§ Mr. Cohen
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for reports from chief constables about the number of people taken to police stations as a result of the current coal mining dispute who have been photographed by Polaroid in addition to another photograph; and what is the purpose of taking these Polaroid photographs.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
I understand that the practice of taking polaroid photographs of arrested persons—usually together with the arresting officer—is intended to ensure that there is no confusion as to the identity of arrested persons or as to which officer was responsible for arresting a particular person. I do not believe that the administrative burden which requests for numerical returns on this matter would place on the police would be justified by the usefulness of the information.