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House of Commons Hansard
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29 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency, the effects on that constituency of his Department’s policies since 1997. [318373]

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Hackney North and Stoke Newington comes within the Hackney community safety partnership (CSP). Prior to 1 March 2010, CSPs were referred to as crime and disorder reduction partnerships (CDRP). The statistical information therefore relates to the Hackney CSP.

In terms of police recorded crime in the Hackney CSP, between 2002-03 and 2008-09, total recorded crime fell by 24 per cent. More specifically:

Violence against the person: down 5 per cent. (down 8 per cent. in last year)

Sexual offences: up 2 per cent. (up 13 per cent. in last year)

Robbery: 55 per cent. (down 16 per cent. in last year)

Burglary: down 43 per cent. (down 1 per cent. in last year)

Offences against vehicles: down 50 per cent. (down 10 per cent. in last year)

Other theft offences: down 25 per cent. (down 11 per cent. in last year)

Criminal damage: down 49 per cent. (down 21 per cent. in last year)

Drug offences: up 272 per cent. (up 3 per cent. in last year) (there has been increased recording of drug offences which is mainly attributable to the increased use of police powers to issue cannabis warnings).

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

Hackney basic command unit had 757 police officers as at 30 March 2009. The number of police officers has increased by 84 since 2003. Comparisons with 1997 for Hackney BCU are not available. There were 100 police community support officers as at 30 March 2009 while there were none in existence in 1997.

Funding

The borough is funded well through central streams and has acquired a large block of funding (£600,000) from the area-based grant beyond the element usually provided via HO crime allocations.

Hackney is in the top 50 national Alcohol Strategy Delivery Programmes and has received £25,000 for targeted enforcement; multi-agency NTE work; enforcement training; guidance on the use of tools.

In 2009-10, Hackney is in receipt of £54,000 from CLG to tackle ASB plus a further £12,000 to train ASB Resident Champions and undertake a resident-led ASB project. The borough also gets £70,000 from Home Office as one of the country’s Neighbourhood Crime and Justice Pioneer areas, substantial monies as part of DCSF’s Youth Crime Action Plan (YCAP) areas and further small pots of funding from Home Office for ASB victims and witness support, and for local ASB surveys.

Hackney Safer Greener Partnership

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

Priority issues for the borough are:

Serious violence

Youth violence

Community engagement and perceptions

The Area Assessment published in October 2009 found local partners’ approach to tackling crime in Hackney is strong and is delivering good results. Hackney is effectively sustaining the significant longer term reductions already achieved.

Incidents of knife and gun-related crime, as well as antisocial behaviour, have also decreased. It found local partners are using a number of ways to tackle crime. Public services in Hackney have used safer neighbourhood offices to collocate staff who focus on enforcement activity and to tackle drug-related crime, a dedicated drugs squad has been set up. Drug misuse has fallen at a faster rate than other areas of London. Antisocial behaviour and associated youth crime are being effectively tackled. Youth crime has decreased across the borough and concerns about antisocial behaviour have also decreased. Overall, children and young people’s safety is promoted well in Hackney.

The assessment also found Hackney tackles weapon and gang crime through a variety of approaches that aim to divert and motivate young people away from crime through community payback schemes; sport and education, Friday and Saturday evening youth provision, parenting programmes and finding alternatives to school exclusions.

Drug-related offending

To tackle drug-related crime a dedicated drugs squad has been set up. This has resulted in significant reductions in drug-related crime. Other initiatives include the Diamond project aimed at reducing reoffending and a dedicated police officer working with Mind, a mental health charity, to work with and support those who have mental health issues and commit crime. As a result of these projects, drug misuse has fallen at a faster rate than other areas of London.

Hackney is funded by the HO as an ‘intensive’ Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) area enabling it to tackle drug-related offending through a range of ‘intensive’ DIP applications including drug-testing on arrest and restriction on bail provisions allowing more offenders to be targeted, steered into treatment and out of a life of crime. Hackney’s DIP budget for 2009-10 is £1,536,227and for 2010-11 is £1,471,088 (4 per cent. reduction). The operation of DIP in Hackney in 2008-09 saw over 2,800 arrestees tested (final figures for 2009-10 are not yet available). 178 were referred into and started structured treatment from DIP—work is being done to improve this referral route into treatment.

Violent crime

Hackney saw a 20 per cent. reduction in grievous bodily harm incidents, 50 per cent. reduction in the number of murders and an overall reduction of 3.4 per cent. in rape allegations during 2006-07 in comparison with 2003-04.

Antisocial behaviour and neighbourhood policing

Before 1997 there were no bespoke powers to tackle antisocial behaviour but there are now a range of powers to deal with this issue. These include antisocial behaviour orders and designated public places orders (DPPO) from the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.

37.6 per cent. of residents perceive ASB to be a problem (30th out of the 33 London local authorities). The borough is particularly worse than average for ‘noisy neighbours/loud parties’, ‘rubbish and litter lying around’ and ‘people using or dealing drugs’.

25.3 per cent. of residents agree that the police and local services are successfully dealing with crime and ASB in their area. This is below the London average (28.2 per cent.).

Hackney prioritised NI 17 (perceptions of ASB) (and NI 195—street cleanliness) in its local area agreement.

Hackney has made ASB a priority within the borough and has regular meetings of a forum linked to the LSP. It is recognised to be improving on local responses to ASB. Youth crime

Total funding received from the YJB for 2009-10: £934,876.86

Total budget for 2009-10: £4,168,422

Hackney is a pioneering borough and committed to cracking down on youth crime. There are many schemes aimed at young people including after school activities; street-based youth workers and schemes such as Operation Staysafe aimed at identifying children at risk in the late hours.

The rate of reoffending by young people in Hackney is comparable with similar areas. There are priorities within the Children and Young People’s Plan 2008-11 to reduce offending and reoffending among young people and to offer them more and better activities. Two thirds of young people participate in positive activities outside of the school day. The youth offending team works well and there has been increased investment in Hackney’s youth services. The proportion of young people sentenced to custody increased in 2008-09 and is higher than the national average, but in line with similar areas. There is an over-representation of black young people in the youth justice system but this is showing a downward trend. Hackney’s new youth crime reduction strategy has been informed by a range of evaluations, studies and data including a gap analysis of provision for young black people. More young offenders are in education, employment and training than before and the proportion living in suitable accommodation has also improved.

Data from Hackney (Hackney Youth Crime Strategy 2009) shows that just over 200 Hackney residents under 19 years have been victims of serious violence. Hackney partners are seeking new ways of encouraging and supporting young victims and witnesses to enable them to feel safe in reporting crime and giving court evidence. They are part of the London Integrated Offender Management Programme and have adopted the principles of intense monitoring of offenders balanced with support to rehabilitate for serious youth violence.

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:

http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk./