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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 evidence relating as closely as possible to Feltham and Heston constituency, the effects on the Department's policies since 1997. (316672)

The Home Office has introduced a range of policies and initiatives since 1997. However, it is not always possible to quantify their effects particularly at constituency level. Feltham and Heston comes within the Hounslow Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership. The available statistical information therefore relates to the London borough of Hounslow at either CDRP or Basic Command Unit level.

In terms of police recorded crime in the Hounslow CDRP, between 2002-03 and 2008-09, total recorded crime fell by 28 per cent. More specifically:

Violence against the person - down 22 per cent.

Sexual offences - down 30 per cent.

Robbery - down 27 per cent.

Burglary - down 23 per cent.

Offences against vehicles - down 45 per cent.

Other theft offences - down 24 per cent.

Criminal damage - down 42 per cent.

Drug offences - up 160 per cent [up 12 per cent. in last year] (there has been increased recording of drug offences which was mainly attributable to the increased use of police powers to issue cannabis warnings).

Data prior to 2002-03 is not directly comparable because of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. Additionally, no data at borough level is available prior to 1998-99.

Hounslow BCU had 518 police officers as at 30 March 2009. The number of police officers has increased by 51 since 2003. Comparisons with 1997 for Hounslow BCU are not available. There were 98 Police Community Support Officers as at 30 March 2009 while there were none in existence in 1997.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 saw positive effects with the statutory duty to create a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP). The CDRP has brought new ways of working in a cross-cutting way with the police, council and other key stakeholders and genuine partnership working to help tackle complex issues.

Along with the CDRP came the development of Safer Neighbourhood initiatives where there is now a dedicated police resource in each of the 20 wards of Hounslow which were not in place in 1997. Of the 20 Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) there are five in the Heston and Feltham wards, East, Central and West Heston and North and West Feltham. A more recent development is the Neighbourhood Community Safety Co-ordinators (NCSC). Part of the CDRPs pledge is to strengthen the work around community safety. This has included creating a new team of NCSCs, of which there are five: one covers Heston and Cranford and another covers Feltham. These co-ordinators are co-located at police stations throughout the borough. These officers will take a lead role in co-ordinating work around reducing crime, anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drugs by working with partners and residents in a designated area in the borough. (These officers have recently been recruited and Hounslow plans to launch the initiative in March.)

Before 1997 there were no bespoke powers to tackle anti-social behaviour but there are now a range of powers to deal with this issue. These include Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), and Designated Public Places Orders (DPPOs) from the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.

Hounslow is working hard tackling areas where there are poor perceptions of ASB especially where "rubbish and litter is lying around" and "vandalism/graffiti" is concerned. Hounslow have done a lot of work in this area over the past year and are confident of having better results in the 2010 Place Survey.

Another of Hounslow's CDRP pledges is to "introduce CCTV to more parts of the borough". They are providing a strategic community safety CCTV control room and roll out CCTV cameras in ten key sites across the borough.

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: