§ 13. Mr. Rifkind
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next intends to meet the Scottish Police Federation.
§ Mr. Harry Ewing
My right hon. Friend met representatives of the federation as recently as 22nd November at a meeting of the Police Advisory Board for Scotland. Further meetings can be arranged as required.
§ Mr. Rifkind
Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the increasing demand throughout Scotland—particularly in the large 503 council estates, including Westerhailes, in my constituency—for a return to policemen on the beat? Is he aware that the main problem in resolving this matter is the pay of police officers? Will he assure us that when considering the future of police pay he will seek to ensure not only that the present members of the force are satisfied but that the award will attract a sufficient number of new recruits?
§ Mr. Ewing
The hon. Member should be aware that we dealt earlier today with the question of police pay. It does no good, and reflects no credit on anyone, to try to stir up trouble in this way where none exists at the moment. If the House will permit, we shall leave police pay to the review body which has been set up with the agreement of the police organisations to deal with pay and will await its report in the spring of next year. As for the return of policemen to the beat, this matter will no doubt continue to be discussed. No doubt all views such as those expressed by the hon. Member will be considered in the discussions that follow.