§ Mr. Dorrell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vacancies there are for uniformed officers in the Leicestershire Police Service; and what proportion this represents of the approved establishment in Leicestershire. 
§ Ms Blears
The establishment figures for the end of 2003 was 2,127 officers. Leicestershire police estimate that they will take approximately 207 recruits in 2003–04; which they estimate will bring establishment up to 2,235 by the end of 2003–04. There are currently around 174 vacancies for new applicants (September figures) and recruitment is healthy. This represents approximately eight per cent. of expected establishment. These vacancies will vary on a day to day basis.
The Home Office does not set establishment figures for police forces and no central record is kept of vacancies. Decisions about the use of resources, including decisions about the number and deployment of police officers are matters for the police authority and the Chief Constable.