HC Deb 07 November 1983 vol 48 cc34-5W
Mr. Peter Bruinvels

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made to date regarding lay visitors to police stations; what guidelines have been issued; who can be lay visitors; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Brittan

I explained in a reply on 6 July—[Vol. 45, c. 89–91]—to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Dr. Mawhinney) that pilot schemes for lay visiting were to be, or already had been, established in six provincial police force areas and in L district of the Metropolitan police force. Schemes have now begun in Greater Manchester, Humberside, West Midlands and South Yorkshire. The other schemes will begin shortly; and I should shortly be in a position to announce in which other parts of the Metropolitan police district pilot arrangements will be made.

Copies of the guidelines for the schemes, issued by the Home Office after consultation with the local authority associations and police representative bodies, were placed in the Library on 6 July.

The guidelines place the responsibility for the appointment of lay visitors on the police authority concerned and make it clear that it is open to the authority to include persons from outside its own membership who have broadly based interests in the local community.

We intend, with the assistance and co-operation of those concerned, to review experience of the pilot schemes to date early in the new year. I shall continue to keep the House informed of progress in this area.

Number of police authorities Number of schemes Approximate total value
£ million
(1) In planning with approved starts due in 1983–84 to 1985–86. 28 34 50–60
(2) In planning without start dates since—
(i) before 1982 13 16 40–50
(ii) added in 1982 21 28 30–40
(3) Schemes put forward but not accepted for planning in 1982 32 109 175

Schemes in category (2) will be fitted into the rolling programme in the forward years from 1986–87 onwards, as and when margins become available on the central capital allocation. It is not possible at present to accept commitment to specific dates.

Particulars of the schemes in categories (1) and (2) are as follows:

Police authority Scheme
Category 1
Cheshire Warrington Divisional Headquarters
Cheshire Force Headquarters
Cleveland Force Headquarters
Cumbria Whitehaven Sub Divisional Headquarters
Derbyshire Ilkeston Sub Divisional Headquarters
Devon and Cornwall Plymouth Sub Divisional Headquarters
Dorset Force Headquarters
Durham Durham Divisional Headquarters
Dyfed Powys Force Headquarters
Essex Laindon Sub Divisional Headquarters
Gloucestershire Bamfurlong Motor Patrol Centre
Greater Manchester Force Headquarters Phase II
Greater Manchester Astley Bridge Sub Divisional Headquarters
Gwent Maindee Sub Divisional Headquarters Newport
Hampshire Force Training and Support Centre
Hertfordshire Force Headquarters extension
Kent Maidstone Divisional Headquarters
Lancashire Ormskirk Sub Divisional Headquarters
Leicestershire Force Headquarters—Phase I
Leicestershire Beaumont Leys Sub Divisional Headquarters
Merseyside Liverpool Bridewell
Northamptonshire Weston Favell Sub Divisional Headquarters
Nottinghamshire Nottingham Bridewell
South Wales Cardiff Bridewell
South Wales Caerphilly Sub Divisional Headquarters
South Yorkshire Sheffield Divisional Headquarters
Staffordshire Force Driving School
Surrey Godstone Traffic Centre
Thames Valley Oxford Divisional Headquarters
West Midlands Birmingham Divisional Headquarters
West Yorkshire South Kirkby Section Station
West Yorkshire Halifax Divisional Headquarters
West Yorkshire Bradford—computer accommodation
Wiltshire Wootton Bassett Section Station