HC Deb 14 July 1960 vol 626 cc1574-5
11. Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the knife attack by a thief on Miss Dorothy Swallow while she was in sole charge of a Lambeth radio shop; and whether he will instruct the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to consult with retail trade organisations, with a view to ensuring that young girls are not left on their own to protect cash and stock.

Mr. Renton

My right hon. Friend has received a report on the incident. The Commissioner of Police is considering whether the giving of general advice would be practicable and helpful; but the arrangements for the security of shops and the protection of employees must remain the responsibility of traders themselves.

Mr. Mallalieu

Is it not necessary that something should be done about these cases? This is not the first instance of this kind. There are likely to be many more in the future, unless practical steps are taken. Can the hon. and learned Gentleman suggest any other steps than this which might be helpful?

Mr. Renton

We share the hon. Gentleman's anxiety. The Metropolitan Police are always ready to give advice on these matters to traders or trade associations. The Commissioner will consider whether this particular matter could usefully be covered by his general arrangements for crime prevention and by publicity about the steps which can usefully be taken.

Miss Bacon

Does not the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that one of the ways of helping in this matter would be to do everything possible to get more policemen on the beat?

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