§ Mr. George
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many private security firms have been employed by his Department for each of the last 10 years; what has been the annual value of the contracts; and if he will estimate how many guards have been employed for each of those years.
§ Mr. Howard
In keeping with Government policy, my Department contracts out a number of services such as security guarding at non-sensitive sites where it is cost-effective to do so. These contracts cover services to escort and detain—under the authority of the Immigration Service—persons held under the Immigration Act 1971, to safeguard cash in transit from banks to Home Office establishments at various locations and to safeguard some premises.
The number of personnel employed by contractors varies according to demand. I regret that it is not possible to provide the value of contracts over the last 10 years as no central record of cost of the services is maintained.
The available information is as follows:
£ Police Staff College 286,800 Fire Service College 109,000 Emergency Planning College 98,000 Police Scientific Development Branch (Sandridge) 15,000