§ Ms Blears
Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency is part of the Swale Basic Command Unit (BCU). Information on strength at BCU level is collected annually and reflects the position at the end of March. Information on BCU strength is only available from 2002.
Between March 2002 and March 2003 police strength for the Swale BCU increased by 10.3 per cent. (from 213 to 235). The deployment of officers to BCUs is a matter for the Chief Constable (Michael Fuller) and within the Swale BCU deployment of officers is a matter for the Divisional Commander.
The number of police officers in Kent County Constabulary has increased by 292 since March 1997 to a record 3,552 officers in December 2003.
§ Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by how much in(a) percentage and (b) cash terms the Metropolitan police grant has changed in each year since 1997. 
§ Ms Blears
The Home Office encourages forces to use a variety of means to increase the accessibility and visibility of officers with their local communities, as part of a wider commitment to engage with communities on a routine and in depth basis to identify their needs and act on them. It is the role of chief constables, however, to decide whether the use of patrol by bicycle would best meet the identified needs of their communities.
§ Ms Blears
Published information on police staff strength by police forcearea is available in total but not by function. The latest available figures for police staff are those for 31 March 2003. For Community Support Officers the latest available is for 31 March 2004. The data are set out in the table.
Police staff as at 31 March 2003 and Community Support Officers
as at 31 March 2004 by police force England and Wales
Police force police Staff
Officers as at
31 March 2004
Avon and Somerset 1,785 46 Bedfordshire 595 11 Cambridgeshire 786 59 Cheshire 1,008 37 Cleveland 694 80 Cumbria 676 0 Derbyshire 1,061 0 Devon and Cornwall 1,834 55 Dorset 793 7 Durham 602 37 Essex 1682 77 Gloucestershire 590 55 Greater Manchester 3,173 185 Hampshire 1,720 0 Hertfordshire 1,299 44 Humberside 880 0 Kent 2,095 62 Lancashire 1,489 117 Leicestershire 934 45 Lincolnshire 641 44 London, City of 268 0 Merseyside 1,752 100 Metropolitan Police 11,358 1,465 Norfolk 924 34 Northamptonshire 812 12 Northumbria 1,457 51 North Yorkshire 723 52 Nottinghamshire 1,180 43 South Yorkshire 1,510 53 Staffordshire 1,146 13 Suffolk 713 15 Surrey 1,245 64 Sussex 1,578 72 Thames Valley 2,412 7 Warwickshire 503 28 West Mercia 1,233 55 West Midlands 3,012 60 West Yorkshire 2,538 224 Wiltshire 703 24 Dyfed-Powys 502 5 Gwent 607 50 North Wales 703 8 South Wales 1,366 63
Police staff as at 31 March 2003 and Community Support
Officers as at 31 March 2004 by police force England and Wales
Police force Police Staff as at 31 March 2003 Community Support Officers as at 31 March 2004 Total of 43 forces 62,581 3,459 NCS 524 2— NCIS 1— 2— British Transport Poll 624 2— Total other services 1,148 2— Total police service 63,729 3,459 Total police service (excluding BTP) 63,105 3,459 1 Have not supplied figures 2 Not applicable Note All figures are full time equivalents.
§ Dr. Kumar
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what use is being made of geographic information systems to match police project funding to area-specific problems(a) in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, (b) by Government Office of the Regions area and (c) in England. 
§ Ms Blears
I understand that Cleveland Police use North East Regional Information Sharing System (NERISS) for crime mapping and data sharing. Cleveland also use Intergraph public safety mapping for command and control and Mapinfo for crime analysis and to inform tasking and co-ordination meetings and patrol patterns.
The Chief Constable of Cleveland Police informs me that resources are distributed locally according to an allocation model that is in part based on levels of deprivation. The force is in the process of adjusting its method of allocation to recognise, for example, the policing environment, in Middlesborough. The adjustment is informed by ongoing analysis of crime and disorder in the force area.
Comprehensive information on a national basis is not available but we are aware of police and local authorities using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in some instances to target funding and other resources.
§ Mr. Goodman
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances the police are entitled to enter private property without a warrant. 
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 13 May 2004]: The main powers of entry available to police officers are set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). Circumstances in which the police may enter private property without a warrant are: 1043Wto arrest someone for an arrestable offence;to arrest someone for whom an arrest warrant has been issued;to search the premises of someone who has been arrested for an arrestable offence and where the police have reasonable grounds to believe that they will find evidence relating to that offence or of some similar or connected arrestable offence;to search the premises in which an arrested person was immediately prior to his arrest, if the officer believes that evidence relating to that offence may be found there;to recapture a person who is unlawfully at large;to prevent or stop a breach of the peace;in order to save life or limb; and to prevent serious damage to property.
A police officer may also enter private property without a warrant where the owner consents to such entry.
§ Ms Blears
Since 1992 the Police Information Technology Organisation, with the support of the National Association of Police Fleet Managers, has put in place a number of national frameworks for the purchase of vehicles by the police service.
Under EC rules references in procurements to national origin are specifically prohibited as this contravenes the principles of the Treaty of Rome, of a single European Community internal market open to all.