HC Deb 05 May 1983 vol 42 c394
28. Mr. Neubert

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of Metropolitan police officers engaged in fraud squad work and how this compares with one and five years earlier, respectively.

Mr. Mayhew

We understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the number of Metropolitan police officers solely engaged in fraud squad work for the years requested was, in 1978, 163, in 1982, 153 and in 1983, 160.

Mr. Neubert

Are the officers engaged in fraud squad work effective in securing sufficient successful convictions? Now that cases of fraud are so complex, and bearing in mind the need to maintain the integrity of the City of London, is it not time to consider more radical measures, such as moving away from the jury system to the use of a panel of expert assessors?

Mr. Mayhew

I well understand the consideration lying behind my hon. Friend's question. I think, however, that the quality of officers engaged in fraud work is high. It is for the Commissioner to assess whether he has sufficient resources. At present there is certainly no plan to change so important a matter as jury service in this context. I think that the fraud squad is to be congratulated on the high quality of its work.