HC Deb 18 July 1946 vol 425 cc1374-5
34. Mr. Weitzman

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that there are cases where, on arrest, property belonging to accused persons is taken from them by the police without a receipt being given; and whether he will take steps to see a uniform practice is adopted and such acknowledgment made.

Mr. Ede

For many years the practice in the Metropolitan Police District has been for details of property taken from an accused person by the police on arrest to be entered on the charge sheet and for the property itself to be secured and marked by the station officer. I know of no complaints having been made, but it is, of course, the desire of the Commissioner and of myself that there should be full safeguards, and if my hon. Friend will let me have particulars of any case of difficulty which has come to his notice, I shall be glad to look into it.

Mr. Weitzman

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that, as the details are entered on the charge sheet, the record in regard to the property remains with the police, and that if the accused person dies, or anything happens in regard to him, there is no record of the property taken from him? Does he not think it advisable that when property is taken from an accused person a receipt should be given?

Mr. Ede

I am looking into the matter to see whether this could be made more efficient, but I would point out that a substantial number of people, who are in the position of having their property taken from them at police stations, are not always, at that time, in a condition to appreciate whether the receipt is accurate or not.