§ Mrs. May
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many special constables there were in the(a) City of London and (b) Metropolitan police area in (i) May 1997 and (ii) for the latest month for which figures are available based on current police area boundaries; 
(2) how many special constables there were in the (a) City of London and (b) Metropolitan police area in (i) May 1997 based on old police area boundaries and (ii) for the latest month for which figures are available, based on current boundaries. 
§ Mr. Denham
[holding answer 5 November 2001]: The strength of the City of London and Metropolitan police special constabularies as at March 1997 and March 2001, the latest date for which figures on special constabulary strength are available, are set out in the table:
March 1997 March 2001 City of London police 86 43 Metropolitan police 1,714 774
The boundary of the Metropolitan police district was redrawn with effect from April 2000, with responsibility for policing areas outside the London boroughs being transferred to Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey constabularies.
The Government are committed to increasing the special constabulary and as part of the police reform process we are looking at radical improvements in the management, welfare and deployment of special constables.