HC Deb 18 February 1982 vol 18 c396
14. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women police officers there were at the latest available date; and what percentage of the total strength this represents.

Mr. Raison

At the end of 1981 there were 10,772 women police officers in England and Wales. This represents about 9 per cent. of the total strength of the police service.

Mrs. Short

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. In response to the earlier question of the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. McNair-Wilson), does he not think that there is a clear case for more women police officers to be appointed? Does he appreciate that there is a great deal of evidence from counselling services, for example, of the tough attitude taken by many male police officers towards women and children who complain about sexual offences against them? Does he agree that it is time for more women police officers to be appointed?

Mr. Raison

The recruitment of women police officers is proceeding at a satisfactory rate. As for the deployment of officers and the type of cases that the hon. Lady has talked about, sympathy and experience can exist in either sex. However, there are occasions when it is desirable to make women police officers available.

Sir Ronald Bell

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in using police dogs for crowd control there is rampant discrimination on genetic grounds against certain breeds, such as poodles?