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Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the starting salary is for police officers in (a) London and (b) the rest of the UK; after how long a new police officer will receive a pay rise; and if he will make a statement on police pay with special reference to rises they have had since 1997, and pay rises they will receive. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 18 January 2002]: A police officer will earn £17,733 on recruitment, rising to £19,842 upon completion of initial training, which is generally after 32 weeks. Police officers in London, who joined after 1 September 1994 and who are not in receipt of housing allowance, receive an additional London allowance of £4,338 plus London weighting of £1,773.
Police pay is increased annually by reference to the median percentage of the manpower index of non-manual private sector workers. In 1997 the increase was 3.5 per cent, in 1998, 4 per cent, in 1999, 3.6 per cent, in 2000, 3 per cent. and in 2001, 3.5 per cent.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the public service agreement target for the average staff cost per investigation where an irregularity is corrected was achieved by March 2001. 
Angela Eagle: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has had no such discussions recently. The Home Office is currently considering how young people, particularly those not in further education or employment, might participate more in community based activities. This may include participation in the development of millennium volunteers, the participative content of the citizenship and democracy programme in schools, the development of such programmes in further education and the opportunities for volunteering and community support offered by the Experience Corps.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the proportion of violent crime and burglary associated with drug addiction; and what plans he has to tackle this problem (a) in Coventry and (b) in the UK. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 21 January 2002]: While there is strong evidence to show a relationship between drug misuse and acquisitive crime, the current research is insufficiently advanced to reveal a precise link with individual types of crime. Work is on-going in this area through, for example, the new English and Welsh Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring programme of interviewing and testing arrestees in eight locations.
We have in place a number of initiatives aimed at diverting drug misusers away from crime and into treatment. These include interventions such as arrest referral, drug treatment and testing orders, and the piloting of drug testing at various points in the criminal justice system under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. In the current financial year we also launched the Communities Against Drugs
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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will give individuals who obtain access to their Security Service files the right to challenge perceived inaccuracies in those files; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the average time which will be taken to furnish an individual who has requested access to their Security Service file with the contents of that file; 
(4) whether it will be considered to be in the national interest for the Security Service to be obliged to disclose discontinued files on Government Ministers to those individuals while they remain in their posts; 
(5) whether discontinued Security Service files on the (a) Deputy Prime Minister, (b) Foreign Secretary and (c) right hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson) will be released if requested by those individuals; 
(6) what advice he has been given about the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 on access by individuals to files on them compiled by the Security Service; 
(7) if it is his intention to impose charges on individuals who request access to their Security Service files; 
(8) what overall assessment he has made of the effect on the security of the Security Service of enabling individuals to have access to their Security Service files; 
(9) what personnel will be allocated by the Security Service for the processing of applications by individuals to see their Security Service files; 
(10) if he will make a statement on access by individuals to files about their activities compiled by the Security Service, with special reference to his placing a certificate relating to this in the Library; and what criteria will be applied in determining whether the release of a Security Service file on an individual to that individual will harm national security. 
Section 7 of the Act creates a general entitlement for an individual to ask and be told whether personal data on them is being processed and if it is, be told certain information about that data. However, the Act also provides at section 28 an exemption on grounds of safeguarding national security that applies, among other provisions, to section 7.
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As I stated in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore) on 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 492W, I have signed, at the request of the Security Service, a new certificate describing in general terms the personal data that the Security Service may process that requires exemption under the Act under section 28. A copy of that certificate, with the public reasons for my signing it, was placed in the Library. I have placed a condition on the Security Service to report to me on their use of the certificate.
Without anticipating the outcome of any such application, one of the Security Service's statutory functions is protecting national security. In perhaps the great majority of cases the service will need to rely on the section 28 exemption to avoid damage to national security. That will include use of the long established "neither confirm nor deny" approachan approach acknowledged by the national security panel of the Information Tribunal. In response to a subject access application, the service will, consistent with section 28, consider whether the neither confirm nor deny approach needs to be followed and, if not, to what extent the withholding of all or some information is still necessary to safeguard national security.
The Director General of the Security Service has informed me that he is keeping under review the resources required. In line with the Act, the service charges a £10 subject access application-handling fee.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have left the (a) Metropolitan police, (b) West Midlands and (c) Greater Manchester police, in each month in each of the last three years for which figures are available; how many and what proportion (i) resigned, (ii) retired, (iii) transferred to another force and (iv) were dismissed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 16 January 2002]: The information requested was not collected centrally on a monthly basis. Information on the categories of wastage requested is collected once a year by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and is set out in the tables.
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(58) Retirements includes officers retiring on medical grounds
(59) Dismissals include officers required to resign
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(60) Retirements includes officers retiring on medical grounds
(61) Dismissals include officers required to resign
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(62) Retirements includes officers retiring on medical grounds
(63) Dismissals include officers required to resign.
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