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15 Nov 2000 : Column: 698W
initiatives the Syndicate has developed to combat service station forecourt crimes, including the theft of petrol. The Syndicate aims to share information among its members and work with other partners to encourage the spread of best practice.
One such initiative is the establishment of 'Forecourt Watch' schemes in several areas of the country. These schemes, operated in conjunction with the local police, provide service stations with an early warning system of vehicles and individuals involved with crime on forecourts. When a crime is committed local petrol retailers immediately report the incident to the local police, who transmit warnings via a communications system such as 'Ringmaster'. A number of other schemes are currently being developed.
Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will amend the legislation relating to the issue of registration plates for vehicles in order to reduce the incidence of crime involving the misuse of number plates. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The possibility of amending the legislation relating to the supply and issue of registration plates for vehicles was discussed in the Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team's five-year strategy 'Tackling Vehicle Crime', published in September 1999. We are looking closely at the proposal to legislate in this area.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Representation of the People Act 2000 enabled local authorities to pilot alternative methods of voting for the first time. A total of 38 pilot schemes were carried out at last May's local elections. Of these, there were 15 early voting schemes, seven all-postal ballots, five electronic voting and/or counting schemes, four which offered postal votes on demand, three schemes involving mobile polling, two schemes involving extending polling hours, one weekend voting scheme and one scheme which offered candidates free delivery of election material.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many civilian police personnel were based in Gloucestershire on 1 January (a) 2000, (b) 1999, (c) 1998, (d) 1997, (e) 1996 and (f) 1992; 
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|Year(8)||Number of police officers||Number of civilian support staff|
(8) As at 31 March in each year
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers began basic training in Gloucestershire in (a) 1992, (b) 1996, (c) 1997, (d) 1998 and (e) 1999; and how many he estimates will do so in 2000. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We support schemes which issue credible proof-of-age cards, believing that they have an important part to play in strategies to control the sale of age-restricted goods to young people.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in Gloucestershire were (a) arrested and (b) convicted for drug related incidents in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Information is not collated centrally on drug-related incidents or offences, neither are data collected centrally on arrests for drug offences. However, information is published annually in the Home Office Bulletin on Drug Seizure and Offender Statistics, United Kingdom, on the number of persons found guilty of, or cautioned for, drug offences. Information for the period 1990 to 1999 is given in the table.
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|Found guilty||Cautioned||Total persons|
Drugs Research Unit, Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the overall spending on probation services was for each county in England and Wales in the last 12 months; and what was the average cost of maintaining a person on probation in the last 12 months. 
|Probation service||1998-99 expenditure|
|Hereford and Worcester||4,471,940|
|North East London||9,449,257|
|South East London||6,335,178|
|South West London||4,660,922|
|Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire||7,805,070|
(9) Pre-audit estimate
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|Community Service Order||1,400|
|Supervision under Children's and Young Persons Act 1969||1,460|
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