HC Deb 03 March 1983 vol 38 cc355-6
1. Sir William van Straubenzee

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the level of unreported crime; and if he will publish the results of any recent such surveys.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. William Whitelaw)

The British crime survey, published on 25 February, gives a fuller indication than has previously been available of the extent of certain types of crime in this country and of public attitudes towards them.

Sir William van Straubenzee

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that the British crime survey, which was published after the question was tabled, is exceedingly helpful in assessing trends? Does my right hon. Friend have any intention of repeating such a survey, at an interval of his choice, so that there will be opportunities to compare the figures and to gain a better insight into trends?

Mr. Whitelaw

Yes, it is important that we do so. The survey has revealed some interesting findings, which should be followed up and which could guide us in our attitude towards crime.

Mr. Kilroy-Silk

Is the Home Secretary aware that one of the most striking features of the British crime survey is the stated desire of the victims of crime that offenders make reparation rather than be subjected to more punitive punishments? Will the right hon. Gentleman take measures to encourage the former and to diminish the latter?

Mr. Whitelaw

No one can suggest that this Government have not done a great deal to encourage the former. The community service orders were introduced by a previous Conservative Government, and have been much increased by this Government.