HC Deb 09 June 2004 vol 422 cc447-8W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Prime Minister what role the British Government will play in helping the Iraqi people to establish security and policing institutions. [176558]

The Prime Minister

The UK has made a significant contribution to the establishment of the Iraqi security forces and as Iraqi capacity and command capability builds, responsibility for security will be progressively handed over.

Over 100 British police officers are involved in training, mentoring and advisory roles with the Iraqi Police Service in Baghdad, across the south of Iraq and at the Jordan International Police Training Academy.

The UK has also made a significant contribution to efforts to establish the new Iraqi armed forces through mentoring and training within the Iraqi armed forces, the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team. The UK is also leading the effort to establish a new Iraqi Coastal Defence Force based out of Umm Qasr to be fully operational by 1 October 2004.

UK forces in Multi National Division (South-East) have raised, trained and equipped five battalions of the Iraqi Civil Defence Corps (ICDC) which are now operational, with a sixth battalion in training.

Post 30 June, the UK will continue to assist in an advisory, training anti mentoring role across all areas of Security Sector Reform including the armed forces and the Iraqi Police Service to ensure continued progression in Security Sector Reform.