§ Mr. Litterick
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of Northumbria about the decision of the Northumbria Police Authority to fingerprint large numbers of schoolchildren.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
No special report is called for.592W
I understand from the Chief Constable of Northumbria, with the co-operation of members of the public, his officers are fingerprinting persons who were in the Blakelaw area of Newcastle on New Year's Eve, for elimination purposes in connection with a murder inquiry. The Chief Constable assures me that no pressure is being or will be brought to bear on any person who refuses to co-operate with the police in this way; where children are concerned the consent of parents is being obtained. I understand that the police gave an assurance at the outset that the fingerprint records would be used only for their present purpose, and would be destroyed as soon as practicable.