HC Deb 03 May 2001 vol 367 cc709-10W
Mr. Crausby

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what effect closed circuit television cameras have had on the crime levels in Bolton. [159838]

Mr. Charles Clarke

Police operational experience and various research studies show that Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) has considerable crime reduction and detection potential, particularly when used as part of a wider strategy.

No formal independent evaluation of CCTV in Bolton has yet been undertaken. However, the Bolton Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership consider that CCTV has contributed to the 7 per cent. fall in recorded crime in Bolton last year.

The value of the Bolton town centre and car parks CCTV scheme in helping the police control and direct resources was demonstrated during a concerted effort to reduce crime in the town centre during Christmas 2000 shopping period. Reductions of 10 per cent. in street crime and 80 per cent. in vehicle crime were achieved in crime hot-spots compared with the previous Christmas.

During the past year, incidents of anti-social behaviour reported in the residential areas of Bolton covered by CCTV reduced by 75 per cent.

Under the current CCTV Initiative, coverage in Bolton is being enhanced. The Partnership is close to implementing two schemes providing coverage in residential areas and has been invited to prepare final proposals for two further residential schemes. Potential awards could reach nearly £420,000. The schemes will need to have been in place for at least 12 months before their impact can be fully evaluated. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships will also be evaluating schemes locally.