HC Deb 16 April 1964 vol 693 c569
3. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects that chief officers of police will have completed their formulation of uniform policies in regard to the enforcement of the traffic laws; and by what means he anticipates that effect will be given to the recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Police that these policies should receive adequate publicity so that the traffic laws can be seen to be consistently enforced throughout the country

Mr. Brooke

Last May I made special reference to the recommendation of the Royal Commission regarding uniform enforcement of the traffic laws in a general circular commending certain of the Commission's recommendations for immediate adoption. Consultation in a matter of this kind must necessarily be continuous; and the Police Research and Planning Branch in the Home Office is at present carrying out a review which should provide a basis for further discussion with chief constables. The most appropriate form of publicity depends on the circumstances of the particular case.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Will my right hon. Friend speed up this review? With 900,000 prosecutions for motoring offences all ever the country, there is a great lack of uniformity. Is my right hon. Friend aware, for instance, that some counties issue summonses for dangerous and careless driving when they mean to prosecute only in respect of careless driving, and that some areas allow persons to plead guilty by post for minor offences while others do not?

Mr. Brooke

There is general agreement among chief constables that it is most desirable that there should be uniform policies and views of the law, as far as possible. The question that my hon. Friend mentioned, relating to the forms of charge, is now under consideration by the Home Office and the Ministry of Transport. It involves rather intractable procedural and legal difficulties.