Clause 29

Part of Protection of Freedoms Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 26th April 2011.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) 12:00 pm, 26th April 2011

I suggest that that sort of system would be covered by paragraph (a) as a closed circuit television system. It appears from my reading of the Bill, although I will bow to more detailed knowledge of legal drafting, that such a system would be captured by either paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), although the matter would need to be analysed. It is a system for recording or viewing visual images of people, so there is nothing in my reading of the Bill to suggest that it would not be caught by the definition of a surveillance camera system in subsection (6). I hope that is helpful.

The definition is intended to ensure that the Bill captures surveillance camera systems properly, so it is important that we get it right, given the application of the term elsewhere. As I said, the hon. Member for Gedling highlighted that he wants clarification to ensure that the people who are likely to be surveilled are properly reflected in the drafting of the provision. I will certainly consider closely the point that he highlighted. I thank him for the manner in which he has brought it to the Committee’s attention, and I will certainly give it some consideration to ensure that it properly achieves our intention. The advice that I have been given suggests that it does, but at the same time the whole purpose of the Committee is to test, challenge and scrutinise, and therefore I welcome the challenge that the hon. Gentleman has thrown down. I want to carefully and calmly reflect on his comments, and the comments of others, to ensure that the measure works in the way that the Committee and I wish it to, so that the Bill operates in the way intended.