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Theft: Computers and Bicycles

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps the Government have taken to reduce computer theft; (177847)

(2) what steps the Government have taken to assist the public in protecting their bicycles from thieves.

[holding answer 14 January 2008]: There has been a strong drive from Government to reduce acquisitive crime since 1997, through targets, policy interventions and good practice development. Acquisitive crime has decreased significantly since the mid 1990s with a 34 per cent. reduction in personal acquisitive crime and a 55 per cent. reduction in household acquisitive crime between 1995 and 2006-07. This is equivalent to around 1 million fewer personal acquisitive crimes and almost 5 million fewer household acquisitive crimes.

Where these particular offences are problems in local areas, the police and other partners such as local authorities, will include them in their strategic assessments and priorities. A good example of local activity is Coventry Community Safety Partnership's work with two universities to purchase 1,000 licences which enable laptops to be tracked if stolen.

Regarding bicycle theft, in 2006 the Home Office published a “Steer Clear of Cycle Theft” leaflet providing crime prevention guidance for owners and law enforcement. Details can be found on the Home Office website (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime-victims/how-you-can-prevent-crime/). This advice includes security marking the cycle; keeping a copy of the details including colour and frame number (and taking a photograph); and, registering the details with a central database.