HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 cc333-4W
Mr. Randall

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what projects his Department is supporting to combat vandalism in suburban areas. [26941]

Mr. Denham

We are employing a range of measures to combat vandalism. The work of the crime and disorder partnerships, set up under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, in formulating local strategies for the reduction of crime and disorder in their area is crucial in securing local commitment to effective action against vandalism.

Closed circuit television (CCTV) is an effective way to detect and reduce vandalism. Under the crime reduction programme CCTV initiative a potential £170 million has been allocated to 683 CCTV schemes in England and Wales. We introduced neighbourhood wardens and street wardens in suburban areas where they have reduced vandalism. Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts have also been successfully employed to combat vandalism.

The Youth Justice Board has a number of schemes, which focus on the problems of criminal damage such as the Artscape-graffiti Outreach Project, the Youth Inclusion Programme and from next year the Community Payback Scheme. Funding of £13.5 million has been allocated to March 2003 for the Youth Inclusion Programme.

Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further guidance he intends to issue to(a)local authorities and (b)police forces to (i) deal with and (ii) reduce the numbers of instances of disorder and vandalism. [26928]

Mr. Denham

Important guidance for local crime and disorder reduction partnerships on how to deal with anti-social behaviour was issued in January last year in the form of a comprehensive toolkit posted on the Home Office Crime Reduction website which will be kept updated. The Government are also currently providing assistance to all partnerships on the drawing up of their local crime strategies, due by April 2002. Partnerships are required to address the anti-social behaviour problems in their area and have been asked to identify a named person in each local authority district to co-ordinate action on anti-social behaviour.

We also want to see partnerships make use of the full range of measures available to them, such as Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, to deal with these problems. Our extensive review of ASBOs will be published shortly and we are currently proposing further legislative changes in order to streamline the process of applying for ASBOs and extend the circumstances in which they may be granted, to help ensure that local crime and disorder reduction partnerships make maximum use of this measure.

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