HC Deb 13 November 1930 vol 244 cc1838-9
50. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Home Secretary what. has been the result of the investigation which he promised to make into the circumstances surrounding the failure of the police to effect arrests in murder cases which have occurred since the Police Procedure Inquiry; what is the total number of such cases in which no arrest has yet been made; and whether he has any knowledge of reasons having been given by the police officers principally concerned as to why they were unsuccessful in securing the arrest of suspected persons?


I promised on the 6th instant to make inquiry into the hon. and gallant Member's suggestion that in addition to the cases referred to in my reply there were 19 murders, since the Royal Commission sat, where no arrest had been made. I presume that that figure related to the whole country. It is not to be expected that arrests will be made at once in every case and I have not the information necessary to reply regarding very recent murders. In only two cases of murder of persons aged one year and upwards, between 16th March, 1929, when the Commission reported, and the end of 1929, has no arrest yet been made, one being in the West Riding and the other at Reading. If the hon. Member will tell me of any other cases during the period which he thinks are in point, I will look into them. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative. The difficulties the police have to contend with are inherent in investigations of ail classes of crime and especially murder.


Is the right hon. Gentleman taking steps to obtain the report of the chief constables, which I understood he was going to do on the last occasion?


I will make inquiries whether the report is to hand.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether responsible officers of the Criminal Investigation Department have compiained about the restrictions imposed upon them by this report?


I have not heard of any complaints from any such quarter.