HC Deb 23 March 1983 vol 39 cc421-2W
Sir Edward Gardner

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with present progress in experiments now being carried out in the use of tape recorders for interrogation by the police.

Mr. Whitelaw

Yes. The steering committee established to devise and oversee the field trials held its first meeting in January. Since then further meetings have been held to settle detailed procedures for the trials capable of addressing fully the complicated issues to which tape recording will give rise. Simultaneously progress is being made in the selection of technical equipment, in devising proposals to monitor the trials, and in establishing arrangements to oversee them locally. Approaches have been made to a number of areas to participate in the trials, but final decisions have yet to be made by some of those invited to do so. I hope to be able to make a further announcement soon about the participating areas.

I should like to record my gratitude to the steering committee, and in particular the representatives of the police service and the other bodies which have an interest in tape recording, for the ready co-operation they have given and their commitment to ensuring that the field trials are mounted successfully.