HC Deb 25 April 1887 vol 313 cc1790-1
MR. PITT-LEWIS (Devon, Barnstaple)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been directed to a Petition, addressed to him at the Home Office, signed by many of the principal tradesmen and largest ratepayers at the West End, against the abolition of the Marlborough Street Police Court, said to be in contemplation; whether he has any information to show that this Petition represents the feeling generally and strongly prevailing in the West End, and that, had time allowed, the Petition would have been far more numerously signed; to what Court the business of the Marlborough Street Court would, in the event of its abolition, be transferred, and what is the accommodation and in particular the state of the cells at that Court; and, whether he will state on what grounds it is suggested that the Court should be discontinued?


Yes, Sir; it is a fact that such a Petition has been received by me. It was enclosed in a letter alleging that, with more time, more signatures could have been obtained. It has become necessary for the conduct of business in the Hammersmith and Wandsworth districts, that full day Courts should be held in each of those districts. This change can only be effected by appointing additional magistrates, or concentrating the other Police Court districts of the Metropolis. The Treasury have expressed a desire that the latter and more economical plan should be followed, if possible, and I have, therefore, directed a Departmental Committee to inquire whether it is possible for the magisterial business of the area now served by the Bow Street, Westminster, and Marlborough Street Courts to be performed by fewer magistrates and in fewer Courts than at present. I have directed that those inquiries shall cover the question of the existing accommodation and state of the cells at Marlborough Street Police Court. These inquiries are still proceeding, and are not likely to be concluded until ample time shall have been given for the receipt and consideration of written representations from those interested in the efficiency of the magisterial service of the area to which I have referred.