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Crime Reduction

Volume 168: debated on Wednesday 28 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the achievements of Her Majesty's Government in reducing crime since June 1987.

The measures which we have taken to reduce crime since 1979 are set out in my reply today to another question from my hon. and learned Friend. Comparing the 12 months to September 1989—the most recent period for which figures are available—with the 12 months to September 1987, the number of offences recorded by the police has fallen from 3,893,000 to 3,779,000, a decrease of 3 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the steps taken by Her Majesty's Government since 1979 to reduce crime.

Since 1979 we have increased police manpower by 24,000 (including civilians). We have given the courts the powers they need by increasing the maximum penalties for certain offences, and by making provision for the confiscation of profits made by drug traffickers and other criminals. We have prohibited certain firearms and other weapons, and taken steps to control the possession of knives in public places.Following the successful five towns initiative in 1986, we have set up a safer cities programme to co-ordinate crime prevention activity in high-crime inner-city areas. We have undertaken a number of substantial crime prevention publicity campaigns and over 3 million copies of the crime prevention handbook "Practical Ways to Crack Crime" have been distributed. An independent organisation, Crime Concern, was set up with Home Office assistance in 1988, with the objective of supporting and developing local crime prevention activity.