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Approved School, Carlton

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 7 July 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that there is still much local concern resulting from house-breaking, theft and disorderly conduct indulged in by the boys at the approved school at Carlton, Bedfordshire; and what action he proposes.

No recent complaints have been made to me on this subject; but I am informed that four exceptionally difficult boys have absconded on five occasions in the past month, taking others with them, and, I regret to add, have stolen property and vehicles to aid in their escape. I understand that charges are likely to be brought against the ringleaders.

While I did not hear all of the reply from the Home Secretary, may I ask him whether he is aware that there is a feeling of considerable insecurity in this part of my constituency so far as the behaviour of these boys is concerned? Will he look into the whole matter and take some further action beyond that already taken on a previous occasion when there was trouble?

No, Sir. The number of abscondings from this school is not unduly high, and compensation has been paid in those cases where it is applicable.

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that almost every night one of these boys breaks out, does damage, goes back, it is discovered later and it is impossible to trace him?