HL Deb 24 October 1972 vol 335 cc2133-4WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What preventive action they are taking against the increase of assaults and robberies in public places and in particular whether they will take the following steps in areas where these offences are prevalent:

  1. (a) Recruit additional special constables;
  2. (b) Strengthen the Youth Employment Service;
  3. (c) Improve training facilities for the unskilled;
  4. (d) Start long-term work to break the cycle of deprivation especially in areas of housing stress and educational priority.


Her Majesty's Government are continuing to give high priority to measures to strengthen the police and to improve their equipment and efficiency, and arrangements are made as necessary by chief officers of police to increase police activity in troublesome areas. As regards the specific measures suggested by the noble Lord the position is as follows:

  1. (a) Recruitment of special constables is a local responsibility, although publicity material is provided by the Home Office. Chief constables are doing all they can to stimulate recruitment.
  2. (b) The Government will continue their policy of giving additional resources to the Youth Employment Service, particularly in those areas of the country where unemployment among young people is a matter of local and national concern;
  3. (c) In 1972 over 30,000 people will have been trained, compared with some 18,000 in 1971. Within this expansion special efforts have been directed at increasing the number of places available at Government training centres for the popular trades.
  4. 2134
  5. (d) The last part of the Question raises issues about a wide range of social problems and their interaction. Her Majesty's Government have pressed on with the Urban Programme and have taken a number of other initiatives in relation to urban problems. There has been a special study of problems in educational priority areas, and the first part of the report of this study has just been published. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Social Services is engaged in discussions with the Social Services Research Council and others about the cycle of deprivation.