HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 cc11-2
7. Mr. Win Griffiths (Bridgend)

What plans he has to visit Bridgend in 2003 to discuss with relevant parties his agenda for tackling crime in Bridgend. [134164]

The Minister for Crime Reduction, Policing, and Community Safety (Ms Hazel Blears)

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary visited Bridgend in January last year, when he had an extremely helpful meeting with the borough commander. The Government are committed to reducing crime throughout England and Wales, and are working with local and national partners to do that.

Mr. Griffiths

I thank the Home Secretary for his visit on that occasion, because it was followed by a resounding by-election victory in my neighbouring constituency. Will he and the Home Office team consider the excellent work of the youth offending team in Bridgend and re-examine its funding? The local authority appears to have to accept a disproportionately high amount of the costs, and other partners should make a greater contribution. In that respect, the Home Office could play its part by ensuring that South Wales police are adequately funded in the coming year.

Ms Blears

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that there is some excellent work going on in Bridgend and right across south Wales in tackling drugs problems and antisocial behaviour, and working with schools and young people. I am delighted that South Wales police has 40 community support officers and a further 23 due to start very soon. I am also delighted to give him my reassurance that I will discuss the issue that he has raised about the youth offending team with the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Wythenshawe and Sale, East (Paul Goggins), to see whether there are any steps that can be taken.