HC Deb 20 March 1997 vol 292 c1065
7. Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact of CCTV in Newcastle as operated by Northumbria police. [19788]

Mr. Sackville

I understand from the Northumbria police that recorded crime in Newcastle city centre has more than halved since the introduction of closed-circuit television in 1992. There were 15,000 incidents in 1991, and fewer than 7,000 in 1996. The neighbourhood CCTV system in the west end of Newcastle also produced a 23 per cent. reduction of crime in 1996.

Mr. Cousins

Does the Minister recognise that neighbourhood CCTV security schemes were pioneered in Newcastle, by a partnership between the best-led and most effective police force in Britain and people in some of the toughest and least well-off communities and neighbourhoods? Given that record of success, why does the Minister not offer Newcastle more support? Why does he keep refusing it new CCTV schemes, given that it pioneered their development?

Mr. Sackville

Two hundred schemes were funded in the last round. We reckon that the total programme over four years will lead to the installation of 10,000 more cameras throughout the country.

CCTV is one of the Government's major law-and-order achievements, and has led to a reduction in crime everywhere. I remind the hon. Gentleman that this year violent crime fell by 9 per cent. in Northumbria, robberies by 11 per cent., burglaries by 19 per cent., theft by 13 per cent., vehicle crime by 12 per cent. and thefts of motor vehicles by 16 per cent. All that leads to a greater feeling of well-being among residents who are protected by CCTV.

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