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Public Enquiry Office

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what facilities the public enquiry office of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate offers private solicitors for dealing with immigration and asylum applications; how many practices are offered this facility; and what criteria they must meet. [145529]

Mrs. Roche: The Public Enquiry Office (PEO) does not deal with asylum applications. Applications for asylum are dealt with in the asylum screening unit where legal representatives may accompany applicants.

The PEO deals with personal callers wishing to make straightforward non-asylum applications for leave to remain in the United Kingdom. The PEO also offers a postal service for legal representatives for urgent straightforward applications for leave to remain. These applications are dealt with by return of post. Any representative can apply for inclusion in this service. The number of representatives currently using this service is 289, which represents a possible total of 309 applications each week.

Emergency Calls (Mobile Telephones)

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (a) how many and (b) what proportion, of 999 calls to the Metropolitan police were made from mobile telephones in each of the last five years; and what the proportion of serious calls was from (i) mobile and (ii) other telephones in the same period. [145344]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 January 2001]: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that the information relating to the number and proportion of 999 calls attributable to mobile phones in each of the last five years cannot be provided in the time available. I will write to my right hon. Friend when it becomes available. 999 calls made to the Metropolitan police are not categorised as serious or non-serious.

Police Pay and Conditions

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce local determination of police pay and conditions. [145551]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 January 2001]: There are no present plans to introduce local determination of police pay and conditions.

The police negotiating board is currently looking at whether there should be an allowance for officers in forces outside of London. I await any recommendation it may make on this or any other issue in relation to police pay and allowances.

Police Numbers

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his projections are for total police numbers at (a) March 2001 and (b) March 2002. [145558]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 January 2001]: Projecting police numbers is difficult. Apart from special arrangements like the crime fighting fund (CFF)--where money is provided specifically for additional recruitment--Ministers have no control over local

17 Jan 2001 : Column: 275W

decisions on the mix of officer strength and other resources that police authorities and chief constables may consider best for their police forces.

Through the CFF, we are providing new money--£454 million over the three years 2000-03--to ensure that there is a step change in the number of officers in the police service. Assuming forces' current projections for recruitment and wastage hold good, police numbers should reach 126,000 by March 2001, and 128,000 by March 2002. There may be some slippage, but the aim is to ensure a significant change in the number.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimates he has received from each police force for the three years commencing in April

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2000 of (a) wastage in terms of losses to each force and the police service as a whole and (b) projected transfers between forces. [145556]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 January 2001]: In their bids for a share of the recruitment scheme of the crime fighting fund made in January 2000, forces provided information on their projected wastage over the following three years. The Metropolitan police service (MPS) has subsequently provided revised figures for total wastage, but not for transfers from the force.

The table shows the estimates forces have given for (a) wastage in terms of losses to each force and the Police Service as a whole; and (b) projected transfers (i.e. transfers from each force into another), for the three years commencing April 2000.

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Police officer projected wastage 2000-03

(a) Projected wastage in terms of losses to each force and the service Projected transfers
Force2000-012000-022000-03Total2000-012000-022000-03Total
Avon and Somerset1151111113375101026
Bedfordshire45495715194518
Cambridgeshire63625718255515
Cheshire789010227066618
City of London40393911814131340
Cleveland53585316466618
Cumbria57575717166618
Derbyshire73747322043310
Devon and Cornwall132849631264414
Dorset8172612141113
Durham49565415955515
Dyfed-Powys40424012244412
Essex11411511734688824
Gloucestershire3650501362226
Greater Manchester27827925781415151545
Gwent5951541643339
Hampshire15015217047215151545
Hertfordshire931059529321232165
Humberside89948026366618
Kent15014114543620191958
Lancashire1021001163182226
Leicestershire75839425299927
Lincolnshire6363521783339
Merseyside14515516546515151545
Metropolitan(41)1,270(41)1,4541,5414,265200200150550
Norfolk5363621783339
North Wales5959591773339
North Yorkshire56585917365516
Northamptonshire4354581553339
Northumbria12412411836613101336
Nottinghamshire78787823466618
South Wales15215215245644412
South Yorkshire1021029930311111133
Staffordshire81818124388824
Suffolk54525516132510
Surrey14224210548925202570
Sussex18518518555515151545
Thames Valley16418119554025252575
Warwickshire46494714255515
West Mercia104949429266618
West Midlands312312312936434343129
West Yorkshire19020919759610111132
Wiltshire41484813744412
Total5,4365,7795,74016,9555835715311,685

(41) Wastage figures for MPS assume that officers currently seconded to county forces following 1 April 2000 boundary changes will return to the force during 2000-01 and 2001-02.


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Police Dogs

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) dog handlers and (b) dogs were in the police service in (i) 1997, (ii) 1998, (iii) 1999 and (iv) 2000. [145546]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 January 2001]: This information is not held centrally.

The Association of Chief Police Officers police dogs sub-committee has informed me that this information was not collected in 1997 and 1999.

The numbers for 1998 and 2000 are:

Dog handlersDogs
19981,9962,447
20001,7432,431

Police Constables

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police constables and (b) special constables in the police service in England and Wales there were on 31 March for each year since 1990; and if he will list (a) the figures for 30 September 2000 and (b) his projected figures for 31 March 2001. [145562]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 15 January 2001]: The table sets out overall constable numbers since 1990 which includes officers on secondment to the national crime squad, the national criminal intelligence service and central services. Data on the number of special constables have been centrally collected on a regular basis only from September 1995.

We have no projections from forces on the number of constables they are likely to have at the end of March 2001. As part of the bidding process for funding from the crime fighting fund (CFF), forces were asked to provide their projections of appointments on probation (ie new recruits to the force and the police service) and for their projections of wastage (all ranks) excluding transfers between forces. These show that forces hope to recruit about 7,000 new recruits in the current year. This number includes the officers to be funded by the CFF. All of these will enter the service in the rank of constable. But, as we do not have a breakdown of projected wastage by rank, no projection can be made of total constable numbers on 31 March 2001.

Assuming forces' current projections of recruitment and wastage hold good, police numbers (all ranks) should reach 126,000 by 31 March 2001.

The special constabulary is a volunteer service and no projections on its likely strength have been sought.

Constable and special constable numbers since 1990

Year (as at 31 March)ConstablesSpecial constables
199095,167n/a
199195,609n/a
199295,662n/a
199396,591n/a
199497,010n/a
199597,107n/a
199697,67219,775
199798,13219,874
199898,31218,256
199998,52016,484
200095,91714,347
30 September 200096,49913,528

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