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29 Mar 2004 : Column WA127

Written Answers

Monday, 29 March 2004.

Ulster-Scots Agency: Budget 2004

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What factors were considered in setting the budget for the Ulster-Scots Agency for 2004; and whether proportionality of contribution was considered; and on what information it was calculated.[HL1631]

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): The 2004 budget calculation for the Ulster-Scots Agency was based on the approved actions in the agency's draft business plan, together with associated staffing costs. Proportionality was maintained at the same level as in previous years as no new factors have emerged.

Dependent Territories: Human Rights

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean of 9 March (WA 155), when they expect that each of the British Dependent Territories which do not have guarantees of human rights in their written constitutions will gain such guarantees.[HL1902]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and St Helena are in the process of reviewing their constitutions. We regard it as essential that human rights provisions are included in their revised constitutions, and for this purpose we have provided the territories with a model human rights chapter.

As the British Virgin Islands have only recently established a Constitutional Review Committee it will be some time before the government of that territory are in a position to submit their proposals for a revised constitution. Agreement has not yet been reached with the Government of the Cayman Islands on the inclusion of human rights provisions in their revised constitution, but we remain committed to that objective. In respect of St Helena, we have agreed with the territory's government on the inclusion of human rights provisions in their revised constitution and it is our objective that the new constitution should be in place by July 2005.

In respect of Pitcairn, to date human rights provisions have been taken as forming part of the territory's law. The possible application of the UK Human Rights Act to Pitcairn is currently one of the issues before the Pitcairn Supreme Court, but no decision on the matter has yet been made.

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We are working to ensure that relevant provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights are extended to the sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The target date for implementation is 1 May 2004.

Since the other territories which do not have guarantees of human rights in their written constitutions do not have a settled resident population, the inclusion of such guarantees of human rights in their written constitutions would serve no purpose.

Russian Election

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why they congratulated President Putin on winning an election, which according to the report by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe election observers "reflected a lack of democratic culture, accountability and responsibility".[HL1921]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My right honourable friend the Prime Minister congratulated President Putin on his victory because it was clear that his re-election reflected the opinion of the huge majority of the Russian people.

We note the preliminary findings of the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) regarding the election and welcome its view that there was a "genuine wish to enfranchise as many people as possible" and that the election was well administered. The report goes on to note that the legal framework established by the Russian authorities "promoted openness and transparency both in the conduct and organisation of the election". However, we are also concerned by the IEOM's finding that "the State controlled media displayed clear bias in favour of the incumbent" and that the authorities failed to attempt to rectify this situation during the campaign. As part of the EU we have called on Russia to take steps to ensure that future elections meet more fully Council of Europe and OSCE standards, including a free media.

Krishna Maharaj

Lord Dholakia asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What representations have been made by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the United States Government about the arrest of Krishna Maharaj.[HL1960]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Staff at our Consulate General in Atlanta first became aware of Mr Maharaj's detention in October 1988 when they were told of his presence on death row in the Florida State Prison by Professor Radelet, a death penalty researcher from the University of Florida. At the same time, Mr Maharaj wrote to our embassy in Washington to alert them to his predicament.

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Our embassy in Washington wrote to the State Department in January 1989 to complain formally that the Florida authorities did not notify the Consulate General of Mr Maharaj's arrest as they are required to under Article 16 of the UK/US Bilateral Consular Agreement. The State Department sent an apology in May 1989.

My noble friend Lady Scotland of Asthal wrote to the State Attorney in Florida in January 2001 informing her of HMG's opposition to the death penalty and complained about the breach of the UK/US Bilateral Agreement. Our Consul General in Atlanta also raised Mr Maharaj's case with Governor Jeb Bush.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to take a close interest in Mr Maharaj's case and to offer him appropriate consular assistance. This has, exceptionally, included instructing US lawyers to file an Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of the British Government in Habeas corpus proceedings brought by Mr Maharaj. This brief raised the legal issue of non-notification of Mr Maharaj's arrest in 1986 in contravention of the UK/US Bilateral Agreement.

Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001: Privy Counsellor Review Committee Report

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will reconsider each of the recent recommendations put forward in the report of the

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    Privy Counsellor Review Committee on the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, notwithstanding the views expressed by the Government in their discussion paper on counter-terrorism and liberty in an open society.[HL1901]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Part two of the discussion paper, Counter-terrorism Powers: Reconciling Security and Liberty in an Open Society, published on 25 February, gave the Government's response to the individual recommendations made by the Privy Counsellor Review Committee.

There are areas raised within the review which we are still considering. These include the use of intercept evidence and the broader debate that we have stimulated on the ATCS Act Part 4 powers.

Police Officers

Viscount Simon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For each year since 1997 and for each United Kingdom constabulary, what is (a) the total number of police officers; and (b) the total number of pursuit-trained traffic officers.[HL1929]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Police officer strength in the United Kimgdom for the period 1997 to 2003 is set out in the tables. The Scottish Executive and the Police Service of Northern Ireland have provided the figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland as these are not collected by the Home Office.

Information on the number of pursuit-trained officers is not collected.

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Police Officer Strength in England and Wales

March 1997 March 1998 March 1999 March 2000 March 2001 March 2002 March 2003 December 2003
Avon and Somerset2,9892,9762,9992,9342,9943,0963,1493,371
Devon and Cornwall2,8652,9622,8872,8412,9343,0533,2023,279
Greater Manchester6,9226,9496,8106,7956,9097,2177,3437,770
City of London859825778732703764808842
Metropolitan Police26,67726,09426,07325,48524,87826,22327,98429,441
North Yorkshire1,3381,3671,3371,2831,3051,4171,4441,494
South Yorkshire3,1593,1823,1683,1633,1973,1993,1833,257
Thames Valley3,6953,7763,7483,7403,7033,7623,8334,019
West Mercia2,0402,0102,0251,8871,9512,0182,2562,398
West Midlands7,1137,1567,3217,1947,4237,6817,7517,920
West Yorkshire5,2095,1554,9824,8224,8154,8895,0295,226
North Wales1,3691,3961,3911,4031,4441,5061,5391,601
South Wales2,9762,9862,9812,9263,1543,2223,2393,266
Total force strength125,051124,756123,841121,956123,476127,267131,426136,093
Central Service Secondments774769679825643874513621
Total Police Stength127,158126,814126,096124,418125,519129,603133,366138,155

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Police Strength in Scotland

Central Scotland Police686703719721729715732756
Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary412439437451474477477486
Fife Constabulary831855846837849905928956
Lothian & Borders Police2,6912,6912,6152,5842,6452,6712,6832,717
Northern Constabulary649657660653666681687676
Strathclyde Police7,2317,2997,1357,1017,2877,2877,4267,431
Tayside Police1,1161,1431,1491,1371,1511,1631,1591,150
Scotland Total14,78914,98014,81014,69915,05915,14315,36115,483


From Quarterly Strength Return

From September 2000 police numbers collected on a whole-time equivalent basis. Previously headcount.

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Police Strength in Northern Ireland

Regular Police Officers8,4238,4858,4968,3937,8106,9766,9947,319
Full time reserves2,9292,9822,8622,6882,4962,1841,8601,640
Part time reserves1,4731,3241,2171,1521,0731,001951868

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