HC Deb 30 March 1905 vol 143 cc1717-8
MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the † See (4) Debates, cxxxix., 1562. Home Department whether, in view of the number of cases that have recently been brought to his notice of persons being imprisoned against whom no charge was ultimately brought forward or substantiated, and of the increasing difficulty for guilty persons to make good their escape, he can see his way to issue general orders to the police to adopt a system of surveillance while inquiries are being made, and to refrain from indiscriminate arrests until some charge has been made good on reliable evidence.


; The hon. Member is mistaken in thinking that many cases have recently been brought to my notice in which persons have been apprehended on insufficient grounds. On the contrary, considering that the annual number of apprehensions in England and Wales exceeds 350,000, the number of complaints I receive alleging arrest on insufficient grounds is extraordinarily small, and affords a striking testimony to the care and discretion with which the police exercise the powers which the law confers on them. A system of surveillance such as the hon. Member suggests would be quite impracticable.


But I know of cases that have been brought to the notice of the Home Secretary.


It is true that the hon. Member has written to me about four cases. Two were Irish—Irish cases are not dealt with by me, but by the Irish Government. One (the Harrods Stores Case) was that of Bradley and Gapp, who got heavy damages from the Stores, and this shows whose fault the arrest was. The other was the Beck case. In this Beck was given in charge by a woman, and the officer could not have refused to take him into custody.