§ Mr. Michael
The Crime and Disorder Bill will place a joint obligation on local authorities and the police service to develop strategies for reducing crime and disorder in each district, borough and unitary local authority area in England and Wales. Where the two tier structure of local Government still exists, county councils will have an obligation to participate in this process on an equal basis.
The Bill will also give the Home Secretary power to designate by Order other key local agencies which must be involved. At county level or wider, these are likely to include police authorities, probation committees and health authorities.
Nothing in the Bill will prevent the developments (or continuation) of county-based co-ordination of the district strategies if that is what the partners locally want. The legal obligation, however, will be to produce strategies based on district, borough and unitary authority areas.
§ Mr. Michael
Crime Prevention Panels and their equivalent for young people, known as Youth Action Groups, have done some enormously valuable work over the years. I am determined that the knowledge and experience which they have amassed should not be lost as we move towards the creation of new statutory crime prevention partnerships. Some Crime Prevention Panels may merge into the new partnerships; that will be a matter for local decision. But where they do not, we intend to 363W require the local authorities and the police, in discharging their new obligations, to invite them—along with a wide variety of other agencies—to participate in the process.