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Crime Prevention: Wales

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 10 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to reduce crime rates in Wales. (316221)

Total recorded crime in Wales fell by 3 per cent. in 2008-09 compared with 2007-08. Violence against the person fell by 4 per cent. and domestic burglary by 7 per cent. According to quarterly statistics released in January 2010, total recorded crime in Wales fell by 3 per cent., violence against the person by 2 per cent. and domestic burglary by 6 per cent. in the 12 months to September 2009 as compared to September 2008.

These falls have been supported by investment in preventive measures to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.

Wales received £317,748 in 2009-10 as part of the Safer Homes programme to provide target hardening to 3,500 vulnerable properties identified through local intelligence. Wales received a further £384,208 investment in the same period through the Small Retailers Capital Fund to help enhance the security of vulnerable local businesses.

A strong focus on alcohol-related violent crime has revolved around the introduction of a formal and structured programme of complementary projects such as Taxi Marshalling. HOCTiW is leading the ‘Health and Crime Data Sharing Initiative’ which aims to improve the sharing of A and E data with all Community Safety Partnerships across Wales through the roll out of the Cardiff model. They have also initiated a data exchange programme between the Welsh Ambulance Service and all Community Safety Partnerships in Wales. These initiatives will contribute to providing a better understanding of violence and more effective targeting of resources to tackle violent crime.

Knife crime offences are low within Wales compared to other parts of the UK. Therefore energy is being concentrated on preventative work with young people. South Wales police, funded by the Home Office, have engaged young people to produce an interactive, educational DVD ‘At Life Point’, targeted at 11 to 18-year-olds, aimed at increasing awareness of the effects and consequences of carrying knives.

Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) are embedded throughout Wales which enables key statutory and voluntary organisations to work together to increase the safety, health and well-being of victims, adults and their children and reduce repeat victimisations.

In order to reduce drug misuse the Home Office and Welsh Assembly Government are working together to deliver the Tough Choices Project, which went live on 1 April 2009. By facilitating offenders engagement and retention in treatment, these measures will reduce the amount of crime that is committed by offenders in order to fund their drug misuse. British Crime Survey results show that the proportion of people who perceive there to be a high level of drug use or drug dealing in Wales has fallen in the 12 months to Sept ember 2009 compared with the 12 months to September 2008.

The Home Office Crime Team in Wales (HOCTiW) has driven and facilitated improvements in priority and prolific offenders (PPO) schemes across Wales by a variety of methods including PPO walkthroughs, securing capital funding to establish co-location of key agencies and IT case management systems.

South Wales has adopted the i-NSI approach to increase public confidence. This relates to an innovative community engagement methodology designed to deliver a richer community intelligence picture of neighbourhoods and their problems. Based upon a software package written specifically for the purpose, the approach allows front-line staff to diagnose the signal crimes and signal disorders that are driving insecurity at the local level. The recently published British Crime Survey figures show that the proportion of people in South Wales who agree that the police and local councils are dealing with the ASB and crime issues that matter in their area is statistically significantly higher in the 12 months to Sept ember 2009 compared to the 12 months to September 2008.