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Street Crime

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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What new measures he intends to bring forward to tackle street crime. [109768]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
(Mr. Bob Ainsworth)

The street crime initiative is ongoing. It covers measures such as crime reduction, resettlement of offenders, faster court processes, education and summer activities, as well as police activity to deal with offenders. In the first six months, street crime fell by 16 per cent. in the areas covered, and £25 million of additional money has been allocated to support continued operations against it.

On Friday night, I broke up a fight in which six youths were kicking to pulp another youth outside Benfleet police station in my constituency. There was not a policeman to be found. Does the Under-Secretary accept that the only way in which to tackle street crime, and get on top of crime generally. is to provide the 40,000 additional police officers that only the Conservatives will deliver?

All those that the Conservative party did not provide when it was in government for many years, presiding over a doubling of crime. The street crime initiative has been a phenomenal success and led to substantial reductions in robbery and snatch thefts in the areas covered. We intend to keep it up.