asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he will give, for the longest and most convenient stated period of time, the number of complaints and communications sent by Members of Parliament to him for the Metropolitan Police; what was the actual or average time for replies to be sent; and whether he will take action to ensure that taxpayers and Members of Parliament receive earlier replies to their communications;(2) whether he will cause an investigation to be made into the action of the Metropolitan Police in keeping the general public and Members of Parliament waiting months for replies which should be sent within a few days of the receipt of letters.
The information requested is not available and could be extracted only at disproportionate cost. The time taken to deal with complaints and communications from Members of Parliament and from members of the public varies from one case to another with the complexity of the case and the extent of investigation required. Both the Commissioner and I seek to deal with hon. Members' correspondence as expeditiously as circumstances and the need for proper consideration permit; but cases may sometimes take longer to deal with than either of us, or indeed my hon. Friend, would ideally wish, at a time of severe constraints upon manpower and resources in the public services.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will cause an investigation to be made into why it took the police so long to deal with matters connected with the case raised with them by the hon. Member for Newham, North-West affecting his constituent Mr. A. M. Qureshi; and what was contained in the letter dated 22nd April which could not have been sent within days of receipt of the original complaint.
No. This is a matter for which the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is responsible, and I understand he is already in correspondence with my hon. Friend about it.