HC Deb 31 May 1934 vol 290 cc336-7

asked the Home Secretary the practice of the police in making good damage to private cars commandeered by the police; how many such cars were commandeered in the Metropolitan area in the last 12 months; the number of cases in which such cars were damaged; and the aggregate expenditure paid to the owners?


The police have no power to commandeer private motor cars.

They may ask a driver to help them by affording transport when they are following a criminal or responding to an urgent call, and in the Metropolitan Police District that was done in 35 cases during the year ended 31st March last. The practice in cases where a car is damaged while being used in this way is to see to it that the driver is not out of pocket as a result of his public-spirited action; but such cases are comparatively rare. In only three out of the 35 cases referred to was any damage done to the cars. The damage was in every instance very slight, and in only one case did any question of reimbursement arise. This was a claim for 15s. in respect of a broken window, which was duly paid.