§ Mr. GROVES
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the arrest of two innocent men named Street, of Stratford, in the West End of London, on 14th December last; that they were taken to Marlborough Street Police Station, searched, finger prints taken, and kept in cells for five hours; whether, as the charges were dismissed, he will compensate these men for the inconvenience and expense entailed in their appearance at court; whether he will ensure that the finger prints of these innocent men are destroyed; and what action he proposes to recommend in respect of the two detectives who made these wrongful arrests?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I have made inquiry regarding this case, which had not previously come to my notice. From a report which I have obtained it appears that the men in question were arrested at 1.30 p.m. on 11th December and were taken to Tottenham Court Road Police Station where they were charged with being suspected persons loitering for the purpose of stealing from motor cars. At the station they were searched in the usual course and their finger prints were taken. After it had been ascertained that the charge could not be dealt with at the court that day, inquiries were made at Stratford with a view to bail, which was eventually forthcoming at 5.55 p.m. The defendants were thereupon released to appear at Marlborough Street Police Court at 10 a.m. the following day. The evidence then placed before the court was to the effect that they had been kept under observation for some 20 minutes, and during that period had been seen to look into and try the handles of unattended
Name. Age. Date of execution. Prison. Haubury, Jeremiah … … … 49 2nd February … Birmingham. Puttnam, Jack Samuel … … … 31 8th June … Pentonville. Hetherington, Richard … … … 35 20th June … Liverpool. Morse, Fred … … … 33 25th July … Bristol. Antorka, Varnavas Loizi … … … 31 10th August … Pentonville. Kirby, Robert James … … … 26 11th October … Pentonville. Burtoft, William … … … 48 19th December … Manchester. Parker, Ernest Wadge … … … 25 6th December … Durham. Hobday, Stanley Eric … … … 21 28th December … Birmingham.
motor cars. The hearing was adjourned until 20th December so that the defendants might be legally represented, and after evidence had been given that they were of good character and had been seeking employment upon the day of arrest, the charge was dismissed. On the information before me, I see no reason for thinking that the officers concerned in the arrest exceeded their duty or acted otherwise than in good faith; and I regret that I see no occasion for any grant to the defendants. In accordance with the usual practice, all copies of their finger prints have been destroyed.