§ 13. Mr. McKelvey
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the 1984 crime figures released by his Department.
§ 30. Mr. Bermingham
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to deal with the increase in crime shown by the 1984 figures.
§ 33. Mr. Haynes
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to combat the rising crime rate.
§ Mr. Brittan
Recorded crime in England and Wales increased by 8 per cent. in 1984, following a reduction of one per cent. in 1983. This is a disappointing figure, which makes it all the more important to continue pursuing our clear strategy of strengthening the police, extending the prison building programme, and having a penal policy designed to ensure and maintain public confidence in the criminal justice system.
§ 32. Mr. Fatchett
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the rise in crime and the fall in the clear up rate of crime shown by the figures released by his Department for 1984.
§ Mr. Mellor
On the first part of the question I refer the hon. Member to the reply given earlier today to a question from the hon. Member for Kilmarnock. On the second266W part, although it is disappointing that the proportion of offences cleared up has fallen in relation to the total recorded, the police cleared up more crimes in 1984 than in any previous year. Vigorous action is being taken to increase the effectiveness of the police in this and other aspects of their duties.
§ 43. Mr. Ashton
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the increased number of violent assaults recorded in England and Wales during 1984.
§ Mr. Mellor
Statistical bulletin 6/85 published by the Department on 12 March shows that the police recorded about 114,000 offences of violence against the person in 1984, 3 per cent. more than in 1983. This increase is less than the increase in recorded crime as a whole but any offence of this kind is a serious matter and my right, hon. and learned Friend has made clear his determination to give all possible support to the police in preventing and detecting such offences and in ensuring confidence in the sentences which the courts impose on those who are convicted. Action in all these areas is being vigorously pursued.
Mr. John Mark Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about crime statistics for the West Midlands county.
§ Mr. Mellor
The number of notifiable offences recorded by the police force in each police area in 1984 was published on 12 March in Home Office Statistical Bulletin, 6/85. Between 1983 and 1984 the number of notifiable offences recorded by the West Midlands police increased by 8 per cent., the same percentage increase as for England and Wales as a whole.