§ Mr. Barry Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what measures his Department operates to combat car crime on housing estates; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what measures his Department operates to combat break-ins on housing estates; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
Proposals for improving household security are eligible for consideration as crime prevention measures under the urban programme; any local authority in Wales may submit a bid. Projects which have received support recently include "Cardiff Safe and Secure" initiative, and improvements to the security of the communal areas of flats on the Sandfields estates in Port Talbot. Funds made available to victim support schemes have also on occasion been used to improve household security. In addition, under the Welsh Office elderly initiative scheme some £315,000 is being made available over a three-year period to support a project in Mid Glamorgan that is designed to improve the safety and well-being of senior citizens living in their own homes. In addition to providing improved door and window locks, and door viewers, the projects entails the provision of advice to the elderly on how to deal with bogus officials and confidence tricksters.
In June last year my right hon. Friend was pleased to perform the launch of "Secured by Design" in Wales. This is a major initiative promoted by the police to encourage house builders to incorporate improved crime prevention features in houses when they are built.
Security of council houses is a matter in the first instance for councils to address in assessing their priorities. It is open to tenants, subject to their landlords' permission, to make home security improvements.
As concerns car crime, the Welsh Office has supported the introduction of vehicle watch, which is a major police initiative to combat theft of vehicles and articles from them. Also, consideration is currently being given to supporting projects under the urban programme which are designed to divert young people from becoming engaged in car crime.