HL Deb 15 June 1988 vol 498 cc363-4WA
Lord Nugent of Guildford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have 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.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Earl Ferrers)

In accordance with Sections 60(1)(a) and 67(3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, my right honourable friend on Monday laid before Parliament a draft code of practice on the tape-recording of police interviews with suspects at police stations.

The draft code published on Monday has been produced after extensive consultations, but publication affords an opportunity for me to consider any further representations about the draft, which should reach the department by 11th 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. We propose to lay such an order before each House as soon as possible after 11th July.

After the code has come into operation it will need to be applied in separate orders to particular police force areas. It is our 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.