§ Mr. Burns
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many police officers are stationed for duty in(a) Chelmsford town and (b) West Chelmsford parliamentary constituency; and how many there were in 1996–97; 
(2) what proposals he has to (a) increase or (b) decrease the number of police officers stationed for duty in (i) Chelmsford town and (ii) West Chelmsford parliamentary constituency. 
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
[holding answer 22 November 1999]: I understand from the chief constable that there are 103 police officers stationed at Chelmsford and Moulsham police stations who are directly involved with the policing of Chelmsford Town. This section is also responsible for the policing of a number of villages around Chelmsford. The chief constable is unable to provide figures for 1996–97 or in respect of the area covered by the West Chelmsford parliamentary constituency.
The powers of my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, to set police establishment levels for each force were removed under the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994. It is for the chief officer to determine staffing levels and deployment within the overall resources available. We will be announcing shortly the proposed funding allocations for police authorities in England and Wales for 2000–01.