Crime Prevention (Norfolk)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th June 1989.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Thompson Mr Patrick Thompson , Norwich North 12:00 am, 15th June 1989

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department is taking to encourage crime prevention in Norfolk; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr John Patten Mr John Patten , Oxford West and Abingdon

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his attendance and on his question. The answer to his question is that crime reduction forms part of a strategy that applies to all of England and Wales. Police manpower and resources have been substantially increased, crime concern was launched with Government support in May 1988 to stimulate support and develop local crime prevention activity, and the largest-ever crime prevention publicity campaign was launched last year. My right hon. Friend approved a further 24 police posts for the Norfolk force from 1 April. We give encouragement to the growth and development of neighbourhood watch schemes and crime prevention panels, and I am pleased to note that there are now 472 neighbourhood watch schemes in Norfolk, together with five crime prevention panels and three junior crime prevention panels.

Photo of Mr Patrick Thompson Mr Patrick Thompson , Norwich North

Will my hon. Friend join me in congratulating the police and all others in Norfolk who were involved in the very encouraging recent reduction in crime in that area and in Norwich? Will my hon. Friend confirm that there has been a serious and continuing increase in violent crime? Will he do all that he can in discussions with the police and others in Norfolk to take further action to deal with that disturbing trend?

Photo of Mr John Patten Mr John Patten , Oxford West and Abingdon

I certainly congratulate the Norfolk constabulary on its sterling efforts to reduce crime. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has introduced a lot of very original ideas and thinking about how to reduce violent crime. Indeed, most of my hon. Friends recognise that all the original thinking about crime prevention is coming from these Benches. Nothing is coming from the Opposition Benches and in particular from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), who did not ask a question the last time we had Home Office questions and has not got on his feet once during this session either.