HC Deb 22 October 2001 vol 373 c84W
Adam Price

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he intends implementing to combat the rise in street robberies in the year ending March 2001. [6405]

Mr. Denham

We remain determined to reduce the number of robberies, and have set a challenging target of a 14 per cent. reduction in robbery in our principal cities by March 2005. The rate of increase in recorded robbery fell from 26 per cent. to 13 per cent. in the 12 months to March 2001. The five metropolitan forces have been set individual robbery reduction targets under the best value framework, and have been given an additional £20 million specifically to assist their efforts in tackling robbery and to enhance those targets. Almost three-quarters of all robberies are committed in these five metropolitan areas.

The additional funds have enabled those forces to introduce a number of new initiatives and to reinforce good practice. These include the targeting of hotspots (including transport routes) and offenders based on better intelligence, higher visibility of uniformed officers on the street, mobile closed circuit television vans, a range of publicity measures, improved recording, scene of crime management, investigation and identification techniques; youth diversion measures, the creation of safe routes into city centres, and targeted anti-mobile phone theft campaigns.

We are also working at a national level with the mobile phone industry to tackle mobile phone theft, which accounts for a significant proportion of robberies. In July we published a crime prevention leaflet distributed via police forces and retail outlets, and we are continuing to press the industry to enhance the security of their products and services.