§ MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his attention has been called to the statement, during a trial at the Old Bailey before the Recorder, that persons arrested on a charge and conveyed to the police station are there stripped naked in the presence of constables and examined from head to foot for marks and peculiarities, though the same persons are not committed and may be falsely accused and discharged within a few days subsequently; and whether he will inquire into the practice and ascertain who is responsible for the order directing it, and when it was first adopted,
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. RITCHIE,) Croydon
There is no general practice such as is indicated in this question, nor are persons stripped naked in police stations and examined in the manner suggested. In some cases, however, in which it is desired to ascertain the names and antecedents of persons charged with felony or other serious crime, prisoners are required to show their arms, legs, and chests in case they have any scars or marks such as tattoo marks, by means of which offenders may frequently be identified, and this was done in the case referred to. In that case the prisoner who was charged with a serious crime and claimed to have hitherto borne a good character was shown to have been previously convicted on a similar charge.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
Is it not possible to regularise the practice? Does not that at the Old Bailey differ from that pursued in the provinces?