Home Department written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster Conservative, North East Milton Keynes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to reduce the number of vehicle break-ins in Milton Keynes.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State, Home Office

Vehicle crime, including both theft of and theft from motor vehicles, is addressed in the Milton Keynes Community Safety Partnership's (CSP) overall strategy for crime reduction, which is supported by a detailed Police Basic Command Unit (BCU) Crime Reduction Plan. The CSP continues to target vehicle crime through enforcement, prevention, intelligence and communication.

Police operations have been targeted both at known offenders and at those areas where offences have been committed. These have been supported by regular dedicated automatic number plate recognition operations and the daily use of this technology by the Thames Valley Police Roads Policing Department in the Milton Keynes area. The CSP has also made effective use of CCTV, and has both a fixed and a mobile capability to target known 'hotspot' locations.

There are currently 45 adult offenders on the Milton Keynes Prolific and Priority Offenders scheme, receiving intensive supervision by both the police and probation service. Of these, 23 have offending histories of, or current links to, vehicle crime.

The CSP and police have undertaken a number of actions to raise awareness of vehicle crime and advise the public on how to protect their property. For instance, as more than 20 per cent. of vehicle crime in Milton Keynes since January 2006 has been associated with satellite navigation systems, specific communications activity has taken place to raise public awareness and reduce offending opportunities. In the longer term the partnership continues to seek to improve the overall security of its car parks.

At a national level, officials have produced a crime prevention leaflet on the internet aimed specifically at theft of satellite navigation devices and have liaised with four of the biggest manufacturers, resulting in the introduction of improved security features in a number of devices that have recently come on the market.

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