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Volume 437: debated on Thursday 8 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that, owing to the impossibility of obtaining dwelling accommodation, many county constabularies are unable to provide sufficient police officers in districts which have grown up since 1939 and, in consequence, the burden on existing police officers is becoming severe; and whether he will arrange to acquire from the Ministry of Health a uniform prefabricated type of house on priority terms that can be erected for the use of police officers in rural and semi-urban areas.

All the temporary prefabricated houses provided under the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act, 1944, have been allocated in accordance with the terms of that Act to housing authorities, and the demands are such that the share available for police officers is small. The question whether the provision of houses for the police can be accelerated by the use of any other type of prefabricated house is being studied as such houses become available.

Could the right hon. Gentleman pay particular attention to county constabularies in certain districts where large populations have recently sprung up, and where it is impossible to place constables owing to the inadequacy of housing at the present time?

I have those areas particularly in mind. As I have moved about the country I have been in consultation with chief constables, standing joint committees and county district housing authorities.