37. Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
asked the Home Secretary what is the total strength of the Metropolitan Police Force; and how many of the officers and men employed in the force are engaged in duties relating to the control of traffic and other work not bearing directly on the detection and suppression of crime and the protection of the public against evil-doers?
§ Sir H. SAMUEL
The total establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force (excluding men employed at the cost of Government Departments and others, mainly at dockyards, etc.), is 20,098 and the actual strength 19,844. The number employed on traffic duties is 1,287 and on clerical and administrative duties is approximately 1,502.
Sir F. HALL
Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to a statement by a learned judge recently to the effect that crime is now greater than it was 60 years ago; has he considered the large number of men utilised on traffic regulation, and the importance of the duties of the police in looking after criminals; and, in view of the necessity for the protection of property in this country, will he consider increasing the force?
§ Sir H. SAMUEL
The suppression of serious crime is a matter of the first importance, to which the police must primarily direct their attention and their efforts, but the proportion of the Metropolitan Police engaged on traffic duties is only small.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Does the right hon. Gentleman in any way connect the increase of crime with the poverty problem in this country?