HC Deb 15 June 1961 vol 642 cc631-2
32. Mr. Wade

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of fixed penalty notices issued by wardens in the Metropolitan Police district since the passing of the Road Traffic and Roads Improvement Act, 1960; and whether he is satisfied that all the tickets issued are accounted for.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Renton)

Forty-six thousand four hundred and forty-one fixed penalty notices had been issued in the Metropolitan Police district up to 3rd June, 1961. A regular audit of notices is carried out, and my right hon. Friend has no reason to think that any of them are not accounted for.

Mr. Wade

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware of a statement in an article in the Solicitors' Journal of 19th May this year which contains the statement that about 15,000 tickets with a face value of £30,000 were unaccounted for and which concludes with the observation that the law is brought into disrepute by the very facility with which the consequences of breaking it can be avoided. The whole affair of the warden's ticket has become a game"? Is the hon. and learned Gentleman quite satisfied that the system is working satisfactorily and that the law is not being brought into disrepute?

Mr. Renton

Yes, Sir. The facts contained in that article were quite wrong. The House will be interested to know that at 30th April, 1961, of 38,968 tickets issued to that date, the Commissioner had decided to take no action in 6,160 cases, the police were pursuing inquiries in 4,130 cases and in the remaining 73.6 per cent. of cases the fixed penalty had been paid or the case had been dealt with or was awaiting hearing by the court.

Mr. Mellish

Will the Joint Under-Secretary say that he is quite sure that the parking meter system allied to the traffic warden system is not in great danger? Is the hon. and learned Gentleman happy about the future?

Mr. Renton

Yes, Sir. The fixed penalty system and enforcement by traffic wardens have done much to relieve congestion in the West End and to free police officers for other and more important duties.