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Government Intelligence Agency Network

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the (a) establishment and (b) functioning of the Government Intelligence Agency Network. [107296]

It is understood that this question refers to the work being done to reduce crime.The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 established partnerships between the police, local authorities, probation service, health authorities, the voluntary sector, and local residents and businesses. These Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships now include other groups including police authorities.These partnerships are working to reduce crime and disorder in their area by:

consulting widely with communities to make sure that the partnership's perception matches that of local people, especially minority groups, such as members of ethnic minorities, young people or gay men and lesbians.
devising a strategy containing measures to tackle those priority problems. This is to include targets, and target owners for each of the priority areas.

The strategy lasts for three years, but must be kept under review by the partnership.

Stemming from the strategy are various projects and schemes, some of which will be very local and some of which will be borough, area or even region-wide. Funding is provided to support this work. Over £3.2 million has been allocated to Northumbria for 2003–04 with £269,920 going to Gateshead Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and £226,489 to the Police Basic Command Units covering Washington and Gateshead East.

Police numbers have also increased. In September 2002 Northumbria had 329 more officers than in March 1997, an overall total of 4,006. This was a record number.

In addition to local initiatives there are also a number of national initiatives, which help to tackle local crime problems such as those on street crime, drugs including drug treatment and vehicle crime.