HC Deb 16 April 1964 vol 693 c574
7. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Secretary of State far the Home Department whether he will appoint an independent committee of inquiry into the frequency of raids on banks and other establishments whey acts of violence are committed, and into the additional measures required to provide security against such acts.

Mr. Brooke

No, Sir. While the primary responsibility for the protection of their property and employees rests with the banks or other establishments, I am satisfied that the police give every assistance. I also look to the Police Research and Planning Branch, which has recently been established at the Home Office, to inquire into serious crime of this kind and to suggest measures to deal with it.

Mr. Shinwell

Although I do not pretend to be. able to teach police or security officers their business, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not agree, in view of the exceptional number of raids accompanied by violence and the use of lethal weapons—including guns—and the danger to the public as well as to those concerned, who work in banks and other establishments, that the public should be reassured that everything is being done to prevent these things happening, or to deal with them immediately they occur? In the circumstances, in view of the disquiet that exists among the public, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that in inquiry of the kind that I suggest might be worth while?

Mr. Brooke

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his interest in matter. There is already very close cooperation in these matters, and I put it to the House that rather than have an independent inquiry it is better to proceed in the way that I am proceeding, which is to ask my Police Research and Planning ranch, which is expert in these matters, to give priority to a study of this very question.

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