HC Deb 18 November 2003 vol 413 cc825-6W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been detained by a community support officer; and in how many cases a police officer took charge of the detainee within half an hour of detention. [139221]

Ms Blears

At present, six police forces are piloting the power of detention, which was given to community support officers by the Police Reform Act 2002. The forces are the Metropolitan Police Service, West Yorkshire Police, Gwent Police, Lancashire Constabulary, Northamptonshire Police, and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.

As part of ongoing evaluation, when they use their detention powers community support officers in the relevant forces complete questionnaires which are then forwarded to the Home Office for monitoring purposes. The information currently available indicates that: To date the Home Office has received 161 questionnaires. This does not necessarily represent 161 separate detentions, as it is possible that two community support officers may have been involved in the same incident. Subsequent evaluation indicates that police officers have arrived within 30 minutes in 98.8 per cent. of cases and that there have been only two incidents where the time limit has not been met. These questionnaires are still being completed in each force and evaluation of the results is an on-going process. This work is being undertaken jointly by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and with the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate.