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29 Oct 2007 : Column 937W—continued


Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment her Department has made of the implications of the Local Government Finance Formula Grant Distribution for policing in Surrey. [160678]

Mr. McNulty: The consultation on formula grant distribution closed on 10 October. We will take into account all written representations in reaching final decisions on the funding settlement, including those from Surrey police authority. We expect to announce details of the provisional police funding settlement for the CSR years, 2008-09 to 2010-11, in late November/early December as in previous years.

Police: Informers

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to bring under parliamentary scrutiny the money spent by police forces on paying police informants. [160084]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 23 October 2007]: No.

Police: Liverpool

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were deployed from the Wirral into Liverpool in (a) the last two months, (b) the last six months and (c) the last 12 months. [160808]

Mr. McNulty: This is an operational matter for the chief constable of Merseyside police.

Police: Racial Discrimination

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action the Government has taken to eradicate racism within the police force. [159051]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 19 October 2007]: The Government have a statutory duty under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act to eradicate racism by the promotion of equality of opportunity and good race relations. Every police force is also bound by this duty and must have a Race Equality Scheme in place.

The recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and the work of the Lawrence Steering Group, now disbanded, have been central to the real progress on race which has been made in the police service. Together with the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (formerly the CRE) and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the
29 Oct 2007 : Column 938W
procedures and practices within the police service have been strengthened to ensure that race equality is embedded within the work force and across all policing activities.

A number of initiatives have been adopted as part of the Race Equality programme to modernise the police service’s organisational culture and include:

Police: Working Conditions

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria her Department uses when assessing the percentage of an officer’s time which is spent on the front line; and if she will make a statement. [159693]

Mr. McNulty: Frontline policing is measured using the Frontline Policing Measure, which is based on the proportion of police officers engaged in frontline activities.

The Frontline Policing Measure is not a measure of visibility. It measures time spent carrying out core policing duties. Examples of roles considered as front line include: burglary, CID, firearms, community safety, dogs, drugs, foot/car/beat patrol, hate crime, mounted police, special branch, marine, air, underwater, and vice.

CID, foot/car/beat patrol and traffic are also subject to activity analysis to determine more accurately the proportion of officer time spent on frontline activities within those roles. Examples of frontline activity include dealing with incidents, visible patrol, searches, dealing with informants, interviewing suspects and special operations.

Full details of the formula used to calculated the measure and complete lists of frontline roles and activities are contained in the ‘Guidance on Statutory Performance Indicators for Policing 2006-07’, published by the Police Standards Unit and available at:

Racial Discrimination: Metropolitan Police

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the recent findings of the Employment Tribunal on racial discrimination in the Metropolitan Police Force. [160684]

Mr. McNulty: This is a matter for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.


29 Oct 2007 : Column 939W

Rape: Convictions

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the percentage conviction rate was for reported rapes in each police force area in England and Wales in the last period for which figures are available. [157749]

Mr. McNulty: The information is not available in the form requested.

Rescue Services: West Yorkshire

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what responsibilities West Yorkshire Police Service has in relation to water rescue; and if she will make a statement. [159984]

Mr. McNulty: This is a matter for the chief constable of West Yorkshire police.

Video Games: Children

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department's 2001 review of the effect of computer games on young children cost. [161373]

Mr. Hanson: I have been asked to reply.

This was an internal piece of work conducted in 2001 and there was no cost to the Department other than internal staff time.

Written Questions

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she will reply to question 157063, on deportation recommendations, tabled by the hon. Member for Woking on 10 October. [160838]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 25 October 2007]: I replied to the hon. Member on 24 October 2007, Official Report, column 344W.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 62W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, how many cases of theft are being investigated; and on what date each investigation began. [158353]

Des Browne: There are three open investigations into thefts from supplies to UK military forces in Afghanistan. The dates that the allegations were made are: 12 July 2007, 23 September 2007 and 11 October 2007.

The Royal Military Police have conducted an assessment of the threats to supplies in transit and suggested a number of improvements to the shipping process. They are providing a specially trained crime
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reduction specialist to the current and future Herrick roulements to assist in implementing these.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 62W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, for what reason his Department did not keep information on the number of reported thefts before October 2006. [158354]

Des Browne: Records of allegations of theft since UK forces deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 have been maintained by the relevant investigating unit of the Royal Military Police (RMP) but are not recorded centrally. UK forces deployed in smaller numbers, not always in formed units, prior to 2006 and may, for example, have used the policing functions provided by ISAF coalition partners.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 62W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, if he will give details of the eight reports of theft that have been confirmed. [158356]

Des Browne: The details of thefts from supplies en route to UK forces in Afghanistan reported between April 2006 and February 2007 are shown in the following table.

Date of report Unit Items

6 April 2006

Royal Logistics Corps

Personal and Military equipment

29 April 2006

16 Air Assault Brigade

Military equipment

17 May 2006

21 AA

Military equipment

7 June 2006

148 Royal Logistics Corps EFI

Military property

21 August 2006

3 Battalion, Parachute Regiment

Military equipment

15 October 2006

CLR, Royal Marines

Personal and Military equipment

17 October 2006

3 Commando Brigade

Petrol, oil, lubricants

13 February 2007

3 CDO Bde, Royal Logistics Corps

Petrol, oil, lubricants


Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the tog rating is of the sleeping bags issued to troops in Afghanistan; and how many have been issued. [159871]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 October 2007]: Temperate sleeping bags are issued to all personnel as part of their standard kit. Additionally, troops deploying to Afghanistan during the hotter months are issued with the warm weather sleeping bag as part of their personal kit, prior to deployment.

The Department does not procure sleeping bags to a tog rating. The temperate sleeping bag is designed to allow 6 hours sleep under normal conditions down to a temperature of -19 degrees Celsius. Under survival conditions, the sleeping bag is designed to allow 6 hours rest at -32 degrees Celsius, with clothing appropriate to the conditions.


29 Oct 2007 : Column 941W

The warm weather sleeping bag is suitable for desert and jungle use. Over the past 12 months, 28,534 warm weather sleeping bags have been issued in all areas including Afghanistan.

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are to change the level of the UK’s military contribution to Afghanistan. [160741]

Des Browne [holding answer 25 October 2007]: There are no plans to change the level of the UK’s military contribution to Afghanistan.

Air Force: Deployment

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will provide a full answer to question 155132, on Royal Air Force flights, tabled by the hon. Member for Kettering on 5 September for named day answer on 12 September. [161121]

Des Browne: I replied to the hon. Member today.

Armed Forces: Cadets

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2007, Official Report, column 1016W, on schools: cadets, how many (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force Combined Cadet Force Units there were in each of the last 10 years; and how many of these units were affiliated to state sector schools in each of the last 10 years. [161418]

Derek Twigg: Each school combined cadet force contingent can be made up of one or more single-service contingents. The total number of single-service contingents and the number in state sector schools is:


29 Oct 2007 : Column 942W
Total number of single-service sections Number of single-service sections in state sector schools
RN( 1) Army RAF RN Army RAF

1998

121

240

180

12

44

35

1999

122

238

182

10

45

35

2000

118

236

185

10

46

37

2001

119

240

186

10

47

38

2002

121

243

189

11

49

40

2003

121

247

190

11

50

40

2004

122

249

190

11

51

40

2005

122

250

193

11

51

41

2006

125

251

194

11

52

40

2007

128

259

199

12

60

41

(1) For the period shown, in addition to the RN sections there have been 18 Royal Marine sections, all based within independent schools.

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