§ Mr. Merlyn Rees:
The investigation of crime, as successive Home Secretaries and the courts have recognised, falls within the operational responsibility of chief officers. Home Secretaries do not discuss with chief officers of police how they should conduct a criminal investigation into an individual case or what if any action should follow on the investigation. I may, however, call for a report on a particular investigation, e.g. in cases where the exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy may be involved, or ask to be kept informed of the progress of a particular investigation. I may also ask Her Majesty's inspectors to discuss with a chief officer the lessons to be learnt from a particular investigation after the case is closed.