§ Baroness David
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they would set out their proposals for tackling crime. [HL452]
§ The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn)
The Government are committed to reducing crime, tackling its causes and ensuring proper punishment of those who break the law.
We have already demonstrated our commitment by introducing tough new measures in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to deal with young offenders; drug misusers; sexual, violent and racist offenders; and those whose anti-social behaviour blights the lives of so many of our citizens. As part of our overall strategy, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary also announced on 21 July 1998 (Official Report, cols. 913–916) that the Government were making available through the Comprehensive Spending Review £250 million over the next three years for a new crime reduction programme. In addition extra resources were made available to the police, the Prison Service and the probation services. The programme is based on concrete evidence of what is effective in reducing crime and tackling its causes. We are publishing today a briefing paper entitled Reducing Crime and Tackling Its Causes, which sets out further details on the crime reduction programme and the range of initiatives which has been developed so far, including important projects on domestic burglary and targeted policing. Copies of the paper have been placed in the Library.
Domestic burglary is one of the most common crimes and causes enormous distress to victims. In addition to the measures in the crime reduction programme, we have decided to bring into force in December the provisions of Section 4 of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997. This provides for minimum sentences of three years for those convicted for a third time of this offence and will ensure that those who commit this crime repeatedly are severely punished.