HC Deb 23 June 1966 vol 730 cc880-1
18. Mr. Winnick

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are being made for adequate police patrols in the London Borough of Croydon for school crossings and busy thoroughfares used by schoolchildren to and from school.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Dick Taverne)

Supervision of schoolchildren crossing busy roads on their way to and from school has been authorised at 85 places in the Borough of Croydon. Ten are covered by police officers because traffic conditions are especially difficult; civilian school crossing patrols are authorised for the other 75. As far as they can, police officers take over any crossings not covered for the time being by civilian patrols owing to sickness or vacancies in the establishment.

Mr. Winnick

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that there is a great deal of concern in Croydon about the lack of patrols to assist children crossing streets on their way to and from school? Would it not be possible, at. least in Croydon, for traffic wardens to be used for this function?

Mr. Taverne

I am aware that there is a shortage of school crossing patrols in Croydon. We are at the moment negotiating with the Traffic Wardens' Union on the possibility which my hon. Friend mentions.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the police of Z division in Croydon have been extremely co-operative in this matter, particularly with the hon. Member for Croydon, North-West? Any points of detail of this kind can easily be obtained by the hon. Member for Croydon, South (Mr. Winnick) by taking the trouble to contact the police in Croydon Z Division?

Mr. Winnick

On a point of order. I do not know whether that allegation is to be allowed. I have in fact visited the police in Croydon.

Mr. Speaker

It is not a point of order for me. It is a point of dispute between the two hon. Members.

Mr. Taverne

I do not wish to enter into this particular dispute. It is recognised that the police do everything possible; they are themselves labouring under a very considerable manpower shortage.