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Police (Gwent)

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many whole-time equivalent police officers were employed by Gwent police in (a) 1998, (b) 1999, (c) 2000 and (d) 2001; and what the percentage change was in each year. [30158]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is set out in the table. The latest increases in Gwent police numbers have taken the force to record numbers of officers.

Year ending 30 SeptemberPolice officers (Fte)(45)Percentage change
19981,254
19991,261+0.6
20001,271+0.8
20011,303+2.5

(45) Full time equivalents

Source:

Home Office


Community Resource Fund

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment has been made by the Government of the cost to the taxpayer of operating the (a) Community Resource Fund and (b) neighbourhood renewal community chests; [29920]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The Community Resource Fund was launched in 1999 as a three-year pilot small grants fund, with the purpose of making grants of between £50 and £500 to support community activity in areas of serious deprivation. This was a direct response to recommendation 20 in the Policy Action Team 9 report, on community self-help, where it was recognised that small sums of money with simple application procedures and a rapid response could have a substantial beneficial effect on local groups.

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The fund has been managed for the Active Community Unit (ACU) by the Community Development Foundation (CDF) and the Community Foundation Network CFN, and individual grants have been administered by local community foundations in 30 deprived neighbourhoods.

The total grant made to the Community Development Foundation CDF in 1999–2000 and 2000–01 was £338,000, of which £308,000 was paid in small grants to local community groups, and £30,000 was allocated to cover operating costs. In the current year, it has been agreed to make a grant to CDF of £168,000, of which £72,000 will be distributed to local community groups, approximately £7,000 will be allocated in direct operating costs, and approximately £69,000 has been allocated to a research project into the alternative approaches to involving local residents in decision-making on small grants.

The cost of operating the Community Resource Fund over three years will have been £42,000, plus a small allocation of staff time within the ACU.

The application process for the Community Resource Fund was designed to be as simple as possible, drawing on the extensive experience of the two voluntary organisations managing the fund. Some improvements to lighten the administrative requirements on applicants were made as a result of the evaluation of year one of the Fund.

The cost of operating the neighbourhood renewal community chests at local level will not exceed £7.5 million (out of a total allocation of £50 million, of which a maximum of £5 million (10 per cent.) will be spent on administration, and £2.5 million (5 per cent.) on outreach and development support. Some further cost will be incurred by staff in the neighbourhood renewal unit, and the Government offices for the regions, particularly on setting up the programme, but it is not possible to arrive at an accurate figure at short notice.

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications have been made to the Community Resource Fund; and how many of these were successful. [29922]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The number of applications made to the Community Resource Fund is 815 for years one and two. This equates to 426 in year one and 389 in year two. Out of these applications, 305 were granted in year one, and 254 were granted in year two. The average grant was £450. The Fund has been managed for the active community unit by the Community Development Foundation and the Community

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Foundation Network and individual grants have been administered by local community foundations in 30 deprived neighbourhoods.

Drug Action Teams

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will inform drug action teams of their financial allocations for 2002–03. [30034]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I will write shortly to the Member for Epsom and Ewell and place a copy of the reply in the Library.

Drug Action Teams (DATs) receive funding from a variety of sources. The Spending Review 2000 (SR2000) settlement provided a total of £185 million for the year 2002–03 for the delivery of the National Drugs Strategy. In addition, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a total of £235 million—£220 million (£50 million/ £70 million/£100 million) to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and £15 million (£5 million/ £5 million/£5 million) direct to Drug Action Teams for the Communities Against Drugs Initiative (a three year programme running from 2001–04 to help local communities disrupt local drug markets and tackle drug related crime and the antisocial behaviour so often associated with it. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships have to agree with Drug Action Teams how best to spend their allocation.

The detail of the SR2000 for 2002–03 allocations were published as follows:

£ million
Young people29
Communities29
Treatment120

The allocations for Communities Against Drugs to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships will be announced shortly. We have communicated to Drug Action Teams the Home Office share of the treatment allocations which are due to them. Other treatment allocations are a matter for the Secretary of State for Health and the National Treatment Agency. We understand an announcement for the pooled treatment allocations will be made shortly.

On 7 November, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills announced a further £25 million funding for three years (£7 million/£8 million/£10 million) from 2001–04. This was in addition to £7.5 million baseline for each of these years.

In respect of other financial allocations to Drug Action Teams wrote to Drug Action Teams Chairs on 21 January setting out the terms of the DAT Development funding for 2002–03. Drug Action Team Co-ordinators were advised of their allocations of the £5 million for 2002–03 under the Communities Against Drugs Initiative on 24 January.

Correspondence

{**con**}{**/con**}

Mr. Kaufman: (1) To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the

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letter to him dated 22 October 2001 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mr. Aamir Akbar; [29962]

Angela Eagle: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary wrote to my right hon. Friend on 21 January. I am sorry that he did not receive an earlier reply.

Mobile Phone Theft

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he will bring forward to compel mobile telephony companies to track stolen handsets. [28950]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 21 January 2002]: The Government are pressing the mobile phone industry to take a whole range of measures to enhance the security of their product and prevent their customers from becoming the victims of crime. The United Kingdom operators are already working with the police on exercises to track stolen phones. They have agreed some early measures to test ways of putting stolen phones out of action, including a text-bombing initiative. They have also agreed to improve security as investment takes place in new systems. We are seeking a similar commitment from mobile phone manufacturers. We will continue to press the industry for their co-operation in tackling mobile phone theft, by enhancing security features and practices for both the current and third generation mobile phones.

It is already the case that communications data, including location data, may be supplied voluntarily for specified purposes (eg investigation of crime) under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Telecommunications Act 1984. It may additionally be supplied in obedience to court orders. A more tightly controlled regulatory regime will be provided for under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 RIPA.


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