Arrested Men, Liverpool (Police Treatment)

Oral Answers to Questions — Cinemas – in the House of Commons on 15th October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the statement of Mr. Hemmerde at the Liverpool Quarter Sessions recently that he was confident that beating up of arrested men in bridewells does go on; and whether he will cause immediate inquiries to be made?

Dr. Russell Thomas:

asked the Home Secretary whether he will call for a report in regard to the recent allegation of the Recorder of Liverpool asserting that arrested men are beaten by the police in order to extract admissions?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I need not assure the House that I take the most serious view of any suggestion that there has been maltreatment by the police of any person in custody. Accordingly, as soon as I saw the newspaper account I called for a report from the Chief Constable and I have ascertained that a defendant who was before the Court on 8th October handed a written statement to the learned Recorder alleging that he had been ill-treated while he was in police custody after his arrest on the night of 29th July, more than two months earlier. The defendant in question had not previously made a complaint to any person in authority, though he has had opportunities to do so when he was before the Magistrate on three occasions before his committal to Quarter Sessions; and his allegations were denied on oath by the police officers whom he mentioned as being concerned. According to the newspaper reports the learned Recorder referred to other statements of a similar character which had reached him and in order that every effort may be made to investigate the matter I am communicating with the learned Recorder and asking him to help me by giving me any information in his possession on which his remarks were based.