HC Deb 24 November 1994 vol 250 cc723-4
18. Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to estate-based policing in urban areas.

Mr. Maclean

The Government encourage the police service to adopt community policing strategies which involve their local communities. The partnership initiative that we launched this year is aimed at developing projects in partnership between the police and the community to prevent and tackle crime locally.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Minister accept that one of the most successful ways of policing urban areas, particularly local authority housing estates, is just that partnership between the local police and the local people? When that is successful, private security firms are not needed and can be dispensed with on all council estates. Public policing is what people want, not privatised policing in public areas.

Mr. Maclean

That is why we are delivering public policing through the partnership initiative. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will encourage his constituents, through neighbourhood watch and street watch, and that he will encourage his council to do what Wandsworth is doing in helping the police to recruit more special constables and more neighbourhood constables—people with the full powers and duties of a police officer. It is working, and the hon. Gentleman should support it.