§ 1. Mr. Wilkes
asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that a retired police officer whose name was put forward for appointment as a justice of the peace was refused appointment on the ground that it was not the practice to appoint retired policemen or police officers as justices for the counties or county boroughs in which they formerly served; whether, since 1945, any exceptions to this practice have been made; and in how many cases.
§ The Attorney-General
The practice of my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor is to decline to appoint to the commissions of the peace serving members of the police or constabulary forces, but to treat cases of retired members of these forces on their merits. In the case of borough commissions, the Lord Chancellor is reluctant to approve the appointment of retired police officers who have themselves served in the borough concerned, particularly if the officers have held the rank of inspector or superintendent. If a retired police officer of this kind adjudicates on the bench when evidence is being given by police constables and others who have served under him when he was in active employment, his action may be open to misrepresentation. No figures are available to show how many retired police officers, if any, have been appointed to the commissions of the peace since 1945.