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Police—Devonport Watch Committee—Question

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 9 May 1876

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the rule in force at Devonport is that the superintendent of police may not apply for summonses in any case until the Watch Committee have heard evidence and decided whether there is a case for the magistrate or not; and, whether this system has not been strongly condemned by Captain Willis, inspector of constabulary; and, if so, whether he proposes to take any steps in the matter?

in reply, said, that the Watch Committee at Devonport did exercise the power which had been attributed to them in the Question put by the hon. Member for Carlisle. He entirely agreed with Captain Willis in his strong disapproval of such a practice. He could not conceive how any Watch Committee could for a moment think of taking upon themselves such a responsibility. He believed this was an isolated case; if it were not so, it would be his duty to take steps in reference to a practice which, now that attention had been directed to it, would, he hoped, not further be resorted to.