HC Deb 26 July 1999 vol 336 cc67-8W
Mr. Wyatt

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up a public inquiry into the death of Ms Loraine Whiting, a constituent of the hon. Member for Sittingbourne and Sheppey. [92497]

Mr. Straw

[holding answer 23 July 1999]: This tragic case has already been investigated at a Coroner's inquest and by the Police Complaints Authority. I do not consider that a further inquiry would bring any significant new information about the case to light.

While we are encouraged with the steady increase in the number of women officers and we welcome local force initiatives, we do accept that women are still poorly represented, and we intend to look at what further action can be taken to increase female representation throughout the service.

The number of women who left the police service before reaching normal retirement age, together with the number and reasons for women taking early retirement in Merseyside are listed in the tables: