§ 69. Mr. FERENS
asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that the Women Police Service has already trained a considerable number of policewomen, who are working a full eight hours' day in provincial towns, paid by the rates; that they have been exercising the power of arrest; and that they work in rough and crowded districts, managing their own cases with no disability of physical strength; if he is aware that the Ministry of Munitions is employing a force of about 250 policewomen, who live in barracks under their own officers and who are sworn in as constables in. Dumfriesshire and Cumberland, use the full powers of constables, and deal with large crowds of men and women operatives, and that excellent reports have been received of their efficiency and service: and if the Home Office can make arrangements to provide the special training and instruction which is required for producing efficient women police?
§ Sir G. CAVE
I am aware that in some provincial towns as in the Metropolitan Police district women are being employed in aid of the police upon work of a preventive nature, but I cannot say that they perforin their duties under no disadvantage as regards physical strength. I am also aware that a large number of women police (about 200) are employed by the Ministry of Munitions and are rendering efficient service at munition factories, where many of the workers are women, and that in Cumberland and Dumfriesshire they have been sworn in, but not that they have the full powers of a constable or deal with large crowds of men and women.
I understand that courses of instruction for women are provided by the National Union of Women Workers and by the Women Police Service, but the Commissioner is unable to provide official instruction for them at the present time. The training classes for the Metropolitan Police have for some time been discontinued owing to there being no recruiting for that force, the teaching staff are engaged on other duties, and the training school building has been lent as a club for overseas soldiers.
§ 70. Mr. H. P. HARRIS
asked how many women police are employed in the Metropolitan Police area, and who pays them; whether their services have been found useful; and whether he proposes 1735 to take steps for increasing their number and giving them adequate powers and remuneration?
§ Sir G. CAVE
Two members of the Women Police Service and fifty-eight members of the National Union of Women Workers are employed, most of the latter for part-time only, by the Commissioner of Police on work which is mainly preventive in character. If more are available they will be employed from time to time when their services can be employed with advantage. The pay given is at the same rate as the commencing pay of a constable. They have adequate powers for the work on which they are employed.