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The policing situation in Northern Ireland is a tri-partite arrangement involving the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and myself under detailed provisions set out in the Police (NI) Act 2000.
As Secretary of State, I am responsible for setting the statutory framework for policing and the long-term objectives for policing in Northern Ireland. The Policing Board, which is made up of democratically elected Assembly Members chosen by three of the parties and independents appointed by myself, has responsibility for holding the police to account and for monitoring and evaluating the service provided. The Chief Constable is responsible for the operational direction and control of the police service in Northern Ireland.
Dr. John Reid: I define the phrase parity of esteem with reference to its meaning in the Belfast agreementwhich is of equal respect for the identity and ethos and aspirations of both communities in Northern Ireland.
Dr. John Reid: We have already made significant progress in implementing all aspects of the Belfast agreement. However, it is neither possible, nor helpful, to speculate about when this process will be completed. The agreement itself represents a process, not an event, and the British Government will continue to work with all the parties to ensure that the implementation process continues.
Dr. John Reid: Much has been achieved since April 1998. Progress has been made on all elements within the Belfast agreement including human rights and equality of opportunity, normalisation, the reviews of policing and criminal justice, decommissioning and the establishment of the devolved institutions. We still have some way to go before the agreement is implemented in full and the British Government are committed to working with the political parties to ensure that progress continues on all fronts.
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Jane Kennedy: Having become increasingly aware of the many problems associated with the misuse of fireworks, not least in public order situations, I announced on 12 October 2001 that my officials, working closely with the police, prosecuting authorities and other interested bodies, would be undertaking a review of the situation to see if these problems could be resolved by strengthening the existing law.
1 Sten 9 mm Mark 2 sub-machine gun
1 modified Lanchester 9 mm Mark 1 sub-machine gun
1 Steyr 7 mm rifle (1904)
1 homemade .22 calibre rifle
1 sawn-off double-barrelled 12 gauge shotgun
1 FN Browning 9 mm semi automatic pistol
1 FN 7.65 mm semi-automatic pistol
31 12 gauge magnum 00 buckshot shotgun shells
23 .38 calibre semi wad-cutter cartridges
45 .556 calibre cartridges
280 9 mm cartridges
5 electrical detonators
2 pipe bombs
2 weapons stocks
5 assorted magazines.
Decommissioning is only one part of the Good Friday agreement of which we can now say that implementation of every aspect is under way. Full implementation of the Good Friday agreement in all its aspects is a task that will take some time to accomplish.
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I am looking carefully at the arguments which have been made for the inclusion of a person's national insurance number as one of the items of personal information required on an application to the electoral register in Northern Ireland. I am discussing with the Department for Work and Pensions how national insurance numbers might be used effectively in the electoral process and whether their use would help to combat electoral fraud.
17. Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of the level of electoral fraud in Northern Ireland; and what measures are being taken to reduce it. 
Mr. Browne: Following the 7 June elections, an independent research company was commissioned by the Northern Ireland Office to investigate all aspects of elections in Northern Ireland. The research findings were placed in the Library of the House on 16 October 2001.
Jane Kennedy: Two recruitment competitions have now been launched for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which together have attracted over 12,000 applicants, of whom over 36 per cent. were Catholic. Recruitment competitions to the Royal Ulster Constabulary which were held on an approximately annual basis attracted on average 3,000 applicants; the highest proportion of Catholic applicants in any single competition was 22.3 per cent.
The voluntary severance came into operation in January 2001 and in the period January to December 2001, a total of 1,069 Regular officers and 129 Full-Time Reserve officers left under the terms of the scheme. In the same period, a further 149 Regular and 166 Full-Time Reserve officers left under natural wastage.
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22. David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve will receive priority in applying for full-time employment in the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 
Jane Kennedy: All those who apply to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland are required to achieve a fixed standard of merit when tested in nine separate policing competencies. Candidates are thereafter selected on a 50 per cent. Catholic, 50 per cent. non-Catholic basis. No priority is given to members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland Reserve or any other police service.
Jane Kennedy: The cost of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry to the Northern Ireland Office, as at 7 January 2002, is £52 million. This does not include costs to other Departments such as the Ministry of Defence.
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