HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc801-2W
35. Mr. Gray

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special constables there are in England and Wales; and how many there were on I May 1997. [57082]

Mr. Denham

The number of serving special constables in England and Wales on 30 September 2001 was 12,068. In March 1997 there were 19,874 serving special constables.

The Government are committed to reversing this decline in numbers and achieving a stronger, increasingly professional special constabulary. Measures to achieve this include:

  • A new headline role focusing on intelligence led patrolling and crime reduction initiatives;
  • a new national foundation training package for special constables;
  • joint Home Office/Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) good practice guidance covering recruitment, management and deployment of specials;
  • new conditions of service and conduct regulations.

In January we ran a press campaign targeting specials as part of the national recruitment campaign for the regular Police Service. And as the Home Secretary also announced at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) last week, we will also be working with employers to encourage them to support employees who are specials—in particular by giving them extra paid leave to carry out their police duties.

Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the number of special constables. [57050]

Mr. Denham

The Government is committed to increasing the size of the Special Constabulary. We are currently working with stakeholders on a number of measures to achieve this, through improvements to the recruitment, training, management and welfare of specials.