HC Deb 21 January 1953 vol 510 cc188-9
15. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General in how many cases of mail bag robberies since November, 1951, the criminals have not yet been discovered; what is the total amount involved in these cases; and whether inquiries are still being actively pursued.

Mr. Gammans

For all classes of mail bag thefts, 90 persons were prosecuted during the period 1st November, 1951, to the end of 1952. It is impossible to say for how many thefts these persons were responsible, as they may well have been concerned with cases other than those for which they were prosecuted. The estimated total loss of money from mail bag thefts during the period in question is about £53,000 over and above the loss in Central London on 21st May last. All unsolved cases of theft are still the subject of inquiry.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is it not an evasion of the Question to reply that some of the undiscovered thefts can be attributed to people being convicted on some other charge? Cannot the Assistant Postmaster-General give a more specific answer to this Question and not try to get out of it in the way he has done?

Mr. Gammans

There is no evasion at all. The theft of mail bags is a specialised form of crime and a man ultimately convicted of a theft, say in Bradford, may well have been responsible for thefts in other parts of the country before he was caught.