HL Deb 01 April 1958 vol 208 cc623-4WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

  1. (1) if they will state the powers of special constables;
  2. (2) what is the number of special constables having the powers and privileges and liable to the duties and responsibilities of constables;
  3. 624
  4. (3) what authorities and bodies (other than local authorities) can appoint special constables, or nominate persons to justices of the peace or others for such appointment.


In general, a special constable, while on duty, has all the powers which a constable has by virtue of the Common Law or of any Statute for the time being in force. These powers extend throughout the area for which the special constable is appointed to act. On 28th February, 1958, there were 54,137 special constables attached to the regular police forces in England and Wales; there is no central record of the numbers of the other special constables.

The special constables attached to the regular police forces are nominated and appointed by justices on the requisition of the Chief Officer of Police or an officer, not below the rank of inspector, acting under his directions. In addition, a number of other authorities can nominate persons for appointment as special constables: for example, the Admiralty, the Army Council, the Air Council, the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation.

House adjourned at five o'clock.