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27 Mar 2009 : Column 775W—continued

Police: Accidents

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many accidents resulting in serious injuries or death involving members of the public and officers of (a) Wiltshire police and (b) the Metropolitan police in the course of their duties there were in each of the last 10 years. [264867]

Mr. Coaker: Figures collected by the Home Office show numbers of road traffic collisions involving police vehicles resulting from immediate/emergency response and police pursuits since 2002-03. They are shown in the following table.

Road traffic collisions involving police vehicles in emergency/persuit involving injury by degree of injury and public/police personnel( 1)
Injury to
Members of public Police personnel
Financial year( 2, 3) Fatal injury Serious injury Fatal injury Serious injury

2002-03

Severity of injury

4

13

1

1

Metropolitan police

4

13

1

1

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

2003-04

Severity of injury

4

19

0

2

Metropolitan police

4

19

0

2

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

2004-05

Severity of injury

4

20

0

3

Metropolitan police

4

20

0

3

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

2005-06

Severity of injury

4

24

0

9

Metropolitan police

4

24

0

9

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

2006-07

Severity of injury

4

18

0

8

Metropolitan police

4

18

0

8

Wiltshire

0

0

0

0

2007-08

Severity of injury

4

23

0

5

Metropolitan police

4

23

0

5

Wiltshire

0

1

0

2

(1) Data are unverified and therefore provided on a provisional basis only.
(2) Financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March in each of the given years.
(3) Data collected on behalf of HMIC since 2002-03.

Police: Coastal Areas

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions her Department has had with chief constables on recognising (a) transience and (b) visitor numbers when allocating policing resources to seaside and coastal towns. [265494]


27 Mar 2009 : Column 776W

Mr. Coaker: I have regular meetings with chief constables and police authorities to discuss police resources. The impact of visitor numbers on police resources has previously been raised as part of those discussions.

The Police Allocation Formula Working Group is in the process of reviewing the police funding formula for the next CSR period (2011-12 to 2013-14). These issues will be considered by the group in the near future.

Police: Conduct

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her Department's policy is on persons convicted of an offence involving dishonesty while serving as a police officer; and if she will make a statement. [264978]

Mr. Coaker: Police officers are expected to demonstrate the highest level of personal and professional standards of behaviour. The Standards of Professional Behaviour contained in the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 reflect the expectations that the police service and the public have of how police officers should behave. Any breach of these standards may result in disciplinary action being taken, which in the most serious cases can result in dismissal from the service.

The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) is responsible for national police recruitment standards. Home Office Circular 54/2003 outlines the policy which is used to assess each application. Each case is considered on its merits and eligibility will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. Applicants must declare on application whether or not they have any convictions or cautions, spent or otherwise. Responsibility and decisions for vetting lie with the individual police.

Police: Manpower

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many commissioned police officers there were in England in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 1996-97. [265310]

Mr. Coaker: Information on police numbers is published annually in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin series ‘Police Service Strength, England and Wales’. The bulletins are available in the Library of the House, and can be downloaded from the publications link within the Research Development and Statistics directorate website located at:

There were 132,313 full-time equivalent police officers in the 39 forces in England as at 31 March 2008, compared to 118,455 as at 31 March 1997.

Police: Protection

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in England were engaged in personal protection duties on the latest date for which figures are available. [265294]

Mr. Coaker: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 5 March 2009, Official Report, column 1779W.


27 Mar 2009 : Column 777W

Proceeds of Crime

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to improve rates of enforcement of payment under court asset confiscation orders made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. [266251]

Mr. Alan Campbell: We have taken a number of steps to improve the enforcement of confiscation orders. For example, we issued a ‘Best Practice Guide to Confiscation Order Enforcement’ to all relevant agencies and set up a new database to monitor and provide management information on confiscation performance. We set up a multi-agency enforcement task force for two years ending 2005-06; their work was subsequently subsumed by HM Courts Service and other enforcement agencies. HM Courts Service have established nine dedicated regional confiscation units, two of which have been co-located with the Home Office-funded regional asset recovery teams. The enforcement of Crown Prosecution Service confiscation orders for which CPS branches have lead enforcement responsibility is co-ordinated on a group basis, so as to benefit from economies of scale and to encourage the development and optimum use of specialist enforcement skills. In addition, the prosecution agencies and other bodies are making greater use of restraint orders.

We are giving the police and other bodies new powers in the Policing and Crime Bill to enable them to seize and detain assets at the earliest opportunity, subject to judicial oversight, to prevent criminals trying to hide them or otherwise dispose of them in anticipation of a confiscation order. We are also giving the authorities powers in the Bill to sell seized property to satisfy a confiscation order. These new measures will help to further improve confiscation enforcement rates.

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been paid under court asset confiscation orders made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in each year since its introduction. [266252]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The total net value of confiscation orders paid under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 or earlier legislation in each year since 2003-04 is as follows:

£ million

2003-04

38.8

2004-05

54.4

2005-06

61.3

2006-07

77.8

2007-08

96.3


In addition to confiscation orders, the Proceeds of Crime Act makes provision for the seizure and forfeiture of cash that is the proceeds of crime or is intended for use in crime. The Act also provides for the civil recovery of the proceeds of crime. Law enforcement and prosecution agencies have recovered additional sums using these powers.

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many court asset confiscation orders made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in each year since its introduction. [266253]


27 Mar 2009 : Column 778W

Mr. Alan Campbell: The number of confiscation orders made by the courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and earlier legislation, since the Act came into force is as follows:

Number

2003-04

1,497

2004-05

2,519

2005-06

3,807

2006-07

4,116

2007-08

4,903


Prostitution

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 11 March 2009, Official Report, columns 468-9W, on prostitution, what changes were made to the Policing and Crime Bill as a result of the responses received. [266403]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The responses to the Home Office's letter of 26 September were received before the introduction of the Policing and Crime Bill. The responses expressed a range of views, which were taken into consideration in conjunctions with the findings of the Government's ‘Tackling the Demand for Prostitution: A Review’ and contributed as part of this process to the development of measures of clauses 13,14, 18,19 and 20 of the Policing and Crime Bill.

Right of Search: Computers

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances the police may search home computers without warrants; whether she plans to extend the circumstances in which such searches may take place; what requirements there are on the police to render computers secure following such searches; and if she will make a statement. [248489]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 19 January 2009]: If an officer is lawfully on any premises with consent or under a warrant or for the purposes of making an arrest, he can require information stored in any electronic form and accessible from the premises that could be used in evidence, to be provided in a form which he can take away or from which it can be readily produced. The issue of security is a matter for the person requested to provide the information.


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