§ Mr. Speller
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek power to prohibit the sale to the public by open mail order of skeleton key sets suitable to open the locked doors of motor vehicles without the knowledge or permission of the owners; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Patten
[holding answer 17 May 1989]: There is no existing legislation prohibiting the sale of skeleton key sets, but it is an offence to carry such an article for use in the course of or in connection with theft. There are legitimate uses of skeleton key sets—eg by locksmiths—and any proposals for controls on sales would need to take this into account. Inquiries made of the police by the Home Office crime prevention centre at Stafford have not revealed evidence of significant use of skeleton key sets in criminal offences.