HC Deb 15 August 1889 vol 339 cc1336-7
MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the fact that, on the 9th instant, four members of the Salvation Army, who had been convicted of causing an obstruction by preaching in the square at Whitchurch, were handcuffed, and were in that condition conveyed from Overton to Winchester Prison, notwithstanding the protest of the defendants' solicitor to Mr. Joseph Waters, the Superintendent of Police at Kingsclere, who was present; and whether he will take effectual steps to secure obedience to his own declaration that, unless the police had reasonable grounds for fearing the Salvationists would run away, handcuffs should not be used?


Yes, Sir. I am informed by the Chief Constable that the fact is as stated, and that the Superintendent, in the exercise of his discretion, handcuffed the prisoners, because it came to his knowledge that the friends of the prisoners had telegraphed to Winchester that they were coming, and he feared a repetition of what had taken place on the 16th of July, on which occasion an escort of police convoying two Salvationists from Whitchurch to Winchester had great difficulty in preventing a rescue of the prisoners by a large crowd of sympathisers. On that occasion a complaint was made to me as to the use of handcuffs, and I called the attention of the Chief Constable to the declaration quoted, so that he is in possession of my views. I can only lay down general principles for the guidance of the police, who must act according to the circumstances of each case.