§ 76. Mr. NIELD
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that damage has been recently caused to the property of Messrs. H. L. Raphael, adjoining the Limehouse Cut, by stone throwing and robbery; whether he will institute a searching inquiry as to the continued state of affairs by which portions of the Metropolitan boroughs of Stepney and Poplar are left wholly un protected and without security for life and property; and will he take steps to remedy the same?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
The Commissioner of Police reports that he is not aware that any damage has been done to the property of Messrs. H. L. Raphael. No complaint to that effect has been made to the police. It is not the case that any public portions of the boroughs referred to are left unprotected. The protection of private property is a matter for the owners, who in the case of Limehouse Cut possess statutory powers for this purpose; but the Metropolitan police would deal with offences occurring on Limehouse Cut in the same manner as elsewhere on their being brought to notice.
§ 77. Mr. NIELD
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the condition of the waterway or navigation and towing paths adjoining known as the Limehouse Cut, whereby robberies have been committed from barges navigating in the Cut" and from premises adjacent to the Cut, and to the fact that the condition of the neighbourhood has been described as under a reign of terror owing to the conduct of a number of persons of the criminal class, and that the towing path of the Cut is a rendezvous for gamblers; whether he is aware that, upon complaint, the Metropolitan police have, notwithstanding the invitation of the Lee Conservancy Board that the police should patrol the Cut at the cost of the Board and take such steps as might be necessary for the proper protection of merchandise and premises, declined to take any steps on the ground that it was contrary to established practice for the police to patrol the towing path and banks of the navigation; and whether, notwithstanding the fact that the Board are themselves large ratepayers, this attitude on the part of the police has his sanction?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Limehouse Cut is private property, and is policed by constables appointed by the Lee Conservancy Board under the provisions of the Canals and Rivers Police Act, 1840. The Metropolitan police do not patrol private property, save in exceptional circumstances; and though the Commissioner would have been glad to assist the Lee Conservancy Board, if possible, by supplying police at the cost of the Board, he found that the towing path which he was asked to patrol was so dangerous owing to its defective condition that he was compelled to decline.