§ MR. E. H. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that at the Derby Hunt Steeplechases held at Derby on Tuesday last, betting was carried on in Tattersall's ring by bookmakers in the manner recently decided by the Queen's Bench Division to be unlawful, and that, although the police were present in force, they did not interfere; and whether, in virtue of the powers conferred upon him by No. 1 of the Regulations made under the authority of the Prosecution of Offences Acts, 1879 and 1884, he will order the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute criminal proceedings where evidence is available in cases in which the law appears to have been broken?
The HON. MEMBER also asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, with a view to secure uniformity throughout the country in the due execution of the Law, the Director of Public Prosecutions will, by a requisition in virtue of the regulations under the Prosecution of Offences Acts, 1879 and 1884, require the chief officer of every police district to furnish him with such information as the regulations prescribe respecting the offence of unlawful betting on racecourses and similar places within his district?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
I cannot say more at present in answer to the hon. Member's Question than that I am carefully considering, with the assistance of the Law Officers, what is the scope and effect of the recent judgment, and what steps should be taken upon it. As regards his second 1297 Question, the hon. Member is mistaken in supposing that the particular regulations to which he alludes apply to offences under Section 3 of the Betting Act.