HC Deb 28 April 1981 vol 3 cc368-9W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police as to how and why it was necessary for three police officers to go to Barbados to deliver papers concerning the extradition of Ronald Biggs; how long these officers spent in court giving evidence; what were their ranks and pay; how much it cost in total to public funds, including their 'plane journeys; why they returned and are due to go back again; and whether in future, in view of the need for economy, he will request the Commissioner to take action to save the public's money on such matters.

Mr. Mayhew

I understand that the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis agreed, at the request of my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General, that a detective inspector and a detective constable should give such assistance as they were able to the authorities in Barbados in connection with the request for the extradition of Ronald Biggs. They were not called to give evidence.

A detective chief superintendent later went to Barbados for the purpose of giving evidence which was within his personal knowledge. The officers returned when, with the committal of Mr. Biggs, their missions were completed.

Mr. Biggs has been discharged on appeal and it will not be necessary for police officers to return to Barbados in connection with this matter.

The total cost of public funds was £6,572, in pay, travel and subsistence. The commissioner is mindful of the need for economy in matters of this kind and is satisfied that in the circumstances of this case the expenditure was justified.