HC Deb 24 February 1999 vol 326 cc324-5W
Mr. Maclean

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what systems he has in place to ensure that policies being developed by his Department are subject to a crime impact (a) assessment and (b) audit and are not likely to lead to enhanced criminal opportunities. [72684]

Mr. Michael

The Welsh Office will play a full part in arrangements across Government to drive forward initiatives on crime reduction led by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. My Department with its multifunctional remit routinely take account of cross-cutting issues as part of policy development and I have made it clear that our contribution to the reduction of crime and disorder has high priority.

The Welsh Office is also taking a close interest in the audit reports and emerging strategies of the local crime and disorder reduction partnerships in Wales and considering the implications of these for wider policy development.

The recent Audit Commission report "Safety in Numbers—Promoting Community Safety" cited the Green Paper "Better Health—Better Wales" as an example of good practice in drawing out the connections between the effects of crime and people's health and well-being. This report made a number of recommendations to central Government, which I will be considering. These include monitoring and assessing good practice and ensuring a corporate approach across central Government. I have stressed the Government's expectations that all public organisations will contribute to crime reduction, and I have stressed the responsibilities of local government in Wales with the full support of the Welsh Local Government Association.

I have stressed the role of the NHS in Wales and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary recently joined me to visit the accident and emergency unit in Cardiff where hospital staff, police and victim support have joined in a project to reduce violence. All public bodies in Wales are being encouraged to take a similarly creative approach.

Forward to