Crime drives not reducing offences

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The Independent Online

More than half of the Government's flagship crime reduction schemes have failed to reduce the number of offences, Parliament's spending watchdog has warned.

More than half of the Government's flagship crime reduction schemes have failed to reduce the number of offences, Parliament's spending watchdog has warned.

Nearly £1bn has been invested in Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships since the programme was launched in 1999. Some 376 such schemes have been established, bringing together police, town halls, anti-drug teams and youth workers across England and Wales to lead local initiatives against crime.

The Public Accounts Committee acknowledged that some of them were ''truly inspiring'', but added: ''It is not clear how much of a difference they have made.'' It said that only 48 per cent of the partnerships considered they had contributed to a ''measurable reduction in crime".

It said: "Some projects have not been sufficiently targeted to achieve a quantifiable reduction in crime and some have been too small to make any material difference."

The all-party committee suggested there were too many of the schemes and warned that many were being stifled by bureaucracy. "Partnerships could make a greater contribution if less of their resources were tied up with administration," its report said.