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Crime Prevention

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 23 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will discuss with chief constables the issuing of guidance to crime prevention officers about visiting all pensioner households to give advice on security and related matters.

Under existing informal arrangements, the Home Office already has regular contacts with the Association of Chief Police Officers about all aspects of crime prevention, and we believe that the need to ensure that there is adequate provision of sensible advice to the elderly about personal and household security issues is already well understood by chief officers. Courses provided for crime prevention officers at the Home Office crime prevention centre include training on the provision of advice to the elderly and how to give it. Such advice can, of course, be provided in various ways and I am aware that a number of police forces have mounted special campaigns, often working with voluntary agencies, to reach the elderly in an effective and sensitive way.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider making grants available to all pensioner households to provide basic household protection; and if he will make a statement.

There are a number of local schemes run, for example, by local authorities or crime prevention panels, for supplying domestic security equipment free or at very low cost to those most in need, primarily pensioner households. Central Government funds provided through the Department of Environment's urban and housing programmes, and the Manpower Services Commission's community programme, are also being used in schemes to make homes more secure.Before instituting any national scheme to provide grants for domestic security, the Government would need to be satisfied that the scheme was the most effective way of improving the security of those in need. In the light of the recommendations on this issue made by the Home Office Standing Conference on Crime Prevention, and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, the ministerial group on crime prevention has been considering what further measures the Government might take, though it is too early to say what the outcome of this consideration will be.