HC Deb 28 January 1960 vol 616 cc349-50
16. Mr. Marcus Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what costs and damages were paid to aggrieved citizens out of public funds in 1957, 1958 and 1959, respectively.

Mr. Renton

I understand that the hon. Member has in mind cases in which costs and damages were awarded against members of police forces.

I have no particulars concerning provincial forces, but there has been one such case in the Metropolitan Police in the years in question. In that case damages of £100 for false imprisonment, and £2,500 for malicious prosecution, were awarded. The £100 has been paid, but the judgment in respect of malicious prosecution is the subject of an appeal. Costs were also awarded, but no bill of costs has yet been received.

Mr. Lipton

Does the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that, judging from reports, it appears that the number of cases in which costs have been awarded against the police, not only in London but outside, is increasing? Has he any evidence that that is so? If it is so, what can be done to avoid this very unsatisfactory development?

Mr. Renton

That is a somewhat different question, but my main Answer indicates that in the last three years there has certainly not been any evidence that the number of these cases has been increasing.