§ Mr. Hurd
In their bid to reduce crime, of which burglary is a major element, the Government have increased police manpower by 14,138 and civilian manpower by 8,137 since 1979. The Government are also convinced of the importance of community involvement in tackling crime. That is why we have encouraged neighbourhood watch schemes which can do much to prevent crime. There are now over 66,000 neighbourhood watch schemes in England and Wales covering approximately 3¼ million households. In addition there are 390 crime prevention panels and 165 junior panels which are active in spreading the crime prevention message. In the 12 months to March 1989 burglaries have fallen by 10 per cent. compared with the 12 months to March 1988.
We are constantly looking at new initiatives in our effort to combat crime. One such initiative is the safer cities programme which is the Home Office contribution to the Government's action for cities strategy. We have also launched Crime Concern, an independent organisation, whose efforts are directed at the reduction of crime.