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Crime Reduction And Drugs

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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

I am pleased to announce that we are putting in place a single, flexible crime fighting fund to help local agencies better tackle crime and drug-related crime. The new Building Safer Communities fund brings together into a single funding stream funding that was previously provided through three separate crime reduction programmes: the Communities Against Drugs Programme (CAD), the Safer Communities Initiative (SCI) and the Partnership Development Fund (PDF).Funding for these three programmes in 2003—04, and hence for the new single fund, formed part of the package of funding to tackle crime and drug-related crime, amounting to £190.2 million in total, announced by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 21 January 2003. Ninety four million pounds of this funding was for use by the 376 Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) and Drug Action Teams (DATs) across the country to help them tackle crime and drugs in their communities. £82.3 million of this is now being made available to CDRPs under the Building Safer Communities Fund and the remainder, separately, to DATs.In announcing the new funding for CAD, the SCI and the PDF in January, the Home Secretary indicated that he wished to consult with local groups—those at the sharp end, including CDRPs, DATs, voluntary groups and national bodies concerned with crime reduction—about whether they wished to see a merger of these programmes in order to reduce the bureaucratic burden on them, thereby allowing them to concentrate on delivery rather than paperwork. There was clear support for the idea of a merger and a "single pot" of funding but a strong wish to ensure that the level of drugs spend was maintained.Practitioners have been aware for some time that plans were being drawn up for this new fund, and activities are already well under way to spend the money, with many already drawing down grant and progressing their work. My Department will today be issuing administrative guidance on how the new fund will operate and formal conditions of grant.This is a three year funding programme and CDRPs can expect to receive the same levels of funding in 2004–05 and 2005–06. My officials are devising monitoring procedures to ensure that accountability at CDRP level for their spend, including that on drugs crime, is fully preserved, and that the balance of spend between the different aims of the CAD programme is maintained.