HC Deb 13 July 1995 vol 263 cc692-4W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department are undertaking to limit the number of vehicles stolen. [33577]

Mr. Maclean

Vehicle crime decreased by almost 2 per cent. in 1993 and by 10 per cent. in 1994. This downward trend is encouraging and it would appear that the measures taken by the Department are having an effect.

The Department is addressing vehicle crime in a number of ways, and the following are just a few examples of the work being done by the Home Office.

The prevention of car crime was a central feature of our 1992 car crime prevention year campaign which showed what could be done if car owners, the police, motor manufacturers, the insurance industry, motoring organisations and car park operators made a concerted effort to tackle the problem together.

The Home Office public relations branch produces a range of crime prevention advice leaflets covering crimes committed against different types of vehicles.

Home Office Ministers have asked manufacturers to introduce effective immobilisation systems, deadlocking, and visible vehicle identification numbers; and the Home Office police scientific and development branch has provided free technical advice to manufacturers on how to do this.

The Home Office has worked closely with the Department of Transport to ensure that the British standards on vehicle security we wanted were incorporated into the compulsory EC directive 74/61.

The Department supports the work of SOLD SECURE, an Association of Chief Police Officers-backed organisation which tests the effectiveness of vehicle security devices for older cars and publicises details of approved products; and also the Vehicle Security Installation Board, which publishes lists of approved installers of security products.

The Home Office also supports schemes designed to prevent young people turning to crime, and a great deal is being done in this area through motor projects and other diversionary schemes.

The Home Office has already taken action to deal with offenders. The Aggravated Vehicle-Taking Act 1992 demonstrates our determination to deal with the menace posed by those who take cars and cause damage, injury or death.

Work to reduce vehicle crime is informed by regular Home Office research; and is taken forward by the vehicle crime prevention group whose members are drawn from the police, motor manufacturers, dealers, the insurance industry, motoring organisations and Government Departments.

Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vehicles were stolen in the United Kingdom for each of the last 10 years. [33576]

Mr. Maclean

The available information relates to offences of theft of a motor vehicle recorded by the police in England and Wales. This information is published in table 2.19 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1993" (Cm 2680) and in table 6 of Home Office statistical bulletin 5/95; copies of both these publications are in the Library. Information on Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the Secretary of State for each Department.