HC Deb 16 September 2003 vol 410 cc672-3W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the use of video surveillance in public areas; what effect this has had on crime in those areas; and what plans there are to expand video surveillance.[127990]

Ms Blears

Under the Crime Reduction Programme CCTV Initiative, around £170 million has been spent on 684 CCTV schemes across England and Wales, covering town centres, car parks, residential and rural areas. Of these schemes, 675 are already operational with the remaining schemes due to go live later this year. The Initiative is now closed and there are no plans for a new CCTV-specific funding round in the near future.

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

To help ensure maximum impact and sustainability of CCTV, a 1.5 million Home Office funded national evaluation programme is being carried out by the Scarman Centre, University of Leicester, on 15 approved CCTV Initiative schemes.

The final evaluation report will not be published until 2004, but interim reports will be available before then. The first—providing guidance for practitioners on implementation of CCTV schemes—is available on the crime reduction website (www.crimereduction.gov.uk).

Opportunities for funding of further CCTV schemes in England and Wales currently exist through the Building Safer Communities Fund. Under this fund, £72.3 million has been made available to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships in 2003–04 for tackling local problems of crime and disorder. In addition, a special £50 million Basic Command Unit (BCU) fund has been distributed to local police commanders to help tackle the problems that matter most in their communities. Police will be able to target the extra resources at local level problems, like antisocial behaviour and drugs, deploying CCTV where appropriate.

The Scottish Parliament has responsibility for CCTV funding in Scotland.