HC Deb 10 August 1876 vol 231 cc975-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the circumstances detailed in a Letter, dated the 2nd day of August, from a Mr. William Glasson, addressed to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, complaining of the conduct of Inspector Anniss, of the Metropolitan Police, now acting in the neighbourhood of Plymouth and Devonport under the Contagious Diseases Acts, 1866 and 1869, accusing that officer of arresting, questioning indecently, and threatening a highly respectable young lady at Mutley, near Plymouth, on the night of the 26th of July; whether Captain Harris on being complained to did not on the 5th of August reply to the complaints— I have the Reports now before me, and from these I gathered that Inspector Anniss was not near the place named on the day in question. It is quite evident to me that some person must have personated Inspector Anniss (probably an Agent of the Contagious Diseases Acts Repeal Association), as I have the testimony of many persons that Inspector Anniss wag on the Hoe at the time named. I fear you have fallen into bad hands. (Signed) "WILM. C. HARRIS, Assistant Commr. whether such an answer will be considered by him decorous and satisfactory; and, whether under all the circumstances he will not cause an independent inquiry to be made into the facts?


My attention was called to the letter of Mr. Glasson, and I immediately directed the ordinary inquiries to be made in the usual course. I regret to find that the letter quoted by the hon. Member has been written by Captain Harris. I think it very injudicious, and I am sorry he should have written it. With regard to the case itself, I have only received this afternoon the full reports on the conduct of the police. They are of considerable length, and I am unable at present to form any opinion on the matter. I think it right to say that the Inspector denies, in the most positive manner, the truth of the statement from beginning to end. He says he was not at the place mentioned, and knows nothing about the matter. I am not quite certain whether the proper course would not be to leave the matter to the ordinary tribunals of the country, so that the charge may be tried in open court before the magistrates. Should this be done, I shall give every facility in my power to have the matter properly investigated, and I think that such a course would be more satisfactory than a private inquiry.