[Sir John Butterfill in the Chair] — A Surveillance Society?

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:55 pm on 19th March 2009.

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Photo of Bruce George Bruce George Labour, Walsall South 2:55 pm, 19th March 2009

I understand the arguments. I would not say that I discount them, but I do not share them. If people go out into a town centre, they need to feel secure, which is more likely if there are more policemen on duty, although whether that has an effect is a point for discussion. However, if there are no policemen, the police will have access to effective cameras.

A few months ago, I had a situation in my constituency, which I have not yet resolved. Two security guards left their post in the establishment where they worked because they were told that a guy was running around with knives. These two security guys—I bet that they were not on much more than the minimum wage—took on this guy unarmed and brought him to the ground, but one of them was stabbed. I want to propose an award for them and I am asking the police whether they will allow me access to the CCTV footage, because there was a camera there. Perhaps that will be prohibited because the incident was none of my direct business, but I suspect that the footage still exists.

What happens if people throw away their CCTV film after a week because they cannot afford the storage, but the police detect a case three months later, thinking that they are on the ball? Perhaps new technology will address that problem. However, my views and those of the hon. Lady are not totally opposed—I am on one side of the line, and she is on the other.