HC Deb 25 May 1916 vol 82 cc2267-8
17. Sir A. MARKHAM

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of his statement that the Metropolitan Police would not be taken from their duties during a time when there is a shortage of men for the purposes of racecourse meetings, he will say if he is aware that the local police at Newmarket, Gatwick, and Windsor recently applied to the Commissioner for police to assist at these meetings, that police were sent, and were paid by the secretaries of these racecourse committees; and will he take steps to prevent any police being taken at the present time from their duties for these purposes?


No police have been sent to assist in maintaining order at these racecourses, but at the request of the local police a few officers of the Criminal Investigation Department, well acquainted with criminals frequenting racecourses, have been sent to Newmarket and Gatwick.


Does the Government consider it is in the public interest that police or detective officers should be taken during a period of great national war for the purpose of protecting people of this character who frequent racecourses?


My province is to see that the police protect people from criminals wherever they congregate, and naturally the police are sent to places where they are likely to be found.