HC Deb 04 December 1961 vol 650 cc931-2
48. Mr. van Staubenzee

asked the Minister of Health whether he will now make a statement on the escape of John Slater and Brian Smith from Broadmoor Institution on 25th October, 1961.

Mr. Powell

These patients escaped on the evening of 25th October and were retaken next morning. An immediate inquiry was held and instructions have been given for additional security measures including certain structural alterations and increased search of patients after seeing visitors.

Mr. van Straubenzee

While I am obliged to my right hon. Friend, may I ask him if he can tell the House whether the implement used by one of the patients who escaped has subsequently been found? Secondly, does he not consider that the searching of patients after they have received visitors is a very elementary precaution which ought to have been brought in long ago?

Mr. Powell

As far as I am aware the implement has not been found, and it is not established that it was in fact brought in by a visitor, but it has hitherto been the practice to search those under maximum security arrangements at Broadmoor after seeing visitors. That is what is to be extended.

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