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Railways (Crime Prevention)

Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he was consulted by the Strategic Rail Authority before the suspension of the Rail Passenger Partnership schemes between local authorities and train companies intended to reduce crime and public fears in and around railway stations; and if he will make a statement. [106886]

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport was consulted by the Strategic Rail Authority on its decision to suspend the Rail Passenger Partnership funding scheme to new bids. The SRA does not intend to terminate the RPP scheme but for the present the focus will be on seeing through existing commitments and approvals.Where RPP funding is used to provide improved facilities and better access at railway stations, this may provide residual benefits in reducing crime at these locations. Also, both the Strategic Rail Authority and the Department are continuing to encourage further accreditations under the secure stations scheme. The scheme is specifically designed to improve and standardise good security practices at railway stations.