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Shelters And Damaged Property (Convictions For Offences)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 13 May 1943

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asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered the Report of the Emergency Committee of the Deptford Borough Council calling attention to the inadequacy of penalties imposed on offenders found guilty of damage to air-raid shelters and thefts from property damaged by enemy action and asking for the imposition of penalties adequate to the offence; and can he make a statement on this question?

I am obliged to my hon. Friend for sending me a copy of the Report to which he refers, and I am in full agreement with the comments therein on the despicable conduct of those individuals who damage and impair shelters provided for the protection of the public, or inflict additional loss and injury on people whose homes or shops have been damaged by enemy action. I have already called the attention of the courts to the seriousness of these offences. The question what is the appropriate penalty in a particular case is for the court to determine after consideration of all the relevant circumstances.