HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 c31W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many nuclear, biological, chemical protective suits are available to(a) emergency services and (b) military personnel in the London area. [155036]

Mr. Raynsford

The London Ambulance Service currently has 400 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits immediately available for use in response to CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear) incidents. The Service plans to increase the number of suits available to 1,400 during the next financial year.

The London Fire Brigade has 1,500 gas-tight suits immediately available for use in response to CBRN incidents, as well as for day-to-day operations.

The Military in London has approximately 1,000 PPE suits immediately available.

The total number of CBRN trained police officers nationally is now over 5,000. This is in line with the Association of Chief Police Officers' desired level of training to ensure that police forces nationally have the necessary resilience to deal with a CBRN incident. It would not be appropriate, on security grounds, to give more specific information regarding the CBRN response capability in each police force.

The deployment of CBRN-protective equipment to the emergency services and to the Military is not tied to geographical regions and, depending on the nature and scale of any incident, London may receive extra equipment from or supply extra equipment to other regions.