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Volume 506: debated on Tuesday 2 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. (315300)

The Home Office has introduced a range of policies and initiatives since 2000. However, it is not always possible to quantify their effects particularly at constituency level. The available statistical information therefore relates to the Gateshead crime and disorder reduction partnership area.

In terms of police recorded crime in Gateshead, between 2002-03 and 2008-09, total recorded crime fell by 41 per cent. More specifically:

Violence against the person—down 36 per cent;

Sexual offences—down 37 per cent;

Robbery—down 68 per cent;

Burglary—down 50 per cent;

Offences against vehicles—down 49 per cent;

Other theft offences—down 38 per cent;

Criminal damage—down 36 per cent;

Drug offences—down 40 per cent.

Data prior to 2002-03 are not directly comparable because of the introduction of the national crime recording standard in April 2002.

Gateshead basic command unit had 443 police officers as at 30 March 2009. The number of police officers has increased by 33 since 2003. Comparisons with 2000 for Gateshead BCU are not available. There were 35 police community support officers as at 30 March 2009 while there were none in existence in 2000.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 saw positive effects with the statutory duty to create a crime and disorder reduction partnership (CDRP).

Gateshead CDRP is a merged CDRP/drug and alcohol action team and forms part of the local strategic partnership sub-group safer stronger communities and culture partnership. There is a genuine partnership with police, local authority and other key stakeholders problem solving to tackle complex issues.

Generally crime performance is positive. The overall rate of violence with injury per 1,000 population is lower than the regional and national averages.

Gateshead, as part of Northumbria police force, has been part of the Tackling Knives Action Programme in 2009-10. This has provided additional funding for prevention and education activity on knife crime and serious youth violence, as well as additional enforcement operations. The partnership has have also received funding and support from the Home Office and Ministry of Justice to tackle domestic and sexual violence including the development of multi area risk assessment conference (MARAC), a special domestic violence court (SDVC) and associated independent domestic violence advisers (IDVA).

Safer Gateshead uses antisocial behaviour tools and powers effectively. It is currently reviewing its delivery to provide a graded approach to ASB with a focus on early intervention.

Gateshead agreed to become a Neighbourhood Crime and Justice Pioneer Area in 2009. As a pioneer, it has dedicated resource to work with its communities to address local concerns on crime, antisocial behaviour and justice. The partnership uses Community Payback effectively as part of this approach.

Gateshead is an intensive drug intervention programme (DIP) area and tackles drug-related offending through drug-testing on arrest and restriction on bail provisions thereby allowing more offenders to be targeted and steered into treatment and out of crime. Gateshead's DIP budget for 2009-10 is £637,363. In 2008-09 there were 2,255 positive drug tests with 945 problem drug users (crack and/or opiate users) recorded as being in effective drug treatment.

The Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at: