HC Deb 12 February 1970 vol 795 cc1441-2
16. Mr. Gurden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to which police authorities he has authorised under-manning payments to be made.

Mr. Callaghan

Allowances have been authorised for the Metropolitan Police, the City of London Police, and the Liverpool and Bootle Constabulary.

Mr. Gurden

When will the right hon. Gentleman make the allowance to the Birmingham Police Force—or is he waiting to see a higher crime rate before doing so?

Mr. Callaghan

The hon. Member's supplementary question was fully worthy of him. The question of an application for the under-manning allowance will be considered in conjunction with the discussions on police pay that are now going on, and on which there was a meeting as recently as 30th January.

Mr. Ogden

My right hon. Friend mentioned the Liverpool police in his original reply. An earlier reference to Liverpool was made today by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) to the effect that this was a city where people go out at night in fear and trembling for their safety. This is a completely erroneous slur on both the citizens and the police. The only people who are afraid to go out at night are criminals.

Mr. Callaghan

My hon. Friend, who represents this area, knows it as well as anybody else. It would be a deplorable situation if we ever reach the stage which has been experienced in some foreign capitals and foreign cities. I would not want to be complacent about the amount of violent crime today. There is a lot of violent crime at present and it is something to which the whole House should bend its energies to try to reduce. It is a matter that concerns our general outlook on society.