HC Deb 07 December 1830 vol 1 cc807-9
Mr. Lamb

moved to discharge the Order which had been made for certain Returns respecting the Metropolitan Police, for the purpose of substituting a more extended Motion, in the form of an Address, including Returns of all Monies collected in the several Districts of the Metropolis for the payment of the Police Force now in existence; also, for Returns of the former Expenses of Nightly Watch and Day Police, with an account of all sums expended in preparing Station Houses, &c. &c.

Mr. Ridley Colborne

took that occasion to advert to the state of the disturbed districts in the vicinity of the metropolis, and of other parts of the country in the same condition, urging the necessity of issuing Special Commissions for all those Counties in which there had been disturbances for the trial of offenders. He wished to press upon his Majesty's Government the necessity which existed of making such arrangements as would pre- vent parties accused from being tried by the Magistrates by whom they had been committed, and with whom they might have come into personal conflict.

Lord Althorp

had to state, for the information of his hon. friend, that in addition to the Commission already issued, another had passed the Great Seal for the trial of offenders in Buckinghamshire. There would be, in the issue of many more Commissions, considerable difficulty in finding Judges to try the accused. He fully concurred with his hon. friend, that none of those persons ought to be tried by the Magistrates under whose warrants they were committed, or by any person liable to be swayed by local, or any other undue influence.

Sir R. Peel

observed, that the Returns which had been moved for could not be complete unless the expense of private watchmen were included in it. Several of the parishes in the metropolis had, from the necessity of the case, been compelled to employ private watchmen; for there was, in some parishes no rate for the purpose of defraying the expense of watching. To obtain Returns showing the cost of private watchmen would be obviously impossible, and without them it would be impracticable to discover the difference between the expense of the present and the old systems.

Mr. Wilks

observed, that notwithstanding the police was said to be so good, the people would not in many cases give up their private watchmen; and with that the increase of expense was very great. Thus in Newington, Lambeth, the rates had been raised from 3,000l. to 4,390l. a-year; in Christ Church from 1,200l. to 2,100l.; and in St. George's, Hanover-square, from 5,000l. to 17,000l.; and in all these places he believed that the number of protectors by night was less than before. He was of opinion, that the fullest possible information ought to be obtained, and he had every hope that when a Committee was appointed to inquire into the state of the police of the metropolis, it would be found that the expense could be considerably diminished, and that some portion of it ought to be defrayed from the Consolidated Fund, and not exclusively made chargeable upon the parishes.

Mr. Lamb

undertook to obtain all possible information from parochial authorities, and otherwise, respecting the expense. He was well aware that a number of private watchmen were employed, for even yet some old ladies desired to have the hour called at night.

An Address for the various Returns was then agreed to.