§ Mrs. Ann Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis about the future of the obscene publications branch; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what recent representations he has received from right hon. and hon. Members concerning the future of the obscene publications branch; and how many of those representations have (a) opposed and (b) supported the disbanding of that branch;
§ Mr. David Alton
(1) whether it is the policy of his Department to close the obscene publications squad;
(2) what plans there are for the disbandment of the obscene publications branch at New Scotland Yard; what is the reason for such action; and what assessment he has made of the effect of such a measure on the operational capability of the police, both in London and nationally.
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
Metropolitan police headquarters functions and specialist units, such as the obscene publications branch, fall within scope of the Commissioner's restructuring exercise, which aims to make the best possible use of resources and to place functions where they are most appropriate. My right hon. and learned Friend has discussed this matter with the Commissioner during their regular meetings.