asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any research is being conducted by his Department into the number of violent attacks occurring in Bedfordshire in 1979 and the reasons why they have risen substantially, as evidenced by the chief constable's report for 1979.
The 270 per cent. increase, which represents an annual percentage change of about 14 per cent., reflects the substantial increase in offences of violence against the person in England and Wales as a whole. While I deplore that increase, I do not think that the situation in Bedfordshire is so exceptional as to justify research directed specifically to it. As my hon. Friend knows, the Government are giving priority to measures against crime and are providing for an increase in real terms in expenditure for that purpose. I hope that Bedfordshire will benefit from these measures along with other parts of the country.