§ 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:
- 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;
- ii. to assist with traffic control at major sporting events such as the Cup Final;
- iii. to assist with the command and control of police officers deployed at demonstrations and marches; and
- 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.