HC Deb 17 March 1988 vol 129 cc1210-1
5. Mr. Corbyn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to how many Metropolitan police officers above the rank of chief inspector are currently suspended on suspicion of misconduct.

Mr. Hurd

I understand that one such officer is suspended.

Mr. Corbyn

Is the Home Secretary aware that the existing legislation concerning complaints about the conduct of senior officers calls into question the credibility of the Police Complaints Authority and the procedures agreed for it by the House? What steps is the right hon. Gentleman taking to review the Police (Discipline) (Senior Officers) Regulations 1985 and section 83 and 84 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1985 so that proper investigations can take place into allegations of misconduct by senior officers?

Mr. Hurd

That was precisely the purpose of the sections to which the hon. Gentleman draws attention. That Act, which is fairly recent on the statute book, established the Police Complaints Authority and gave it the role of supervising investigations as they take place rather than simply receiving reports afterwards. That is a great step forward, as I believe that the cases that the hon. Gentleman has in mind show.

Sir Anthony Grant

Rather than calling for a report, as the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) suggests, which is a thinly disguised attempt to smear the police, will my right hon. Friend send a message to the Commissioneer saying that the police, wherever they are, are doing a magnificent job in defending democracy, despite the impediments placed upon them by the loony Left?

Mr. Hurd

I entirely share and endorse my hon. Friend's message. I am glad to note that, despite the efforts of the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn), the influence of the loony Left in these matters seems to be diminishing.