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Volume 406: debated on Thursday 5 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrestees in (a) Haltemprice and Howden, (b) the East Riding of Yorkshire and (c) the Humberside police authority area tested positive for category A and B drugs in each of the last two quarters for which figures are available. [116773]

There are currently no powers to test arrestees for class A or B drugs. Drug testing of persons in police detention (after charge) is planned to start in Kingston-upon-Hull in the Humberside police force area in the summer of 2003 as part of the initiative to introduce drug testing across the 30 Basic Command Unit (BCD) areas with the highest levels of acquisitive crime. Data analysis will be available thereafter. The police will test under powers introduced by the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, for the presence of specified Class A drugs only i.e. heroin and crack/ cocaine, those most closely associated with acquisitive crime.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers per head of population were in post in Merseyside in each year since 1995. [116475]

The table sets out the ratio of police officers to the population.

Year1Number of population to one police officer
March 1995306
March 1996322
March 1997337
March 1998337
March 1999336
March 2000345
March 2001344
March 2002340
September 2002331
1 Calculations are based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) population statistics
Merseyside police has one of the lowest ratios of population to police officers. In September 2002 only the Metropolitan police and West Midlands police had lower ratios. The average ratio of population per police officer for England and Wales in 1995 was 413 and in September 2002 it was 402.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers and civilian support staff additional to the complement on I May 1997 have been appointed to Humberside police in each year since that date. [116594]

The information is set out in the table. Police strength details are not collected in May.

Year (at 31 March)Police strengthIncrease in strengthCivilian Support staff strengthIncrease in Civilian strength
2002 (30 September)2,114+56Not available
Humberside police has a record number of police officers. The net increase in force strength since March 1997 is 69 officers, or 3.4 per cent. which is in line with the average increase for England and Wales over the same period.