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Police

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received in favour of keeping West Mercia as a separate police force. (69976)

[holding answer 10 May 2006]: We have received representations from West Mercia police force and authority in favour of allowing West Mercia to stand alone as a strategic force. We have also received correspondence in favour of this option from members of the public and other interested parties in the West Mercia force area.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many misconduct sanctions have been imposed on police officers in each of the last five years, broken down by type of sanction. (75403)

The misconduct sanctions imposed on police officers in each of the last five years for which statistics have been collected, broken down by sanction, are as follows:

Disciplinary punishments or misconduct sanctions awarded

Most serious outcome

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

Dismissed

41

24

44

33

34

Required to resign

84

73

71

62

57

Reduction in rank

15

19

18

14

13

Reduction in pay

7

3

Fine

154

191

169

138

115

Reprimand

86

88

58

42

45

Caution

51

50

42

21

18

No action

4

8

7

14

42

Written warnings

760

897

1,120

1,221

880

Sources:

1. Police Complaints and Discipline England and Wales, 12 months to March 2003 Home Office

2. Police Complaints and Discipline England and Wales, 12 months to March 2004 Home Office

3. Police Complaints: Statistics for England and Wales 2004-05 IPCC

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Prime Minister about merging police forces in England and Wales since his appointment. (77126)

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has regular discussions with his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, about the whole range of my responsibilities.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) serving and (b) former police officers of each police force have been imprisoned in each of the last five years. (77155)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police recruits have dropped out of training in each police force in each of the last five years; and what percentage this represents of the total number of recruits in each year. (77427)

The figures in table A refer to police recruits who have voluntarily resigned from their force within their probationary period. Data are only available from 2003 onwards. The figures in table B are force recruitment data for the same period. The probationary period is two years in length and an officer may be recruited in one year and then resign in the next. For this reason, it is not possible accurately to cross-reference the two sets of data so as to express the number of resignations during any given year as a percentage of the officers recruited during that year.

Table A: Probationer officer leavers full-time equivalent1 by year

As at 31 March

Force

2003

2004

2005

Avon and Somerset

6

21

18

Bedfordshire

16

25

26

Cambridgeshire

14

9

16

Cheshire

6

6

5

Cleveland

0

15

10

Cumbria

4

3

8

Derbyshire

4

9

8

Devon and Cornwall

10

5

17

Dorset

6

12

12

Durham

3

3

12

Dyfed-Powys

2

4

9

Essex

5

13

35

Gloucestershire

5

8

11

Greater Manchester

20

67

71

Gwent

0

2

5

Hampshire

20

40

24

Hertfordshire

16

39

40

Humberside

2

17

13

Kent

13

31

18

Lancashire

2

12

19

Leicestershire

5

8

19

Lincolnshire

8

7

7

London, City of

8

5

4

Merseyside

8

11

16

Metropolitan Police

289

377

200

Norfolk

5

6

4

Northamptonshire

7

6

3

Northumbria

4

10

11

North Wales

2

1

3

North Yorkshire

0

0

Nottinghamshire

0

6

7

South Wales

11

8

9

South Yorkshire

18

15

20

Staffordshire

5

13

28

Suffolk

9

17

13

Surrey

15

20

19

Sussex

24

84

74

Thames Valley

32

34

60

Warwickshire

5

4

0

West Mercia

6

11

8

West Midlands

51

46

45

West Yorkshire

16

24

28

Wiltshire

8

7

6

Total

690

1,060

961

1 Full-time equivalent includes those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave

Table B: Police officer joiners1

As at 31 March

Force

2003

2004

2005

Avon and Somerset

40

317

93

Bedfordshire

89

178

106

Cambridgeshire

77

107

99

Cheshire

141

153

82

Cleveland

129

138

83

Cumbria

63

113

51

Derbyshire

146

146

64

Devon and Cornwall

138

131

200

Dorset

72

86

76

Durham

21

104

79

Dyfed-Powys

7

53

35

Essex

40

225

276

Gloucestershire

53

98

60

Greater Manchester

113

978

233

Gwent

45

78

102

Hampshire

267

282

204

Hertfordshire

202

279

155

Humberside

57

188

126

Kent

192

290

191

Lancashire

240

311

148

Leicestershire

116

245

123

Lincolnshire

64

44

59

London, City of

45

52

39

Merseyside

101

192

389

Metropolitan Police

2,443

2,974

1,880

Norfolk

71

56

77

Northamptonshire

45

99

109

Northumbria

151

197

159

North Wales

75

66

71

North Yorkshire

99

82

71

Nottinghamshire

89

138

138

South Wales

180

173

118

South Yorkshire

103

261

205

Staffordshire

29

137

117

Suffolk

81

113

37

Surrey

93

116

129

Sussex

139

320

229

Thames Valley

306

479

361

Warwickshire

57

51

59

West Mercia

235

88

90

West Midlands

478

408

476

West Yorkshire

277

337

566

Wiltshire

63

120

70

Total

7,471

11,003

8,035

1 Joiners include constables who were previously Special Constables or joined as a Police Standard Direct Recruit or on the Police High Potential Development scheme. Figures are based on full-time equivalent which includes those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in each police force have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed for (i) inappropriate use of the internet and (ii) using official telephones to access premium rate telephone numbers in each of the last five years. (77431)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the consultation on the merger of the four existing forces in the West Midlands will cost (a) his Department and (b) (i) each individual police force and (ii) each local authority involved. (77682)

The statutory four month period in which objections can be raised under Sections 32 and 33 of the Police Act 1996 is part of normal Home Office business and, as such, imposes no additional costs. The costs, if any, that police forces and police authorities choose to incur is a matter for the bodies concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations have been closed in villages and towns with a population smaller than 10,000 inhabitants in each year since 1997. (78201)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answers of 7 June 2006, Official Report, columns 741-42W, on the police, whether his strategic objectives in relation to West Mercia police differ from those of his predecessor. (78390)

As my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, made clear during the course of Home Office oral questions on 19 June, he believes that the creation of strategic police forces will bring benefits both in improving protective services and safeguarding dedicated local policing. However, he also made it clear that he wants to engage in further discussion with police forces and police authorities on how best to move to strategic police forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will withdraw the guidance to police forces contained in Annex C of his Department’s circular 46/2004; (77964)

(2) if he will amend the guidance to police forces on reviewing injury pensions so that injured officers who were in receipt of such a pension prior to the introduction of the current guidance will not have their pension reviewed earlier than their state retirement age;

(3) what assessment he has made of the effect of new legislation on age discrimination on the existing guidance to police forces on injury pensions contained in Annex C of Home Office Circular 46/2004.

We have no plans to change the guidance in Annex C in HOC 46/2004, which was issued to provide for a fairer and more consistent framework within which police authorities review the injury pensions they are paying. Police authorities have a statutory responsibility to consider at suitable intervals whether the pensioner’s loss of earning capacity has altered. The relevant provision is now set out in regulation 37 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006, but the legal obligation has been in place since before 1987, when the previous regulations were made. A wider policy review of the injury award system is planned.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of the creation of larger police constabularies on response times; and if he will make a statement. (67102)

While no assessment has been made of the effect of the creation of larger police forces on response times, we believe that strategic forces will have greater capability and capacity to deliver effective protective services, response policing and neighbourhood policing for all their communities. Targets on response times are set and monitored locally. It is an operational matter for the chief constable of each area to decide how he or she wishes to deploy the available resources to best serve their communities.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed merger between Lancashire and Cheshire police authorities on policing in Lancashire. (76013)

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's assessment revealed that the most effective option for improving policing for the communities of both Lancashire and Cumbria is for these force areas to amalgamate. This will preserve and embed neighbourhood policing and protect people better against serious crime and terrorism. Both Lancashire and Cumbria police authorities voted in favour of amalgamation.