Riot Damages Act, 1886

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th April 1970.

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Photo of Mr David Lane Mr David Lane , Cambridge 12:00 am, 16th April 1970

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has for amending the Riot (Damages) Act, 1886.

Photo of Mr David Lane Mr David Lane , Cambridge

As the Joint Under-Secretary of State has made clear to me in a helpful letter that the occasions on which a police authority might be required to pay compensation are likely to be very few, will the right hon. Gentleman consider carefully whether the best course might be to get rid of the Act? In today's circumstances, and in many people's eyes, it is apt to cast an undeserved stigma on the police and put an unreasonable liability on the ratepayers.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Secretary of State for the Home Department, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Treasurer, Labour Party

Those are considerations that could be taken into account, but I cannot offer any hope for the repeal of this Act. It was introduced in circumstances which bear astonishing similarities to what has been happening recently, and is a reminder that the accent on our current dicontents is not as novel as we might think.