To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community support officers are (a) operating and (b) centrally funded in each (i) Government office region and (ii) police force area; and how the number of centrally-funded officers was determined. 
The figures requested are given in annex 1. There have been two rounds of central funding for Community Support Officers (CSOs). The first round, which took place in August last year, funded 1,222 CSOs. The second round, which was announced on 2 May, will fund 1,233 CSOs. Continuation funding from both rounds will last until the end of financial year 2005–06.The second funding round was heavily oversubscribed. Bids were received from 36 forces. To determine the allocation of the available funding among the bids, I took account of the need to support forces bidding for the first time. I looked closely at the need for CSOs, which was based primarily on the numbers of CSOs already funded and the size of the force making the application. I also considered value for money, which meant looking at the role the CSOs would perform and the impact they were likely to have on crime, fear of crime and anti-social behaviour. Other factors were innovative deployment of CSOs and the security of the excellent local partnership funding arranged by many forces and authorities.Unfortunately, it has been necessary to fund many forces for only a proportion of their bid, but all of them have been successful in obtaining a share of the funding.