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Vehicle Crime

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress in meeting his target to reduce vehicle crime by 30 per cent. by 2004.[130489]

We have made significant progress towards meeting our target of reducing vehicle crime by 30 per cent. between 1999 and 2004. British Crime Survey estimates based on interviews in the year ended March 2003 (published in July 2003) show 2,366,000 vehicle crimes. This is a reduction of 576,000 offences (20 per cent.) against the 1999 baseline of 2,942,000 offences (published as British Crime Survey 2000).We recognise the importance of driving down vehicle crime still further, and a wide range of work is in progress to this end.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of the national publicity campaign to highlight how to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle crime.[130508]

The campaign, which is now in its fourth year, continues to achieve its objectives of successfully getting across to motorists key car crime prevention messages and engaging "brand partners" (that is, private companies and other organisations) to amplify those messages to their customers and staff.Research shows that 84 per cent. of those sampled recognised the vehicle crime prevention advertising when prompted and, of these, 88 per cent. claimed they made sure that nothing was left on view when they parked in a public place. These are very high rates. In addition, 19 "brand partners" have joined the campaign, undertaking marketing activity to a value of over £3.2 million and extending the reach of the campaign to an equivalent audience of 35 million people.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evaluation has been made of the impact of the pilot exercises, using the DVLA database to communicate car crime prevention measures.[130509]

The initiative was piloted in parts of Bristol, Coventry and Middlesbrough local authority areas for 12 weeks from 28 October 2002. Vehicle crime figures for the precise areas covered by the pilots are not available. But figures for larger areas covering central Bristol and Middlesbrough showed reductions of 22 per cent. and 23 per cent. respectively in the period November 2002-January 2003 when the pilots were running. Coventry's vehicle crime figures showed no change.Recipients of car crime prevention advice in the pilots were sent questionnaires seeking their views on the exercise. A total of 627 recipients responded and 95 per cent. of the responses were supportive. The Association of Chief Police Officers, the Local Government Association and the three local authorities involved all thought the initiative was worthwhile and should be expanded.