Australian Institute of Criminology

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Setting crime reduction targets for England and Wales, and planning to deliver them

Australian Institute of Criminology, Steve Wilkes
08 October 2003 -

Steve Wilkes
Head of Burglary and Business Crime (Policing and Crime Reduction Group), Home Office, United Kingdom


This seminar will discuss how burglary and other crime reduction targets were set in the UK, the problems with the process and how it could be improved upon. Steve will then go on to talk about the work done on planning to deliver the burglary target - to reduce domestic burglary by 25% between 1999 and 2005 - including outlining the activities being undertaken to drive down this crime and to manage performance at local, police force and national levels.

Steve Wilkes joined the Home Office in 1984 to carry out research on behalf of the police, having obtained a degree in physics from the University of Birmingham. He spent nearly 10 years developing equipment and techniques to help the police enhance and make optimum use of recordings from CCTV surveillance and security systems. He was also involved in a number of major cases including the disasters at football matches at the Heysel Stadium (Brussells) and Hillsborough (Sheffield). A system he produced also played a major role in the investigation of the kidnapping and murder of a 4-year old boy (James Bulger) by two 10-year olds in Liverpool.

In 1995, he spent 4 months on secondment to a policy division working on the regime for the national DNA database (the world's first such system) and on the use of drugs testing kits. In 1996, he transferred into a policy post in the Home Office's Constitutional and Community Policy Directorate before moving into the crime reduction field in October 1999. Since then his main interest has been domestic burglary, but he also had some responsibility for business crime (both crime against businesses and the role business can play in reducing crime).