§ 17. Mr. Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he is taking to increase the total number of police officers in England and Wales. 
§ 19. Mr. Swayne
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement regarding plans to increase police numbers. 
§ Mr. Straw
I made a full statement of the position on police numbers to the Home Affairs Committee and to this House on 26 October 1999,Official Report, columns 821–34.
Under legislation passed by the previous government, the powers of the Home Secretary to set overall police numbers were removed. The Government have allocated money for a Crime Fighting Fund which among other things will provide the funding for 5,000 more recruits over and above the number forces would otherwise have recruited over the next three years, commencing in April 56W 2000. £35 million of new money will be available to support this next year, and there will be further funding in the two following years. All of this is additional to the Comprehensive Spending Review settlement for policing.
§ 30. Miss Kirkbride
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers retired from forces in England and Wales in the three years to 31 March; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Straw
The numbers of police officers who have retired over the last three years are as follows:
Year Number 1996–97 4,478 1997–98 4,807 1998–99 4,204
These figures show the total of ordinary and medical retirements in each year and have been obtained from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. They do not include losses to the service through death nor do they include the figures for those officers who resigned or were dismissed in each of the above years. For these latter details I would refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) on 21 October 1999, Official Report, column 625.
§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were recruited to police forces in England and Wales in the last three years.