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Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the use of closed circuit television footage in (a) deterring and (b) prosecuting offenders who commit assaults on the street. (71630)

CCTV can be an important tool in the fight against crime and disorder. However, evidence shows that its potential has not been fully realised and that a national strategy is needed. The Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers are undertaking a review of CCTV, to determine how it may be used more effectively in reducing and detecting crime and terrorism. The review’s findings will be known in the autumn.

On the subject of deterrence, some work has already been done. In the recent Home Office evaluation of CCTV (Gill, M., and Spriggs, A. (2005) Assessing the Impact of CCTV. Home Office Research Study 292. London: Home Office,, it appears that the likelihood of certain types of offence being committed was affected by the presence of cameras. It is the offences where the offender does a quick target ‘risk assessment’ that tend to be affected by the presence of CCTV.

The Home Office has no figures available on the extent of, or success of the use of CCTV in the context of the prosecution of offenders who commit offences.