HC Deb 29 October 1985 vol 84 c406W
Mr. Chris Smith

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions over the past 12 months the Metropolitan police air support unit has used the heli-tele suveillance camera, what these occasions were, whether a film record was made during any of these surveillance operations and on what occasion the heli-tele was first used.

Mr. Giles Shaw

I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that over the past 12 months the heli-tele surveillance camera was used by his air support unit on about 30 occasions for the following purposes:

  1. i. to assist security operations at such events as state visits, Trooping the Colour and the moving of high-risk prisoners from prison to court;
  2. ii. to assist with traffic control at major sporting events such as the Cup Final;
  3. iii. to assist with the command and control of police officers deployed at demonstrations and marches; and
  4. iv. to assist in the preparation of training exercises.

Video recordings were made on a number of these occasions.

The commissioner assures me that on each occasion the use of heli-tele was fully within the guidelines for the use of equipment in police surveillance operations, a copy of which is in the Library.

Heli-tele was first used at the Notting Hill Gate carnival in 1977.

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