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20 Mar 2007 : Column 788W—continued

Police: ICT

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many information communication technology systems are being used by police forces in England and Wales, broken down by force. [127309]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 March 2007]: The day-to-day operational management of a force and therefore the systems used to support it are the responsibility of the force chief constable and their police authority.


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Police: Internet

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has given to police chief constables on the (a) design, (b) maintenance and (c) availability of information held on their websites. [127424]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 14 March 2007]: These decisions are for chief constables who are responsible for the day-to-day operational management of their force.

Police: Sirens

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidance is given to police car drivers on the use of their sirens at night-time; and whether the guidance (a) is kept under review and (b) has been amended in the past two years; [128398]

(2) what monitoring is undertaken of the adherence of police car drivers to guidance on the use of their sirens at night-time. [128436]

Mr. McNulty: Regulation 37 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 restricts the fitting of sirens and other devices to specific emergency vehicles. Regulation 99 allows use of a siren only to indicate to other road users the urgency of the purposes for which a vehicle is being used, or to warn other road users of the presence of the vehicle on the road.

Subject to compliance with construction and use regulations, the use of sirens is according to police discretion. It is for individual chief officers to decide on whether to issue local guidance and on monitoring of adherence to such guidance.

Prison Service: Manpower

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison officers were employed (a) in total and (b) full-time (i) as at 31 March in each year since 1997 and (ii) on 31 January 2007. [127082]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Information on the number of officer grade staff employed within the public sector Prison Service and the contracted estate each year since 1997 is contained in the following table.


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Number of officer grade staff employed within the public sector Prison Service and the contracted estate each year since 1997
Date Total Full-time equivalent

31 March 1997

23,058

31 March 1998

23,602

31 March 1999

24,113

31 March 2000

24,346

24,272

31 March 2001

24,023

23,913

31 March 2002

23,681

23,505

31 March 2003

24,527

24,272

31 March 2004

25,461

25,168

31 March 2005

26,246

25,870

31 March 2006

26,747

26,333

31 January 2007

26,941

26,475

Notes:
1. Figures include both publicly and privately managed establishments.
2. Full-time equivalent figures are not available prior to 2000.
3. Figures relate to prison officers, senior officers and principal officers within the public sector Prison Service and prison custody officers within contacted prisons.
4. Officers employed within public sector Prison Service headquarters are included.
5. Private contractors have not been able to supply information for; Ashfield and Doncaster prior to 2002, Dovegate in 2004, 2002 and 2001, Forest Bank, Altcourse, Rye Hill and Wolds prior to 2004 and Lowdham Grange in 2005, 2004 and prior to 2002.

Prisoners

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the percentage change in the prison population was in each year since 1997. [127083]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The numbers of prisoners held in all prison establishments in England and Wales in each year since 1997 with the percentage annual increase can be seen in the table.

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Prison population in England and Wales 1997-2005, with percentage annual (as at 30 June each year)
Total prison population Percentage increase since previous year

1997

61,467

1998

65,727

6.90

1999

64,529

-1.80

2000

65,194

1.00

2001

66,403

1.90

2002

71,218

7.30

2003

73,657

3.40

2004

74,488

1.10

2005

76,190

2.30

2006

77,982

2.40

Source:
Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005, table 8.1 at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs07/hosb1806section8.xls

Prisoners: Civil Proceedings

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information his Department collects about civil claims made by (a) current and (b) former prisoners against the prison service. [127878]

John Reid: The Prison Service currently collates sufficient information to monitor the progress of civil claims brought against it. The majority of that information is legally privileged and cannot be disclosed.

Prisoners: Elderly

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners are aged (i) 60 to 64 and (ii) over 65 years. [126418]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 9 March 2007]: The figures requested in the question for all prison
20 Mar 2007 : Column 791W
establishments in England and Wales as at the end of January 2007 are in the following table:

Age band Male Female Total

60-64

1,011

33

1,044

65 and over

1,020

16

1,036


These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Prisons: Islam

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was paid from public funds to prison imams in each year since 2001. [127952]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 19 March 2007]: Imams are employed both on a full-time and sessional basis. Payments being made are from both the overall chaplaincy budget and sessional budgets held by Governors at establishments. Therefore the information requested is not held centrally or is readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which prisons (a) employed and (b) used an imam in each year since 2001. [127953]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 19 March 2007]: The prisons recorded as having a directly employed Muslim chaplain on 31 March each year since 2002 are shown in the following list. All establishments (unless the post is vacant) have one or more Muslim chaplain either employed or fee paid. Muslim chaplains have been coming in to prisons for many years on a fee paid basis. Central records are not maintained of how often these services are used.

Establishments directly employing Muslim chaplains by date

31 March 2002

31 March 2003


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31 March 2004

31 March 2005


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