Dr Julian Lewis [SUPPLEMENTARY TO ANOTHER MP's PQ ON POLICING AND CRIME IN GWENT]: Crime reduction in Gwent is greatly to be welcomed, but does the Minister agree that increased use of closed circuit television would assist in reducing crime levels in Gwent and elsewhere? Does the hon. Gentleman recall that the Home Secretary gave a favourable response to my suggestion that it should be made a condition that shops and other premises that trade at unsocial hours should have CCTV? Is any progress being made in that regard? If not, why not – especially in Gwent?
[The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr Charles Clarke): The hon. Gentleman will be interested to learn that the number of police officers in Hampshire increased by eight over the six months concerned. I am considering the CCTV questions that have been raised. We have specifically highlighted in our most recent guidance the use of CCTV in rural areas, which will help constituents such as those that the hon. Gentleman represents, and along parades of shops in out-of-town estates where much crime takes place for the reason that he has indicated. His proposal to make it a condition of trading out of hours that CCTV should be installed is one that we are considering, and we shall continue to do so. As he knows, however, significant problems are associated with the proposal.]