§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what strategies are in place to protect the elderly from becoming the victims of burglary and violent crime; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Denham
[holding answer 3 December 2001]: The Government's Crime Reduction Strategy, which was published in November 1999, set out what we are doing to tackle various crimes including domestic burglary. Our publication "Fighting violent crime together: an action plan" sets out what we are doing to tackle violent crime. Neither is specifically targeted at elderly victims; crime statistics show that the elderly are generally at lower risk of victimisation. However, various initiatives have been aimed specifically at preventing elderly people becoming victims of these types of crime including:A number of projects under the Reducing Burglary Initiative (part of the Crime Reduction Programme) with interventions specifically addressing burglary against the elderly.Over £2 million allocated to three projects specifically designed to combat distraction burglary, which primarily affects the elderly, and a further £1 million for the work of the distraction burglary task force.A home security scheme for pensioners, which provides security checks and, where needed, additional security measures for eligible pensioners.Home Office publicity on crime prevention contains detailed advice to help the elderly reduce the risk of burglary, including burglary by fraudulent callers.
The Government approach to tackling violent crime includes:providing the police with resources in terms of manpower and modern technology to enable them to develop more efficient intelligence-led policing and problem orientated policing;more effective punishment, through the creation of a new sentencing structure;246Wdealing with the root causes of violent crime by looking at measures to divert young people from crime;giving the courts new community disposals to curtail offending behaviour at an early stage;the Crime Reduction expenditure includes Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) schemes to improve personal safety in public areas.