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Drug dealing, burglary and car theft on the toughest housing estates can be dramatically reduced using a broad rang...
Drug dealing, burglary and car theft on the toughest housing estates can be dramatically reduced using a broad range of crime cracking methods, says research published today.

Police Research Group researchers looked at four housing estates - Toxteth in Liverpool, Broxtowe in Nottingham, Kingsmead in London, and Meadow Well in North Shields.

These estates had suffered high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, but have experienced a turnaround. Police enforcement, civil action and community based measures were developed in partnership, tailored to the particular problems of each estate.

Examples of crime reduction on the estates examined include:

-- a 39 per cent drop in burglary over a two year period in Kingsmead;

-- an overall crime reduction of 18 per cent over a year in Toxteth;

-- a 48 per cent drop in burglary and a 54 per cent reduction in abandoned stolen cars, over a four year period in Meadow Well;

-- theft from vehicles down 60 per cent in Broxtowe.

Welcoming the report Home Office Minister David Maclean said: 'I want people to go about their daily business in their communities without becoming the victims of crime.

'This report shows that working together we can achieve that goal.

'The successes on these estates prove once again that crime is not inevitable. Partnerships between the police, local authorities and local communities can win the fight in even the most crime-ridden areas.

'I am determined to see fewer victims in all walks of life and build a safer Britain, free from fear and prejudice.'

The research shows that there are no quick fixes to dealing with problem housing estates and no single area of intervention.

Action on three fronts - combining short and long term measures - is required:

-- Police enforcement - targeting offenders, high profile patrolling, witness protection;

-- Civil action - police support for local authority warnings, injunctions and evictions;

-- Community based measures - problem oriented policing, community contact, media liaison.

The Police Research Group (PRG) report, Policing Problem Housing Estates, by Sheridan Morris, is available from the Home Office, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, SW1H 9AT.

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