§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Merseyside on the number of admissions of guilt resulting from prison visits by police officers during the last year; and if he will review the guidelines he issues on the obtaining of admissions in this way, in the light of information supplied by Merseyside police.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
I understand from the chief constable of Merseyside that, in 1986,36,320 offences were cleared up following prison visits by his officers. These represent 59 per cent. of all offences detected by his force 585W in that year. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary issued guidelines on the use of prison visits to clear up crimes earlier this year and is satisfied that practice in Merseyside accords with them.