HC Deb 02 March 1882 vol 266 cc1918-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been drawn to the insecurity of the Thames Embankments at night in consequence of gangs of roughs infesting them, and to the fact that there have been taken out of the Thames between Vauxhall Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge eight bodies of adult men between the 1Mb. and 23rd February; and, whether he will consult with the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis with a view of placing some mounted patrols and additional police on the Embankments


Sir, I have communicated with the Chief Commissioner of Police on this subject, and he assures me that there is no connection whatever between the fact that eight bodies have been taken out of the River Thames recently and any supposed acts of violence or disorder on the Thames Embankments. Each of the cases referred to in the Question has been carefully investigated, and on that investigation there is no reasonable doubt that these have been cases of suicide, and not of deaths by violence. The register of crime shows that no outrage or any serious offence has occurred anywhere on the Thames Embankments since the beginning of the year. There was a violent outrage committed on the 8th of December, 1881, on the Thames Embankment near the City Boundary; and two men charged with the offence are now awaiting trial. In these circumstances, there being no report since that time of any acts of violence whatever on the Thames Embankments, there is no occasion for any further measures on the part of the police than those that are at present taken.


asked, whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman had seen in that day's Pall Mall Gazette, a statement that last year 108 bodies were taken out of the Thames and few were identified, and also a description of the insufficient accommodation provided for the exhibition of those bodies with a view to their identification; and, whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman would consider the expediency of providing some central place at which bodies could be kept for identification?


I am afraid I cannot answer my hon. Friend at the present moment. My hon. Friend asks me whether I have seen a statement in The Pall Mall Gazette? I have had a good deal to occupy me today, and have had no time to read The Pall Mall Gazette.