HL Deb 02 July 1985 vol 465 cc1042-3

2.47 p.m.

Baroness Sharples

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their trial property coding scheme is proving successful in reducing domestic burglaries.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Glenarthur)

My Lords, the results of the property marking demonstration project in South Wales, launched in November 1983 and carried out in conjunction with the South Wales Constabulary, were published on 6th June. They showed a 40 per cent. reduction in the number of domestic burglaries in the project area during the one-year evaluation period. This successful project continues.

Baroness Sharples

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that very encouraging Answer. Can he say whether any further schemes are planned elsewhere; whether such schemes are costly; and, if they are not costly, whether more publicity could not be given to them so that householders may avail themselves of property coding?

Lord Glenarthur

My Lords, it is of course a matter for the discretion of individual chief police officers to adopt crime prevention measures. I can tell my noble friend that a number of projects involving the Metropolitan Police and 28 other different police forces are going ahead, and they will operate some 3,500 different schemes in all. My noble friend asked also about costs. I can tell her that the schemes are cheap, and I will certainly note the point she made about advertising.

Baroness Macleod of Borve

My Lords, does my noble friend the Minister not agree, from his own knowledge, that if property marking schemes are allied to good neighbourhood schemes, which are now escalating all over the country, this would be even more of a deterrent to burglars?

Lord Glenarthur

My Lords, the further schemes to which I referred are a part of the neighbourhood watch package.