Blunkett accused of abandoning crime targets

By Paul Waugh
Saturday 25 January 2014 05:34

David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, was accused last night of dropping or watering down a raft of Government targets on crime, asylum and drug abuse.

Mr Blunkett has quietly abandoned more than 20 key targets or changed their definition to make them meaningless, Conservatives claimed. The attack came after it emerged that the Home Office website showed a series of changes to public service agreements arranged with the Treasury in 2000.

Among the targets dropped were promises made to "reduce by 2004 the economic cost of crime" and to "reduce by 2004 the time from arrest to sentence", the Conservatives claimed.

A pledge to "reduce levels of repeat offending amongst problem drugs-misusing offenders by 35 per cent by 2005" and a promise to "disrupt 10 per cent more organised criminal enterprises by 2004" were also dropped, the Conservatives said.

And a promise "to reduce robbery in our principal cities by 14 per cent by 2005" was amended to "reduce robbery in ten street crime initiatives by 14 per cent".

Oliver Letwin, the Shadow Home Secretary, said: "Some targets that are not achieved are quietly dropped. Others are renamed or amended. The objective is to hope that no one will notice.

A Home Office spokesman denied the targets had been dropped, claiming that they had been earmarked for new "public delivery agreements" with the Treasury.