§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding his plans to make chief constables responsible for their own establishments; if he will continue to give substantive answers to questions from hon. Members regarding police staffing; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Howard
The representations which we have received about the proposed changes to the police funding system have favoured dispensing with central controls on police force establishments.
One of the changes, which is proposed by the Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill, is that the Home Secretary will no 72W longer be responsible for approving police force establishment. The present system of detailed monthly returns will, therefore, no longer be needed for that purpose. Consequently, I propose to discontinue that requirement on police forces as from April 1995.
Certain items of information will be needed for financial planning purposes, and we are at present considering the minimum level of data which will be sought from forces. This is unlikely to be asked for more frequently than twice a year.
Under the proposed new arrangements, the number and mix of staff in police forces will be the responsibility of local police authorities. Home Office Ministers will continue to give substantive replies to questions from hon. Members about staffing numbers based on the latest available data.
§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many(a) serving police officers, (b) civilian staff assisting the police and (c) crimes there were in the latest available three years for each police authority in Wales, for Wales as a whole and for England; and what was the ratio of crimes to police officers in each case.
§ Mr. Maclean
The information requested is in the table:
Notifiable offences recorded by the police and police and civilian strength Police force area Serving police officers Civilian staff Recorded Offences offences per police officer 1991 Dyfed-Powys 944 270.0 25,970 28 Gwent 995 332.0 38,673 39 North Wales 1,343 476.0 44,418 33 South Wales 3,142 1,162.0 161,977 52 Wales 6,424 2,240.0 271,038 42 England 118,642 49,714.0 5,005,135 42 1992 Dyfed-Powys 960 292.0 28,539 30 Gwent 1,000 347.0 40,961 41 North Wales 1,356 505.0 49,204 36 South Wales 3,164 1,194.0 168,554 53 Wales 6,480 2,338.0 287,258 44 England 119,399 51,898.0 5,304,459 44 1993 Dyfed-Powys 966 303.0 24,743 26 Gwent 989 348.5 400,008 40 North Wales 1,341 511.5 48,102 36 South Wales 3,142 1,286.5 166,165 53 Wales 6,438 2,449.5 279,018 43 England 119,100 52,722.5 5,251,340 44