HC Deb 04 December 1995 vol 268 cc30-1W
Mr. Gapes

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many requests for funding for police training projects overseas have been refused and from which countries; what consideration is given to such requests to human rights and the rights of the individual; and if he will make a statement; [3146]

(2) what proportion of (a) the overseas aid budget and (b) the amount of that budget allocated to good government has been spent on police training; what sums have been spent, in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement; [3148]

(3) what has been the cost of scholarship awards in Britain in each year since 1990 for (a) Nigerian police officers and (b) all police officers funded by his Department; [3149]

(4) how many study tours to the United Kingdom were organised and funded for overseas police officers by his Department; and if he will state the countries that participated and at what cost in each year since 1990; [3150]

(5) on how many occasions in the past five years, a request for funding for police training from a foreign country has been referred for ministerial approval; and if he will name the countries concerned; [3156]

(6) which countries have benefited from police training since 1990; and if he will list the programmes, giving the start date and the size of the individual project budget; [3157]

(7) how many evaluations have been made by his Department of the effectiveness of aid in respect of police training; and if he will make a statement. [3158]

Mr. Hanley

[holding answer 30 November 1995]: Questions 3146, 3148, 3149(b), 3150 and 3156 to 3158 all concern police training worldwide; I can answer most helpfully by taking them together. The answer to 3149(a) is included in that for 3151.

Under the aid programme, we provide management and technical training for police forces, both in the United Kingdom and in-country, including the development of in-country training capacity. This is usually in support of a wider objective of enhancing the effectiveness and public accountability of the police. This assistance is only a small part of the aid programme, currently accounting for under 0.5 per cent. of overseas aid. Such assistance is not separately recorded and details could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Support for overseas police forces under the aid programme, whether through training, study visits or other support, is considered as part of individual country programmes. There is no global allocation either for police or more generally for good government. Proposals are considered on their merits and in comparison with other competing demands.

Priorities for the use of aid are considered periodically as part of the reviews of country programme strategy, which are approved by Ministers, as well as in response to short-term events. Human rights issues are taken into account in these processes. Where support for the police is not identified as a priority for a country or is considered inappropriate, requests will often be refused at an early or informal stage rather than requiring detailed review. No records are kept of requests which are refused. Nor are separate records kept of submissions to Ministers. Issues are referred for ministerial consideration as necessary in view of their size, political sensitivity or novelty. In many cases, assistance to the police will have been only one facet of a wider-ranging submission or review.

Since 1994, a quarterly report has been made to the Minister for Overseas Development, summarising assistance being provided to police forces under the aid programme.

Police training is kept under regular review by two police advisers and by the departments financing such training. No overall evaluation has been made in recent years but the 1995 to 1997 work plan for ODA's evaluation department will include a review of assistance to police forces, including training.

Police training is also supported on a more limited scale from diplomatic wing funds. Efforts are currently being made to assess the impact of such training by tracing the careers of trainees since their return home.

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