HC Deb 29 April 1963 vol 676 cc80-1W
Mr. Ian Gilmour

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what decision he has reached on the recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Police that a central unit, under the general direction of the chief inspector of constabulary, should be set up with responsibility for planning and research.

Mr. Brooke

In accordance with the recommendation of the Royal Commission, I am establishing at the Home Office a Police Research and Planning Branch, under the general direction of the Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

The work of the Branch will be undertaken by a team of senior police officers and scientists, supported by officers of the executive and clerical grades of the civil service. Selected police officers are being invited to serve in it on secondment from their forces.

The Branch will work in close touch with the police service, to which its findings will be made available. It will be available to examine any aspect of policing, but I am asking it to concentrate initially on an urgent inquiry into methods of dealing with the growing volume of serious and unsolved crime, and problems of policing raised by modern road traffic.

The Branch will also collect and disseminate information about methods and equipment which have been used successfully by police forces or which may be of interest to the police. It will thus provide a centre through which police forces can pool their experience, and learn of new techniques.

The Branch will contain a small unit which will study the criteria upon which the establishments of police forces should be based.

The Branch will be able to call upon the help and advice of my Chief Scientific Adviser and my Statistical Adviser and Director of Research; and I shall expect it to work in close co-operation with other organisations and agencies engaged in relevant research.

I believe that the creation of this Research and Planning Branch will strengthen our police system at a crucial point, and in particular will lead in time to major advances in the continuing war against crime and the criminal.