HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 c121WS
Mr. David Stewart

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the timescale for the secondment of the police personnel to Iraq; how many have been recruited to date; and what the costs of the programme are. [133160]

Caroline Flint

A pool of 200 volunteers from the police service of England and Wales has been created to assist in the reform of the Iraqi Police Service. The pool is intended to sustain the deployment of up to 100 police officers at any one time. I have agreed to a request from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Jack Straw) to the deployment of 75 of those officers before the end of the year to a secure training facility in Jordan for the purpose of training Iraqi police recruits.

A further 24 officers are about to undergo training with a view to possible deployment to Basra, when the Regional Police Training Academy is ready to receive them. Officers will only be deployed to Iraq when we are satisfied that the security conditions are right. The security position will be reviewed regularly. The advice of the two secondees from the Association of Chief Police Officers presently serving in Iraq will inform any decision on the timing of a deployment.

The full costs of the programme, which will be c. £10 million per financial year, will be met from the joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development (DFID), and the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Global Conflict Prevention Pool. This includes reimbursing to police forces the full costs of training, equipping and deploying police officers.