HC Deb 16 April 1964 vol 693 cc569-70
4. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of the recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Police that the need for cultivating good relations between the police and the public should be constantly borne in mind by police authorities and chief constables, he will take steps to draw to their attention the desirability of inserting on notices of intended prosecution issued under section 241 of the Road Traffic Act, 1960. an explanatory note to include the statement that receipt of a notice does not necessarily mean that a prosecution will be instituted.

Mr. Brooke

I appreciate the point made by my hon. Friend, and I will consider whether there is any admire which I cal usefully give to the police about it.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

I thank my right hon. Friend very much. Is he aware that the police very often issue summonses or notices of prosecution, to both parties, one of whom may be a timid and blameless driver? Should not such a party be advised that the notice of prosecution does not necessarily mean that there will be a prosecution?

Mr. Brooke

I am obliged to my hon. Friend for this suggestion. I recognise that the present practice may cause needless anxiety in cases where the police decide not to prosecute, and I will consider whether the terms of the notice can be modified.

Mr. Rankin

Did the right hon. Gentleman see in yesterday's Scottish Press the criticism of Chief Constable Merrilees that the attitude of certain newspapers in cases where police are concerned often inflames the mind of the public against the police? What can he do to tone down that attitude?

Mr. Brooke

I know Chief Constable Merrilees, but I am not responsible for police forces in Scotland.