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Neighbourhood Crime Monitoring

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what resources were made available to (a) Neighbourhood Watch and (b) farm watchers (i) in England and (ii) in the Vale of York in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement; (116510)

(2) what follow-up there is to reports of suspicious activities by farm watchers in rural areas by vehicles whose registration numbers are posted to the police for this purpose.

The Home Office does not provide direct funding to Neighbourhood Watch and other Watch schemes. However, in the last three years, the Home Office has provided free literature to Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch schemes, a training pack for co-ordinators, a website providing information and news plus a discussion forum, and public liability insurance for Neighbourhood Watch activities. A national conference was organised for Neighbourhood Watch members in March 2005.

Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Vale of York have access to these resources.

Farm Watches are voluntary organisations similar to Neighbourhood Watch schemes, set up where needed in rural areas. The Home Office does not provide any resources specific to Farm Watch, although generic Neighbourhood Watch literature and advice can be adapted.

Response by police reports from Farm Watches will vary depending on local issues, control strategies, response plans, tactical assessments, circumstances, and availability of resources. When given reports of suspicious vehicles, the police may check the Police National Computer, which may indicate any stolen, or other vehicle interest markers and any other previous police checks. Further checks can then be made and the result of these checks and the circumstances would influence local police response.