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Special Constables: Greater London

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special constables there are in the Metropolitan Police Service; how many there were in each year since 1997; how many (a) were and (b) are civilian staff serving in the Metropolitan Police Service in each year; how many undertook their training and their special constable duties during their normal working hours as civilian staff; and how many received time off in lieu or extra holiday time for their duties as special constables. (134485)

The available data for the number of special constables in the Metropolitan Police Service in each year since 1997 are given in the table. These data are also published in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin series "Police Service Strength, England and Wales".

The remainder of the information requested is not collected centrally.

Special constable strength1 for the Metropolitan Police Service as at 31 March 1997 to 31 March 2006

31 March:

Special constables

1997

1,714

1998

1,282

1999

1,138

2000

758

2001

774

2002

680

2003

692

2004

742

2005

697

20062

1,221

1 Total strength is based on headcount figures.

2 The MPS have held a number of successful special constable recruitment campaigns over the years, the most recent of which ran throughout 2005 and would have been responsible for the increase from 2004-05 to 2005-06. Additionally, some of these changes are thought to be explained by the move from paper-based to computerised recording systems.