Police Recruits (Colour Blindness)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1967.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian 12:00 am, 27th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many otherwise suitable recruits were rejected from joining the police force because of colour blindness in the latest year for which figures are available; and what study he has made of this problem in relation to police recruitment.

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

Annual statistics for England and Wales of applicants rejected for this reason are not available but the figure for the Metropolitan Police for the first three months of this year was less than 1 per cent. The Police Advisory Board Working Party on Manpower last year considered the minimum medical standards for recruits to the police service but made no recommendation about colour blindness.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that some of the applicants who have been rejected because of colour blindness are beginning to have doubts about it? I have experienced some of that, and I am beginning to have doubts as well.

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

I understand that my hon. Friend was concerned with two Scottish cases, which are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. But one of those cases, I think, concerned the question of whether someone could distinguish red and green in all lights, and it is rather important for a traffic policeman to know the difference between red and green.