HC Deb 18 October 1982 vol 29 cc23-4W
Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the occasions, stating the cases concerned, in which the Metropolitan Police have taken responsibility for the legal costs of individual policemen in actions for defamation in each of the last 10 years; which actions came to trial; and which were settled out of court.

Mr. Mayhew:

Precise information for the whole of the period in question is not readily available. The information available is as follows:

  1. 1. 1976 Superintendent Smith v Graham Baker and others.
  2. 2.1976 Chief Inspector Hoddinott v Graham Baker and others.
  3. 3.1981 Commander Stockwell v the New Statesman.
  4. 4.1982 Assistant Commissioners Kelland and Gibson v The Times Newspaper.
  5. 5.1982 Deputy Assistant Commissioner Powis v The Observer.

Action is continuing on the third and fifth cases; the rest have been settled without trial by the payment of damages to the plaintiffs.

Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions are given to the Metropolitan Police as to the way individual officers should describe themselves when charged with a criminal offence.

Mr. Mayhew:

No specific instructions have been issued but officers are expected to describe themselves accurately. I understand that in the case reported in The Times on30 July 1982 the officer concerned was described on the original charge sheet as a police officer and not as a civil servant, as reported.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the progress being made by the Policy Studies Institute's research organisation into police and public relations, including alleged corruption, in the Metropolitan Police force; whether this study, authorised by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis in June 1980, is receiving the help and assistance of all sections of the Metropolitan Police; and when he expects its report to be published.

Mr. Mayhew:

We understand that the study of the relationship between .the Metropolitan Police and the community it serves, which is being conducted by the Policy Studies Institute, at the request of the Metropolitan Police, is making progress. A large number of police officers throughout the force have co-operated with the study, which has the support of the police staff associations. The publication of the report is a matter for the Policy Studies Institute, in consultation with the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.