§ Mr. Sims
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many courts have been provided with closed circuit television equipment to enable children to give evidence without being present in the court room; when he expects the central criminal court at the Old Bailey to be so equipped; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Attorney-General
I have been asked to reply.
To date, 35 crown court centres have been supplied with such equipment as part of a programme which will provide equipment in a total of 44 centres by the end of the 1992–93 financial year. The Central Criminal Court was one of the first 14 centres equipped in preparation for 5 January 1989. An application for the use of a television link may be made under s.32(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to any crown court centre. The decision as to whether an application should be made is for the appropriate party. The granting or otherwise of such an application is a matter of judicial discretion. Where an application is made and granted at a court centre which is not equipped, rules of court provide for the case to be transferred to a convenient equipped centre.