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Written Statements

Thursday 9 July 2015

Communities and Local Government

Neighbourhood Planning

The Minister for Housing and Planning (Brandon Lewis): On 10 July 2014, the former Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my hon. Friend the Member for Grantham and Stamford (Nick Boles), amended for a period of 12 months the criteria for consideration of the recovery of planning appeals to include proposals for residential development over 10 units in areas where a qualifying body has submitted a neighbourhood plan proposal to the local planning authority or where a neighbourhood plan has been made, Official Report, column 24-25WS, and I am now extending that period for a further six months from today.


Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Elizabeth Truss): The next Agriculture and Fisheries Council will be on 13 July in Brussels. My hon. Friend, Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (George Eustice) who is responsible for farming, food and the marine environment, will represent the UK.

As the provisional agenda stands, the following items will be discussed.

There will be a state of play item on the proposals for a regulation on the aid scheme for the supply of fruit and vegetables, banana and milk in educational establishments, and a regulation on fixing certain aids and refunds related to the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products. There will be a presentation from the Commission, followed by an exchange of views, on the proposal for member states to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory. The Commission will also provide an update on market developments, taking into account the extension of the Russian import ban on EU agricultural products.

There are currently four confirmed any other business items:

Situation on the dairy market (requested by Czech Republic and Poland).

The future of the sugar sector in the EU (requested by Italy).

Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) on sustainable management and use of forests in policy and practice (requested by Slovenia).

Plant breeders’ rights and the European Patent Office’s decision (requested by the Netherlands).


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Home Department

Firearms and Taser Statistics

The Minister for Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice (Mike Penning): On 23 March 2015, the Home Secretary announced the suspension of the police use of Taser and police use of firearms statistical publications due to data quality concerns, which has previously resulted in incorrect data being published and reported to Parliament.

Following an internal review of the reporting process, officials, statisticians and the national armed policing secretariat carried out a data validation exercise together with forces to address these concerns. In addition, the Home Office chief statistician wrote to forces’ commissioners/chief constables asking them to confirm figures for their force. The Home Office chief statistician is now satisfied that the figures provided by forces are of sufficient quality to publish.

I am today publishing official statistics on police use of firearms in England and Wales for 2013-14 (financial year) and on police use of Taser in England and Wales for 2014 (calendar year). This release also includes revisions to previously published figures and covers all 43 forces in England and Wales.

Police use of firearms statistics 2013-14 (financial year)

The police use of firearms release shows that:

There were 14,864 police firearms’ operations in 2013-14. This represents a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year.

There were 12,061 police firearms’ operations involving armed response vehicles (ARVs) in 2013-14. This represents a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year.

In 2013-14, 81% of police firearms’ operations involved ARVs. The proportion has remained fairly stable in recent years.

There were 5,875 police firearms’ officers at the end of March 2014. This represents a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year.

The police discharged firearms in two operations in 2013-14 (down from three operations in 2012-13).

Police use of Taser statistics, 2014 (calendar year)

The police use of Taser release shows that:

The police used Taser 10,062 times in 2014, representing a decrease of 3% (-318) compared with 2013.

Non-discharges accounted for 80% of Taser use in 2014.

Drive stun and angle-drive stun accounted for 3% of Taser use in 2014.

Fired accounted for 17% of Taser use in 2014.

Copies of both statistical publications will be placed in the Library of the House.

The full sets of commentary and data are published on gov.uk:



At the black mental health and Home Office summit on 23 October 2014, the Home Secretary asked Chief Constable David Shaw to lead a review of the publication of Taser data and other use of force by police officers.

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In a recent update on progress, Chief Constable David Shaw informed the Home Secretary that he has established a project team to lead the review with oversight provided by a programme board comprising representatives from key policing and other interested organisations. Early work is focused on finalising the scope and approach to the review, mapping the existing arrangements for recording the police use of force and identifying best practice. The review will consider the requirements for data on the police use of a range of actions including

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physical restraint such as arm locks and pressure compliance, the use of batons and incapacitant sprays, the use of Tasers and lethal force. It will concentrate initially on higher end use of force and in particular where there may be issues around public confidence.

Chief Constable David Shaw will report his findings and recommendations to the Home Secretary towards the end of the year.