§ Mr. Hunter
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from chief constables on the steps they are taking to tackle outbreaks of disorder in non-metroplitan areas; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hurd
Following incidents of serious disorder in 1986 and over the 1987 new year period a working group comprising Home Office officials and representatives of the Association of Chief Police Officers was set up to consider means of improving police response to public disorder in areas where rapid mobilisation of resources may be difficult.
The group has recently reported its findings and made a number of recommendations. I have placed a full list of the group's recommendations in the Library. The recommendations relate to ways that forces might be able to improve information gathering and collation to help predict the likelihood and degree of disorder; how contingency planning for the rapid mobilisation and deployment of officers could be sharpened up; how the operational tactics in confronting disorderly groups could be made more effective; and how following an outbreak of disorder procedures could be improved to detect offenders and bring them to justice.
With the agreement of the Association of Chief Police Officers I am circulating a copy of the report to all chief officers in England and Wales asking them to consider its recommendations to help inform their decisions on how best to tackle this sort of disorder in their areas.