Robbery

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18 January 1996.

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Photo of Michael Clapham Michael Clapham , Barnsley West and Penistone 12:00, 18 January 1996

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage change there has been in incidents of robbery as reported by the police in the 12 months to June 1995 in South Yorkshire. [7858]

Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Minister of State (Home Office)

Recorded offences of robbery in South Yorkshire increased by 75 offences or 8 per cent. in the previous 12 months, although recorded crime overall fell by 2 per cent. in South Yorkshire.

Photo of Michael Clapham Michael Clapham , Barnsley West and Penistone

I thank the Minister for that reply. Is he aware that the incidence of robbery in the South Yorkshire police area has increased by 553 per cent. since 1979? That increase is 150 per cent. above the national average. What will he do about it and when will he take action to tackle robberies in South Yorkshire?

Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Minister of State (Home Office)

It is rather pathetic for a Yorkshire Member of Parliament to attack his own police force. South Yorkshire police are in charge of crime in South Yorkshire. In the past year, they have been remarkably successful in reducing burglaries, vehicle crime and other crime. South Yorkshire police know that more needs to be done about robbery and it is an utter disgrace for the hon. Gentleman to come here and complain, without uttering a word of thanks for the excellent job that bobbies in South Yorkshire are doing.

Photo of Mrs Elizabeth Peacock Mrs Elizabeth Peacock , Batley and Spen

My hon. Friend will be aware that violent crimes occurs not only in South Yorkshire but in West Yorkshire. Violent crime deserves strong punishment. As my hon. Friend told the House this afternoon that corporal punishment has no effect, can he explain why in the Isle of Man it is most rare for young people to be birched more than once?

Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Minister of State (Home Office)

I do not have the figures for the Isle of Man, but, on robbery, we have seen in today's press the phenomenal success that Sir Paul Condon is having in London with his campaign against street robbery, cutting such crime by about 40 per cent. I am sure that chief constables throughout the rest of the country will have noted that, if one tackles a problem such as burglary, one gets it down, and if one tackles robbery, one gets it down. Sir Paul's success is to be applauded and copied elsewhere.