§ 6. Mr. Lipton
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent the Metropolitan Police Force is below establishment; and what action he will take to encourage recruitment.
§ Mr. Renton
The current establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force is 20,081, and the strength on 30th September, 1959, was 17,343. The Commissioner is taking all possible steps to encourage recruitment.
§ Mr. Lipton
Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that much of the present crime wave would probably be nipped in the bud if there were more police on the beat, and that 3,000 fewer police than we should have is a serious state of affairs? In addition to repealing out-of-date laws which make their task more difficult, would not an improvement in the pay and conditions of service do something to fill up this deficit of 3,000 men in the Metropolitan Police Force?
§ Mr. Renton
It is clear that we need more Metropolitan police. The question of pay is a matter for the Police Council for Great Britain. The question of recruiting is one to which the Commissioner is giving constant attention by various means and by publicity, and I am glad to say that they are proving effective and that the strength of the Force is gradually increasing.