MR. W. F. D. SMITH (Strand, Westminster)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that Sergeant Knight, of the "C" division of the Metropolitan Police, was a short time ago punished by Colonel Roberts, the Chief Constable, for entering a public-house and drinking a glass of beer when on duty; whether he will state if the punishment then inflicted, consisting of 10 days' stoppage of pay and four days' stoppage of leave, amounting in reality to a fine of £3 10s., is not largely in excess of the maximum penalty, as stated in the Regulations for the Force; and whether he will be able, taking into consideration the excellent character previously borne by Sergeant Knight, to remit part of the fine?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fife, E.
The sergeant most 196 improperly left his duty and entered a public-house to obtain drink while in charge of the section; and in order to deceive the landlord, who would be liable to severe penalties for serving drink to a police officer on duty, he removed his armlet, and thereby made his offence more serious. The offence was, under the circumstances, deemed an aggravated case, which would have warranted a more severe punishment than that awarded; but in consideration of the officer's previous good character, a modified punishment was inflicted as stated in the hon. Member's question.