Is my right hon. Friend aware that Bury is one of the safest places to live in Greater Manchester, with a fall in recorded crime of 4·5 per cent. compared with last year's figures? Will he join me in saluting that achievement and in thanking the local police, who are obviously part of it, together with all those in the community who are promoting greater involvement—there are now 320 home watch schemes—and the local paper, the Bury Times, which has made the public aware of the greater dangers which face the elderly in particular?
I know that Bury, Bolton and several of the old Lancashire towns within the Greater Manchester police area have made great progress and have forged ahead. It is good news that there are now 8,000 home watch schemes in that police area. There must be some connection—a close connection I believe—between all the efforts that my hon. Friend describes and the fall in total recorded crime in the area not just in the first quarter of this year, but with last year's decrease of 8 per cent. compared with 1987.
I hope that when looking at the great progress that has been made in the Greater Manchester area my right hon. Friend will not be persuaded to go along the lines recently suggested especially in urging parents not to be responsible for their children's criminal activities. Does he agree that it is absolute nonsense not to hold parents responsible? I hope that my right hon. Friend will make that positive move in the rest of his work.