Memorandum from The Home Office
What input has your Department had to the UK preparations
for the World Summit on Sustainable Development?
The Home Office is not represented on MISC 18,
although an official has attended meetings of the WSSD inter-departmental
group and we receive the related papers. All Departments were
consulted on the communications strategy before it went to MISC
18 or clearance. The proposals included the use of a logo and
raising the profile of WSSD as appropriate in Ministerial speeches
Please set out which sustainable development indicators
your Department has lead responsibility for and which other indicators
the Department's policies particularly impact upon.
The Home Office has lead responsibility for
the sustainable development indicators on crime, fear of crime
and voluntary activity. It also has a significant impact on community
spirit and index of local deprivation indicators.
The British Crime Survey (BCS) 2001 indicates
that between 1997 and 2000 overall crime fell 21 per cent, which
included significant decreases in domestic burglary, vehicle related
theft and all violent crime. The National Crime Recording Standard
is being introduced, which will require the police to record,
by April 2002, more of the crimes reported to them.
The Department is working to ensure that by
2004 the levels of fear of crime in the key categories of violent
crime, burglary and car crime, reported in the BCS, are lower
than levels reported in the 2001 BCS. It will develop a multi
targeted communication strategy to establish effective messages
addressing the perception of fear and establish links relevant
programmes across Government which impact on the fear of crime.
The Department promotes voluntary and community
activity and supports a healthy and cost effective voluntary sector.
It is working towards a Public Services Agreement target to make
significant progress towards getting one million more people involved
in their communities by 2004. Other initiatives include the provision
of £55 million to boost volunteering in communities and the
launch of the Experience Corps.
What systems does your Department have in place
to monitor progress on how far the Department's policies are contributing
to UK progress on sustainable development and the issues that
were mapped out in Agenda 21 after the Rio Earth Summit in 1992?
The Department contributes to the Government's
annual report on sustainable development for those policy areas
for which we have lead responsibility, for example crime and fear
of crime. Details on how we monitor these issues is covered in
the answer to the question above on sustainable development indicators.
In addition we are developing Departmental sustainable
development indicators. In so doing we are looking not only at
the policy areas for which we have responsibility, or a significant
impact, but also the indicators which have an impact on the Home
Office as an employer and upon its operations and estate management.
The Home Office policy development checklist
includes sections on sustainable development and environmental
appraisals. The checklist also provides advice to staff on what
factors they should take into account when considering what impact,
if any, their policies have on the environment. We are currently
considering the Integrated Policy Appraisal framework drawn up
by DTLR (and being adopted by other Departments, including DEFRA
and Department of Health) as a possible means of ensuring sustainable
development is taken into account to an even greater extent in
Policy makers are advised that submissions to
Ministers should contain a section on environmental impact. Heads
of policy units have also been advised directly to integrate environmental
considerations into policy proposals and have been supplied with
a copy of the Green Minister's leaflet on Sustainable Development.
The Department is putting together its bid for
the 2002 Spending Review. Those responsible have been asked to
identify which sustainable development indicators their bids will
impact upon, and to consider ways of eliminating or reducing any