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7 Jun 2005 : Column 507W—continued


John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department's estimate is of the proportion of crimes committed which are reported to the police; and if he will make a statement. [1720]

Hazel Blears: The 2003–04 British crime survey showed that 40 per cent. of all incidents measured by the survey came to the attention of the police.

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of crime was categorised as violent in the latest period for which figures are available. [1732]

Hazel Blears: Violent crime comprises of the offence groups violence against the person, sexual offences and robbery. The latest published figures relate to October-December 2004 and show that there were 295,365 recorded violent crimes which accounted for 21 per cent. of the total number of offences. Of the 295,365 recorded violent crimes, 42 per cent. involved no injury.

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he is taking to (a) reduce street crime in Hertfordshire, (b) tackle binge drinking and (c) tackle drug-related crime; and if he will make a statement. [798]

Hazel Blears: The 10 Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) in Hertfordshire and the Drug Action Team (DAT) are responsible for the delivery of crime reduction and the National Drug Strategy at the
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local level. The performance of the CDRPs and DAT is managed by the Home Office team in the Government Office for the East of England (GO East), whose role is to support and challenge the partnerships' performance in the region. The director of this team is held accountable by the Crime Reduction Director and Drug Strategy Director in the Home Office through quarterly meetings, supplemented by performance review meetings with the Home Office performance support managers in the intervening months. The Home Office funds the ten partnerships in Hertfordshire with £1,490,102 from the Building Safer Communities Fund and £559,354 from the Basic Command Unit fund. The Government will shortly introduce the Violent Crime Reduction Bill which will target gun and knife crime and alcohol-related crime and disorder. It will toughen the laws on replica firearms, create restrictions on the sale of primers and specialist equipment for making ammunitions and it will tighten laws on airguns, powers to require certain pubs and clubs to search for guns and knives on entry, powers for the police to impose 48-hour bans on pubs and clubs persistently selling alcohol to under-18s, and the establishment of alcohol disorder zones. The CDRPs and Drug Action Team (DAT) and their constituent members in Hertfordshire are taking the following actions to tackle street crime, binge-drinking and drug-related crime in Hertfordshire.

(a) Street crime—All 10 Hertfordshire CDRPs commissioned crime audits in 2004 to identify local strategic priorities for their 2005–08 Community Safety
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strategies. The CDRPs have each negotiated a three-year crime reduction target with GO-East. The progress towards the target will be measured by performance on ten crime types, two of which cover street crime. While Hertfordshire was not one of the l0 areas involved in the Street Crime Initiative, best practice is being spread between police forces through the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office's Police Standards Unit. This is to ensure that the lessons that have been learnt from the Street Crime Initiative can benefit all forces. Several of the Hertfordshire CDRPs have identified specific strategic priorities around street crime. These include Broxbourne and North and East Herts, aiming to make town centres safer, Stevenage, aiming to reduce alcohol-related crime in the town centre and leisure park, and Watford, aiming to make the town safer at night.

(b) Binge Drinking—Hertfordshire County Council have instigated a £400,000 project to reduce alcohol-related antisocial behaviour and curb alcohol abuse. This includes the launch of a website aimed at 13–17 year olds which has extensive information about the risks of alcohol among other material. Among individual initiatives by Hertfordshire CDRPs, Stevenage have planned a number of actions including a requirement that all public entertainment licensed premises should have a drugs policy by April 2006; regular joint licensee inspection visits from the police and the council; a ban on irresponsible drink promotions and support for the licensed industry's voluntary code on low priced promotions; and encouraging licensed premises to participate in the Club/Pub Watch scheme that contains a banning/exclusion order facility. These measures will be supported by GIS mapping of alcohol related crime and disorder and fixed penalty enforcement.

(c) Tackling Drug-Related Crime During 2004–05—Hertfordshire DAT has introduced the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) within the area. The aim of DIP is to reduce the harm caused by illegal drugs by substantially increasing the number of drug-misusing offenders entering treatment through the criminal justice system. Government funding for DIP in Hertfordshire in 2005–06 is £1,038,586 (this includes £530,842 arrest referral grant). Hertfordshire has set a target of 600 DIP clients for 2005–06, of which 450 will be 'generic' DIP clients and 150 specifically Prolific and Priority Offender (PPO) DIP clients. More recently the PPO project has also been introduced in the area. The project has already engaged a large number of people in hard-to-reach target groups in structured treatment. This project is now ready to be rolled out to the whole of Hertfordshire. GO East and the CDRPs are also funding MIDAS, a web-based database for crime, disorder, drugs, alcohol and community safety information, for the use of all partners involved in Community Safety. Hertfordshire DAT and the CDRPs within the area are working towards integrating their work.
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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers are stationed in Hammersmith and Fulham constituency. [827]

Hazel Blears: On 31 March 2005 there were 522.15 full-time equivalent police officers stationed in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, 10 more than in March 2004. The deployment of police officers within the Metropolitan Police Service is a matter for the Commissioner.

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many anti-social behaviour orders have been issued in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham during the past 12 months. [851]

Hazel Blears: The number of anti-social behaviour orders issued at all courts, as reported to the Home Office, from 1 October 2003 to 30 September 2004 (latest available), where restrictions are imposed in the London borough of Hammersmith, is six.

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he and his Department have had with the (a) Police Borough Commander for Hammersmith and Fulham and (b) her officers. [852]

Hazel Blears: I attended a meeting of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Partnership on 23 March 2005 for a discussion on police reform at which the Police Borough Commander was present. I have not specifically met with her officers.

Dispersal Orders

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many dispersal orders have been made in Leeds since January 2004. [1719]

Hazel Blears: The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police tells me that since January 2004 six areas in Leeds have been designated under section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.

Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to assess the effectiveness of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004. [569]

Hazel Blears: The Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 is the biggest overhaul of legislation on domestic violence in the last 30 years. It received Royal Assent on 15 November 2004 and contains a wide range of reforms on domestic violence, crime and victims and witnesses. The provisions in the Act will be commenced in stages during 2005. The table gives a brief outline of some measures in the Act and the plans to assess their effectiveness, once they have been implemented. The
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measures specifically relating to domestic violence will run alongside the broader set of national performance indicators, published in our National Report on
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Domestic Violence, in March this year. The indicators will be used to measure the effectiveness of our domestic violence strategy over the medium and long term.
SectionMeasurePlans to Asses Effectiveness
1–4Domestic Violence—Amendments to the Family Law Act 1996Comparative case study analysis to be conducted in areas to assess impact of the provisions.
5–8Causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adultOffence and procedural measures will be kept under review.
9Domestic homicide reviews (extends to NI)Plans for how the reviews will be monitored are still under consideration
10Common Assault to be an arrestable offence (extends to NI)Police forces will routinely collect data on arrests. The data will be monitored on a quarterly basis under PPAF, giving us an indication of the impact of this measure on local policing.
12–13Restraining ordersWill be monitored as part of the National DV Performance indicators
14–16SurchargeNumber of surcharges imposed and amount of revenue collected will be monitored by DCA
17–20Trial by jury of sample counts onlyApplications made by the prosecution, the number granted and the outcome of trials will be monitored
27Fine enforcement—powers of authorised officers executing warrantsGuidance and training to be rolled out by HMCS
28,29Fine enforcement—disclosure orders and procedure on breach of community penaltyGuidance and training to be rolled out by HMCS
32–34Victims Measures Code of PracticeSatisfaction of victims will be assessed using PPAF, User Satisfaction Measures, the Witness and Victim Experience Survey and the British Crime Survey.
47–55Victims Commissioner,Plans for how the Commissioner will operate are still under consideration. However, the Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses will be required to produce an annual report, which must be provided to the Home Secretary, Attorney General and Lord Chancellor, then published and laid before Parliament.
55Victims Advisory Panel,An annual report, setting out the panels achievements for the year will be published and laid before Parliament.

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