HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 cc748-9
52. Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police were recruited to the constabularies of England and Wales in each of the last 10 years; and what was the total strength of the police forces in each of these years.

Mr. Sharples

I will, with permission, circulate the information in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hardy

Will the hon. Gentleman agree that in the last five years there has been a considerable increase in the strength of constabularies in England and Wales? Will he also say what proposals the Government now have to maintain the improvement which occurred under the Labour Administration?

Mr. Sharples

There has been an improvement, but police forces generally are well below authorised establishment. We are considering as a matter of urgency what further measures may be taken.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Did not the Labour Administration deliberately cut recruiting to the police forces, even though there was sufficient demand for recruiting? Will my hon. Friend now take all steps in his power to increase the recruiting ability of the police forces?

Mr. Sharples

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Recruiting for the police forces suffered considerably because of the artificial restriction on recruiting imposed by the Labour Administration. Fortunately, recruiting has now recovered from that.

Following is the information:

Recruitment* Strength at 31st December
1960 4,779 72,301
1961 6,117 75,222
1962 6,408 77,786
1963 6,529 79,696
1964 6,621 80,680
1965 8,480 83,940
1966 7,703 86,505
1967 8,839 90,640
1968 5,325 90,782
1969 6,450 91,762
1970 (January-May) 2,982 92,707 (at 31st May)
*Including transfers 1960–65.