HC Deb 22 April 2002 vol 384 cc32-3W
28. Tony Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the 10 force street crime initiative. [47090]

Mr. Denham

The street crime initiative starts operation this month across the 10 force areas with the highest levels of robbery: Avon and Somerset, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, Thames Valley, West Midlands, West Yorkshire. It involves the police in targeting offenders who commit robbery, snatch theft. carjacking and offences involving the illegal possession and use of firearms. The criminal justice'agencies will prioritise these cases to ensure that those taken off the streets by the police are dealt with quickly and effectively from arrest to disposal in specially designated street crime courts in each area. We have also strengthened the powers of the courts in the 10 areas by introducing electronic tagging to ensure that young people comply with bail conditions, and by giving magistrates enhanced powers to remand juveniles in secure accommodation.

The initiative also brings together the resources and expertise of non criminal justice system agencies to help tackle the causes of street crime and take preventive action. The initiative will include, for example, more schemes in place involving police in schools, more truancy sweeps, better information exchange between schools, the police and social services, diversionary activities and advice and services for young people, and early access to drug treatment provision.