HC Deb 10 April 1930 vol 237 cc2342-3
31. Captain EUAN WALLACE

asked the Home Secretary how many members of the women police force in the metropolitan area are habitually employed on duty in plain clothes; and whether, in such cases, they are authorised to arrest suspects without the assistance of a uniformed constable?


Two women police officers are employed in plain clothes permanently, and others on occasions when deemed desirable. When so employed, they are authorised to arrest suspects without the assistance of a uniformed officer, but in using their power of arrest they are expected to exercise discretion and to obtain the assistance of a male officer if thought necessary or desirable.

32. Captain WALLACE

asked the Home Secretary if his attention has been drawn to the recent arrest of a man suspected of street bookmaking by two members of the women police force in plain clothes and to his conviction at Bow Street on 3rd April for assult whilst endeavouring to escape; and whether he will give instructions that in future women police in plain clothes shall not be called on to perform a duty which puts an unfair strain upon the man arrested and which may become dangerous to themselves?


I have seen a report on the incident referred to. The police women were employed with a male constable and it was not anticipated that they would have any occasion to make an arrest. It is impossible, however police women are employed, to avoid their having to act in unexpected con- tingencies, with perhaps some risk to themselves. The police women acted quite properly in the case in question.


Can we have some assurance that women police will not be employed on these duties, except in case of very urgent necessity?


Cases might arise as a matter of urgency, and they cannot be provided for.


Do these women police carry a warrant card and show it to the person whom they are attempting to arrest?


I must ask for notice of that question.