§ Sir Michael McNair-Wilson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue guidelines to chief constables about the action they should take towards those alleged to be thieving from stores and shops unlawfully trading on Sundays.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
No guidelines are necessary. The investigation of alleged criminal offences and the decision whether to initiate proceedings in a particular case are operational matters for the chief officer of the police force concerned. The Home Secretary has no authority to intervene. It is my understanding, however, that the legal status of the victim is unlikely to affect a chief officer's decision.