HC Deb 24 June 1937 vol 325 cc1363-4
34. Mr. Day

asked the Home Secretary the number of murder cases that have occurred in Great Britain for the three years ended to the last convenient date for which no arrest has yet been made; and whether the chief constables from the various districts in which these murders have been committed have supplied him with any reports, including the reasons given for their failure to secure the arrest of the suspected persons?

Sir S. Hoare

During the three years 1933 to 1935 the number of cases of murder of persons aged one year or over which were known to the police was 280, involving 315 victims. In 119 cases, involving 140 victims, the murderer or suspect committed suicide. In 151 cases, involving 165 victims, 157 persons were arrested. In the remaining 10 cases, involving 10 victims, including five who died following an illegal operation, no arrest was made. It is no part of the duty of chief officers of police to report such cases to me, and I should deprecate their being asked to spend time in doing so. There may be many reasons which prevent an arrest being made, including the absence of sufficient evidence against a particular suspect; and I am confident that the police need no encouragement from me to use their utmost endeavours to bring the offenders to justice.

Mr. Day

Is it not a fact that one of the right hon. Gentleman's predecessors stated that he would ask the police to make such reports to him?

Sir S. Hoare

I could not say without notice.