Clarke considers appeal for more security cameras: City parking curbs to counter bombings to be examined but checkpoints ruled out

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The Independent Online
THE Government is to consider requests for more security equipment, such as closed circuit video cameras, in areas facing a high risk of terrorist attack.

Kenneth Clarke, Home Secretary, said yesterday that he would review demands for more resources after a meeting between the Prime Minister, the Lord Mayor of London and the capital's senior police officers. Paul Condon, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and Owen Kelly, Commissioner of the City of London Police, are believed to have outlined extra security measures they would like to see put into action.

Their proposals are likely to get sympathetic treatment following the devastation caused by Saturday's IRA bomb in the City. Security cameras have been effective in identifying criminals and the police are known to be keen to have their use extended.

'We are now going to examine further ways to restore confidence in the City, which has got back to its ordinary way of life very rapidly indeed,' Mr Clarke said.

Weekend parking restrictions on lorries in the City is one option being discussed but general checkpoints for all vehicles have been dismissed as impractical. The high-level meeting emphasised the importance the Government places on attacks on London's financial heart.

Hopes that the historic church of St Ethelburga's, which was wrecked by the IRA bomb in Bishopsgate, may be rebuilt rose yesterday after the Bishop of London visited the scene of the attack.

It had been thought that the church, which survived both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz but took the full force of the bomb, was too badly damaged to be rebuilt.

The Right Rev David Hope inspected the church, which was founded in 1250, yesterday and afterwards a diocesan spokesman was more optimistic about its future.

The spokesman said: 'The bishop has seen it and was accompanied by several experts who have advised him that some of the preliminary reports about it being impossible to rebuild may have been premature.

'Although there is an immense amount of damage, the bishop was quite surprised at how much of the church is still there. All options are being kept open.' An added surprise was that the goldfish in the tiny churchyard pond survived.

Only the back wall and a large amount of rubble remain from the explosion, but the bishop is aware that there is pressure from the public and in Parliament to rebuild London's smallest church. English Heritage has said that rebuilding it would be a 'replication rather than a restoration' and the diocese has to consider whether it would be worthwhile.

Scotland Yard has released six of the nine people who were arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act after the explosion. The remaining three were still being questioned by police last night.