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Early Intervention (Nottingham)

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

11. If he will visit Nottingham to discuss the effect on crime statistics of the city's early intervention programme. (306225)

The Government recognise the importance of early intervention, and I was therefore interested to hear about the good work being done in Nottingham when the Cabinet met there recently. I would be pleased to make a further visit and have also arranged to meet my hon. Friend on 16 December.

Does the Home Secretary agree that we are doing very well—I refer particularly to the crime and drugs partnership in Nottingham—on conventional crime, volume crime, and acquisitive crime which are amenable to better policing, CCTV, better locks and so on, but we still have to work very hard on violent crime, which is often produced by social inadequacy, poor parenting and traumatic experiences in childhood? Does he agree that that is exactly the sort of offending that is amenable to early intervention so that we can grow a generation of young people who are socially and emotionally capable and far less likely to commit violent crime?

I do agree with my hon. Friend; indeed, I pay tribute to the work that he has done with Members in all parts of the House on early intervention. In Nottingham, I saw for myself the family intervention programme working extremely well, and doing so because it takes an holistic approach to the underlying problems that are causing offending in the first place. It is not an easy option: there is a non-negotiable element that the parents of the children involved have to undergo. That is a very important element, and I have never seen it operating any better than in my hon. Friend’s constituency.