asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department by how many officers the Greater Manchester police force was below its authorised establishment at 31 March; to what reasons he ascribes this reduction in the strength of the force; and if he will make a statement.
The authorised establishment of the Greater Manchester police is 6,943, an increase of 208 since May 1979. The strength of the force was 6,736 on 31 March 1985. Police manpower levels fluctuate from month to month because of different recruiting and wastage patterns, seasonal changes and other local reasons. I understand that there was further recruitment to the Greater Manchester police in April, and the present strength is 6,744. The number of full-time civilian staff in the force has increased by 176 to 1,437 since May 1979, including an additional 76 during the past year.