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Passports

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many passports mailed from the UK Passport Authority to addresses in the UK went missing in the post in each year since 1995. [3845]

Angela Eagle: The United Kingdom Passport Service (UKPS) only has records for passports reported missing in the post for the calendar years 1999 and 2000 as shown:



It is clear to UKPS and the Royal Mail that the majority of passports reported as lost have in fact been stolen and that these thefts are systematic and targeted. The figure for losses in 2000 is significantly higher than that for 1999 (2,359) and this is of some concern to us.

The new digital passport has enhanced security features. These features would make it extremely difficult for someone who is in possession of a stolen passport to alter the document for use under a false identity.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints were received from customers in 2000–01 about inaccuracies in the passport received. [4949]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The United Kingdom Passport Service (UKPS) received 281 written complaints about inaccuracies in passports received by customers during the financial year 2000–01.

The UKPS issued 5.5 million passports over the same period.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what international agreement would be needed to allow the introduction of a passport card. [4952]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 July 2001]: A passport card is recognised as a form of travel document in the international standards developed by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The use of a card form of passport would be by bilateral agreements between issuing states. A United Kingdom passport card will need acceptance within the European Union if it is to be a viable business proposition.

Ministerial consideration will be given to any issues arising from our agreements with the European Union.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fraudulent applications for passports were detected in (a) 1997–98, (b) 1998–99, (c) 1999–2000 and (d) 2000–01. [4943]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 July 2001]: Incidents of fraud have decreased because the new Passport Application Support System (PASS) acts as a deterrent because it includes electronic security checks and the new digital machine readable passport incorporates new and improved security features.

For the calendar year 1997, 1,880 fraudulent applications were detected, this represents 0.042 per cent. of passports issued.

Calendar year 1998, 1,368, which represents 0.030 per cent. of passports issued.

In 1999 the records changed to financial years.

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1999–2000, 1,568 fraudulent applications were detected, which represents 0.027 per cent.

2000–01, 1,484 fraudulent applications were detected, which represents 0.028 per cent.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the uses and purpose will be of the passport card referred to in paragraph 2.13 of the Passport Service's Corporate and Business Plan 2001–2006. [4948]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 July 2001]: A passport card, if approved by Ministers, would provide users with a convenient travel document which can be kept in a wallet or purse. If a passport book is lost or stolen abroad, the card would provide an alternative document that can either be used to facilitate return to the United Kingdom or to present to the nearest British Consulate to support an application for a replacement passport book.

In addition a card form of a passport would provide a suitable platform for electronic innovations. The International Civil Aviation Organisation is developing standards for card-based travel documents incorporating electronic data storage. These documents could offer greater security, could be used as automated border controls and offer a route to speedy passport renewal.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce a passport card; and in which year he intends to introduce it. [4947]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The United Kingdom Passport Service plans to introduce a passport card subject to gaining acceptance for the document in the European Union and subject to adequate funding and business case and subject to ministerial approval. The earliest that a passport card could be introduced is the financial year 2003–04.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision he has made to cope with the expected demand in the summer of 2001 from people whose passports were exceptionally extended for two years in 1999. [4941]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The Demand Forecast for the period October 2000 to September 2001 included an allowance for the expected demand in the summer of 2001 from people whose passports were exceptionally extended for two years in 1999. This has been supported by our market research, and our production capacity has allowed for this.

Asian Police

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women police officers are of Asian heritage in each police force in England. [3843]

Mr. Denham: On 31 March 2000, the most recent date for which figures are available, the number of full-time equivalent Asian female officers in England and Wales was 140. This breaks down between forces as follows:

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 647W

ForceAsian women officers
Avon and Somerset0
Bedfordshire5
Cambridgeshire1
Cheshire0
City of London2
Cleveland0
Cumbria1
Derbyshire5
Devon and Cornwall0
Dorset0
Durham1
Dyfed-Powys1
Essex3
Gloucestershire0
Greater Manchester6
Gwent0
Hampshire2
Hertfordshire2
Humberside0
Kent5
Lancashire2
Leicestershire8
Lincolnshire1
Merseyside0
Metropolitan police26
Norfolk0
Northamptonshire0
Northumbria0
North Wales0
North Yorkshire0
Nottinghamshire2
South Wales0
South Yorkshire5
Staffordshire2
Suffolk2
Surrey3
Sussex1
Thames Valley8
Warwickshire2
West Mercia0
West Midlands34
West Yorkshire10
Wiltshire0
Total140

Hertfordshire Police

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the recruitment targets were for, and how many officers were recruited to, the Hertfordshire police force in each year since 1997. [3628]

Mr. Denham: I am advised by Hertfordshire constabulary that the force set no target for recruitment in 1997–98 or 1998–99. The force has advised me that the number of new recruits and the number of transfers in to the force in each year from 1997–98 to 2000–01, and the recruitment targets for 1999–2000 and 2000–01 were as follows:

1997–981998–991999–20002000–01
Recruitment target (34)(34)160250
Number of police officers recruited(35) 6367147111
Number of transfers in 15122831

(34) None set

(35) Excluding transfers in from England and Wales


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Under the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) recruitment initiative, Hertfordshire constabulary has been allocated a total of 107 additional recruits, over and above their existing recruitment plans for the three years to March 2003.

The force encountered some recruitment difficulties in the first year of the scheme (2000–01) and their bid to defer all 40 of their 2000–01 CFF allocation into 2001–02 was approved.

According to the latest recruitment profile received from the force, they intend to recruit all of their revised 2001–02 CFF allocation of 70 this year. The force has been allocated 37 CFF recruits in 2002–03.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officers left the Hertfordshire police force other than through retirement in each year since 1997; and what these figures are expressed as a percentage of the total numbers of police officers in (a) Hertfordshire and (b) England and Wales. [3621]

Mr. Denham: The available information is given in the table:

Number of officers who left Hertfordshire Constabulary through resignation and other wastage

Percentage of officers
Financial yearNumber of officersHertfordshireEngland and Wales
1997–98442.50.035
1998–99462.70.036
1999–2000482.70.039
2000–01693.60.055

Hertfordshire Constabulary expanded on 1 April 2000 when it took over an area previously administered by the Metropolitan police, and consequently the 2000–01 figures are based on a larger number of officers.


Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special police officers have been recruited to serve in (a) Hertfordshire and (b) Hertsmere in each year since 1997; and what the target for recruitment was in each case. [3631]

Mr. Denham: Recruitment statistics for the Special Constabulary are collected by force area. The figures available for Hertfordshire in each year since 1997 are set out in the table. I understand from the Chief Constable that the force can only provide data on Hertsmere following the boundary changes with the Metropolitan police on 1 April 2000. The Hertsmere figure is in brackets.

Number
1996–9761
1997–9853
1998–9933
1999–200031
2000–0127 (6)

Source:

Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate


I am also told by the Chief Constable that Hertfordshire Constabulary has no set target for the recruitment of

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 649W

Special Constables but is working towards increasing the number. The force had 198 Special constables on 31 March 2000.


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