Ministers attack tougher rules for security cameras

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The government's plans for stricter regulation of CCTV came under attack from Tory backbenchers and a former Home Office minister today.

Tory right-winger Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, warned ministers against jumping on the "Liberty bandwagon" and said the cameras were an important tool in the fight against crime.

Former Labour Home Office minister Meg Hillier accused the government of "fudging" when challenged over whether their plan would result in any cameras being removed.

In the coalition deal, the Tories and Liberal Democrats agreed to "further regulate CCTV" as part of their plans to protect civil liberties.

But Mr Davies said ministers should not follow the advice of civil liberties campaign group Liberty, who have long called for tighter regulation of CCTV.

At Commons question time he told crime reduction minister James Brokenshire: "CCTV cameras do not prevent anybody from going about their lawful daily business freely."

It was CCTV which identified the 7 July bombers, he said.

Mr Brokenshire said Mr Davies had underlined the "important role that CCTV has in terms of policing and in terms of protecting our communities".

But he said: "CCTV use has developed in the absence of a specific regulatory framework and we believe it is important in terms of proportionality that regulation is taken forward."