§ Mr. Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps he is taking or considering to ensure that the large car-parking providers offer a more secure environment for the parking of vehicles;
(2) what steps he is taking to stimulate awareness and activity among car-parking providers on security matters so as to bring their efforts up to those of vehicle manufacturers;
(3) what steps he is taking to ensure that local government car parking providers ensure a higher degree of security in their car parks;
(4) what consultations he is planning with major car parking companies to encourage greater security of car parking facilities;
(5) what consideration he has given to introducing a system by which car owners and drivers can evaluate the safety of available car parking facilities;
(6) what discussions he has had with his European counterparts on the way in which car parking providers can be made more responsible for vehicles parked in their premises for a fee;
(7) what steps he is considering to increase the degree of responsibility borne by car parking providers for the safety of vehicles in their care.269W
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
Last year, the Home Office published crime prevention unit paper No. 34, "Preventing Car Crime in Car Parks", a copy of which is in the Library. This was widely distributed.
My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack), met the major car parking operators, local authority associations, consumer bodies and others in January to discuss what could be done to improve car park security. I intend to have a further meeting early next year to review progress.
We urge all car park operators to support the national secured car park scheme, which was launched by the police in September 1992, with Home Office support. Under that scheme, operators can apply for an award if their premises meet prescribed security standards. This enables motorists to identify car parks with good security. Both local authorities and private operators are participating in the scheme. Awards have been made to more than 150 car parks and many more are pending.
There have been no specific discussions with our European counterparts on this matter.