|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Beverley Hughes: Of the 5,668,272 passport applications made during 2001, 2,678,935 were classed as new applications. Of these, 1,209,017 were adult first- time applications and 1,469,918 were child applications. The remainder were made up of renewals, amendments and extensions.
10 Jul 2002 : Column 1065W
1998. Sections 48 and 49 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which took effect on 1 August 2001, extended the upper age limit to 15 and allowed the police, as well as local authorities, to initiate schemes. Local areas are assessing the implications of these changes and we know that local consultation is taking place.
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: The heartbeat detector requires a structure to protect it from adverse weather, such as high winds. The mechanical doors allowing entry and exit from this structure have, on occasion, failed.
There have also been occasions when the heartbeat detector itself has required minor attention, but rarely has the fault caused the equipment to be taken out of service. Where it has, the Immigration Service has been able to rely on other methods to detect clandestines, including body detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, X and gamma ray scanners, to maintain an effective deterrent and detection capability.
At present there are no ferry services using the port of Folkestone, and consequently, there is no current demand for the deployment of detection technology there. Freight vehicles using the Eurotunnel Freight Shuttle service do, however, arrive at Cheriton, near Folkestone. These are subject to search at or before the British Control Zone at Coquelles before travel.
Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of lorries passing through Dover from France are checked by a (a) dog, (b) heartbeat detector machine, (c) carbon dioxide stick and (d) X-ray machine. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: Based on collated intelligence and profiling, the Immigration Service currently checks approximately 12 per cent. of lorries which arrive at Dover on cross-channel ferries. Immigration Officers use a combination of all the methods of detection referred to, the choice of which is determined by the characteristics of the vehicle to be searched. No figures are held which illustrate the frequency of use of one method over another.
10 Jul 2002 : Column 1066W
and (b) change in the levels of crime which would result from a compulsory national identity card scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made a statement to the House on 3 July 2002 announcing the publication of a consultation paper on Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud. The consultation period will last until 10 January 2003. The Government have made it clear that the introduction of an entitlement card would be a major step and that it would not proceed without consulting widely and considering all the views expressed very carefully. The consultation paper rules out a scheme where it would be compulsory to carry a card but does raise the option of a universal scheme where everyone would have to register and obtain a card.
The paper includes a number of estimates of what a scheme would cost, depending on the sophistication of the card. A reasonable estimate would be that a scheme would cost around £1.3 billion over a 13-year period covering the three years it would take to set up the necessary information technology systems and the 10-year period for which the first cards would be valid.
A universal entitlement card would be a powerful weapon in the fight against crimes of identity fraud which cost the economy at least £1.3 billion each year. It could also help to combat illegal immigration and illegal working. The degree to which a card scheme could reduce these crimes would depend on the type of card scheme introduced, to what services it was linked and the speed of its introduction. The Government will be consulting on these and other issues during the consultation exercise.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of general calls to the force switchboard were not answered within 20 seconds in each police force in England in each year from 199091 to 200102, ranked from best to worst performance for the most recent year for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The information requested is not collected centrally, and I understand that forces do not routinely measure how long it takes to answer calls to their general switchboards. Times for answering 999 calls are collected and this information has been provided in response to a separate question.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken since 7 June 2001 to ensure that vacancies for the post of chief constable are advertised as quickly as possible. 
10 Jul 2002 : Column 1067W
of chief officer candidates and to assist police authorities in the co-ordination and timetabling of the appointments process.
Work is currently under way to develop detailed guidance for police authorities on the recruitment and selection of chief officers, drawn up in close consultation with key stakeholders. That will replace the current guidance in Home Office Circular 5296. The new guidance will set out a wide range of best practice on all aspects of chief officer recruitment and selection procedures, including the setting of an appropriate timetable for key steps in the process at the point a vacancy arises.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money was spent by the relevant pension fund on paying pensions to retired members of the police force in 200102; if he will estimate the corresponding amounts to be spent in (a) five years' time, (b) 10 years' time, (c) 20 years' time and (d) 30 years' time; if he will estimate in each case the proportion of such liabilities which will arise from (i) unfunded pension schemes and (ii) pre-funded pension schemes; and in the case of pre-funded schemes; if he will estimate the value of the corresponding pre-funded funds in each of these years. 
Mr. Denham: The Police Pension Scheme is an unfunded scheme. The cost of police pensions in England and Wales in 200102 is estimated at £1.1 billion. Estimated costs to individual police authorities in 200102 are set out in the table. No projections of police pensions' costs in five, 10, 20 and 30 years' time are available. These are matters for individual police authorities.
As we made clear in the White Paper 'Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform', we are aware of the need of police authorities and chief officers for a system which brings greater clarity about pensions obligations on individual police authorities. With the Treasury we are examining the options for a revised system of funding which would bring this about.
|Net pensions expenditure|
|Avon and Somerset Police||31,585|
|City of London||9,578|
|Devon and Cornwall Police||28,313|
|Greater Manchester Police||66,792|
|Gwent Police Authority||9,621|
|Metropolitan Police (GLA)||254,767|
|North Yorkshire Police||14,757|
|South Yorkshire Police||22,805|
|Thames Valley Police||24,971|
|West Mercia Police||18,183|
|West Midlands Police||51,133|
|West Yorkshire Police||47,066|
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Police Statistics 200102 (Estimates)
10 Jul 2002 : Column 1068W
Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police vehicles were involved in road accidents resulting in (a) slight injuries, (b) serious injuries and (c) fatal accidents in the last five years. 
|Deaths||Serious injury||Slight injury|
(i) The information has been provided by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), to which forces submit statistical returns.
(ii) Data are missing from one force in 199899 and 19992000; and from two forces 200001.
(iii) All figures are for financial year.
(iv) The figures are numbers of deaths/injuries, not numbers of accidents.
(v) The figures include both police and civilian casualties.
(vi) The figures for 200102 are provisional only. Data are missing from four forces.
Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police vehicles committed traffic violations and what was the (a) nature of these violations and (b) number of prosecutions arising from them in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many guns each police force possesses, broken down by type; how many officers each force has trained in the use of guns, broken down by rank;
10 Jul 2002 : Column 1069W
and how many incidents there have been in each force in which guns have been used by officers in each of the last five years; and how many fatalities have resulted. 
Mr. Denham: Information on the numbers and types of firearms held by each force, and details of the ranks of authorised firearms officers, is not held centrally. The collection of this information could only be done at disproportionate cost.
I have attached the most recently published figures on the number of authorised firearms officers and also on operations in which firearms were issued. The number of persons shot by police over the same period and the number of those whose wounds were fatal, are also attached.
|Avon and Somerset||312||139||88||90|
|City of London||308||307||147||125|
|Devon and Cornwall||160||133||61||65|
|Avon and Somerset||165||161||153||150|
|City of London||88||81||55||73|
|Devon and Cornwall||151||147||82||119|
10 Jul 2002 : Column 1070W
|Persons shot by police||Fatally wounded|
We have reversed the long-term decline in police strength. Police officer numbers had reached a record number by the end of January 2002. We are on track for our target of 130,000 officers by spring 2003.
10 Jul 2002 : Column 1071W
Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines are issued to police forces regarding (a) colour blindness tests for recruits and (b) the standards which recruits must attain to be accepted. 
Mr. Denham: Guidelines issued by the Home Office (Home Office Circular 7/98) state that candidates for the police service need to be able to pass the City University Colour Vision Test and achieve 7/10 of the plates to pass.
The Home Office are currently funding research to develop new job related medical and eyesight standards. The research includes whether there is a continuing need for a colour vision requirement. Draft recommendations on eyesight requirements are due shortly. These will be discussed with The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and police interest groups and are expected to be introduced later this year. All forces will be expected to apply the new standards consistently.
Mr. Denham: As we stated in our White Paper "Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform", we are looking at ways of modernising police pensions to make them more flexible and affordable for future entrants and to reflect modern lifestyle patterns. This is a complex area, which needs careful consideration.
Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) arrests and (b) prosecutions there were in the Peterlee Sub Division for (i) use of illegal substances, (ii) possession of illegal substances and (iii) the dealing in illegal substances in (A) 1999, (B) 2000 and (C) 2001. 
|Easington petty sessional area|
|Possession of a controlled drug|
|Dealing in a controlled drug(57)|
(56) Persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with.
(57) Includes offences of importation/exportation, production, supplying, possession with intent to supply etc.
10 Jul 2002 : Column 1072W
Mr. Denham: The management of police property and allocation of resources are matters for each police authority and the chief officer who are best placed to assess local needs for the policing plan and local operational priorities, taking local opinion into account.
In guidance issued in 2001 we made it a requirement for police authorities to include in their annual policing/best value performance plans details of any police stations which have opened or closed in the previous financial year.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|