HC Deb 29 June 1972 vol 839 c1651
21. Mr. Jeffrey Archer

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will ensure that in future special inspections of a police force, similar to the recent Leeds investigation, the report of the inspectors will be published in full.

Mr. Maudling

No, Sir.

Mr. Archer

Would my right hon. Friend reconsider this decision on the ground that it would produce greater public confidence? If there was nothing to fear in the reports it would show the strength of the police, and if there was something it would show the confidence we had in telling the public of the problems.

Mr. Maudling

The inspectors' reports have always been confidential and I am sure that this is right. They are very thorough and they ought to remain confidential. If there is a need for an inquiry of a public character there could be a local inquiry under Section 32 of the Police Act, 1964.

Mr. Heffer

Has the right hon. Gentleman given further consideration to the idea floated many times on both sides of the House that there should be independent inquiries into the conduct of the police so that the public and the police may have a fair hearing?

Mr. Maudling

I do not think I can add anything to what I have said in the past in reply to similar questions, including the one I answered a few months ago.