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Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the performance of local authority areas in England and Wales in implementation of local crime and disorder reduction audits against objectives; and which local authorities were found to have the best audits in terms of (a) clarity, (b) mapping and (c) methodology in the last year for which details are available. (218536)

Following a review of the partnerships provisions of the Crime and Disorder 1998 Act, the duties to produce three yearly audits and to report annually to the Secretary of State on a partnership's work and progress were repealed in 2007. They were replaced by new statutory requirements in 2007 to introduce minimum standards for partnership working based on six hallmarks of effective partnerships, providing clear statements of the core functions of crime and disorder reduction partnership or community safety partnership in Wales. These include producing a strategic assessment identifying local community safety priorities and a partnership plan which sets out the approach for addressing these priorities. Partnerships have a duty to publish a summary of the partnership plan in a format of their choice but in a way that makes it available to diverse groups in their communities.

We do not intend to introduce a compliance regime to oversee the implementation of the standards or the hallmarks. However, we will want to carry out a programme to review whether or not the statutory requirements of national minimum standards are in place and produce a preliminary report later in 2008.

We are also developing a self-evaluation toolkit so that partnerships can identify their own areas for improvement. Regional Government offices are also available to offer advice and assistance to partnerships and we are taking forward work with the Association of Chief Police Officers on how best to make available local crime information including mapping.