HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 cc1721-2W
Mr. Todd

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department has taken to provide video links to prisons for the use of the(a) police, (b) probation service and (c) other services in interviewing prisoners. [154479]

Paul Goggins

Police, probation and other services can make local arrangements with prisons to use video link facilities in courts to interview prisoners, providing the technology is not being used for pre-trial hearings at that time.

Records on the use of video links for purposes other than pre-trial hearings are not held centrally. However, prisons are encouraged to make full use of any spare capacity within the video links system, and to liaise with police, probation and other services to ensure its effective use.

The Prison Service Video Links Enhancement Project has been set up with the aim of maximising the use of existing video link facilities, and to consider activities where the use of this technology will either improve performance or reduce costs.