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Crime Levels

Volume 566: debated on Monday 15 July 2013

1. What recent assessment she has made of the level of crime in (a) Staffordshire and (b) the UK. (164846)

Since the election in 2010, police recorded crime in Staffordshire has fallen by 17%. In England and Wales as a whole, recorded crime is down by more than 10% under this Government, and the independent crime survey shows crime at its lowest level since records began in 1981.

I welcome that news from the Home Secretary. Deliberately failing to insure vehicles is a crime that increases costs and dangers for law-abiding motorists. As part of its zero tolerance campaign, Staffordshire police force has removed 350 such vehicles from the roads in the past six weeks. What support is my right hon. Friend giving to police forces that make tackling such crime a priority?

I thank my hon. Friend for bringing to the House the excellent work that Staffordshire police force is doing to tackle this particular problem, which is an issue that blights many areas up and down the country. Other forces would do well to look at the example set by Staffordshire police, and recognise the importance of this crime in the eyes of the public and follow its example.

Oak Tree farm in Staffordshire was the site of an illegal waste operation, and often such operations are a front for organised crime. Will the Secretary of State commit to working with colleagues in the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government? Investigations are often hampered because no one Government agency takes full responsibility for investigating what I believe are crimes.

The hon. Lady raises an interesting point, and the Home Department is happy to work with other Government Departments where that will genuinely help in the fight against crime. As she says, issues sometimes fall between the stalls of different Departments, and I will certainly look into the particular matter she has raised.