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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff were employed (a) in each police fraud squad, including the City of London police fraud squad, and (b) in the economic and financial crime section of the National Criminal Intelligence Service, in each year since 1996. 
Mr. Denham: (a) This information is not kept centrally and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, for the last two years Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has collected data from all forces in England and Wales according to a range of 62 staff functions, one of which is fraud. The staff function for fraud is defined as
|Force||Police officer||Civilian staff||Police officer||Civilian staff|
|Avon and Somerset||17||1||15||2|
|City of London||74||12||70||11|
|Devon and Cornwall||10||0||18||5|
|England and Wales||616||55||560||84|
16 Nov 2001 : Column: 968W
Since April 2001, eight more staff have been recruited by the Economic Crime Unit and a further 18 people are currently being recruited. By the end of the financial year there will be 80 staff in the unit.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have left Sussex constabulary since March 2000 through (a) retirement, (b) early retirement, (c) injury and (d) other employment. 
|Early (medical) retirement||35|
|Transfer to new force||54|
(11) Includes officers retiring while on sick leave, for disciplinary reasons, or leaving to return to their original force.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many new police officers have been taken on in each division of the Sussex constabulary since March 2000 under crime fighting fund funding. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 29 October 2001]: The number of crime fighting fund (CFF) funded recruits taken on by a force is calculated as a proportion of total recruitment. Sussex police recruited 47 officers funded by the CFF in 200001. Based on forecasts of recruitment
16 Nov 2001 : Column: 969W
for 200102 provided by the force, a further 26 Sussex recruits appointed between April and September 2001 will be funded by the CFF.
The distribution of CFF recruits within a police force area is a matter for the chief constable of that force. I am informed by the force that Sussex do not identify particular officers as CFF recruits but that the number per division is calculated using an allocation formula based on budgetary provision. For 200001 Sussex's CFF officers were distributed as follows:
|Number of officers|
|Hove and Shoreham||4|
Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations he has had with (a) the Law Society, (b) the Bar Council, (c) the Justices' Clerks, (d) the District Judges (magistrates courts), (e) the lay magistracy and (f) the Crown court judges in relation to the proposed law on religious incitement; and if he will place a summary of their responses in the Library. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 November 2001]: Because of the need to place an emergency anti-terrorism Bill before Parliament urgently, it has not been possible to undertake a formal consultation exercise.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the projects in his Department which have been considered as potential public-private partnerships since 1997 which have not been undertaken because the public sector comparator had a lower net present value than the public private partnership proposed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Blunkett: From the best information available, there are no instances in this Department where a potential public-private partnership has not gone ahead due to the public sector comparator having a lower net present value than the public-private partnership proposed.
16 Nov 2001 : Column: 970W
Mr. Denham: I intend to work with service providers on a voluntary code on retention of communications data as part of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill. This is an important element of our drive against terrorism and crime. I propose that compulsory powers should be held in reserve and subject to further consideration by Parliament.
Mr. Blunkett: Officials met representatives of service providers on 24 October to discuss provisions on communications data retention contained in the Anti- Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill. The meeting was a useful opportunity for Government at an early stage of the process to hear the views of industry representatives. The industry has of course been in dialogue with the Department of Trade and Industry over the last two months and we have reflected the representations made. As I said on 15 October in my statement to the House, we are very grateful to the providers. The Government look forward to continuing co-operation with industry on this important issue and to developing a code of practice with industry to implement the provisions of the Bill.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with his European counterparts about dealing with European nationals apprehended in Afghanistan taking arms against British military personnel. 
Beverley Hughes: The Home Department's policy on the procurement of goods and services is based on value for money principles, which include quality, fitness for purpose and delivery against price. Unless there are reasons to the contrary, all goods and services are acquired by competition. We fully support ethical trading in mainstream business and fair trade products will be purchased where they meet the stated criteria.
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