HC Deb 15 May 1924 vol 173 cc1536-7

asked the Home Secretary whether he has noted in the Report of the Select Committee on Betting that police officers are not mentally equipped to deal with the street bookmakers; whether he has taken any steps to remedy this; whether he is aware that much activity has recently been shown by the police of the Somers Town Sub-division of the Y Division, Metropolitan Police; and will he say how many arrests have been made in connection with street betting by the Somers Town and Kentish Town Sub-divisions of the Y Division, respectively, during the three months ended 30th April last?


Yes, Sir; but I do not think that the difficulty of dealing effectively with street bookmakers can be pub down to any lack of mental equipment on the part of the police. The total number of arrests for street betting during the three months ending the 30th April, 1924, was, in the Somers Town Sub-division, 10, and in the Kentish Town Sub-division, 13. There has been no unusual activity on the part of the police, but the number of persons engaged in street betting is increasing and arrests are likely to increase proportionately.


Is not any difficulty that is experienced in administering the betting laws not actually due to anomalies established by the law itself, and is it not important that we should have a revision of the law, so that the public and the police should know where they stand?


Yes, I am inclined to agree with that opinion, but it depends upon what direction you want the revision to take.