Traffic and Clerical Duties

Oral Answers to Questions — Police Force – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd February 1949.

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Photo of Sub-Lieutenant Herschel Austin Sub-Lieutenant Herschel Austin , Stretford 12:00 am, 3rd February 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up a committee to consider a reduced standard of entry into the Police Force for traffic and clerical duties in order to release appropriate personnel for criminal detection and other similar duties.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. I do not think it would make for efficiency to create this degree of specialisation inside the police force or to recruit as police officers persons who would be unfit for the full range of police duties. It is desirable in order to retain the active interest of police officers in their duties that their work should be as varied as possible.

Photo of Sub-Lieutenant Herschel Austin Sub-Lieutenant Herschel Austin , Stretford

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in these days when our Police Force is tremendously depleted, many police officers are engaged in clerical or traffic duties who could otherwise be engaged in crime prevention and detection, and will he now consider some reduced standard of entry for people who can do such work?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. I have discussed this matter with a good many senior police officers and with men of lower ranks. It is very desirable that it should be possible to give a wide change of duty to all police officers and the introduction of a specialist class militates against that course.

Photo of Sub-Lieutenant Herschel Austin Sub-Lieutenant Herschel Austin , Stretford

In view of the importance of this question, and in fairness to the public interest, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.