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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Crime Fund, what crime fund?

Having pushed the Welsh Assembly Government into honouring their manifesto pledge of putting £100 million into a crime fund I have now decided to try to pin down the precise objectives of this fund and how they are measuring their performance. The problem is that the Government themselves, still seem unsure what it is they have committed themselves too and what they hope to achieve from it:

Peter Black: How is the Minister co-ordinating expenditure of the Assembly Government's crime fund? OAQ0030(SJR)

Edwina Hart: Officials in the community safety unit liaise closely with officials in the education and training department on the co-ordination of expenditure in the crime-fighting fund.

Peter Black: We all know that the crime-fighting fund-or the 'crime fund' as it was termed in the Labour Party manifesto-was essentially a number of budgets cobbled together. Are there any overall objectives for that fund, and how do you measure the success of the fund against those objectives?

Edwina Hart: It has not been cobbled together; it has just been put into different portfolios. The fund is £119 million between 2004-05 and 2007-08, and it is linked because it deals with crime and disorder, substance misuse, and social exclusion, which are linked. There is a definite joined-up approach, which you can now see coming through successfully in this area.

Not very convincing at all!

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