Oral Answers to Questions — Arrested Men, Liverpool (Police Treatment)

– in the House of Commons on 10th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

asked the Home Secretary whether he has anything to report about his investigation of the statements made by the Recorder of Liverpool?

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

My right hon. Friend asked the learned Recorder to give him any information on which he based his allegations that persons arrested by the police at Liverpool are maltreated for the purpose of extracting admissions, and in an interim reply he referred to two cases of alleged assaults by the police on persons who were not in custody. In one case there was a quarrel between a householder and a constable who aroused him in the middle of the night because a light was showing, and in the other case there was a struggle between a man who alighted from a moving train and a railway policeman who chased and stopped him. The Liverpool police were not concerned in either of these cases and the charges brought against police officers in both these cases stand on quite a different footing from the charge of maltreating a prisoner who is in custody. The learned Recorder stated that he would pursue his inquiries with a view to sending to my right hon. Friend any further information he can obtain. I understand that the Liverpool Watch Committee have appointed a sub-committee to inquire into the conditions under which persons are detained when arrested by the police

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

Is not the Minister aware that this Recorder made some very serious allegations? Is it intended to make him either substantiate them or withdraw them?

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

I have made a very full statement on the subject. Of course, constitutionally, the Home Office do not exercise any control over learned Recorders.