ships have entered service including frigates, amphibious assault ships and support ships. This includes the new Astute Class submarines, Type 45 destroyers, Future Aircraft Carriers and the Military Afloat Reach and Support vessels.
16. Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with the Chiefs of Staff on public pronouncements by senior serving military officers; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: I meet regularly with the Chiefs of Staff to discuss a range of issues. These include the reputation of the armed forces and public statements made by the Ministry of Defence and its senior serving military officers.
Recruits to the Parachute Regiment attend the Basic Parachute Course at Brize Norton, which includes seven parachute descents. On successful
completion personnel receive their wings. Parachute training continues at unit level through programmed collective training exercises.
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