§ Mr. Spencer
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the results of pilot schemes to tape-record interviews between police officers and persons suspected of criminal offences; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to a Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels) on 10 January, at columns 529–530. Since that time, the field trials have been continuing, and it is hoped shortly to extend them to an additional police station in the Metropolitan police district, and to establish a new scheme in Gloucestershire. The continuing picture from all the field trial areas is of a favourable police response to tape recording, and the earlier signs of a general increase in pleas of guilt have also continued. The lessons to be learned from the field trials are being assessed in the planning now under way for the transition to a national tape recording scheme as provided for by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.