§ Mr. Greg Knight
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to issue a code of practice on the tape recording of police interviews with suspects, in accordance with section 60(1)(a) and section 67 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
§ Mr. Hurd
In accordance with sections 60(1)(a) and 67(3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, I have today laid before Parliament a draft code of practice on the tape recording of police interviews with suspects at police stations.
The draft code published today has been produced after extensive consultations, but publication affords an opportunity for me to consider any further representations about the draft, which should reach my Department by 11 July.
The Act provides for the code to be brought into operation by an order made by statutory instrument and approved by both Houses of Parliament. I propose to lay such an order before each House as soon as possible after 11 July.
After the code has come into operation it will need to be applied in separate orders to particular police force areas. It is my intention to make the necessary orders, under section 60(1)(b) of the 1984 Act, in relation to individual police force areas, or parts thereof, when chief officers, in consultation with other agencies in the criminal justice system, have made satisfactory arrangements for the tape recording of interviews in the areas to be covered by the order. The effect of such an order will be to require the tape recording of interviews with persons suspected of specified offences in accordance with the provisions of the code. But police forces may proceed with arrangements for tape recording in advance of an order applying to their area, and most forces are already doing so.