asked the Home Secretary what action he is taking, in view of the failure of the local police to trace the murderers in the Leicester outrage, known as the green bicycle case, and the 854W Bournemouth murder, to secure the best available detective ability immediately any murder takes place; and whether he has opened up communications with the provincial watch committees to secure more effective control by the Home Office of local police?
§ Mr. SHORTT
The fact that the two murderers in question have up to now escaped detection does not in my opinion prove that the best means available have not been employed for detecting them, nor do I feel able to affirm that an extension of the powers of the Home Office over county and borough police would, in fact, increase their efficiency in this respect. It is well known to all police authorities that they can have the assistance of one of the best detectives in Scotland Yard in a murder case if it is asked for at once, and no charge is made for his services. The question of securing more effective co-operation is under consideration.