HC Deb 30 January 1947 vol 432 cc1105-6
67. Mr. Scott-Elliot

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to reduce the number of burglaries, particularly in London, which have persisted at high rate for the past few years.

Mr. Ede

Active measures are being taken to increase the strength of the police force, and constant study is given to methods of checking this type of crime. It is one in which members of the public can be very helpful by giving the police prompt information about any suspicious occurrences.

Mr. Scott-Elliot

Is it not a fact that burglaries are increasing, rather than decreasing? Will not my right hon. Friend deal with this matter as one of the greatest urgency?

Mr. Ede

I can assure my hon. Friend and the House that this is a matter to which I am giving very close attention. I have drawn the attention of the Commissioner to it, and have had consultations with him about the public anxiety that is felt.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

In view of the treatment of railway stockholders is not this a case of Satan rebuking sin?

Major Bruce

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a current impression that more effective controls are due over this particular form of private enterprise?

Captain John Crowder

Will not the right hon. Gentleman see that more police are released for the purpose of catching burglars instead of prosecuting people, often unnecessarily, for small parking offences? Often they are lying in wait for the man who parks his car for a few minutes.

Mr. Ede

I do not think that any alteration of police duty will help very much, because the burglaries are not committed at the time of these parking offences.

Sir Frank Sanderson

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the number of burglaries is increasing or decreasing?

Mr. Ede

It fluctuates from time to time. The capture of two or three notorious people sometimes leads to a temporary reduction, until other people acquire sufficient skill.