§ 5. Mr. Robert Banks
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to increase the range of surveillance techniques to catch criminals.
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
Various surveillance techniques are being developed to aid the police in their fight against crime. It would not be in the public interest to disclose details of them.
§ Mr. Banks
In putting the police and the public on a vigorous offensive against criminals, will my hon. Friend ensure that every available technique, including the use of electronic devices and the deployment by the police of decoys, will be widely practised and encouraged? Will he assure the House that the police will be provided with all the latest technology so that they can catch the criminal in the act and detect and hunt down the others?
§ Mr. Wardle
As my hon. Friend says, surveillance technology has been advancing rapidly and provides an improved new means of detection. The use of surveillance technology and the amount of money spent on it in each police force is a matter for the chief officer. In the private sector, closed-circuit television and video recordings have been used to good deterrent effect in car parks, sports grounds and shopping centres.