HC Deb 24 July 2000 vol 354 cc747-8
4. Mr. Colin Burgon (Elmet)

What assessment he has made of the impact of CCTV systems funded under the crime reduction programme. [130325]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Paul Boateng)

Schemes funded under the first round of the initiative are now being implemented and it will be at least 12 months before the impact of CCTV in those areas can be fully evaluated. The Home Office will fund in-depth and independent evaluations of 15 schemes and less detailed evaluations of a further 100. The crime and disorder reduction partnerships will also evaluate local schemes.

Mr. Burgon

I thank the Minister for that reply. In my constituency, the Wetherby News has led a high profile campaign to install CCTV in the town centre. I very much support that campaign and have been in talks with Leeds city council to progress matters. Will the Minister look sympathetically at any well researched bid from Wetherby councillors and the business community that illustrates their willingness to give the scheme meaningful financial support and which clearly shows how CCTV fits into the overall strategy of crime reduction in Wetherby town centre?

Mr. Boateng

I would be happy to do that. The good news about the second round announced on 31 March is that it will take the form of a rolling programme of bids, so with my hon. Friend's encouragement it will be possible for his local council to get in a well evaluated and targeted bid that is linked to local crime reduction targets. That is the key, as all the evidence so far suggests that such schemes make a substantial contribution to reducing crime in local areas.

Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham)

How many CCTV schemes are there in the constituencies of Home Office Ministers, and what provisional assessment has been made of their efficacy?

Mr. Boateng

I have no idea about arrangements in my colleagues' constituencies. However, under the previous and present Administrations, my local borough of Brent was able to put in well funded CCTV schemes that commended themselves to Ministers and civil servants alike. I recommend that approach to the hon. Gentleman.