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The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): The 2004 budget calculation for the Ulster-Scots Agency was based on the approved actions in the agency's draft business plan, together with associated staffing costs. Proportionality was maintained at the same level as in previous years as no new factors have emerged.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and St Helena are in the process of reviewing their constitutions. We regard it as essential that human rights provisions are included in their revised constitutions, and for this purpose we have provided the territories with a model human rights chapter.
As the British Virgin Islands have only recently established a Constitutional Review Committee it will be some time before the government of that territory are in a position to submit their proposals for a revised constitution. Agreement has not yet been reached with the Government of the Cayman Islands on the inclusion of human rights provisions in their revised constitution, but we remain committed to that objective. In respect of St Helena, we have agreed with the territory's government on the inclusion of human rights provisions in their revised constitution and it is our objective that the new constitution should be in place by July 2005.
In respect of Pitcairn, to date human rights provisions have been taken as forming part of the territory's law. The possible application of the UK Human Rights Act to Pitcairn is currently one of the issues before the Pitcairn Supreme Court, but no decision on the matter has yet been made.
We are working to ensure that relevant provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights are extended to the sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The target date for implementation is 1 May 2004.
Since the other territories which do not have guarantees of human rights in their written constitutions do not have a settled resident population, the inclusion of such guarantees of human rights in their written constitutions would serve no purpose.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My right honourable friend the Prime Minister congratulated President Putin on his victory because it was clear that his re-election reflected the opinion of the huge majority of the Russian people.
We note the preliminary findings of the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) regarding the election and welcome its view that there was a "genuine wish to enfranchise as many people as possible" and that the election was well administered. The report goes on to note that the legal framework established by the Russian authorities "promoted openness and transparency both in the conduct and organisation of the election". However, we are also concerned by the IEOM's finding that "the State controlled media displayed clear bias in favour of the incumbent" and that the authorities failed to attempt to rectify this situation during the campaign. As part of the EU we have called on Russia to take steps to ensure that future elections meet more fully Council of Europe and OSCE standards, including a free media.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Staff at our Consulate General in Atlanta first became aware of Mr Maharaj's detention in October 1988 when they were told of his presence on death row in the Florida State Prison by Professor Radelet, a death penalty researcher from the University of Florida. At the same time, Mr Maharaj wrote to our embassy in Washington to alert them to his predicament.
Our embassy in Washington wrote to the State Department in January 1989 to complain formally that the Florida authorities did not notify the Consulate General of Mr Maharaj's arrest as they are required to under Article 16 of the UK/US Bilateral Consular Agreement. The State Department sent an apology in May 1989.
My noble friend Lady Scotland of Asthal wrote to the State Attorney in Florida in January 2001 informing her of HMG's opposition to the death penalty and complained about the breach of the UK/US Bilateral Agreement. Our Consul General in Atlanta also raised Mr Maharaj's case with Governor Jeb Bush.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to take a close interest in Mr Maharaj's case and to offer him appropriate consular assistance. This has, exceptionally, included instructing US lawyers to file an Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of the British Government in Habeas corpus proceedings brought by Mr Maharaj. This brief raised the legal issue of non-notification of Mr Maharaj's arrest in 1986 in contravention of the UK/US Bilateral Agreement.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Part two of the discussion paper, Counter-terrorism Powers: Reconciling Security and Liberty in an Open Society, published on 25 February, gave the Government's response to the individual recommendations made by the Privy Counsellor Review Committee.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Police officer strength in the United Kimgdom for the period 1997 to 2003 is set out in the tables. The Scottish Executive and the Police Service of Northern Ireland have provided the figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland as these are not collected by the Home Office.
|March 1997||March 1998||March 1999||March 2000||March 2001||March 2002||March 2003||December 2003|
|Avon and Somerset||2,989||2,976||2,999||2,934||2,994||3,096||3,149||3,371|
|Devon and Cornwall||2,865||2,962||2,887||2,841||2,934||3,053||3,202||3,279|
|City of London||859||825||778||732||703||764||808||842|
|Total force strength||125,051||124,756||123,841||121,956||123,476||127,267||131,426||136,093|
|Central Service Secondments||774||769||679||825||643||874||513||621|
|Total Police Stength||127,158||126,814||126,096||124,418||125,519||129,603||133,366||138,155|
|Central Scotland Police||686||703||719||721||729||715||732||756|
|Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary||412||439||437||451||474||477||477||486|
|Lothian & Borders Police||2,691||2,691||2,615||2,584||2,645||2,671||2,683||2,717|
From Quarterly Strength Return
From September 2000 police numbers collected on a whole-time equivalent basis. Previously headcount.
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Regular Police Officers 8,423 8,485 8,496 8,393 7,810 6,976 6,994 7,319
Full time reserves 2,929 2,982 2,862 2,688 2,496 2,184 1,860 1,640
Part time reserves 1,473 1,324 1,217 1,152 1,073 1,001 951 868
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