§ Mr. Barry Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Secretary concerning the introduction of more uniformed police officers in the North Wales Police Authority; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Paul Murphy
I meet regularly with the First Secretary to discuss a range of matters, including policing in Wales. Between March 1997 and September 2000, the total strength of north Wales police increased from 1,369 to 1,393.
Following its enhancement as part of the 2000 Comprehensive Spending Review, the Crime Fighting Fund will fund the recruitment, training and salaries of 9,000 extra police officers in England and Wales, over and above the numbers which would otherwise have been recruited, during the three years 2000–01 to 2002–03. More than 100 of these officer recruits are expected to be employed in north Wales.
North Wales Police Authority has also benefited from the extra provision, announced in June last year, to enhance the policing of rural areas. It will receive £0.77 million in the current financial year, rising to £1.53 million in 2001–02. The deployment of officers is an operational matter for the chief constable but these measures provide considerable scope for increasing the number of uniformed officers.