HC Deb 25 November 1993 vol 233 cc573-4
10. Mr. Kynoch

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his plans to deal with those who repeatedly offend while on bail.

Mr. Maclean

Offending on bail is a serious problem. We intend to use the criminal justice Bill, which will be introduced shortly, to remove the presumption in favour of bail in all cases where a person who is already on bail is charged with an offence triable on indictment.

Mr. Kynoch

I am sure that the country will welcome the proposals, bearing in mind the cases that one hears of throughout the country of offences being carried out by people on bail. Is my hon. Friend aware that the bail measures are different in Scotland from those south of the border? Will he liaise closely with the Secretary of State for Scotland on the issues to try to ensure that the benefits are learned north of the border also? Will my hon. Friend give an indication of the impact on the crime rate that he expects from the measures?

Mr. Maclean

I assure my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is liaising closely with us on the matters. My hon. Friend will be aware that Scottish law is different and that it would require a different criminal justice Bill to take the measures into Scottish law, should the Secretary of State wish to do so in the near future.

We expect the measures to make a significant impact. I am alarmed by research that suggests that as many as 50,000 offences may be committed by people who have been charged with an offence, been granted bail, and have then committed more offences. The whole House will agree that that is unacceptable—and because I think that the whole House will agree, I look forward to the official Opposition supporting our proposals.

Dr. Hendron

When the Secretary of State is considering his statement on those who offend while on bail, will he consider also making a statement on a constituent of mine by the name of Gerard Power who is at present in Belmarsh prison outside London? It is proposed that he be extradited to Germany. He has failed to get out on bail, and the Germans have said that they have been looking for him—

Madam Speaker

Order. I regret having to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but his question does not relate to the subject under discussion. His question relates to extradition. Might I suggest that the hon. Gentleman makes a direct representation to the Secretary of State, who I am sure will deal with it right away? I cannot allow questions that bear no relationship to those on the Order Paper.

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