HC Deb 29 March 2001 vol 365 c724W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions since 2 May 1997 his Department has issued a correction to police numbers statistics. [155843]

Mr. Charles Clarke

[holding answer 27 March 2001]: The statistical bulletin for the September 2000 figures was reissued on 16 January 2001 as a result of receiving revised police strength figures from the Metropolitan police. There have been three other publications where corrections to the figures for earlier periods have been made in the light of revised figures submitted by the police: figures for March 1998 were corrected in the statistical bulletin number 14/99, published on 26 August 1999, entitled "Police Service Personnel England and Wales, as at 31 March 1999", after Sussex corrected their data for that year. Revised figures for March 2000 were included in both the original and revised bulletins for September 2000, after the number of secondments to central services were corrected when double counting was discovered. This originated from the National Criminal Intelligence Service return being completed incorrectly. The revised bulletin for September 2000 was entitled "Police Service Strength England and Wales", published on 16 January 2001, and was statistical bulletin number 2/01. Figures for September 2000 had to be adjusted when the Metropolitan police reported that officers on loan to adjacent forces had been deducted from their figures twice. They also provided revised figures for ethnic minority officers. A revised bulletin for September 2000 was issued, with details as given in (2).

The forthcoming bulletin to be published in June will contain revised Northumbria strength figures for 30 September 2000 that became apparent during the preparation of the 30 January 2001 figures. It should be noted that it is a standard practice to include corrections in statistical publications when improved data are provided by data sources. Indeed, this practice is quite commonplace, although the corrections are minor in the vast majority of cases.