Clause 29

Part of Protection of Freedoms Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 26th April 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 11:15 am, 26th April 2011

I have said that I can see the need for a code of practice. The amendment says something about what should be included in the code. There should be a reference to the importance of CCTV to community safety and to crime reduction. I am also saying to the Minister that I do not support such a code from the point of view that there is a huge demand for it from vast members of the public, who are concerned about privacy. I accept that there have been one or two examples of the inappropriate use of CCTV and ANPR, so it is not something that is illogical or something that we should not do; it might be helpful to publish a code of practice.

I accept the hon. Gentleman’s argument that we can help to maintain public confidence in such a way, but I do not support a code of practice for CCTV from the starting point that vast numbers of people consider it an infringement of their privacy. I support it because I want to make sure that we do something about some individual anomalies that have arisen, but I do not want a voluntary code of practice in place, which in future can undermine the provision of CCTV systems in communities, shopping areas and other places where the public wish to see them. People consider them important in tackling community safety, in preventing crime and in increasing their confidence.