Released Broadmoor Patients

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st March 1977.

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Photo of Mr Michael Brotherton Mr Michael Brotherton , Louth Borough 12:00 am, 31st March 1977

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons released from Broadmoor have been convicted of murder since 1945.

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

I regret that particulars for the whole period since 1945 are not readily available, but for information relating to patients discharged since 1960 I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave to a Question by the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Macfarlane) on 28th March.

Photo of Mr Michael Brotherton Mr Michael Brotherton , Louth Borough

Is the Minister aware that there is grave concern throughout the country about the number of people who have been released from places such as Broadmoor and from prison and have subsequently committed murder? Will he give an undertaking that the Government will review the system of the release of prisoners, particularly those released on parole, so that people may be assured that it is the Government's intention to try to protect the citizen?

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

It is the Government's intention to protect the citizen. Anyone who has held ministerial office in the Home Office will know that anxious consideration is given to the transfer or conditional discharge of those upon whom a restriction order has been made under the Mental Health Acts. When the hon. Gentleman studies the statistics and compares them with the number of people who have been released, the apprehension that he expresses will be seen in better perspective. It is only a small percentage, although any further offence is sad and causes those who released the person the gravest anxiety. This is a matter that must not be exaggerated.

Photo of Mr Stephen Ross Mr Stephen Ross , Isle of Wight

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that there are quite a number of people, especially younger persons, in Broadmoor who should not be there, and that the question of not releasing should be considered in that respect? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that if there were more suitable secure places for such people it would be very much better if they could be allowed to go to them?

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

There are many institutions that could benefit from the creation of auxiliary institutions more suited to particular people. The fact is that no one in Broadmoor—certainly none of the specialists to whom I have spoken—is in any way desirous of keeping people at that institution after the need for so doing has passed.

Photo of Mr William Molloy Mr William Molloy , Ealing North

Would my hon. Friend be prepared to seek discussions with the Confederation of Health Service Employees, which has many members employed in mental institutions of every character? Its members have an intimate knowledge of the administration and many of the problems of such institutions. I feel sure that they would be able to proffer him reasonable guidance and advice and make their contribution to resolving a difficult problem.

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

We should be delighted to do so.