British Transport Police

Part of Petition – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 22 May 1981.

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Photo of Dr David Clark Dr David Clark , South Shields 10:35, 22 May 1981

I take the point that we are using the case as an example. However, the Minister said that when the British Transport Police decided whether to prosecute they held consultations with the social services department. I do not expect the Minister to know the answer, but I wish to ask an important question. If the British Transport Police had gone to the social services department and told it that three boys had been arrested, the department might have known their ages. That might well have been the case. It is possible that the parent did not lie and that the constable made a mistake when he wrote down the individual's date of birth. It is not good enough that British Transport Police should raise with the social services department the one case in respect of which it contemplates bringing charges. It is important that all those involved should be discussed. That might obviate these difficulties. In addition, it would act as another check against human error, which can easily occur if someone slurs a word or has to write down a statement.

I hope that the Minister will take that point and, perhaps, hold informal consultations with the British Transport Police on that point.