HC Deb 05 April 2001 vol 366 cc252-4W
Mr. Levitt

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effects on the High Peak constituency of his Department's policies and actions since May 1997. [156784]

Mr. Charles Clarke

The Home Office is working to build a safe, just and tolerant society in which the rights and responsibilities of individuals, families and communities are properly balanced, and the protection and security of the public are maintained. Detailed information on the impact of Home Office policies across the full range of responsibilities is set out in Home Office Annual Reports. A copy of the most recent report, Home Office Annual Report 2000–01, is available in the Library. Information on recorded crime and policing is also published. "Recorded Crime England and Wales, 12 months to September 2000" and "Police Service Strength England and Wales, 30 September 2000" can be found in the Library.

The recorded crime statistics include information on recorded crime by Basic Command Unit and Crime and Disorder partnerships.

The impact of Home Office policies and actions is not normally examined by constituency and the statistics which the Department collects, such as recorded crime, cannot be matched in the way requested, although set out are examples relating to the High Peak constituency or the immediate locality:

Targeted Policing Initiative

Derbyshire Constabulary were awarded £317,000 under round two of the Targeted Policing Initiative for a project which includes: mapping of the drug markets, identifying key routes and routes of supply, analysing information about the market and the production of an individual strategy for each market. The mapping of drug markets will allow for the creation of a dynamic approach to tackling the problem.

Derbyshire police, in partnership with other forces, were awarded £90,000 under round two of the Targeted Policing Initiative for a project focusing on distraction burglary. The project will undertake research into the distraction burglary problem, its true extent, how offenders target victims and how offenders can be deterred once they have selected a potential target.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

High Peak borough council was awarded approximately £61,000 for a three-camera scheme covering Whaley Bridge town centre. The scheme aims to reduce the number of assaults by 11 per cent. and burglary and criminal damage by 20 per cent. over three years. It also intends to reduce the fear of crime in the town centre.

High Peak borough council has two bids shortlisted for further consideration totalling over £192,000 under round two of the initiative. These bids, if successful will be to extend the Buxton CCTV system and to provide a High Peak Mobile CCTV system.

Youth Offending

High Peak is covered by the Derbyshire Youth Offending Team (YOT). The Government have introduced multi-agency YOTs to deliver local youth justice services and work with young offenders and those at risk. These teams have been in operation across the country since 1 April 2000.

The Derbyshire YOT is providing Appropriate Adult services for young people when interviewed by police and has dealt with 242 requests for their services between April and December 2000. The Derbyshire YOT is utilising the ASSET assessment system in order to ensure intervention work is effectively targeted at the personal, family, social, educational and health problems that contribute to the causes of a young person's offending behaviour. The health staff attached to the YOT are carrying out basic assessments of young offenders for substance misuse and, where appropriate, referring them on to specialist substance misuse services for young people.

The police officers seconded to the Derbyshire and Derby City YOT have delivered 50 training sessions on the final warning scheme to over 1,200 police officers in order to ensure consistency of police assessment and referral to the YOTs. More than 12 community reparation schemes have been established throughout Derbyshire in order to allow the YOTs to deliver victim-offender mediation services. There is a wide range of activities available to meet the needs of the young person and provide opportunities for further development through accredited training and skills.

Derbyshire is benefiting from the Youth Justice Board's (YJB) development fund which has awarded grants of approximately £613,000 over three years for two bail support schemes and two intervention programmes in the county.

The Derbyshire YOT also received funding from the YJB and the Home Office Crime Reduction Programme to run a Splash scheme during the summer holidays in 2000. The scheme provided various activity schemes for young people most at risk of offending in four wards of Bolsover. This resulted in a marked reduction in nuisance calls and offending in the local area.

The Derbyshire YOT is also benefiting from funding from the National Lottery to operate a community sports initiative in Clay Cross. The initiative is currently being implemented.

More generally, all of the policies of the Home Office will impact on the residents of High Peak to a greater or lesser extent. For example:

  • 376 Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships have been established;
  • racial harassment and racially motivated crimes have been made criminal offences by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998;
  • the asylum backlog has been cut from 103,495 at the end of January 2000 to 49,690 by the end of February 2001; and
  • good progress is being made in reducing the incidence of fire deaths in England and Wales. They have dropped from 605 in 1997 to 534 in 1999

Information on the Home Office and its policies is also published on its website www.homeoffice.gov.uk.