Lilley: Violent crime still needs to be tackled

- Tuesday, 23rd July 2002


Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, today called for a redoubling of
efforts to reduce violent crime in St. Albans District including Harpenden.
New figures published by the Home Office show that offences involving
violence against the person rose by 17% in the last year. This compares to
a 5% rise for violent crime and an increase of 5% for all recorded crimes
across Hertfordshire.

Peter Lilley said:

"These figures show that there is still much to do in the fight against
violent crime in the district. St Albans experienced a much higher rise in
violent crime than many other districts across Hertfordshire. In North
Herts, violent crime increased by 2%. Anti-social behaviour continues to
create fear and insecurity on our streets.

"However, there is some encouragement from the new figures. The number of
sexual offences, robberies, burglaries and vehicle crime all fell in St
Albans whereas they increased elsewhere in the county. Sadly across the
county fewer than a quarter of crimes are detected.

"Labour are now proposing to change the criminal justice system yet again.
Yet under this Government, there have been 70 crime ?initiatives? and 12
Criminal Justice Acts. But we still not do have an effective criminal
justice system, and violent crime continues to rise.

"We must put more police back on the streets; too much time is taken up by
paperwork and red-tape rather than patrolling the streets and working with
the local community. We must also look at constructive ways in which to
improve police recruitment in the district. Rather than gimmicky
initiatives, it?s time for real reform."



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