HC Deb 27 January 1994 vol 236 cc329-30W
Mr. Peter Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action he proposes to take following consultation on his discussion paper "Crime and the Community"; and if he will make a statement.

Sir John Wheeler

I have considered carefully the response to the discussion paper "Crime and the Community" and am today placing in the Library of the House the details of my proposals for implementing a wide-ranging strategy for dealing with crime in Northern Ireland. In the light of the positive and constructive comments I received on the discussion paper, I propose to commence implementation of the key recommendations in each of the areas identified in the paper. The resulting programme will improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in responding to the problem of crime in the years ahead. It will provide a sound statutory framework and will encourage a range of measures for preventing crime, challenging offending, and protecting victims.

Among the measures with which I propose to proceed are: a community safety strategy encouraging local crime prevention initiatives with community involvement; a pilot scheme for voluntary offence mediation; measures to ensure the appropriate use of cautioning; further action to reduce pre-trial delays;

Police authority 1988–89 GRE 1989–90 GRE 1990–91 SSA 1991–92 SSA 1992–93 SSA 1993–94 SSA 1994–95 Provisional
Avon and Somerset 42,254 46,568 50,802 55,443 63,999 66,489 69,275
Bedfordshire 13,945 15,727 18,039 20,238 25,127 26,498 27,790
Cambridgeshire 16,177 18,017 19,824 21,691 26,516 27,547 28,702
Cheshire 25,729 28,399 30,911 33,986 39,805 41,353 43,087
Cleveland 20,555 22,506 24,640 27,037 31,139 32,350 33,706
Cumbria 15,954 17,467 19,129 21,151 24,609 25,566 26,638
Derbyshire 25,004 27,376 29,670 32,276 38,354 39,846 41,516
Devon and Cornwall 38,963 43,164 47,096 51,536 60,702 63,064 65,706
Dorset 17,223 18,857 20,801 22,879 26,993 28,043 29,218

a statutory framework within which a wider range of penalties for adults and juveniles will be available to the courts; new arrangements aimed at securing better service to the public through improved co-ordination in the criminal justice system; and the publication of more information about the criminal justice system.

Together the measures represent an effective, integrated and relevant response to the problem of crime in Northern Ireland. Their implementation will require the active co-operation and support of a wide range of people both within and beyond the criminal justice system. I intend to continue the process of consultation as the details of these proposals are developed, building on the broad measure of support for the ideas set out in "Crime and Community".