HC Deb 16 February 1961 vol 634 cc1749-50
31. Miss Bacon

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue revised instructions as to the taking of evidence by police in the Metropolitan area.

Mr. Renton

My right hon. Friend is not convinced that any alteration is called for in the practice at present followed in this matter by the Metropolitan Police.

Miss Bacon

I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman will appreciate that the words "in the Metropolitan area" in the Question were inserted to keep within order. Is he aware that this Question was put on the Order Paper long before the Riley case? Is he further aware that I have here a report of a recent case in Yorkshire in which a woman was acquitted of theft by a jury after a signed statement had been produced admitting her guilt which she was supposed to have written in the police station? Does not this show that there was something wrong either with the course of justice or with the way in which this statement was taken?

Mr. Renton

I cannot comment on any particular case without notice, but I would remind the hon. Lady that the Judges' Rules, as supplemented in 1947 and in 1948, have been brought to the notice of all the police. It is part of their training to understand them. The police are fully aware of their responsibilities in this matter.