HC Deb 05 April 1967 vol 744 cc223-4
21. Mr. Edward M. Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many crimes involving violence were reported in 1966; and what were the comparable figures in 1961 and 1956, respectively.

Mr. Buchan

There were 2,939 crimes of violence made known to the police in 1966. The figures for 1961 and 1956 are 1,661 and 884.

Mr. Taylor

Will not the Under-Secretary of State agree that these figures are frightening and appalling, and will he say precisely what he intends to do about them? In particular, what steps does he intend to take to fill gaps in the police force?

Mr. Buchan

I am sorry but I missed part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. I accept that the figures require a great deal of consideration. The main way of dealing with this matter is by reorientating the direction of police action, and this is already being done, especially as affects young people.

Mr. MacArthur

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that the best deterrent to crimes of violence and crime of all kinds is a greater risk of detection? Will he therefore take further steps than have been taken so far to bring the establishment of police forces in Scotland to strength? It is there that the weakness lies, and it is there that action is needed.

Mr. Buchan

I agree very much with what the hon. Gentleman says, and we are doing all we can to increase establishments.