HC Deb 05 December 1991 vol 200 cc390-1
10. Sir John Farr

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce video recordings of all interviews in police custody.

Mr. John Patten

We will consider further introduction of video recordings of all interviews in police custody when the outcome of a joint study being conducted by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office has been fully considered. The pilot project is being carried out on three forces and an independent evaluation will be completed in the spring of 1992. We will announce our conclusions as soon as possible at that stage.

Sir John Farr

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many miscarriages of justice have occurred recently due entirely to uncorroborated confessions? The sooner that that disgrace is ended, the better. One way of dealing with it, without waiting for the royal commission report, is by starting to video all such interviews forthwith. Will he do so?

Mr. Patten

As my hon. Friend said, the issue is being considered by the royal commission, which will report as soon as possible. Perhaps my hon. Friend will be reassured when I announce to the House that we will be laying tomorrow an order to ensure that, for all indictable offences, there will be the compulsory taking of evidence by tape recording in police stations. That will apply throughout the country as soon as possible.