HC Deb 09 March 1966 vol 725 cc2084-5
14. Earl of Dalkeith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many recruits joined the police in Scotland in each of the past five years; and what was the total net increase in the police force over the past 12 months.

Mr. Willis

As the first part of the answer contains a table of figures I shall, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The total net increase in 1965 was 305 men and 14 women.

Earl of Dalkeith

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the people of Scotland are becoming increasingly anxious that the Government are not doing nearly enough to support the police forces in their battle against crime? What steps will he take to try to supplement the police by further recruitment of women to relieve men of the less important duties?

Mr. Willis

I am not aware of the state of affairs referred to in the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question.

Mr. Noble

Go to Scotland and find out.

Mr. Willis

I have probably been in Scotland more than the right hon. Gentleman, who seems to have spent a considerable part of his time abroad recently. With regard to the second question, we shall of course continue with the measures which are bringing in the recruits at the present time.

Following is the table:

Year Recruits on first appointment
Men Women
1961 657 58
1962 832 70
1963 711 88
1964 669 68
1965 768 78

33. Mr. Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total strength of the police force in Scotland; how this compares with the required establishment; and what are the comparable figures for the North-Eastern Constabulary.

Mr. Willis

At 31st December, 1965, the total strength of the police in Scotland was 9,994 men and 353 women, which was 682 men and 48 women short of authorised establishment. The figures for Scottish North-Eastern counties were 329 men—excluding three officers on secondment or central service—and 6 women, which was one man short of authorised establishment.

Mr. Baker

Have the Minister of State and his right hon. Friend considered using traffic wardens for the direction of traffic, thereby freeing the police for their fine and essential job of prevention of crime and apprehension of criminals?

Mr. Willis

Yes. This is a matter, of course, for the chief constables. We pointed out to chief constables a week or two ago that they could do this and that we hoped that they would.

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