National Traffic Inspectorate

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

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Photo of Mr Frank Hooley Mr Frank Hooley , Sheffield, Heeley 12:00 am, 27th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek powers to establish a national traffic inspectorate to take over all the duties of controlling and supervising road traffic movement and parking, and enforcing traffic laws and regulations so as to free the civil police from responsibility for these duties.

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

I am not convinced that this course would be either practicable or desirable. But I am concerned that here as elsewhere police officers should not ordinarily be employed on duties which can be properly and effectively undertaken by other persons, and I am giving close attention to the division of responsibility between the uniformed police and civilian auxiliaries.

Photo of Mr Frank Hooley Mr Frank Hooley , Sheffield, Heeley

Would not my hon. and learned Friend agree that the laws and regulations relating to traffic are now becoming as complex as laws and regulations in other important fields such as Income Tax and public health, and that it is just as absurd to expect civil police to cope with all of them as it would be to expect them to cope with enforcement in those other fields? Do not we need a special enforcement body for this job?

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

I dealt with this matter in reply to an earlier Question. But there is a different consideration here, because cars are used so often in other offences. This has been the experience in other countries. It is very difficult to separate traffic matters from crime matters. There would be competition about accommodation and overlapping in the ordinary regulation of traffic when questions of public order are involved. In the circumstances, I do not think that my hon. Friend's idea is a good one.