HC Deb 18 July 1973 vol 860 cc472-3
13. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many police forces are operating in Scotland; how many have enlisted the aid of the regional crime squad in murder, etc., investigations; and if he is satisfied with the present degree of co-operation.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

The number of forces is 20, and all regularly enlist the aid of the Scottish Crime Squad. I am satisfied with the present degree of cooperation.

Mr. Dempsey

is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is gratifying to learn that all chief constables are inviting the aid of the regional crime squad? Does not the hon. Gentlemen agree that cooperation between police authorities and the crime squad is essential, as the criminal today knows no boundaries, has no scruples and shows no humanity? Will the hon. Gentleman convey to the chief constables my appreciation of the cooperation that leads to the using of this pool of professional expertise to detect crimes that have been committed and to prevent many other serious crimes from taking place?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I endorse everything said by the hon. Gentleman, and I am grateful for the support that he gives not only to the Scottish Crime Squad but also to police forces generally in Scotland. I am sure that not only the two chief constables but individual police authorities in Scotland are convinced of the value of this crime squad in the modern situation, and the more power and success that it has the worse it is for criminals.

Mr. John Smith

Will the hon. Gentleman take this opportunity of saying what the celebrated Scottish Council on Crime is doing? Last time we asked about it the hon. Gentleman said that it had identified subjects for further consideration. It is a long time since the council was appointed. What has it done since then?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

The Question relates to the crime squad. The hon. Gentleman has raised a totally different matter, and if he waits a little longer he will see what the council is achieving.