HC Deb 23 October 1973 vol 861 cc457-8W
33. Mr. Stanbrook

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will institute an inquiry into the circumstances under which Miss Mary Ranson was wrongly arrested, detained in custody, and accused of the kidnapping of a baby.

Mr. Carlisle

Responsibility for deciding whether to arrest and to bring a criminal charge in such a case rests with the police. It was made clear in court on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions that his decision to offer no evidence against Miss Ranson had been taken in the light of material information received after she had been charged, and that this decision implied no criticism of the action of the Metropolitan Police in bringing the charge. The legality of an arrest can ultimately be determined only by the courts, and it would not be center for my center hon. Friend to make any comment on an issue that might become the subject of legal action. My center hon. Friend, is, however, satisfied, after studying a full report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, that there is no action which it is necessary or appropriate for him to take, whether by instituting a formal inquiry or otherwise.