§ 11. Mr. Simon Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last met the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis; and what was discussed.
§ Mr. Hughes
I wonder whether the Home Secretary discussed with the Commissioner the crime figures in inner London in general, and in the borough of Southwark in particular, and whether he is aware that the increase in the figures has been horrendous? There has been an 11 per cent. increase in criminal damage, a 14 per cent. increase in a year in sexual offences and a 20 per cent. increase in a year in burglary and going equipped. At the same time, the detection rate has dropped from 14 to 10 per cent. What strategy have the Home Office and the Commissioner for reassuring the citizens of an inner London borough such as mine that they will be better protected against the criminal in the years to come?
§ Mr. Hurd
Part of the answer is an increase in the strength of the Metropolitan police. The hon. Member will have seen the latest figures, which show the increase in establishment that I have just authorised and the way in which the Metropolitan police are recruiting up to that. That is part of the answer. The rest of the answer, particularly in the hon. Member's part of the world, is to 1210 get together all the agencies, including the public and private sector agencies and organisations, in the fight against crime.