HC Deb 28 April 1966 vol 727 cc934-5
24. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to speed up recruiting for the police force.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

Recruitment over the country as a whole has substantially improved in the last year. There are serious shortages in certain undermanned areas, and particular attention is being paid to them in the national police recruitment campaign, which is being continued this year at a cost of £350,000. Special allowances have been introduced into the Metropolitan and City of London forces and are being negotiated for other forces with the greatest deficiencies.

Mr. Hughes

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that this alarming increase in very daring crime in this country can be dealt with only by an adequate police force, and is he aware that in the Forces in Western Germany there are people who would gladly come home to help him?

Mr. Jenkins

I do not know about my hon. Friend's last point, but I am certainly aware of his first one, and we are doing what we can to deal with the deficiencies in the forces where the deficiencies are greatest, and I take some comfort from the fact that the position improved considerably during 1965.

Mr. Noble

When the right hon. Gentleman is making special allowances for the difficult areas like London, will he beware that he does not thereby suck in from places like Scotland police which we very much need there?

Mr. Jenkins

I am aware of that, and I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland would make me aware were I to begin to forget the point, but we must pay attention to the fact that the areas of greatest deficiency are the areas of greatest crime, and we therefore must concentrate on improving recruiting and stopping wastage in those areas.