Bomb Disposal (Police Training)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th May 1972.

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Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan 12:00 am, 24th May 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what special training in bomb disposal is offered to members of Scottish police forces: and if he will make a statement on this matter

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , North Angus and Mearns

It is police practice, when a bomb is discovered, to arrange for it to be dealt with by Service or other outside experts. Accordingly no requirement for police training has arisen.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Is the hon. Gentleman telling us that the number of bombs which have not exploded in Scotland outnumber the number that have exploded, and does he intend to rest on that? If the situation should change, will he take action at once and do what I suggest in my Question?

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , North Angus and Mearns

The handling of explosives is an extremely complex and difficult matter which is best left to the experts. The searching and clearing of buildings are functions which are comparable to the other duties of the police, but actually dealing with the bombs must be left to the experts.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Then create the experts.

Photo of Mr Ronald Murray Mr Ronald Murray , Edinburgh Leith

is the hon. Gentleman saying that police officers in Scotland are given no instruction on how to identify bombs?

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , North Angus and Mearns

In relation to their general duties, but I am dealing with the question of disposal where Service and other experts are obviously appropriate.