§ 39. Mr. H. WILLIAMS
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can give any information as to the effect of the warning sent by the police to a motorist, in respect of an alleged offence of a minor character, if the person warned is reported a second time?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Simon)
I am obliged to my hon. Friend for putting this question down, for it relates to an important matter of practice in which there should be no misunderstanding. In 1931 the Home Office circulated to all chief officers of police a form of warning which would not be open to the objection which had been taken to certain forms then in use. I have been examining the current forms, and I think the true position would be made still clearer if in future the warning (that a report had been made alleging that the individual to whom it is addressed had committed a motoring offence) went on as follows:No further action will be taken in this case, but I am to inform you that, if you are reported again, it may be necessary to take proceedings against you in respect of the later case.The earlier warning could, of course, in no circumstances be treated as a previous conviction, for no one must be assumed to have been guilty of any offence unless he has been duly convicted upon evidence in respect of it.