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Borders: Police

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 11 March 2008, Official Report, columns 11-12WS, on policing (UK borders), (1) what percentage of the costs of deploying special branch officers was met by the dedicated security post grants in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by constabulary; (194699)

(2) to which police forces and agencies each of those police permanently based at UK borders belong; how many are (a) warranted constables, (b) police community support officers and (c) civilian staff; what powers local chief constables have to redeploy police based at UK borders; and whether ministerial approval is required for such redeployments.

The Government allocate funding to the relevant local police force for Special Branch officers through the dedicated security post grants, as a contribution towards their costs. The percentage breakdown requested is not held centrally.

The Home Office works closely with the ACPO National Co-ordinator of Ports Policing to determine the distribution of the DSP grant between force areas. The outcome of the 2008-09 allocation of the DSP grant reflected a national reassessment of the priorities for Special Branch presence at ports across the UK. This resulted in a decision to increase the overall presence by the 39 additional officers referred to in the

written ministerial statement of 11 March 2008. It would prejudice the operational effectiveness of Special Branch work at ports to disclose how the distribution of officers was broken down by port or force area.

The deployment of police officers, police community support officers and civilian staff at the UK border is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers. Ministerial approval is not required for those deployments, and the breakdown requested is not held centrally.