HC Deb 16 May 1968 vol 764 cc1387-8
18. Mr. Peter M. Jackson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has given local police authorities in respect of the recruitment of police officers with previous criminal records.

Mr. Elystan Morgan

None, Sir. The Police Regulations provide that a candidate must produce satisfactory references as to character. Subject to the Regulations, the selection of recruits is a matter for the chief officer of the force concerned.

Mr. Jackson

Would my hon. Friend explain why, in the face of his Answer, an officer was appointed to the Sheffield and Rotherham Police Force who had previously served with the Huddersfield Police Force until he left after having been found guilty of assault? Is he aware that this officer is now in prison following a further conviction for assault?

Mr. Morgan

I am aware of some of the facts referred to by my hon. Friend. In view of what he said about the imprisonment of this officer, I will investigate the matter most thoroughly and write to him.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Will the hon. Gentleman use what influence he may have in the Government to ensure that if a previous criminal conviction is a ban to entry into the police force, it should also be a ban to entry into the present Government?

Mr. Morgan

I am not aware of the exact type of innuendo which the hon. Gentleman is pressing. The regulations do not specifically prohibit the engagement of a person as a police officer who has a criminal conviction. While a criminal conviction would tend to act against a candidate, other matters, such as the candidate's age and the nature of the offence, would be taken into account.