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Crimes of Violence: Crime Prevention

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government is taking to reduce the incidence of (a) knife crime, (b) gun crime and (c) violent crime. (187447)

On 18 February 2008, the Home Office published ‘Saving Lives. Reducing Harm. Protecting the Public. An Action Plan for Tackling Violence 2008-11’. This sets out cross-Government work to reduce the most serious violent and sexual offences, and to ensure an effective and efficient response by the Criminal Justice System in bringing offenders to justice where they do occur. It includes actions to reduce knife crime, in particular involving young people, gun crime and gang-related violence.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government has taken to reduce violent crime since 1997. (188410)

[holding answer 22 February 2008]: The Government have undertaken a wide-ranging programme to tackle violent crime which has resulted in a reduction of 31 per cent. since 1997.

For example, through the Tackling Violent Crime Programme, the Home Office has been working intensively with practitioners in a small number of local areas with high levels of more serious violent crime, to support their efforts to reduce alcohol-related crime and domestic violence, to improve police and other agencies’ performance and partnership working, and to improve local strategies. The Tackling Gangs Action Programme is also working in four cities (London, Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham) to tackle gangs and associated issues, in particular firearms.

As a further example, in the context of domestic violence, we have developed the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) process, whereby a range of agencies work together to share information about known domestic violence victims and develop co-ordinated multi-agency action plans to reduce the risk of repeat victimisation. In Cardiff, an independent evaluation has shown that MARACs there have cut repeat victimisation from over 30 per cent. to below 10 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what resources have been committed to the delivery of the Action Plan for Tackling Violence 2008-11. (188824)

Tackling violence is core business for the police and other agencies. In 2007-08, the Home Office has made over £7.5 billion available for spending on policing, crime reduction, antisocial behaviour and drug misuse in England and Wales.

In addition to this core funding, some extra resources will be committed to the delivery of the Tackling Violence Action Plan. Funding details have not been finalised, but will include a new £1 million campaign to challenge the ‘glamour’, fear and peer pressure that can drive youngsters to knife crime. More than £20 million will be made available over the next three years to support the rollout of multi-agency interventions and information sharing, involving local police, council and health workers across the country to manage and identify people at risk of committing serious violence as well as providing support for victims. We will also be providing resources for other actions in the plan.