§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what strategy he has for ensuring that all council and housing association tenants have a secure environment; and what funds are being allocated to it. 686W
Mr. Robert Ainsworth
[holding answer 27 February 2001]: An important part of the Government's regeneration and neighbourhood renewal strategy is to tackle anti-social behaviour and promote community safety at grass roots level. Neighbourhood Wardens form a key part of the Government's partnership approach to tackling crime and disorder, working with the community, police, local authorities, housing associations and other agencies to reduce crime and the fear of crime and to promote safer and more secure communities.
My Department and the Home Office have jointly allocated £18.5 million until 2003–04 for the Neighbourhood Warden programme. Some of the wardens will perform a "supercaretaker" role on estates; others will have a patrolling function. Both roles will provide a sense of security and personal contact with residents.
More widely, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires local authorities and the police to establish district based crime and disorder reduction partnerships, to develop and implement local strategies for reducing crime and disorder. Each strategy is informed by evidence drawn from an audit of crime and disorder in the locality in consultation with the local community. The recently appointed crime reduction directors in each of the English regions and Wales will be managing the Partnership Development Fund announced as part of the Spending Review 2000 which provides for £3 million in this financial year with a further £20 million in each of the next three financial years. The purpose of the fund is to support the partnership process and to develop improved and more effective ways of working.