HL Deb 18 December 1986 vol 483 cc275-6

11.13 a.m.

Lord Gainford

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 what action they are taking to combat crime on the London Underground.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Lord Brabazon of Tara)

My Lords, on 28th November this year we published a report containing 50 recommendations for combating crime on the Underground. The report is the result of an extensive study carried out by the Department of Transport in conjunction with London Underground, the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police. Copies are available from the Library.

The Government have declared their determination to secure action on this report by allocating an additional £15 million to London Regional Transport over the next three years to assist the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.

Lord Gainford

My Lords, I thank my noble friend the Minister for that Answer. The report he mentions is a particularly valuable one. Can he give any outline as to how the £15 million he mentioned will be spent?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, the first problems, the most important problems to be tackled initially, will be the installation of radio facilities for the police at 42 key stations, more and improved closed circuit television monitoring, passenger alarms on the platforms, making staff more accessible to assist the public, and improvements to station environments, including better lighting.

Lord Underhill

My Lords, although the reply of the Minister is encouraging so far as it goes, there are, as he says, 50 recommendations in the report. Can he inform the House how Parliament may be informed of the Government's view on all the 50 recommendations? Would he not agree that it is unfortunate that the trade unions were not part of the working party? The report finds, problems of morale, motivation and training to be overcome if staff are to play a more effective role in preventing and dealing with crime". Will the trade unions now be consulted, particularly in view of that comment?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, I am sure that it will be important to consult the trade unions as we go through the remaining 50 recommendations in the report. As to how Parliament should be informed of their implementation, I am not too sure. I am however sure that should the noble Lord wish to put down a Question at some future date, I could keep him up to date with how we are getting along.

Lord Mishcon

My Lords, will the noble Lord the Minister see to it that proper advertisement is given to these new measures that are going to be carried out with this expenditure of £15 million? It may well serve as a deterrent.

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, I certainly take the point of the noble Lord, Lord Mishcon. I hope that the exchange in your Lordships' House today will add to public awareness of this problem.