HC Deb 06 January 1913 vol 46 c799

asked the Home Secretary whether he has any information in regard to the outraging and murdering of Winnie Baker, twelve years of age, at Woking, about three weeks ago; whether any reports thereon have been made by the local authorities; whether the aid of the central authorities at Scotland Yard has been asked in connection with the investigation of the crime and the arrest of the criminal; and whether any reward has been offered for his apprehension?


I am informed by the chief constable that every possible inquiry has been made, but that up to the present the police have not been successful in bringing to justice the perpetrator of the brutal murder. The chief constable has not considered it necessary to ask for the aid of a detective from Scotland Yard. He consulted me as to the offer of a reward for information leading to the apprehension of the culprit, but the invariable practice of the Home Office for many years has been against the offer of rewards for information in cases of this description. Except where the person is definitely known, or can be identified with certainty, rewards have been found by experience to be not only ineffective towards the detection of crime, but even to operate prejudicially.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of its seriousness, this is not a case in which the Scotland Yard authorities might be interested, even although the chief constable did not himself make application for their assistance?


I will consider the suggestion put forward by the hon. Member, but it is undesirable, generally speaking, that the Scotland Yard authorities should interfere with the province of another authority.