§ 34. Mr. Wheeler
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further steps he will take to reduce autocrime; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The working group set up by the Home Office standing conference on crime prevention to consider car security is now following up the recommendations made in its report published last November. The group recognised that the prevention of autocrime is most amenable to initiatives by vehicle manufacturers and security measures by the motorist.
The most significant initiative with which the group has been associated is the production of a British standard on vehicle security, the first part of which was launched towards the end of last year. This seeks to define, for the first time, standards for the performance and use of equipment intended to prevent or deter unauthorised entry into or removal of a motor vehicle. The first part of the standard deals with mechanical locking systems, arid further parts will deal with glazing and the protection of in-car entertainment equipment. We are seeking to have the British standard adopted as the basis of a European directive.
As most autocrime offences are committed by casual criminals preying on unprotected and vulnerable cars, we are continuing our efforts to persuade the motorist to be more security conscious. For example, autocrime features again in this year's "Magpies" campaign and the DVLC is resuming the distribution of car security advice leaflets with licence reminders.
We shall continue to urge motor manufacturers to improve the advice on car security which they give to car owners.