HC Deb 21 April 1994 vol 241 c1033
11. Mr. Moss

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research he has commissioned into the use of closed-circuit television cameras to prevent and detect crime; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Howard

The Home Office has published a number of studies on closed-circuit television cameras as a crime control measure, including its use on public transport, by businesses and in car parks. A current study of the scheme in Birmingham city centre to which the Home Office contributed £90,000 is being extended to include schemes in other areas.

Mr. Moss

Can my right hon. and learned Friend confirm that he will not be distracted by civil liberties objections to the installation of closed-circuit television, such as that proposed in the towns of Wisbech and March in my constituency? Is it not the case that people want more cameras and less crime, not the other way around?

Mr. Howard

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend and I can give him the confirmation for which he asks. I believe that closed-circuit television has an important part to play in both crime prevention and crime detection.

Mr. Trimble

Surely it has been established clearly that the installation of closed-circuit televisions in town centres and commercial areas can contribute powerfully to deterring crime and to apprehending criminals. We do not need further studies and experiments. Should the Government not now prepare to help businesses and local authorities nationwide to use closed-circuit televisions?

Mr. Howard

There is no question of any research being intended to hold up the installation of closed-circuit television—quite the contrary. We are doing everything we can to encourage local authorities, businesses and others to help with the installation of closed-circuit television. We shall shortly publish a code of practice that will ensure that such television is sited as effectively as possible. I entirely agree with the thrust of the hon. Gentleman's question.

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