HC Deb 04 December 1958 vol 596 cc1357-8
38. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware of the increasing menace caused to citizens in various parts of Islington by gangs of youths running wild and creating terror in the neighbourhood; and whether he will arrange for the police forces in the borough to be strengthened.

Mr. Renton

The Commissioner of Police informs my right hon. Friend that, while he cannot wholly accept the hon. Gentleman's description of the situation, isolated incidents of hooliganism have occurred in Islington and elsewhere and that the existing resources of the police have enabled them to deal promptly and firmly with them. The situation is being watched.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the Minister bear in mind that this problem is assuming quite alarming proportions? Is he aware that in parts of the borough women are afraid to walk through the streets at night unless accompanied by an escort, and that the tenants on some housing estates are asking for a night police patrol? Can the Minister assure us that the police force will be sufficiently strengthened to deal with the nuisance which is created?

Mr. Renton

The question of providing police patrols for new housing estates is being considered by the Commissioner in consultation with the London County Council.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Can the Minister confirm the statement which appeared in the Press that the cost of hooliganism and the destruction of property is about £10 million a year?

Mr. Renton

I should like notice of that.