HOME AFFAIRS – POLICE TARGETS – 7 February 2008

Dr Julian Lewis: Can the Home Secretary reassure members of the public and me about one of the more alarming aspects of the report that I read yesterday? I am talking about the suggestion that equal weighting is given in police targets to solving simple, low-level crimes and solving serious crimes. Is that the case? If so, it must be addressed because otherwise the police will naturally concentrate on solving lots of little crimes rather than the important ones.

[The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Jacqui Smith): I do not believe that was ever the case, but we have recognised the concerns about the targets that we set on offences being brought to justice. As the hon. Gentleman says, serious violence should clearly be treated more seriously than other offences. That is why our new performance framework, starting this April, reflects the significance of serious violence in managing police forces' performance.]