HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc799-800W
30. Mr. Bill O'Brien

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress of his safe street campaign in the Yorkshire region. [57077]

Mr. Denham

The street crime initiative represents a step-change in cross-Government action to tackle street crime with a focused programme of action in the 10 police force areas where the problem is most acute. In the Yorkshire region two forces are involved, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

Both South and West Yorkshire have commenced targeted police operations in crime hotspots. Police activity is being supported by cross criminal justice agency with priority street crime courts established in Doncaster, Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Leeds and Bradford, and the Crown Prosecution Service providing a premium service for processing street crime cases. Bradford, Leeds and Sheffield are among 34 local education authorities across the 10 areas receiving additional funding to target truancy and bad behaviour. Both Yorkshire areas will also benefit from an increase in Summer Splash schemes, targeting children at risk of offending and providing a range of organised activities over the school holidays. Local partnerships are engaged in ensuring that street crime is a priority in local strategic planning.

To support the police further in these areas the Government have announced additional funding allocations. West Yorkshire will receive £1.8 million and South Yorkshire £1.6 million.

33. Mr. Jenkins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he intends to tackle street robbery. [57080]

Mr. Denham

Tackling street crime is now a top priority for the Government. However, it is recognised that it cannot successfully be tackled by the police and criminal justice agencies alone. That is why the Government set up the Street Crime Action Group in March of this year. This group, chaired by the Prime Minister, has brought together all relevant Government Departments, criminal justice and other agencies to work together to identify and address weaknesses in the current systems. This includes preventative action as well as action designed to detect offenders and deal effectively with them through the courts.

The programme of action has been targeted and accelerated in 10 police force areas accounting for over 80 per cent. of street crime, since April 2002.

The Government have to date announced a number of measures to help tackle the issue of street crime. These include:

  • the funding of the roll-out of VIPER video identification equipment to enable video ID parades in the 10 areas;
  • the nomination of 67 specialist street crime courts in the 10 areas to fast-track street crime cases and provide separate facilities and support to victims and witnesses;
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  • the launch of a CPS Premium Service for Street Crime offenders with experienced prosecutors working with police in a dedicated investigation and prosecution service;
  • the extension of bail powers through the greater use of electronic tagging, ISSP orders, new curfew conditions and the provision of more secure accommodation places for juvenile repeat offenders;
  • greater powers to remand into custody persistent young offenders aged 12 to 16;
  • a £66 million DfES package to tackle bad behaviour and truancy in schools, and to support summer activities;
  • the introduction of the Mobile Phone Re-programming Bill to outlaw the re-programming of mobile phones.

Further to support the policing operations in these areas the Government have announced the following additional funding allocations:

Avon and Somerset 2,340,000
GMP 2,390,000
Lancashire 835,000
Merseyside 1,700,000
Met 13,130,000
Nottinghamshire 1,052,000
South Yorkshire 1,600,000
TVP 1,500,000
West Midlands 1,880,000
West Yorkshire 1,800,000