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4 Dec 2002 : Column 866Wcontinued
Mr. Denham: General recorded crime figures for the period from April 2002, the period of the street crime initiative, have yet to be collated. Details of domestic burglary figures for three-month periods up to March 2002, for the 10 police force areas involved in the street crime initiative, are given in the table.
|Street crime initiative forces||April 2000 to June 2000||July 2000 to September 2000||October 2000 to December 2000||January 2001 to March 2001||April 2001 to June 2001||July 2001 to September 2001||October 2000 to December 2001||January 2002 to March 2002|
|Avon and Somerset||2,823||2,891||3,346||3,336||3,529||3,840||3,693||4,933|
|England and Wales total||95,204||93,656||105,666||108,457||95,970||104,486||112,875||117,029|
National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS)
The Home Office counting rules have again been revised as from April 2002, in order to incorporate the new National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS), which aims to introduce a greater degree of consistency to the ways in which crime is recorded in different police forces and to take a more victim orientated approach to crime recording. The effect will be to increase significantly the number of crimes in the recorded crime count.
Avon and Somerset (from October 2000), Lancashire (from August 2000) and Greater Manchester (from January 2002) introduced the new standard in advance of national implementation, and the recorded crimes in these forces may be significantly affected. West Midlands adopted the Standard in April 1999, and hence the figures given will not be influenced by the Standard.
The other SCI forces adopted the Standard in April 2002.
Mr. Denham: Details are given in the table. For car crime, total figures for theft of and theft from vehicles have been used. 'Street crime' is not a separate category in general recorded crime figures, which are based on legal definitions. Figures are given for all robbery, and robbery of personal property, the latter being collected separately from 1 April 1998.
|Year(18)||All recorded crime||All burglary||Theft of and from vehicles||Robbery (personal and business property)||Robbery of personal property(19)|
|Number of recorded crimes in Staffordshire|
|Numbers of recorded crimes per 100,000 population in Staffordshire|
(18) Figures are on a calendar year basis up to 1997, and years ending March thereafter.
(19) Robbery of personal property has been collected separately since 1 April 1998.
(20) There was a change in the counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, and hence figures before and after that date will not be directly comparable. However, apart from the total recorded crime figure, it is thought that the categories given would be relatively little affected by the change.
(21) Staffordshire adopted the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in October 1999, in advance of its national implementation date of April 2002. The 19992000, 200001 and 200102 figures for the force will be affected by the Standard, although again, apart for the total recorded crime figure, the categories chosen are thought to be relatively little affected by the change
4 Dec 2002 : Column 867W
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there will be restrictions on the types of previous convictions that could be mentioned during a trial under the new criminal justice reforms. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 2 December 2002]: The Criminal Justice Bill, introduced on 21 November 2002, will reform the law on admitting evidence of a person's bad character, and will enable evidence such as previous convictions to be used where they are relevant to the case. This will, however, be subject to a power for judges and magistrates to exclude this sort of evidence if admitting it would have an adverse effect on the fairness of a trial.
Mr. Denham: The West Midlands Police (WMP) inform me that the decision to suspend Detective Chief Superintendent Elaine Baker was taken after a member of the public made a complaint, which could result in her facing either a criminal conviction and/or a serious disciplinary sanction.
A full investigation of the allegations will be undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Service under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority. It would therefore not be appropriate for me to make any further comment at this time.
Mr. Denham: The Police Standards Unit is currently working with a number of police forces to improve their crime detection rates. This will be achieved through a structured performance enhancement programme, utilising good practice guidance and supported through other existing policies.
4 Dec 2002 : Column 868W
at both detecting and disrupting crime. This, coupled with the increased provision of analytical support, will provide the crime and disorder partnerships with the ability to detect crime and bring offenders to justice.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), which is being piloted in nine police forces, will have an impact on detecting crime and denying criminals the use of roads. Figures, after four weeks of the pilots, show 6,580 vehicles stopped; 480 arrests made; 59 stolen vehicles recovered; over £400,000 of stolen goods, vehicles and drugs recovered and £144,000 of vehicle excise duty evasion detected.
ANPR works by scanning vehicle registrations and checking them against information stored in databases to identify vehicles of interest to the police, such as stolen cars or those involved in crimes. When a suspicious vehicle is recognised it can be the focus of targeted interception and inquiries.
The Government have made available £182 million over a four year period to expand the National DNA Database. The Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Forensic Science Service are working together to maximise the benefits gained from the expenditure being made in the development and application of DNA and other forensic techniques.
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