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Toxteth (Disturbances)

Volume 29: debated on Thursday 28 October 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the speed at which the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is dealing with claims made following the Toxteth disturbances; and if he will make a statement.

Given the careful inquiries that are necessary for consideration of any application, the need to obtain comprehensive information from the police which was not available until 31 March 1982, and the manpower constraints which apply to the board as to the whole of the Government service, we are satisfied that these applications are being dealt with as quickly as possible.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many claims were made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board following the Toxteth disturbances in Liverpool in July 1981; how many have been settled; and how many are still outstanding.

I understand that 337 applications have been received; 157 have been settled; and 180 are still under consideration.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received from the Merseyside. police committee calling for a public inquiry into the use of CS gas during the Toxteth riots on 6 July 1981; and what reply he is making.

I have received the taxt of a recommendation accepted by the committee that it should take account of a previous statement by the chairman that , together with the chief constable, the committee needed to examine the whole issue of the policing of civil disorder following the civil disturbances in Toxteth and elsewhere in July 1981; acknowledge disquiet expressed by the Liverpool city council and others over the use of CS and other measures by the Merseyside police; be aware of legal complexities surrounding actions pending against the chief constable which inhibit current examination of the issues and preclude the chief constable as at present advised from reporting to the committee; regret the committee's inability to pursue its concern with its characteristic vigour and incisiveness; and, therefore, request me to respond to the committee's concern and that of the city council and others by establishing a public inquiry into the policing of civil disorder in the light of the events of the summer of 1981, with terms of reference including the use of CS and other measures, to provide a basis for future policy. I understand that a letter explaining the context of the recommendation will be sent to me shortly. At present, I am considering what reply it would be appropriate to give to the recommendation.