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Hertfordshire Constabulary

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the strength of the Hertfordshire constabulary was on (a) 1 May 1997, (b) 1 April 2000, (c) 1 April 2001 and (d) the latest date for which figures are available. [54616]

Mr. John Denham: Information on police strength is normally collected twice a year (31 March and 30 September). The latest available strength figure collected by the Home Office is for 31 January 2002. Police numbers for Hertfordshire are set out in the table.

Hertfordshire Constabulary

Year (as at 31 March)Police Strength
2002 (31 January)(100)1,851

(99)Boundary changes with the Metropolitan Police contributed to the significant increase in police numbers between 2000 and 2001.

(100)These figures have not yet been validated and published by the Home Office.

Anti-crime Agencies

Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the roles of (a) the Special Branch of Scotland Yard, (b) NCIS and (c) NCS in combating organised crime. [58359]

Mr. John Denham: Special Branch does not have a specific remit to tackle serious and organised crime.

The National Crime Intelligence Service (NCIS) has a United Kingdom-wide remit to develop intelligence to combat serious and organised crime, providing both tactical and strategic intelligence and expertise for law enforcement, government and other relevant agencies at a national and international level. It houses the UK Central Bureau for Interpol and the Europol National Unit.

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The National Crime Squad's role in England and Wales is to conduct operations against serious and organised crime. NCS works closely with NCIS, other agencies including the National Investigation Service of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise and police forces.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions between 31 March 2001 and 31 March 2002 (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. [58722]

Mr. Blunkett: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to Mr. Burns on 9 July 2002, Official Report, column 891W.

In addition, two official visits have been made by Special Advisers to the United States since 1997. One in August 2000 at a total cost of £2,117 and the other in August 2001 at a total cost of £2,900.

The advisor on international drug issues (who was employed on Special Adviser terms) has visited Belgium, Romania and the Czech Republic on official business at an average cost of £1,094 per trip.

Information for the period beyond March 2002 will be available in due course.

Funding (Luton, South)

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what moneys have been provided (a) directly and (b) via agencies for which the Department has responsibility to the Luton, South constituency since 1997. [58592]

Mr. John Denham: It is not possible to account for all funds directed to recipients in the Luton South constituency because funds are not allocated on the basis of Parliamentary Constituencies. However, I am pleased to publish the table showing the following grants made to organisations in Luton in the last years as shown. This demonstrates a substantiated investment in Luton by the Home Office.

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ProjectYearAmount £
Community Projects
"Luton Lives"—an Active1999–00112,500
Community demonstration project2000–01270,000
2002–03177,044 (to be paid)
"Active Dads" pilot project.1999–0022,700
Run by the Community2000–012,500
Education Development
Summer Activities2001–0259,360
Section 11 grants*
Luton Borough Council1997–981,397,592
Stopley High School1997–985,714
Luton Sixth Form College1997–981,465,183
*Department For Education and Skills (DFES) took over responsibility for Section II
from 99–2000
Asylum Support Payments to Luton BC
Adults and Families2000–014,459,838
Unaccompanied Asylum2001–02210,079
Seeking Children (UASC)
Crime Reduction
Close Circuit Television projects1999–02180,229
Bury Park, Dunstable Road1999–02111,537
Leagrave Railway1999–0268,343
Luton Railway1999–02166,000
Luton National Health1999–02272,680
Hockwell Ring1999–0255,243
Luton Town Centre Car1999–02704,880
Luton Town Centre
Reducing Burglary Initiative
Luton Dallow Ward1999–0270,200
Four Wards, Biscot, High Town1999–0278,100
Lewsey and South Wards
Small Retailers in deprived areas1999–0218,378
Safer Luton—Wards Dallow and Biscot2001–02208,800
Communities against drugs2000–0110,000
Partnership development fund2002–0383,146
Safer communities initiative
University of Luton Research Projects
Sex Victims Project1997–0074,338
Evaluation of Round 2 Targeted Policing: Drugs and Vice in the London Borough of Haringey2001–0285,810
Evaluation of Crime Reducation Programme (CRP) Tackling Crime and Disorder associated with Prostitution Initiative—Young People Group2001–0279,740
Drugs Projects
Drug Action Team Development Funding: Luton Primary Care Trust2001–0245,497
Drug Prevention Advisory Service Grant: Luton Primary Care Trust2001–028,500
Communities Against Drugs: Drug Action Team Grant2001–0231,497

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Data Protection


Harry Cohen: (1) To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the kinds of public authorities likely to be granted access to communications data; how frequently he estimates each kind of organisation will seek access to communications data; and if he will make a statement. [59258]

Mr. John Denham: The Interception of Communications Act 1985 did not provide for access to communications data. The Metropolitan Police made approximately 127,000 separate requests for communication data under the Data Protection Act 1998 in the last year. The access to communications data provisions in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) have not yet been implemented.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, has withdrawn the order made under s.25(1) of RIPA adding a number of other public authorities to the access to communications provisions in the Act to allow for wider consultation before bringing forward new proposals.

Chapter II of Part I of RIPA deals with the acquisition of data. The subsequent use made of that data is regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998 and by the statutes governing the Intelligence agencies.

Community Policing

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what national standards exist on the local implementation and monitoring of community policing. [60634]

Mr. John Denham: The Government is committed to ensuring that policing services meet the needs of the local community. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Police Standards Unit monitor policing at a local as well as at force level. Police authorities are also required to publish information about their performance against a range of Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPIs), including those that address community issues such as police visibility and public satisfaction with the standards of service they receive from their local force.

The Police Reform Act 2002 contains a number of radical measures which will increase and enhance the police service's visibility in the community, including the introduction of Community Support Officers.

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