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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what right to buy would be enjoyed by a serving Metropolitan police officer with a secure tenancy of a police house since July 2000, with non-secure tenancies from 1995 to 2000 and with a wife who was previously a long-term local authority secure tenant. 
Mr. Denham: Those Metropolitan police service tenants who became secure tenants as a result of the changes to the Housing Act 1985 made in the Greater London Authority Act 1999, would not normally be eligible for a right to buy until July 2002.
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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were serving in the Thames Valley police force on 1 January (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000, (e) 2001 and (f) 2002. 
Mr. Denham: Figures are not collected for police strength at 1 January. Figures for police strength at 31 December in the years 1999 to 2001 have been provided by the Chief Constable of Thames Valley police. The force is unable to provide information for the position on 31 December in the years 1996 to 1998. For these years the table shows strength figures at 30 September provided in statistical returns to the Home Office.
|Year and month||Number of officers|
|30 September 1996||3,682|
|30 September 1997||3,705|
|30 September 1998||3,790|
|31 December 1999||3,732|
|31 December 2000||3,750|
|31 December 2001||3,763|
Angela Eagle: The Cabinet Office already commissions and publishes an independent annual report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service". This report includes details of the causes of absenteeism. The report for the year 2000 will be published shortly.
The Home Office and its agencies have introduced new guidelines, policies and procedures with a view to meeting its target to reducing sickness absence, published in its Service Delivery Agreements for April 2001 to March 2004.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the expenditure of his (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies on newspaper advertising by title in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Blunkett: Each campaign may use national and regional media. The target audience and information to be conveyed influences the choice of media used. For national campaigns a mix of broadsheets and tabloids is frequently used. For regional advertising, space has been taken in many prominent regional newspapers as well as local papers.
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Mr. Denham: On 1 November 2001, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary published PA Consulting's study "Diary of a Police Officer" which had considered what more could be done to free police officers from the unnecessary paperwork and other obstacles which prevent them from spending more time in public.
In the White Paper "Policing a new century" (CM 5326), published on 5 December 2001, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced that he was setting up a taskforce, chaired by Sir David O'Dowd, to consider how to take forward the recommendations in this, and other, relevant reports, in order to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens on the police.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Recorded crime figures include statistics on drugs offences, such as possession, but do not record whether other offences are related to offenders' drug habits. Furthermore, the information that is collected on the number of drug offences is only available for the Metropolitan police force area as a whole and would therefore not be a useful guide to the number of drug offences in Uxbridge.
The NEW-ADAM research programme of interviewing and drug testing those arrested by the police sheds some light on the links between drugs and crime, although again the conclusions do not relate specifically to Uxbridge. Research so far, based on eight locations in 19992000, indicates that more than three-fifths (by value) of acquisitive crime is committed by users of both heroin and cocaine/crack.
Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent discussions his Department has had with other EU Governments about the list of aggravating circumstances relating to drug trafficking; 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: On 23 May 2001 the European Commission published a draft European Council Framework Decision laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking. It sets out proposals for common minimum, maximum sentence tariffs as well as common aggravating circumstances for drug trafficking offences. The proposal is currently being discussed at
22 Jan 2002 : Column 847W
official level in the European Union Council working groups responsible for drugs and criminal law. Home Office officials are represented on these working groups.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Government have developed close co-operation with Turkey at an operational level because it is a key country on the supply route of heroin to the United Kingdom. In addition between 1994 and 1999 we provided over £1 million for anti-drugs assistance, mainly in the form of training, and we expect to provide up to £300,000 for training and equipment in 200102.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there are in Portsmouth, South; how many are from ethnic minorities; and if he will make a statement. 
It is not possible to provide figures for the Portsmouth, South constituency as it is an integral part of the Portsmouth division and officers will be deployed around the division in response to need.
Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) reported incidents of, (b) arrests for and (c) charges brought for graffiti there were in the Metropolitan police area in (i) 199596 and (ii) 200001. 
Mr. Denham: It is not possible to distinguish offences of graffiti from other types of criminal damage in the Home Office figures for recorded crime, arrests or court proceedings as the details of individual offences are not collected centrally.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of policing football matches (a) in the Metropolitan police area and (b) other police areas has been in each of the last five years; and what proportion of these costs was paid for by the football industry. 
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