HC Deb 28 February 1895 vol 31 cc12-3
CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that London carmen are fined, and, in addition, lose a day's wages, for leaving their vans unattended while delivering goods, and that when single handed they cannot in many instances avoid leaving their vans; and, whether he will consider what steps can be taken to put an end to this grievance?


Section 54, Sub-section 4 of the Metropolitan Police Act, 1839, provides that any person having the care of any cart or carriage, who shall be at such a distance from such cart or carriage as not to have complete control over every horse or other animal drawing the same, shall be liable to summary prosecution and to a fine not exceeding 40s. This seems to me to be a very proper provision for the public safety: the police only take action under the section where the public safety renders proceedings necessary, and I think that any relaxation of the existing Law would not be in the public interest.


I should like to ask the Home Secretary whether he is aware that hundreds upon hundreds of vehicles are left unattended in the streets of London daily; and whether the arbitrary and haphazard selection of a minute proportion of these cases tends either to greater safety in the streets or greater respect for the law; and considering that these cases which come into Court mostly result from inexperienced or over-officious constables, whether he will take into consideration the advisability of sending a circular to the Metropolitan Police suggesting that they should not summon men when they have a chain on the wheel, or when they are only absent for such a time as may he considered reasonable to enable them to deliver goods?


The principal consideration in this matter is the public safety. I cannot admit either haphazard or arbitrary action on the part of the Police, but if my hon. Friend will bring forward any case of real hardship I will make inquiry in regard to it.