HC Deb 12 March 1997 vol 292 c220W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consultations she has had with(a) Independent Television Commission and (b) the Broadcasting Standards Commission concerning the levels of violence on television following the killings at Dumblane. [19098]

Mr. Sproat

The Government have long been concerned about violence on television and the protection of young people from unsuitable material. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly meets the ITC and the Broadcasting Standards Council and has frequently highlighted public concerns on this issue. Last autumn, she asked both bodies, together with the BBC, to report action taken on violence and future proposals, and in December she met the bodies' chairmen to review their reports and agree further initiatives.

The ITC, BSC and BBC are establishing an industry working party to implement plans, following those initiatives, to improve the information available to the public and to review and publicise guidelines to be applied in dealing with the portrayal of violence. On 5 March this year my right hon. Friend opened a conference for broadcasters on violence, hosted by the BSC, at which there was detailed discussion of the issues to be covered as this work progresses.