§ LORD NAPIER AND ETTRICK
asked Her Majesty's Government whether it is appreciated that the sole police constable in the Valley of the Ettrick is about to be withdrawn, the police station closed and probably sold; that no attempt appears to have been made to ascertain public feeling before arriving at this decision which has caused grave concern to many, especially the elderly: and to ask whether, in view of the fact that people at the head Dif this isolated valley will be over 20 miles from the nearest police station, they will cause the matter 939WA to be reviewed, and that pending a decision, the present police constable may remain at his post.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, SCOTTISH OFFICE (LORD STRATHCLYDE)
Her Majesty's Government have no authority to intervene in the disposition of police officers within a police area, which is the responsibility of the police authority and chief constable concerned. The Berwick, Roxburgh and Selkirk Joint Police Board approved the chief constable's proposal to withdraw the officer from Ettrick Valley as part of a reorganisation of the whole force940WA occasioned by the introduction of an additional rest day for the police. The Board decided that the cost of maintaining a police officer on the Ettrick beat, the population of which is stated to be about 315, could not be justified, as they were satisfied that the area could be adequately policed by the officer at St. Mary's police station, which is 10 miles away by road. This officer is provided with a motor van and the possibility of equipping it with wireless is under consideration.
House adjourned at two minutes past seven o'clock.