HC Deb 20 May 1965 vol 712 cc1640-1
2. Mr. Newens

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department for which makes of cars and goods vehicles ignition keys are supplied to the Metropolitan Police charged with the duty of removing vehicles causing an obstruction in the West End of London.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. George Thomas)

Vehicle removal crews of the Metropolitan Police are provided with keys to fit the majority of British-made vehicles and some foreign vehicles. Keys for new types of vehicles are issued when it becomes apparent that they are coming into fairly common use in the Metropolis.

Mr. Newens

Is my hon. Friend aware that the ignition keys fitted to certain well-known makes of cars normally used by the more affluent members of society are not usually supplied to the police and that this often leads to the erroneous impression that the police are enforcing one law for the rich and another for the poor? Will my hon. Friend take steps to ensure that ignition keys fitting these cars are provided so as to avoid the quite wrong impression that the police are to blame and to show that the blame lies elsewhere?

Mr. Thomas

My information is that there is no class distinction in this matter and that the keys are issued according to the types of cars used in the country. This would apply to the more expensive cars as to the sort of car that I have.

Mr. Fell

In view of the fact that under Socialism only the wealthy can park their cars in the West End of London, is it not rather important that these keys should be supplied?

Mr. Newens

Will my hon. Friend go further into the matter and see if there are certain well-known makes of cars which are excluded, as I have indicated, regarding the supply of ignition keys to the police?

Mr. Thomas

Certainly, Sir.