Skip to main content

Neighbourhood Crime

Volume 743: debated on Monday 15 January 2024

This Government recognise the impact of neighbourhood crime. It is the crime that most affects people’s confidence—the confidence of individuals, businesses and communities. The strategic response to this is evidence-based and targeted, and getting policing right in this area is incredibly important for maintaining community confidence.

I have seen for myself how successful the Government’s safer streets fund was in Barnstaple, and I am delighted that it will be extended into Ilfracombe this year. Will my right hon. Friend ensure that councils have the funding to help support those schemes?

I thank my hon. Friend for highlighting that point. I am proud of the fact that, since 2010, neighbourhood crime is down by 51% because of the kind of interventions that she highlighted. I reassure her that we will continue to look at what works, to fund and support, and to make every effort to drive down neighbourhood crime even further.

Police numbers across Devon and Cornwall are at record levels and deserve our praise. In a recent survey, my constituents in East Devon said that tackling neighbourhood crime is an absolute priority, as ranging from burglaries to thefts from vehicles. Will my right hon. Friend outline what progress this Conservative Government have made on cracking down on neighbourhood crime?

I am very pleased that my hon. Friend’s local community is feeling the positive impact of the decisions we have made. Since coming into Government, we have seen serious violence reduced by 26%, and neighbourhood crime down by 27% since the start of this Parliament. We have seen a 36% reduction in domestic burglary, an 18% reduction in vehicle-related theft and a 61% decrease in robbery. We have reduced homicide by 15%, have taken action on drugs and are committed to—

Order. Secretary of State—I said the same to the Minister—please, you were very slow at the beginning; you will not be slow at the end, I am sure.

On Friday I visited five Co-op stores and every one of them had daily experience of theft, with one losing £35,000-worth of goods over six months and staff experiencing assaults. In light of Labour’s pledge to introduce 13,000 more community police and a law on retail crime, what is the Secretary of State really doing? Clearly his plan is not working.

We have a retail crime action plan. We have ensured that assaults against shop workers is an aggravating factor and we have made it clear to police forces across the country that we expect them to take action on neighbourhood crime like that and to pursue every reasonable line of inquiry. We are determined to drive down retail crime.