asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the Government of Iraq have provided the Government with an update on attempts to remove "ghost" employees from police payrolls, and to dismiss those police with criminal records or links to known militia, in provinces within Multinational Division (South East).
Any hiring or removal of Iraqi police officers from the MND(SE) region is performed centrally by the Ministry of the Interior in Baghdad. The Government of Iraq provide reports on progress in the Iraqi police service through various channels rather than directly, on a Government-to-Government basis. Latest reports suggest that nationally several thousand police have been removed over the past six months.
Our strategy to remove any police officers with known militia links in southern Iraq was highlighted during the operation to disband the corrupt Serious Crime Unit (SCU) in Basra on Christmas Day 2006. A new unit has now been established to carry out a similar special investigation role as the SCU and its members are fully screened and closely supervised to ensure their trustworthiness.