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Electronic Services (Departmental Targets)

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made to meet his Department's targets to provide services electronically. [5418]

Mr. Blunkett: In accordance with guidelines of the Office of the e-Envoy, and in line with other Departments, my Department has published its initial e-Business Strategy on the internet. Appendix A (service map) lists Home Office services and progress towards e-enablement.

The body of the strategy can be found at: The appendices are at: ebusiness/stratapp.pdf

An updated version of the strategy is due to be published in September.

Race Relations

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there have been for incitement to racial hatred in each of the last five years (i) in each police service area and (ii) in total; and if he will make a statement. [5120]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 19 July 2001]: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Library.

Police National Computer

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the accuracy of records held on the Police National Computer and its use in relation to issuing new criminal record checks; and if he will make a statement. [5118]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 19 July 2001]: We have received some representations concerning the accuracy of Police National Computer (PNC) records, most notably those raised by the Home Affairs Committee and the Information Commissioner.

We fully recognise, and share, the concerns that have been expressed about errors and omissions in some of the data, and delays in inputting data onto the PNC. We have been working closely with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO), the Information Commissioner and other concerned parties to tackle these problems. Police forces are now working to a compliance strategy that has been drawn up by ACPO. This sets quantified performance indicators for key aspects of both quality and timeliness, including the prompt inputting of data both in the initial stages of a case and following the conclusion of trial proceedings. There are also agreed programmes to tackle backlogs.

Probation Service

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff, in each grade, were

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employed in (a) Greater London, (b) Humberside, (c) Northamptonshire, (d) West Yorkshire, (e) Merseyside, (f) South Western, (g) Kent and (h) South Wales Probation Service on 31 March; what the average caseload was in each of those services; how many staff were absent for more than four weeks in each service in the year ended 31 March; and if he will make a statement. [5213]

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Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 July 2001]: I have assumed that the hon. Gentleman is interested in the National Probation Service. The new areas Greater London and South Wales came into being on 1 April 2001 and the figures shown are totals of the constituent services. For South Western I have added all services in the south-west region. Information is not yet collected centrally on staff absence.

Numbers of staff(44) in post at 31 December 2000

GradeGreater LondonHumbersideNorthamptonshireWest YorkshireMerseyside(45)South-WestKentSouth Wales
Area Mgr143
Sen pract224104710
Reg train31523
All staff2,3253591728536461,318413443

(44) Whole-time equivalent

(45) Wiltshire, Avon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Devon, Cornwall, Dorset

Caseload(46) at 31 December 1999

Greater London13,124
West Yorkshire5,022

(46) Offenders with a criminal court order supervision at 31 December 1999

(47) Wiltshire, Avon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Devon, Cornwall, Dorset

Criminal Records Bureau

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what his working estimate is of the demand for (a) basic, (b) standard and (c) enhanced disclosures for the first two years of the operation of the Criminal Records Bureau; [4956]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) will phase in the issue of Enhanced and Standard Disclosures later this year, subject to its systems and processes having been proved under test and pilot conditions and shown to be capable of delivering the required level of service to its customers. We intend to commence the issue of Basic Disclosures in the summer of 2002.

It is expected that demand will begin at a relatively low level and build up. Cost and business projections have been based on the following levels of demand during this and the next financial year:


The CRB will rely on the Phoenix database of the Police National Computer (PNC) as its source of criminal records information. The PNC holds details of recordable offences from England and Wales. Scottish records are also routinely copied to PNC. Work is continuing with a view to ensuring that details of convictions in Northern Ireland are also available to the CRB to the extent that is necessary.

The 'Code of Practice for registered persons and other recipients of disclosure information' was published on 26 April 2001, under section 122(1) of the Police Act 1997. The Code was also laid before Parliament in accordance with section 122(2) of the Act. The Code was placed in the Library on 26 April 2001.

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On 17 July 2001 the CRB had received 493 applications for registration. We intend that the processing of these applications will begin by the end of July 2001, when the automated system for processing registration applications will be operational.

Police Numbers

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the authorised police establishment was at the end of 1979; what the number of

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police officers in post was on 1 May 1997 for each police authority in England; and if he will calculate the percentage difference in these figures for each authority. [4921]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The table sets out the police establishment and strength for each force in England for December 1979 and police strength for 31 March 1997. The percentage change is calculated on the difference between the strength figures for 1979 and 1997, rather than between establishment and strength figures as the figures do not compare like with like.

Police numbers for 1979 and 1997—England

ForceAuthorised establishment December 1979Actual strength 31 December 1979Actual strength 31 March 1997Percentage difference in strength
Avon and Somerset2,9532,8612,988.8+4.5
Devon and Cornwall2,6732,6392,864.5+8.5
Greater Manchester6,7666,6536,921.6+4
London, City of1,022834858.9+3
Metropolitan Police26,58922,52826,677.3+18.4
North Yorkshire1,3681,3381,337.6(48)
South Yorkshire2,7522,6443,158.7+19.5
Thames Valley3,0052,7643,695+33.7
West Mercia1,8341,8372,040.2+11.1
West Midlands6,5096,1607,112.7+15.5
West Yorkshire5,1044,7995,208.8+8.5

(48) No change

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many serving police officers there are in the London borough of Wandsworth (a) in total and (b) broken down by (i) rank and (ii) gender. [5412]

Mr. Denham: The information has been provided by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and is set out in the table. Police numbers are those as at 30 June 2001.

Police numbers—London borough of Wandsworth

Chief superintendent11
Chief inspector44

(49) Full-time equivalent numbers

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