HC Deb 21 July 1958 vol 592 cc3-4
6. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Health how many of the patients at Broadmoor are classified as psychopaths with homicidal tendencies; and if further consideration will now be given to detaining them in an institution inside a prison rather than at Broadmoor, where their presence may be inimical to the cure of the majority of the patients.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Derek Walker-Smith)

A psychopathic state may be associated with mental illness or mental deficiency, and, as homicidal tendencies may arise from the associated illness, information in the form asked for is not available. The classification and disposal of patients requiring treatment in a State mental institution will be considered in the context of the promised legislation following the Report of the Royal Commission.

Mr. Hurd

Will my right hon. and learned Friend further consult his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to see whether, from the point of view of the 900 patients at Broadmoor and also the local residents, it would not be best if the fifty or so psychopaths were put in a special institution inside a prison where security could be the first consideration?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I am always ready to consult my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, but this matter is not susceptible of quite the neat classifications which my hon. Friend seems to have in mind. Concerning the patients who have been sent from prison to Broadmoor by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, I am advised that the right place for them at present is in Broadmoor.

Mrs. Braddock

Is the Minister not aware that, for designation purposes, this type of patient gave the most difficulty to the Royal Commission? Would it not be better to look carefully at the Royal Commission's Report so that the recommendations they thought correct for dealing with these cases could be put into operation?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I am aware that this problem caused considerable difficulty to the Royal Commission. I am, and have been, carefully studying the Commission's recommendations in respect of the psychopathic state in the light of the observations which have been made to me concerning them.

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