HC Deb 08 February 2001 vol 362 cc669-70W
Charlotte Atkins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to Staffordshire, Moorlands constituency, the effects on Staffordshire, Moorlands of his Department's policies and actions (a) since 2 May 1997 and (b) in the 12 months ending on 1 May 1997. [149194]

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 1999–2000, is available in the Library.

The impact of Home Office policies and actions is not normally examined by constituency and the statistics which the Department collects cannot be matched in the way requested, although set out are examples relating to the Staffordshire, Moorlands constituency or the immediate locality.

Staffordshire police have provided the following information on the overall number of recorded crimes in the Staffordshire Moorlands East and West areas:

  • Year ended 31 March 1997—6,460
  • Year ended 30 September 2000—6,525.

These figures are not, however, directly comparable as there was a change in counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998, which laid more emphasis on measurement of one crime per victim, and also expanded the coverage of offences. It has been estimated that the change in counting rules increased the number of recorded crimes counted nationally, over England and Wales as a whole, by 14 per cent.

Under the Crime Reduction Programme there is a Staffordshire-wide project running under the Targeted Policing Initiative (TPI) dealing with prolific offenders. The amount awarded for this project is £529,000.

More generally, all of the policies of the Home Office will impact on the residents of Staffordshire, Moorlands 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 66,195 by the end of December 2000; 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.