Arson and Loss Claims

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th January 1972.

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Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking 12:00 am, 27th January 1972

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of the increase in the number of fires in London caused by arson, he will initiate special action to combat arson and, in this connection, to investigate the activities of certain public loss assessors and insurance loss adjusters.

Photo of Mr Richard Sharples Mr Richard Sharples , Sutton and Cheam

It is for the chief officer of police concerned to take such action as he considers appropriate. I am sure that any suspected arson or fraudulent fire loss claim is carefully investigated.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking

Will the Minister bear in mind that detailed factual reports on a number of these incidents were submitted to Scotland Yard some years ago and no action was taken? Could he at least find out why that is so, and ask the Yard particularly to investigate the activities of Mr. Leopold Harris and his family firm of L. S. Harris, who are up to their old trick of submitting fraudulent claims, often in connection with fires in which innocent people have been burnt to death?

Photo of Mr Richard Sharples Mr Richard Sharples , Sutton and Cheam

It is my understanding that details of certain cases have been sent to the Commissioner of Police. It is for the Commissioner of Police to decide what action shall be taken.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise this matter on the Adjournment.