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Volume 526: debated on Thursday 8 April 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will state the percentage of the Metropolitan Police engaged in office duties and street duties, other than traffic control, respectively; and how these figures compare with those for 1938.

On 14th March last 1·44 per cent. of the total strength of the Metropolitan police force was engaged in office duties and 79·03 per cent. on street duties other than mobile patrol and traffic point duties. The corresponding percentages on the same date in 1938 were 1·24 and 84·91.


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to free members of the Metropolitan Police Force from routine duties so as to enable them to concentrate on the prevention and detection of crime.

A substantial number of Metropolitan police officers employed at headquarters and various police stations on work not requiring the exercise of police powers or experience are being gradually replaced by civilian staff; and 674 school crossings previously supervised by police officers have been taken over by school crossing patrols or police cadets. I should not like to be taken as accepting the implication that the detection of offenders and prevention of crime is a duty of the police to which all their other functions should be subordinated.