§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what is the standard issue weapon of Atomic Energy Authority constables;
(2) how many arrests have been made by Atomic Energy Authority constables since the enactment of the Atomic Energy (Special Constables) Act 1976 (a) outside nuclear installations and (b) within nuclear installations; and in how many cases the constables were armed;
(3) how many Atomic Authority constables regularly carry arms under the Atomic Energy Authority (Special Constables) Act 1976;
(4) if armed Atomic Energy Authority constables travel on aircraft or ships carrying nuclear waste or matter within the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement;
(5) if armed Atomic Energy Authority constables travel on aircraft or ships carrying nuclear waste or matter to and from the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement;
(6) if he will list the nuclear installations and designated companies where, or within 15 miles of which, armed Atomic Energy Authority constables operate.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
In relation to the weapons issued to AEA constables, I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the then Under-Secretary of State for Energy during the debate on the Atomic Energy Authority (Special Constables) Bill on 26 February 1976.—[Vol. 906, c. 752]. The position has not changed since then.
Not all AEA constables are armed. Constables carry firearms when they are on duties related to the guarding of special nuclear material on sites or in transit. As indicated during the debate in the House on the Atomic Energy Authority (Special Constables) Bill, armed constables are deployed on the AEA sites at Dounreay, Harwell and Winfrith and the British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) site at Windscale. However, it would not be in the public interest to give details of the deployment of AEA constables on these duties either at sites or in transit.
With regard to the number of arrests made by AEA constables, I am advised that since the enactment of the Atomic Energy Authority (Special Constables) Bill, 9 arrests have taken place outside, but in the vicinity of, AEA or BNFL sites and 34 within such sites. In none of these cases were the constables armed.