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Tuesday, 30 November, 1999, 11:41 GMT
CCTV for car parks
Jack Straw Jack Straw: A quarter of car crime occurs in car parks

The government is continuing its drive against crime with the announcement of a 4m closed circuit television initiative.

Thirty-five CCTV projects covering car parks, town centres and housing estates, have been chosen as the first to receive grants from a 150m fund.

The Home Office also announced so far 500 car parks had been given "Secured Car Park" status, an award recognising they meet high standards of security draw up by police chiefs.

The government wants 2,000 secured car parks by the end of next year with individual targets for each police force area in England and Wales.

'Major impact'

Vehicle crime accounts for a fifth of all recorded crime and areas with very high levels include the City of London, where there are 96 vehicle crimes per 1,000 population.

South Wales has a level of 30 offences per 1,000 population compared with just five in Dyfed-Powys and nine in Surrey.

Home Secretary Jack Straw said nearly a quarter of car crime took place in car parks but simple improvements such as CCTV and better lighting had a major impact.

On average, crime rates had fallen by 70% in secured car parks.

He urged town councils, supermarkets, hospitals, railway stations and any other body operating a car park to meet the standards.

The government has set a target of reducing vehicle crime, including thefts of and from cars, by 30% over five years
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See also:
20 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Initiative to fight petty crime
01 Nov 99 |  The Economy
Business urged to fight crime costs
05 Nov 99 |  Education
School installs spy cameras in toilets

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