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Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers there were per 100,000 population in Dorset constabulary in each year since 1992; and if he will make a statement. [126441]

The information requested is set out in the table.

Dorset police
Year to 31 MarchPolice officers per 100,000 population


Population figures are provided by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Comparisons for number of police officers to 100,000 population can be found in Home Office Statistical Bulletins, Police Strength for England and Wales, covering each year 1998 to 2002.

By 31 December 2002 Dorset police had 1,402 officers, a record number. The latest figure for civilian staff was 741 at 31 March 2002.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to reform police pensions in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [126414]

As stated in the National Policing Plan, the Government are considering options for modernising police pensions to make them more flexible and affordable for future entrants.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received regarding the availability of training places for police officers; and if he will make a statement. [125396]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list for the next three years the planned (a) net increase in the police force for England and Wales, (b) numbers of community support officers for forces in England and Wales and (c) expenditure on policing in England and Wales. [126325]

[holding answer 17 July 2003]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has set a target of 132,500 police officers in 2004. Police strength is already at record levels. The latest figures show that as at 31 December 2002 there were 132,268 police officers in England and Wales. The Crime Fighting Fund (CFF) provided the resources for forces to recruit 9,000 officers over and above their previous plans in the three years to March 2003. Funding for the continued employment of those officers has been provided in 2003–04. In addition, the CFF is providing funding to support the recruitment and training of a further 650 officers in 2003–04, funded at 75 per cent. of pay costs.We are on course to achieve our target number of 2,500 Community Support Officers (CSOs) by the end of this financial year (2003–04) and are aiming to have 4,000 CSOs in place nationwide by the end of 2005–06.The 2004–05 funding allocation is currently under consideration. The amounts in respect of years 2005–06 and 2006–07 will be dependent on the outcome of the SR 2004 Government Spending Review exercise.