I understand from the commissioner that the capacity of the Metropolitan police service training school for 2001–02 is 2,600. No maximum capacity was set in previous years. The percentage of recruits successfully completing training for each of the past three years is 92 per cent. in 1999; 93 per cent. in 2000; and 94 per cent. in 2001.
I thank the hon. Lady for that reply. Will she please comment on the likely impact of the drop-out rate on the ability to reach the targets for increased police numbers, particularly in that other attractive outer-London constituency of Upminster, which suffers very badly from the leeching of resources into inner London?
The commissioner fully expects to recruit up to 2,500 police officers this year. That number will both cover wastage and enable, by March 2002, an increase in strength of more than 1,000 officers, helping to reach the total target of 26,650 officers. The commissioner therefore expects that that number will more than meet demand.