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Greater Manchester

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 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 Manchester, Gorton constituency, the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 1997. (322139)

Manchester, Gorton comes within the Manchester Community Safety Partnership (CSP). Prior to one March 2010, CSPs were referred to as crime and disorder reduction partnerships (CDRP). The available statistical information therefore relates to the Manchester CSP.

In terms of police recorded crime in the Manchester CSP, between 2002-03 and 2008-09, total recorded crime fell by 18 per cent. More specifically:

Violence against the person—down 2 per cent. (down 5 per cent. in last year)

Sexual offences—down 10 per cent. (down 10 per cent. in last year)

Robbery—down 43 per cent. (down 16 per cent. in last year)

Burglary—down 29 per cent. (up 5 per cent. in last year)

Offences against vehicles—down 35 per cent. (down 18 per cent. in last year)

Other theft offences—down 12 per cent. (up 2 per cent. in last year)

Criminal damage—down 20 per cent. (down 11 per cent. in last year)

Drug offences—up 151 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.

Manchester CSP is covered by Metropolitan, North Manchester, South Manchester and Trafford basic command units, which had a total of 2,167 police officers as at 30 March 2009. The number of police officers has decreased by 74 since 2003. Comparisons with 1997 at BCU level are not available. There were 218 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). These are now referred to as community safety partnerships (CSPs). The Manchester CSP 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.

Neighbourhood police teams are in place and the Manchester, Gorton constituency is served by a number of such teams from the Greater Manchester police's metropolitan division. Neighbourhood policing is a crucial partnership with the public and is helping to reduce crime and enhance community confidence in the police. The visible policing presence is augmented by information on neighbourhood policing in each area which is available on the internet. None of this was in place in 1997.

All CSPs, including Manchester, are putting in place minimum standards to tackle antisocial behaviour (ASB). By tackling ASB and providing support for victims, these will help to reduce local perceptions of ASB and improve public confidence. This was not in place in 1997. In addition, before 1997 there were no bespoke powers to tackle antisocial behaviour whereas 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. Manchester is in the top 50 national priority areas for alcohol-related harm. The effects of the Department's policies on crime, antisocial behaviour, policing, and night time economy management have been consistently positive and instrumental in supporting the city centre's development as a safer, more popular and vibrant place to visit.

Detailed and comprehensive analysis is being used by Manchester, along with specific action plans to ensure reductions in serious violent crime. The Manchester Violent Gang Board has recently been commended for their approach to the issues within Manchester and have been given a Green Flag by the Audit Commission for their work in relation to guns and gangs. Gun crime is down significantly—Greater Manchester police's Xcalibre operations have had notable success in targeting the gang culture and securing convictions against gang leaders and members. Firearms discharges have reduced in Manchester over the last three years. This is helping to improve safety in Manchester, Gorton.

Since 1997 a key element of Home Office policy in addressing domestic violence has been driven through the Home Office-led cross-Government National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan. This includes the Specialist Domestic Violence Court programme (Manchester gained accreditation in 2008). It also includes Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs), the Government's approach to identified high risk victims of domestic violence. Manchester is developing three MARACs covering all three police divisions. Victims of domestic violence are supported by independent domestic violence advisers (IDVAs)—trained specialists who provide a service to victims who are at high risk of harm which have been shown to decrease victimisation. Manchester now has 10 IDVAs.

Since 1997 a key element of Home Office policy in addressing sexual violence has been driven through the delivery of the Home Office-led cross-Government Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Abuse which aims to increase access to health and support services for victims; improve the response of the criminal justice system for victims, and to prevent sexual violence in the first place.

This has led to expanded services such as sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) and independent sexual violence advisers (ISVAs) to improve victim care. Home Office has supported the continued development of St Mary's SARC in Manchester and the development of an ISVA service at the centre.

Manchester is a recipient of Youth Crime Action Plan funding and has rolled out a programme of initiatives designed to tackle youth crime. Manchester also receives funding from the Tackling Knives Action Programme and has engaged in a number of enforcement and educational activities to tackle and deter young people from involvement in all forms of serious youth violence. These include Safer Schools Partnerships.

The drug treatment system in Manchester has developed by means of joint planning and commissioning of services over many years. The introduction of national drug strategy and the establishment of pooled treatment budget arrangements in 2001-02 have done much to formalise and enhance partnership working. This has resulted in the development of an integrated treatment system. Manchester has an effective drugs intervention programme (DIP).

Manchester is achieving significant reductions in acquisitive crime, but recognises that there are still challenges, particularly in tackling issues such as domestic burglary and robbery. Robust plans are in place to tackle these. There is a real focus on student safety and Manchester has developed a Student Safety Business Model. Manchester is a Vigilance area and Safer Homes Fund area which are Home Office programmes aimed at tackling acquisitive crime, particularly burglary and robbery. Greater Manchester police's Operation Storm has had real success in recent reductions in domestic burglary in particular.

From 1 April 2010, CSPs are required formulate and implement a strategy “to reduce reoffending”. One of Manchester's priorities includes reducing the offending of prolific and priority offenders and the partnership is currently exceeding the targets set in the Local Area Agreement. Manchester will shortly introduce Integrated Offender Management (IOM) based on the Greater Manchester Spotlight model and will have three co-located IOM teams covering the city. This will manage the most serious offenders including those responsible for acquisitive crime, and violent and domestic violence offences.

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: