HC Deb 19 July 1888 vol 328 cc1770-1
MR. P. STANHOPE (Wednesbury)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the ordinary practice of Courts of Summary Jurisdiction is to grant summonses for assault on a parole complaint; whether summonses for assaults alleged to have been committed by private persons on a police constable are habitually granted without any sworn information in writing being laid; if he is aware that at the Bow Street Police Court the magistrate refuses to grant any summons for alleged assault against a member of the Police Force without first having a formal information in writing laid before him; and, if there is any valid reason for thus making an invidious distinction between the police and the public?


I am informed by the Chief Magistrate that summonses for assault are usually granted on complaint without writing. Summonses for assaults on police constables are not applied for without the authority of a Commissioner of Police. There is no general Rule guiding the action of the magistrate with regard to summonses against constables. No distinction is made between the police and the public. The magistrate forms his opinion in each case upon the attendant circumstances, as stated by the complainant. And in all cases (whether against constables or other persons) he may require an information in writing if he thinks fit.