Oral Answers to Questions — India – in the House of Commons on 20th April 1944.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will consider introducing legislation to give those who have suffered loss by burglary or house-breaking the right to claim compensation from the police authority responsible for their protection.
Would not such a Regulation have a salutary effect in many cases?
No, Sir; I think it would be quite wrong to charge the police for people's losses from burglaries, just as it would have been wrong to have charged the London County Council for losses from fires. I am sure that the hon. Member, as chairman of the finance committee of the council, would have resisted any such proposal.
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that many burglaries have taken place owing to burglars breaking in from damaged houses, and that the police and the local authorities disclaim any responsibility for that state of affairs? The responsibility must lie somewhere.
I am sure that the police do their best in difficult circumstances and with a somewhat depleted man-power, but to make them responsible for the financial consequences of burglaries, strikes me as rather a tall order.
I am not suggesting that, but asking whether my right hon. Friend will take better steps to see that damaged houses are not used as jumping off places for burglaries.