HC Deb 15 February 1968 vol 758 cc397-9W
57. Mr. Ronald Bell

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what decision he has reached in consequence of the report made to him by the independent police officer appointed to inquire into the case of Frederick Luckhurst.

Mr. Callaghan:

I have considered the report on the independent inquiry made Newcastle city police areas for 1967, 1966, 1965 and 1964.

Mr. Taverne:

Figures of indictable offences known to the police for these police area together with the figures of those offences which were cleared up, are as follows:

by Detective Chief Superintendent Brennan of the Birmingham City Police, who has reinvestigated all the facts of the case and made inquiries into all the pointed raised on behalf of Mr. Luckhurst.

On police procedure, the investigating officer has drawn attention to a number of procedural details in regard to the conduct of the identification parade attended by Mr. Luckhurst which could have been dealt with better, but he concludes that none of these affected the fairness of the parade. He considers that the Acting Chief Constable of Buckinghamshire was under no obligation to treat the case as a complaint under Section 49 of the Police Act 1964 and that, while it might have been advisable for the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions to have been sought, there are no grounds for suggesting that the prosecution was not properly initiated.

I agree with these conclusions. I propose to seek the advice of my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General on the scope of Section 49 to see if any further guidance is required to Chief Officers of Police on the circumstances in which they should consult the Director of Public Prosecutions. I further propose to give some general guidance on the way in which identification parades should be conducted where police officers are involved.

These further thorough inquiries have not brought to light any significant new evidence or materially supplemented the facts of the offence as known at the time of the trial; and, after most careful consideration, I can find no grounds on which I should be justified in recommending any intereference with the verdict of the jury.