HC Deb 22 February 1979 vol 963 c252W
43. Mr. Rathbone

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied with present police staff levels; and if he will make a statement.

Dr. Summerskill

On 31 December 1978 the strength of the police service in England and Wales was 109,075, a gain of 1,276 over the figure at 30 June 1978. We regard this as an encouraging improvement, and we expect in the coming months to see further reductions in the 8,500 vacancies now existing.

Sir Bernard Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the percentage increase or decrease in the number of policemen and policewomen, respectively, in the period 1976 to 1978 in the Kent, Devon and Cornwall, Hampshire, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Essex, Merseyside and Metropolitan forces; and whether he is satisfied with the proportion of women in the patrol strengths at police stations in these forces.

Dr. Summerskill

The figures are shown below:

introduce legislation to give the same legal status prison standing orders as currently exist for prison rules.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

I do not propose to do so. Standing orders are management documents providing detailed instructions to governors on the day-to-day running of penal establishments; and it would not be appropriate or practicable for them to be given statutory form.