§ Mr. Paterson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Government have to increase the numbers of police officers in West Mercia by the number needed for it to reach the average of the 35 English and Welsh forces. 
§ Mr. Denham
I understand that, subject to available funding being raised through the council tax, the authority has plans to increase the force's budgeted strength by 300 officers over the next three years to a total of 2,424. Based on current population estimates, this would take the force to a ratio of 212 officers per 100,000 population.