HC Deb 07 November 1983 vol 48 c37W
Mr. Proctor

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the procedure for bringing in military assistance in order to assist in controlling a civil disturbance.

Mr. Hurd

The police have the primary responsibility for maintaining the peace in England and Wales. A constable may seek assistance from any citizen, including a member of the armed forces, in performing this duty. In practice, a chief officer of police who required reinforcements in dealing with public disorder would seek them first from other chief officers. Under long standing arrangements, the deployment of service men to assist the police, as a measure of last resort, would require the approval of Ministers of the Crown.