Metropolitan Police (Arms).

Oral Answers to Questions — Palestine – in the House of Commons on 11th July 1922.

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Photo of Mr James Remnant Mr James Remnant , Holborn

36.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been called to the shooting of Sergeant Beesley of the Metropolitan Police, in Plenheim Road, Holloway, on Wednesday, the 5th instant, while arresting an alleged cycle thief; and if he has yet decided to arm the police with revolvers so as to enable them to defend themselves against armed criminals?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

As I have stated on previous occasions, any constable engaged on dangerous duty who is competent to handle a pistol is supplied with one if he desires, and I am strongly advised against requiring the police generally to carry arms at other times. It is not desirable that they should use such weapons except to resist an armed attack, and until he was arrested there was no reason to suppose that Sergeant Beesley's assailant was armed.

Photo of Mr James Remnant Mr James Remnant , Holborn

In the case of a police constable who wishes to be armed in view of possible attacks by criminals, will he be supplied with practice ammunition if he applies for it, as I am told that he has to pay out of his own pocket for the ammunition with which he must practice in order to become expert?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

I am afraid that I cannot answer without notice, but if my hon. Friend is correct, I will look into the matter.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee , Finsbury

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of issuing orders to superintendents of police that when men are going on a dangerous job he will issue an order that they shall carry arms, and not leave it to them to ask for them?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

It depends on the job. Men on special duty are selected for their skill with the pistol, and are armed.

Photo of Mr Stephen Howard Mr Stephen Howard , Sudbury

Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider it advisable to have the law strengthened so as to have more severe penalties for criminals who are caught with arms'?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

That does not arise out of the question.