HC Deb 04 December 2003 vol 415 cc154-5W
Mr. Wiggin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many(a) police officers and (b) special constables there were in Wales in each year since 1997. [141166]

Ms Blears

The information requested is set out in the table. At the end of August the four Welsh forces had record strength totalling 7,354, which is 762 (plus 12 per cent. more than it was in March 1997.

At the end of March 2003 police (support) staff strength in Wales was 3,178. This is 723 more than in March 1997 when there was 2,455 police staff. In addition Gwent had 30 Community Support Officers (CSOs) approved under Round 1 in 2002–03 and on patrol at 31 August 2003. All of the Welsh forces are recruiting CSOs under the Round 2 allocations in 2003–04 and the four Welsh forces should have a total of 113 CSOs by 31 March 2004.

We are working to ensure that forces make best use of Specials' skills, time and links to the community to increase the effective delivery of local policing and at how the use and recruitment of Specials might be widened.

Total police and special constable strength for Welsh forces for

1992 to 2003

Year1 Police officers2 Special constables3
1997 6,592 1,142
1998 6,617 1,097
1999 6,646 1,088
2000 6,632 835
2001 6,837 789
2002 7,194 701
2003 7,268 588
20034 7,354 5
1As at 31 March.
2Police officer strength is for full-time equivalents (fte).
3Special Constable strength is an actual headcount (fte figures are not collected).
431 August.
5Not available.

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