§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by how much funding to the Dorset police authority has increased since 1979; what percentage this represents in real terms; what has been the increase in(a) police officers and (b) civilian staff over the same period; and if he will make a statement on future funding and manpower. 
§ Mr. Maclean
Expenditure on the Dorset police increased by £56.87 million between April 1979 and March 1996. This is a real terms increase of 110.6 per cent. During this period, police strength increased by 123—plus 11 per cent.—and civilian support staff strength increased by 344—124 per cent.
The spending power of the Dorset police in 199–97 will be £68.1 million. This includes £250,000 as their share of the extra funding for more officers, sufficient to recruit 13 more constables. This is an increase of 3.9 per cent.—£2.6 million—over 1995–96. My right hon. and learned Friend has additionally exercised his powers under section 31(1) (b) of the Police Act 1964 and awarded the force special grant of up to £1.5 million for national security expenditure at the Government party conference in October. I understand from the chief constable that police strength is expected to increase by 19 by the end of March 1997.