§ Mr. George Rodgers
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he is in possession of the report compiled on the Chief Constable of Lancashire; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if, in view of the publication by the Press of the report on the Chief Constable of Lancashire and its impact on police morale in Lancashire, he will expedite the procedures for a decision to he reached on the allegations contained in the report;
(3) if he is satisfied that the Chief Constable of Lancashire has been given adequate opportunity to reply to the charges made following invesigations by the Chief Constable of Southampton.
§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will institute an open public inquiry into the Lancashire Police Force under Section 32 of the Police Act 1964.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The Chief Constable of Hampshire was appointed by the Lancashire Police Authority to investigate alleged offences by its Chief Constable and his report was submitted in confidence to it. I very much deplore the publication of the substance of the report in the Press 10 days ago. The Police Authority is responsible for arranging for the investigation of allegations against the Chief Constable and for seeing that such subsequent action as seems to it necessary is taken. The relevant Discipline Regulations set out the procedures to be followed, including the opportunities available to the Chief Constable to respond to the allegations and to such disciplinary charges 441W as may be brought against him. If the Chief Constable admits or is found guilty of a disciplinary offence, he has a right of appeal to me. It would, therefore, be improper for me to call for a copy of the report, to comment on the case, or to consider taking any other action in the matter, at the present time.