§ 1. Mr. Goodhart
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement about recruitment for the Metropolitan Police.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Merlyn Rees)
The recent improvement continues, and the strength of the Metropolitan Police is now increasing by an average of about 100 officers a month.
§ Mr. Goodhart
It is only natural that crimes of violence should capture most of the headlines, but does the Home Secretary recognise that recently there has been a sharp increase in crimes of fraud? In welcoming him to his first Question Time, may I ask him what action he is taking to increase the staff of the over-pressed Fraud Squad?
§ Mr. Craig
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is some truth in the generalisation that a policeman's lot is not a happy one? Accordingly, if recruitment and building up of the police force is to take place it is important to pay attention not only to pay and conditions of employment, but to the creation of confidence within the force. Will he keep under review the procedure for dealing with complaints against the police?
§ Mr. Lipton
Is my right hon. Friend aware that with better rates of pay it is more likely that we shall obtain more adequate recruits? The more recruits we have, the better the police can deal with robberies and thefts from the person—crimes which are worrying a lot of people in the London area.