Headlines: October 26th, 1998

The Government says that housing providers, such as councils and housing associations, can play a key role in tackling the crime problems facing local communities.Home Office Minister Alun Michael said that housing providers have local knowledge which can play an important part in addressing local crime problems.The Crime and Disorder Act, which began to be implemented last month, calls on public sector organisations, including the Police, to work together to produce specific action plans to deal with crime as it affects individual areas.

Mr Michael said: “Our new legislation is substantial and sets out new measures to start to rid our communities of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Housing is at the heart of every local community. In order for us to achieve our goal of safer, more responsible communities, your role within communities is absolutely crucial.

He also said: “There is a great deal of ground to cover and the agenda will be challenging. But many of the problems will be common to us all.

“The skill and experience of housing providers, and their knowledge of problems and issues which come to them, will be an important part of building up the picture in the local crime and disorder audits.

Mr Michael was speaking at a conference entitled “Crime and Disorder Act – Implications for Housing”.