HC Deb 29 January 1997 vol 289 cc373-405

Amendment proposed [20 January]: No. 245, in page 6, line 20, to leave out the words 'of 16 years of age or more'.—[Lord James Douglas-Hamilton.]

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Madam Speaker

I remind the House that with this we are discussing Government amendments Nos. 246 to 250, 252 and 253.

4.20 pm
Mrs. Irene Adams (Paisley, North)

You may recall, Madam Speaker, that I was interrupted in my speech last week when the Government hung on for yet another night and refused to move the 10 o'clock motion because, once more, they were frightened of losing a vote in the House. I was on my feet in support of my hon. Friend the Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) and of the amendments that he had moved. Our contention was that electronic tagging should be part of the supervision and probation process, and that it should be used only as an alternative to imprisonment.

The Government are still not giving us the guidelines that we think are needed. They are not giving the judiciary the guidelines that they would need. We do not know, for example, what offenders, or offences for that matter, would be targeted and subject to the orders.

In Committee, the Minister guaranteed that this would be a pilot scheme, but the only research that is of any use is from America. It is widely available and shows that the equipment alone will not ensure a successful programme". Electronic tagging will work only if other measures are in place. The research says: The involvement of professional social workers is key. My main concern involves the electronic tagging of people under 16. The American research tells that such tagging worked best with people who already had some internal control and who needed just an extra nudge. I ask again: what offences and offenders does the Minister have in mind, because the under-16s who would be subject to the measure would not need just an extra nudge and would often be from dysfunctional families? They would come not from middle-class homes, with parents who watch their every move and who keep them on track day in, day out, but from homes where family life had often broken down.

Mr. Phil Gallie (Ayr)

Where does the hon. Lady gel that interpretation from? It seems that a young offender from any background could be submitted to this recourse.

Mrs. Adams

If the Minister would give us the guidance on what offenders and offences he was talking about, we might know what offences to address, but, at the moment, we do not, so I must assume that this applies across the board. I have no guidance from the Minister or the Government, and neither do the judiciary. The Government are asking the House to pass the orders on to sheriffs and to judges, who will have to implement them as best they can because we are not getting the guidance that is required.

My experience is that not many children from my street are subject to any court orders. However, I fear that many children in the poorer parts of my constituency would fall into that category. There is nothing to suggest that children with a life style similar to mine would suffer. Many children are in peripheral housing schemes where there are no facilities and bad housing and where schools are not properly equipped by the Government. Their lives are not good and they do not see a bright future. They have nothing to look forward to, and they are the children who would be affected. The last thing that such children need is the pressure on their families that electronic tagging would bring.

In many cases the mother in a house in which the family had broken down would also be the gaoler, and that is a difficult role to give anyone without the backing of social work departments and probation officers. As far as I can see, no such backing is on offer.

In Committee, the Minister said that one of the relevant crimes was football hooliganism. There is no great evidence of football hooliganism in Scotland, because we addressed that a long time ago. I am at a loss to know what sort of crimes he has in mind. Would truancy by those under the age of 16 be relevant? A child playing truant from school could be electronically tagged at home for 12 hours. The removal of the tag would not be an inducement for the child to go to school if the only time that the child was free was during school hours. Tags may also be used on fine defaulters who are over the age of 16.

Mr. Gordon McMaster (Paisley, South)

Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the best inducements to under-16-year-olds not to play truant would be to offer them the prospect of a real job when they leave school? Perhaps the Government want to experiment with electronic tagging. In view of the closeness of some of the votes in the next few weeks, Tory Whips might try it on Conservative Members.

Mrs. Adams

I am unhappy with that suggestion, because our Whips might try it on us. However, my hon. Friend's first point was excellent. Tagging will not encourage children to look for a better way of life. The only way to do that is to give them hope. Some 20 per cent. of families in Britain do not have an income from a job coming into the household, and that does not encourage a better life. The proposal will not help them.

I am concerned about the way that the matter has been handled, and especially about its effect on those who are under the age of 16. However, people over that age are also affected. Was fine default one of the crimes that the Minister has in mind? In Committee, the Minister failed to answer questions. What would the tag entail? When it is switched off will it still activate other electronic equipment such as that at supermarket doors? We often set equipment off in airports with pagers and mobile telephones. I understand that people will wear the tags even when they are deactivated. [Interruption.]

Would the Minister like to intervene? Will the tags activate equipment in supermarkets and other stores? Are we putting the mark of Cain on people? Are we saying, "Here is an offender"? Will people who did not buy a television licence be stopped at supermarket doors? Will we point a finger at them in public? None of those questions has been answered.

We are discussing the introduction of an order requiring a piece of equipment, but we do not know to whom the order will apply or what crimes they will have had to commit. We do not know the effect that the order will have on their overall life style or on their families. We are also not guaranteeing the involvement of the professionals who will be necessary to implement an order, such as social workers and probation officers.

We seem to be throwing in a measure that has not been well researched, and not researched at all in Scotland. There have been a few pilot schemes in England, but they have not yet been concluded. The only research we have comes from America, and that has proved that the measure is utterly useless. It has not served its intended purpose, and, as the Minister told us in Committee, its application could cost up to £10,000 per person. Paying that amount would not be very clever if the order was made because of non-payment of the television licence fee or because wee Johnny was kicking a football in the street after his mother could not get him in after 8 o'clock at night.

4.30 pm

Before we accept the measure, the Minister will have to tell us much more about it: the type of crimes to which it will apply, the type of people whom he thinks will be wearing the tags and how we will deal with the equipment problems I have mentioned. He must also tell us the cost of putting the system into every home, as it will have to include a telephone and modem. Presumably the Government will have to install the system and pick up the bills for running it. I should tell the Minister that I have some people in my constituency who could break out of Alcatraz. I do not think that an electronic tag will induce them to stay at home. The Minister has a lot more work to do on the measure, and he will have to answer some of our questions before it progresses any further.

Mr. Menzies Campbell (Fife, North-East)

The hon. Member for Paisley, North (Mrs. Adams) has made a most compelling case against the proposals. She was particularly right to say that the Bill provides absolutely no guidance to the judiciary generally and to sheriffs particularly on the criteria that should be employed when electronic tagging is applied to those over 16 or to those under 16. One could argue very strongly that the Government's decision to extend the proposal, by tabling Amendment No. 245, places a far more acute obligation on them to prescribe the criteria by which this form of penal disposal should be used.

If one introduces a measure that is essentially a gimmick, surely one has an intellectual if not a political obligation to justify its introduction. If one intends to apply the measure to under-16s—who are, by convention and statute, dealt with differently in virtually every aspect of our civil and criminal law—the obligation is all the more pressing. Thus far, the Government have not discharged that obligation.

As hon. Members have already said, the measure is untargeted and may very possibly have the effect of contradicting the Government's apparent attempt to create more consistency in sentencing. If one introduces a policy that contradicts other policies, surely one has a duty to explain why the contradiction should be allowed.

As the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) said when we last met to discuss the measure, the Government have given absolutely no indication of the resources that will be available to implement it. We are told that public expenditure is under severe and critical review, but this measure will undoubtedly increase the burden upon the taxpayer. We can rest assured that calculations have been done in the Scottish Office, but the House has not been admitted to the privity of that information. No doubt the Government do not want to tell us just how expensive this kind of operation can be.

If the Government have had the opportunity to read the Home Office research study No. 163, which deals with the trials in Greater Manchester, Norfolk and Berkshire in 1995–96, they will know that the average cost per offender in the trial was £18,000. That is approximately 30 times the cost of supervising an offender and greater than the cost of keeping a person in prison for six months. That is my estimate of the costs. Does the Minister have a better estimate for the House?

I now turn to the tagging of children under 16. We know that, in the Scottish system, children under 16 rarely reach the courts because of the children's panel system, which is the envy of many other jurisdictions. What estimate have Ministers made of the precise number of individuals under 16 years of age for whom tagging would be relevant? We look forward to hearing about that from the Minister. In this context, generalisations will not suffice.

What is the position with regard to the pilot study? Is it still under way? The date of 4 January has been mentioned as the date of the conclusion of the pilot study. If that is so, where is the evaluation? Are we to be expected to deal with the matter without the analysis and evaluation of a pilot study being available to the House? I know that the Government are urgent in their desire to put this legislation on the statute book, but is it seriously being suggested that it is sensible to legislate when information directly relevant to the issue we are discussing, which has been gathered as a result of an experiment, is not to be shared with the House? To coin a phrase, that is Mickey Mouse legislating, which does nothing for the credit of the Government.

These matters, and in particular the effort to pass legislation to impose tagging on those under 16, have not gone without comment, particularly from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland. Letters were reported extensively in The Herald of 9 January 1997. We hear that the Secretary of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland—no bleeding heart liberal he, and he will no doubt regard that as a compliment—wrote: The prospect of tagging children under the age of 16 tends to lead away from this general philosophy". He is referring to the current approach to those who have offended under the age of 16. He continues: An electronic tagging device could be a backward step as such tagging would be viewed as a form of additional punishment and stand as a marker on the child, the likely consequence of which would be to expose the child to ridicule. The more hardened offenders would probably regard the tag as a trophy. Did the Minister gel that letter and did he read it? What interpretation did he put on its terms?

Mr. John McFall (Dumbarton)

Does the hon. and learned Gentleman realise that the consultation exercise drew 102 responses, four of which were from police forces? One hundred and one out of the 102 responses were against. There was one response for, and I will keep the House in suspense as to who that one was from.

Mr. Campbell

I suppose that one might say that if 101 responses were against, that was probably 101 damnations.

Mr. Cameron continues: If a child merits lagging then, generally speaking, he or she is unlikely to view it as an incentive to better behaviour. Indeed, it is more likely to be regarded by some 'harder' children as an achievement … The ultimate responsibility for the management and administration of electronic monitoring would or should fall squarely on the shoulders of the local authority and not the police where children are concerned. There is a demonstration of an eager, anxious and determined body of opinion in Scotland which is desperately awaiting the passing into law of these provisions so that it can be part of it. The association is saying, "Don't let the police have responsibility for this. Pass the responsibility to the local authority." Did the Minister get the letter? Did he read the letter? What weight does he attach to the letter and what weight does he attach to the views of those who are most directly concerned with crime and punishment? Alternatively, has he on this occasion simply swept away the views of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland because they do not coincide with the prejudices and gimmick-ridden approach to penal affairs which now, unhappily, characterise the Scottish Office?

Dr. Norman A. Godman (Greenock and Port Glasgow)

Has the hon. and learned Gentleman considered the safety aspect? Tagging equipment might, in some workplaces, be regarded by management and employees as a safety hazard.

Mr. Campbell

That may well be so for those over 16, although we do not normally expect those under 16 to be in factories, where such issues might arise. However, I accept the hon. Gentleman's general point that someone carrying such a tag might be at risk when performing some activities because of the presence of the tag.

Mr. Gallie

The hon. and learned Gentleman criticised the proposals partly because the local authorities, rather than the police, would supervise the young people. Would he like to comment on the fact that the local authority has overall responsibility for those sentenced to community service, which is the present equivalent of probationary service?

Mr. Campbell

The hon. Gentleman states the present position, but I am not sure of the point that he is trying to make. My point was that the police are clear that they do not want anything to do with the administration of these proposals. Coupled with the other aspects of the letter to which I have referred, that is a clear thumbs down from the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland).

Mrs. Maria Fyfe (Glasgow, Maryhill)

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman like to comment on the fact that it is not long since the House debated the Children (Scotland) Bill, when not only did none of the agencies suggest tagging under-16s, but the suggestion did, not come from any Minister either?

Mr. Campbell

The hon. Lady has a particular interest in children's issues and makes effective and worthwhile contributions to many of our debates on such subjects. Her intervention underlines the fact that what we are discussing today is a gimmick to be introduced into the penal system not because we know it to be worth while—we have not had the evaluation of the pilot study—or because it has been proved universally effective elsewhere, but because the Government believe that it might attract a headline here or there.

Hon. Members have already referred to pilot studies that have been carried out abroad. Experience abroad suggests that tagging works only if there is close supervision and lasts for a short period. Where in the Bill are those criteria set out? Nowhere. Experience abroad suggests that offenders must have a stable life style. Where in the Bill do we find an obligation on a judge to take account of the family circumstances of a person on whom a tag is to be placed? Nowhere. The report into the United Kingdom study, to which I have already referred, concluded: friction between members of the family when one was undergoing electronic monitoring may be a potentially serious consequence of the system. All the evidence is against the proposals. We have heard nothing approaching a reasoned, rational, intellectual justification for them. One is driven to the conclusion that the issue is not the proper treatment of children, but the capture of what is thought to be the law and order agenda, as evidenced by a tabloid headline here and there. In the run-up to a general election we expect that sort of thing, but it is wrong of the Government to propose measures that are so clearly unjustified either by principle or by experience elsewhere. If the Government had any proper regard for the penal system in Scotland, they would withdraw the proposals immediately.

4.45 pm
Mr. Gallie

I shall be fairly brief. The hon. Member for Paisley, North (Mrs. Adams) who stated, "We got over the problems of alcohol abuse and hooliganism at football matches." The Government certainly did that by introducing legislation during the 1980s. I was not in the House at the time, but I suspect that Opposition Members opposed those changes. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] That surprises me. It must have been the one and only law and order measure that they did not oppose.

Mrs. Adams

The hon. Gentleman has got it wrong again. In fact our late colleague, the former Member for Glasgow, Gorbals, introduced the legislation.

Mr. Gallie

I certainly welcome that legislation. I am quite sure that the Government pushed it along and that it was a case of Scotland first and others following. It was good legislation.

The hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell) appeared to suggest that we should impose on sheriffs strict guidelines on sentencing. I agree with him to some extent, but I find it difficult to understand why he finds it appropriate to set out detailed instructions for sheriffs before they can impose the use of monitoring devices.

Mr. Menzies Campbell

Perhaps the fault is mine. I suspect that it is a problem of expression rather than comprehension. When we introduce such a radically different measure, and invest sheriffs with a discretion in that respect, we have a duty to lay down the criteria that they are entitled, but not bound, to take into account.

Mr. Gallie

I am quite sure that the Bill does that. From my understanding of it, and perhaps beyond the comprehension of the hon. and learned Gentleman who made such an insulting comment, the Bill contains an element of choice in that individuals will be able to choose whether or not to wear a monitoring device. As far as I am aware, it is an alternative to custody.

Opposition Members have referred to children who will be affected by the measure. Let us get down to the hard facts. In some of the areas to which the hon. Member for Paisley, North referred, children of 14 and 15 are making life an absolute misery for their peers and for society in general. The measure is aimed at children who may have 15, 16, 20 or 30 offences lined up against them. They appear before a children's panel, they are told off and then they are back on the streets. Perhaps the children's panel will be able to utilise the legislation through the courts. I recognise that children's panels can pass on their cases to the courts to be judged by sheriffs.

Mr. McFall

The hon. Gentleman specifically states that the measure will be useful for children's hearings, but amendment No. 245 excludes children's hearings. That completely destroys his case.

Mr. Gallie

It does not, because children's panels have the power to pass on cases involving young offenders to the courts. The provision could well be in their minds when they do so. It is a decision for the panels, but they are not dealing with the problems on our streets as effectively as I would like.

The measure imposes an additional facility to be utilised to control hard-line offenders for the benefit of Scottish society, and I am certainly prepared to give it a chance. If it is good it will be used by the courts, and if it is not it will be abandoned.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)


Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Morris)

Order. I remind the hon. Member for Linlithgow and any other hon. Member who spoke on the amendment on Monday that they may not speak twice to the same amendment.

Mr. John McAllion (Dundee, East)

The issue in this debate is whether electronic tagging should be extended to people under 16 years of age. The speech of the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie) showed that he does not understand the debate or the nature of the youngsters who are likely to come into contact with the new powers that will be given to the courts. My hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, North (Mrs. Adams) was right when she said that the power would be almost exclusively applied to youngsters who come from deprived areas.

The hon. Gentleman challenged my hon. Friend and asked what evidence she had for that assertion. I can tell him that my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Ross) and I spent a day sitting in the sheriff court watching case after case—including offences of theft, assault, burglary and housebreaking—and, invariably, the offenders came from similar socio-economic backgrounds and from the same parts of the city of Dundee. They had faced the same economic deprivation. If Tory Members of Parliament spent more time thinking about the causes of crime, instead of ways to chase the criminals, we might live in a safer society.

Mr. Michael Connarty (Falkirk, East)

I do not know whether my hon. Friend has visited his local constabulary headquarters, as I have, and asked to see the old birching book in which are recorded the names of those who had been birched. The same names appeared again and again. Those people came from a deprived background and could not break out of criminal behaviour. They were frequently flogged, but there was no improvement in their behaviour.

Mr. McAllion

My hon. Friend makes a pertinent point. The hon. Member for Ayr has said in the past that he would like a return to birching or flogging of offenders. Those in favour of birching argue that, once people have been birched, they will not come back for more, but the evidence shows that people were birched more than once. It is not the punishment that deters people from offending, but the circumstances that they live in. Their situations and the people they mix with encourage criminal behaviour. Offenders also tend to believe that they will not get caught, so they do not worry much about the punishment. It is time that Conservative Ministers and Back Benchers began to wake up to that fact.

The issue is why the courts should be given the power to extend electronic tagging to under-16s. The consultation exercise that the Government carried out at the end of last year has been mentioned. Indeed, in our debate on Monday, the Minister accepted that those who were consulted were "overwhelmingly opposed" to giving the new power to children's panels. When he was questioned directly by my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell), he accepted that the police were opposed to an extension of the power.

If the children's panels will deal with the majority of young offenders, and if everyone who has been consulted—including the police—opposes giving the children's panels powers to impose electronic tagging orders, why are the Government persisting? The Minister tried to base an argument on the number of young offenders who go before the courts rather than the children's panels. He said: In 1994, only 171 young offenders had a charge proved against them in court."—[Official Report, 20 January 1997; Vol. 288, c. 715.] He also accepted that those 171 young offenders were guilty of the more serious offences. We must question whether electronic tagging would be appropriate for such young offenders.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has conducted much research into the Government's pilot schemes, and other electronic tagging schemes throughout the world, and come to the conclusion that electronic tagging is suitable only for a certain type of offender. It said that the monitoring period—the period during which offenders are tagged—should be short. If the Minister is saying that electronic tagging will be used for youngsters who have committed serious offences, why would a short period of electronic tagging be appropriate? I suggest that it is not in any sense appropriate.

COSLA said that electronic tagging should be targeted on offenders who have a stable home base. As my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, North said, youngsters who commit such serious offences do not come from stable homes. It is therefore not appropriate for them to be electronically tagged. Indeed, one of the ways in which to deal with such youngsters is to remove them from their home base, since it can often be the reason for their offending in the first place. Why should they be electronically tagged and confined to a place that is unsuitable for them?

COSLA said that another criterion of the scheme is that it should be targeted on offenders with secure employment and economic independence. I wonder how many of the 171 youngsters who ended up in court in 1994 had secure employment or economic independence. I suggest that the answer is nil. Why on earth the Minister is going ahead with the proposal is beyond me.

The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton)

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that page 24 of "Curfew Orders with Electronic Monitoring" says: The majority said they would agree to be lagged again … Avoiding custody was an important consideration, as was not jeopardising one's employment, or the chance of it"?

Mr. McAllion

We are talking about young offenders who are guilty of serious offences. It turned out that, of the 171 young offenders who were before the courts in 1994, only 25 were given any kind of detention. Only a fraction of those 25 would qualify for an electronic tagging order. Is the Minister seriously suggesting that youngsters who commit serious crimes—the kind of youngsters who the hon. Member for Ayr says terrorise communities—should be put back into the very same communities and electronically tagged rather than disposed of in detention centres? I do not think that that makes any sense.

The idea of electronic tagging is crazy. No one in the House, including hon. Members behind the Minister supports it. As the hon. and learned Member for Fife. North-East (Mr. Campbell) said, it is an election gimmick in an effort to grab the law and order agenda. It will not work, and in a few months' time the Minister will not be in his post. Thank God for that.

Mr. McFall

Many fine points in the debate have shown the hollowness of the Government's proposal for electronic tagging for under-16s.

The hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell) mentioned the pilot projects and the results of them. There have been no pilot projects in Scotland, either on adults or on under-16s. The financial memorandum to the Bill states that the pilot projects would be cost free, yet in England they cost £1.5 million. The fact that no resources are forthcoming from the Government blows a hole in the idea.

I should like to take the Minister through the history of the matter, because it is important to put it on the record. On 17 June, a White Paper was published, the responses to which had to be in by 31 July. There was no mention of electronic tagging for 16-year-olds. The Bill was published in October, immediately after the Queen's Speech, and there was no mention of electronic tagging in it. The Bill went into Committee in November, yet there was no mention of electronic tagging until near the end of that month, when the Government announced a consultation exercise and asked individuals to submit responses by 4 January—notwithstanding the Christmas and new year holidays.

In the debate last week, the genesis of the idea was mentioned. I have some information to share with the House. I received a "Dear John" letter, dated 21 January, from the chairman of Securicor plc, Sir Neil MacFarlane, the former Minister with special responsibility for sport, drawing to my attention the good work that the company does on the issue of electronic tagging. Mindful that the Government are conducting a consultation exercise in Scotland, and ready to undertake work on their behalf, he says: In Scotland, the Government is now consulting on whether electronic monitoring should be made available to children's hearings in considering compulsory measures of supervision for children under 16 referred to them on offence grounds.

Mr. Menzies Campbell

When the hon. Gentleman got that letter, did it occur to him to speculate on how Sir Neil MacFarlane had such information, especially relating to children's hearings, which had not up to that point been in the public domain?

5 pm

Mr. McFall

That is a matter for the Minister. I was being charitable; we need an equal mix of charity and forensic ability. I am providing the charity and the hon. and learned Gentleman has shown the forensic ability. Let us hope that the Minister provides the eloquence; I fear that the third leg may disappoint us.

Sir Neil said that his project officers had undertaken a close study and that he was sharing the results of his research with me. He quoted one extremely profound statement: It is established beyond any possible peradventure throughout the world that tagging is of value in the field of criminal justice. Wherever those operating the criminal justice system want it to succeed, it succeeds. Was that statement from a senior judge in Scotland or from the most senior judge in England and Wales? No. It was from Mr. Tom Stacey of the Offenders Tag Association. It is nonsense and rubbish, and there are nothing but commercial interests at stake.

There were 102 responses to the consultation exercise over the six-week period, of which 101 were against, including four from police authorities. I want to share my secret with the House, and tell right hon. and hon. Members that the one person who was unequivocally in favour was the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie).

The hon. Gentleman does himself and his party no justice. The core question was question 3: Would electronic tagging be appropriate to supervision requirements for young people under 16? I have the 102 responses, no thanks to the Government. I had to seek them through the Library; it took us nine days to get them from the Scottish Office. The responses to the question run to six or seven pages, and give detailed observations on why it is not appropriate. I want to share with the House the answer given by the hon. Member for Ayr to that most profound question. His answer, in full, was: "Yes." He added a note at the end, saying: I trust my comments, which do require expansion, are helpful. Let the hon. Gentleman expand on why he is the odd person out in Scotland.

Mr. Gallie

Has the hon. Gentleman lost his sense of hearing? I gave a response here tonight.

Mr. McFall

Is that so? Was that the whole story? Perhaps I blinked and missed it. If that is the whole story, the House and me country will say that electronic tagging, as advocated by the hon. Gentleman, is unacceptable. He goes on about how we should support the police; he will no doubt say that Scotland is voting against tagging for under-16s whereas England and Wales voted for it. The reason, as he well knows, is that we have a unique justice system in Scotland, with children's hearings, and it is the envy of the world, including England and Wales.

My hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) has been up to Scotland to observe the children's hearings system, in which we all take pride, whether we come from the local authority, the police, or the system itself. The system does not apportion blame to under-16-year-olds but tries to find out what the issues and the problems are, so that supervision and assistance can be offered to young people who find themselves in difficulties. Most of all, it offers support to parents and others in the community.

Mr. Gallie

I compliment the hon. Gentleman on his research. How many Scottish Labour Members took the time and trouble even to write a three-letter word on the consultation document?

Mr. McFall

In Committee, we had a constructive debate, as the hon. Gentleman will agree, and there was no hint—nothing on the horizon—about tagging for under-16s. We saw through the exercise at the end of November: it was patent nonsense then, and it remains patent nonsense today. We have the support of 101 individuals and organisations, and the hon. Gentleman is isolated on the issue.

Mr. Gallie

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. McFall

No, I am going to educate the hon. Gentleman, even if he does not want me to; he will have to sit there and listen. He said that the police had to be supported. Fife constabulary said: The most likely reaction from many children would be to regard the need for tagging in their particular case as a 'badge of honour'. There is a danger that they would be viewed by their peers as role models. The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland said: The whole ethos of the current system is the fact that it is care based and by its very nature strives to place the child's needs as the first priority. The prospect of tagging children under the age of 16 tends to lead away from this central philosophy. Electronic tagging would simply add another level to the current care arrangements which would probably be of minimal effect and, under the present philosophy, inappropriate. Although tagging could be advantageous as an option for the courts when dealing with adult offenders, its use on children would be generally inappropriate and could serve to be counter-productive. The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents said: The overwhelming view was very much against the concept. … for younger children. Tagging would hugely divert attention from the positive purposes of supervision. Far from being the solution to the problem, supervision becomes the problem itself. The Scottish Police Federation said: At this time, we do not believe that electronic tagging would be appropriate to supervision requirements for young people under 16. We do not believe that electronic tagging would be a positive incentive to a child to demonstrate greater responsibility and self-control. Dumfries and Galloway, and other non-Labour councils, gave responses. Dumfries and Galloway said: To punish children or to even restrict offending without considering the reasons which bring about this behaviour is a backward step and is not a long term solution for the child or the community … we do believe this is a suggestion which must have come from someone with little understanding of the Hearing System in Scotland. Hear, hear to that.

If the Minister takes his figures seriously, he will know that there are very few children for whom it would be appropriate. He must address the central question: for which children aged under 16, and in what circumstances, would tagging be appropriate? Are we to have the perverse situation in which the children available for tagging—the 25 who went to court in 1994—are sent, with electronic tags, back to their communities, which, as the hon. Member for Ayr said, they terrorise? Do we want that solution?

Is the measure in the interests of justice? I fear not, because the responses to the consultation have shown that it is not. Is it in commercial interests? If it is, the Minister and the Government have to be condemned. Following the letter from Securicor, the Opposition are fuelled with the belief that there is a commercial consideration. The Minister and the Government will not be forgiven if they go ahead on that basis.

For goodness sake, let the Minister think. Did he read the 101 responses? If he did, what is his view on them? Why are the Government out of step with social work departments, the children's hearing system and the police? Why are the Government alone on this? Why is the Secretary of State repudiating everything that his predecessors have done? Why does he say one minute that he will consult and in the second minute burn the responses? What use is that to the juvenile system in Scotland? If the Government have any care or concern for law and order in Scotland, they will surely consider again. If they do not reflect, their policy should be damned along with the rest of their policies.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) asked what view we took of the consultation exercise. It is not just who, or how many people, said what that matters, but the merits and strength of the arguments. On the merits of the argument, we took the view that the case against introducing tagging into the children's hearing system was compelling. In respect of the criminal justice system, we took the view that the main arguments against tagging, pertinent though they were, could be met by appropriate legislation.

Mrs. Fyfe

Will the Minister give way?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I am answering the points made by the hon. Member for Dumbarton.

On the basis of the arguments, we considered that the balance lay in favour of making tagging available.

The hon. Member for Paisley, North (Mrs. Adams) asked why there was no provision in the Bill to require the court to take into account the family circumstances, which the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) raised earlier. There is such a provision Government amendment No. 247 introduces a new subsection in proposed new section 245A to require the court to obtain and consider information about a child offender's family circumstances before making an order.

The hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell) referred to research and a Home Office report, which was published in December and is in the Vote Office. It was generally positive on the pilot schemes. It concluded: Electronic monitoring can be a worthwhile addition to the range of community penalties available to sentences. I make it clear to the hon. and learned Gentleman that there is scope for regulations to target the use of disposal in the future. Government amendment No. 249 enables regulations to confine the application of the disposal to types of offender, so if the experience of the pilot scheme—or experience thereafter—suggests that the disposal is appropriate to some offenders but not others, regulations can be made under the Bill to amend its use.

Mr. Menzies Campbell

The Minister mentioned the pilot scheme. Does he understand why so many Opposition Members find it extraordinary that, having established the pilot scheme, the Government propose to introduce legislation without waiting until they have had the opportunity to evaluate the results? It is like delivering the verdict before the jury has heard the evidence.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The hon. and learned Gentleman is wrong. We are not suggesting the general adoption of these measures throughout Scotland. We believe that it is right to review the effects of the pilot scheme, to have pilot schemes in Scotland first, to make a proper evaluation and then to consider whether it should be taken forward more generally.

The hon. Member for Paisley, North referred to costs. The average cost of the pilot schemes in the first 12 months was £22,140, but that does not accurately predict the cost of an on-going national scheme because it reflects start-up costs, short time scale and the low number of orders initially made. The cost of an average length curlew order with electronic monitoring seems close to that of an average probation order. The monthly cost of tagging is well below half the cost of custody. The proposal is to run two to three pilot schemes in Scotland in the next two to three years. The estimated cost of those schemes is £1.5 million. I have no doubt that they will prove as cost-effective south of the border.

5.15 pm

The hon. Member for Paisley, North raised the evidence given by the police. We received responses from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents and the Scottish Police Federation. They expressed reservations. A great concern was that tagging would be inappropriate or ineffective for young offenders. We recognise that there will be many cases in which tagging is inappropriate. That is why our proposals simply enable courts to use tagging in cases in which they consider it more appropriate than a disposal involving custody. Courts would not require tagging in inappropriate circumstances.

Both the chief police officers and the Police Federation suggested that the measure could be given further consideration following the pilot schemes. We recognised the merits of that argument, but also that, because the tagging of young offenders raised distinct issues, pilot schemes involving only adults were unlikely to test conclusively whether tagging could work with particular young offenders. Fife constabulary referred to the need for a proper evaluation of its likely efficacy". We agree. We believe that ultimately such an evaluation can be made only by piloting the tagging of young offenders.

Mr. Dalyell

The Minister was asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, North and by me about safety. My hon. Friend referred to safety in supermarkets. I should like to ask about safety in swimming pools. I presume that the equipment is transistorised. It might easily be taken into a swimming pool. If someone drops a transistor into their bath, they are electrocuted. There are practical considerations.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Of course the safety of the individual who has been tagged is a priority. No disposal which risked the safety of the individual would be acceptable. As for the electronic devices, we have moved on a great deal. The results of the pilot scheme showed conclusively that it worked in terms both of accuracy and of reliability. Incidentally, the devices work under water, so there is no concern about that.

We are against the stigmatising of offenders. We equally reject the notion that it will be a badge of honour. We do not believe that it should operate in that way. Tagging may be of value if a court wishes to protect victims and the public from the offender, but wants also to avoid a custodial sentence. It may also have a role to play in helping offenders to break patterns of offending, and act as a deterrent against further offending by restricting the liberty of the offender.

Of course, the person would have to give consent to being tagged. That is an important consideration.

The hon. Member for Falkirk, East (Mr. Connarty) asked about age. Nothing in our amendments would prevent tagging from being piloted initially only with adults. Government amendment No. 249 would enable regulations to prescribe the class of offender in respect of whom restriction of liberty orders might be made. So it would be possible for such regulations initially to limit the availability of the orders to offenders above a certain age, and extend it later if that seemed appropriate. I shall reflect on the views expressed by the hon. Gentleman and others before I make such regulations. His views may persuade us that the pilot schemes should be limited initially to adults. Even if I am not persuaded to introduce such a limitation, the Opposition will have the opportunity to oppose the regulations.

In a debate on the Crime (Sentences) Bill, the hon. Member for Knowsley, North (Mr. Howarth) said: there may be merit in extending the experiment further, so that young offenders who may commit more serious offences as time goes on can be kept away from custodial sentences. He went on to recognise the possibility that some young people will be diverted out of custody but properly supervised via electronic tagging".—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 28 November 1996; c. 221.] The Opposition are taking a different position today from that which he took then.

As I said earlier, we want there to be pilot schemes so that we can make an assessment. We believe that they have a place. What is especially compelling is that the young people who have been involved in pilot schemes south of the border testified to the effect that they would have preferred that option to being sent into custody. That is a consideration that hon. Members should bear in mind when drawing their conclusion tonight.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 301, Noes 291.

Division No. 58] [5.19 pm
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey) Browning, Mrs Angela
Aitken, Jonathan Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Alexander, Richard Budgen, Nicholas
Alison, Michael (Selby) Burns, Simon
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Burt, Alistair
Amess, David Butcher, John
Ancram, Michael Butler, Peter
Arbuthnot, James Butterfill, John
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Carlisle, John (Luton N)
Ashby, David Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Linc'n)
Atkins, Robert Carrington, Matthew
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Carttiss, Michael
Baker, Kenneth (Mole V) Cash, William
Baldry, Tony Chapman, Sir Sydney
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Churchill, Mr
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Clappison, James
Bates, Michael Clark, Dr Michael (Rochf'd)
Batiste, Spencer Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Bellingham, Henry Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Bendall, Vivian Coe, Sebastian
Beresford, Sir Paul Colvin, Michael
Biffen, John Congdon, David
Body, Sir Richard Conway, Derek
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Booth, Hartley Cope, Sir John
Boswell, Tim Cormack, Sir Patrick
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Couchman, James
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Cran, James
Bowden, Sir Andrew Curry, David
Bowis, John Davies, Quentin (Stamf'd)
Boyson, Sir Rhodes Davis, David (Boothferry)
Brandreth, Gyles Day, Stephen
Brazier, Julian Deva, Nirj Joseph
Bright, Sir Graham Devlin, Tim
Brooke, Peter Dorrell, Stephen
Brown, Michael (Brigg Cl'thorpes) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Dover, Den Key, Robert
Duncan, Alan King, Tom
Duncan Smith, Iain Kirkhope, Timothy
Dunn, Bob Knapman, Roger
Dykes, Hugh Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Eggar, Tim Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Elletson, Harold Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Emery, Sir Peter Knox, Sir David
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'ld) Kynoch, George
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Lamont Norman
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lang, Ian
Evennett, David Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Faber, David Legg, Barry
Fabricant, Michael Leigh, Edward
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lester, Sir Jim (Broxtowe)
Fishburn, Dudley Lidington, David
Forman, Nigel Lilley, Peter
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Lord, Michael
Forth, Eric Loyden, Eddie
Fowler, Sir Norman Luff, Peter
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) MacGregor, John
Freeman, Roger MacKay, Andrew
French, Douglas Maclean, David
Fry, Sir Peter McLoughlin, Patrick
Gale, Roger McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Gallie, Phil Madel, Sir David
Gardiner, Sir George Maitland, Lady Olga
Garel-Jones, Tristan Major, John
Garnier, Edward Malone, Gerald
Gill, Christopher Mans, Keith
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl Marland, Paul
Goodlad, Alastair Marlow, Tony
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Gorst, Sir John Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Grant, Sir Anthony (SW Cambs) Mates, Michael
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Mayhew, Sir Patrick
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Mellor, David
Gummer, John Merchant, Piers
Hague, William Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hamilton, Sir Archibald Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Moate, Sir Roger
Hampson, Dr Keith Monro, Sir Hector
Hannam, Sir John Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hargreaves, Andrew Nelson, Anthony
Harris, David Neubert, Sir Michael
Haselhurst, Sir Alan Newton, Tony
Hawkins, Nick Nicholls, Patrick
Hawksley, Warren Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hayes, Jerry Norris, Steve
Heald, Oliver Onslow, Sir Cranley
Heath, Sir Edward Oppenheim, Phillip
Heathcoat-Amory, David Ottaway, Richard
Hendry, Charles Page, Richard
Heseltine, Michael Paice, James
Higgins, Sir Terence Patnick, Sir Irvine
Hill, Sir James (Southampton Test) Patten, John
Hogg, Douglas (Grantham) Pattie, Sir Geoffrey
Horam, John Pawsey, James
Hordern, Sir Peter Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk) Pickles, Eric
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W) Porter, David
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Portillo, Michael
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensb'ne) Powel, William (Corby)
Hunter, Andrew Rathbone, Tim
Hurd, Douglas Redwood, John
Jack, Michael Richards, Rod
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Riddick, Graham
Jenkin, Bernard (Colchester N) Robathan, Andrew
Jessel, Toby Roberts, Sir Wyn
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Robertson, Raymond S (Ab'dn S)
Jones, Robert B (W Herts) Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Roe, Mrs Marion
Ross, William (E Lond'y) Taylor, Sir Teddy
Rowe, Andrew Temple-Morris, Peter
Rumbold, Dame Angela Thompson, Sir Donald (Calder V)
Ryder, Richard Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Sackville, Tom Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Sainsbury, Sir Timothy Townend, John (Bridlington)
Scott, Sir Nicholas Townsend, Sir Cyril (Bexl'yh'th)
Shaw, David (Dover) Tracey, Richard
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Tredinnick, David
Shephard, Mrs Gillian Trend, Michael
Shepherd, Sir Colin (Heref'd) Trimble, David
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Trotter, Neville
Shersby, Sir Michael Twinn, Dr Ian
Sims, Sir Roger Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Skeet, Sir Trevor Viggers, Peter
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Waldegrave, William
Smith, Tim (Beaconsf'ld) Walden, George
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S) Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Soames, Nicholas Waller, Gary
Speed, Sir Keith Ward, John
Spencer, Sir Derek Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Spicer, Sir Jim (W Dorset) Waterson, Nigel
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs) Watts, John
Wells, Bowen
Spink, Dr Robert Wheeler, Sir John
Spring, Richard Whitney, Sir Raymond
Sproat, Iain Whittingdale, John
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch) Widdecombe, Miss Ann
Stanley, Sir John Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Steen, Anthony Wilkinson, John
Stephen, Michael Willetts, David
Stern, Michael Wilshire, David
Stewart, Allan Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesf'ld)
Streeter, Gary Wolfson, Mark
Sumberg, David Wood, Timothy
Sweeney, Walter Yeo, Tim
Sykes, John Young, Sir George
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Tellers for the Ayes:
Taylor, John D (Strangf'd) Mr. Anthony Coombs and
Taylor, John M (Solihull) Mrs. Jacqui Lait.
Abbott, Ms Diane Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)
Adams, Mrs Irene Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Ainger, Nick Burden, Richard
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Byers, Stephen
Allen, Graham Caborn, Richard
Alton, David Callaghan, Jim
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Ashdown, Paddy Campbell-Savours, D N
Ashton, Joseph Canavan, Dennis
Austin-Walker, John Cann, Jamie
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Carlile, Alex (Montgomery)
Barnes, Harry Chisholm, Malcolm
Barron, Kevin Church, Ms Judith
Battle, John Clapham, Michael
Bayley, Hugh Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Beggs, Roy Clelland, David
Beith, A J Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Bell, Stuart Coffey, Ms Ann
Benn, Tony Cohen, Harry
Bennett, Andrew F Connarty, Michael
Benton, Joe Cook, Robin (Livingston)
Bermingham, Gerald Corbett, Robin
Berry, Roger Corbyn, Jeremy
Betts, Clive Corston, Ms Jean
Blair, Tony Cousins, Jim
Boateng, Paul Cox, Tom
Boyes, Roland Cunliffe, Lawrence
Bradley, Keith Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try SE)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Cunningham, Dr John
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Cunningham, Ms R (Perth Kinross)
Dafis, Cynog Jackson, Mrs Helen (Hillsborough)
Dalyell, Tam Jamieson, David
Darling, Alistair Janner, Greville
Davidson, Ian Jenkins, Brian D (SE Staffs)
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C) Jones, Barry (Alyn & D'side)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H) Jones, Dr L (B'ham Selly Oak)
Denham, John Jones, Martyn (Clwyd SW)
Dewar, Donald Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Dixon, Don Jowell, Ms Tessa
Dobson, Frank Kaufman, Gerald
Donohoe, Brian H Keen, Alan
Dowd, Jim Kennedy, Charles (Ross C & S)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Kennedy, Mrs Jane (Broadgreen)
Eagle, Ms Angela Khabra, Piara S
Eastham, Ken Kilfoyle, Peter
Ennis, Jeff Lestor, Miss Joan (Eccles)
Etherington, Bill Lewis, Terry
Evans, John (St Helens N) Liddell, Mrs Helen
Ewing, Mrs Margaret Litherland, Robert
Fatchett, Derek Livingstone, Ken
Faulds, Andrew Lloyd, Tony (Stretf'd)
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Llwyd, Elfyn
Fisher, Mark Loyden, Eddie
Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim) McAllion, John
Foster, Derek McAvoy, Thomas
Foster, Don (Bath) McCartney, Ian (Makerf'ld)
Foulkes, George McCartney, Robert (N Down)
Fraser, John Macdonald, Calum
Fyfe, Mrs Maria McFall, John
Galbraith, Sam McGrady, Eddie
Galloway, George McKelvey, William
Gapes, Mike Mackinlay, Andrew
Garrett, John McLeish, Henry
George, Bruce Maclennan, Robert
Gilbert, Dr John McMaster, Gordon
Godman, Dr Norman A McNamara, Kevin
Godsiff, Roger MacShane, Denis
Golding, Mrs Llin McWilliam, John
Gordon, Ms Mildred Madden, Max
Graham, Thomas Maddock, Mrs Diana
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Mahon, Mrs Alice
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Mandelson, Peter
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Marek, Dr John
Grocott, Bruce Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Gunnell, John Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Hain, Peter Martlew, Eric
Hall, Mike Maxton, John
Hanson, David Meacher, Michael
Hardy, Peter Meale, Alan
Harman, Ms Harriet Michael, Alun
Harvey, Nick Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Hattersley, Roy Milburn, Alan
Henderson, Doug Miller, Andrew
Heppell, John Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Hill, Keith (Streatham) Moonie, Dr Lewis
Hinchliffe, David Morgan, Rhodri
Hodge, Ms Margaret Morley, Elliot
Hoey, Kate Morris, Alfred (Wy'nshawe)
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld) Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Home Robertson, John Morris, John (Aberavon)
Hood, Jimmy Mowlam, Ms Marjorie
Hoon, Geoffrey Mudie, George
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A) Mullin, Chris
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Murphy, Paul
Howells, Dr Kim Nicholson, Miss Emma (W Devon)
Hoyle, Doug Oakes, Gordon
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Hughes, Robert (Ab'd'n N) O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) O'Hara, Edward
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) O'Neill, Martin
Hutton, John Orme, Stanley
Illsley, Eric Parry, Robert
Ingram, Adam Pearson, Ian
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampst'd) Pendry, Tom
Pickthall, Colin Steel, Sir David
Pike, Peter L Steinberg, Gerry
Pope, Greg Stevenson, George
Powell, Sir Raymond (Ogmore) Stott, Roger
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle) Strang, Dr Gavin
Prescott, John Straw, Jack
Primarolo, Ms Dawn Sutcliffe, Gerry
Purchase, Ken Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Quin, Ms Joyce Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Radice, Giles Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Randall, Stuart Thurnham, Peter
Raynsford, Nick Timms, Stephen
Reid, Dr John Tipping, Paddy
Rendel, David Touhig, Don
Robertson, George (Hamilton) Trickett, Jon
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E) Turner, Dennis
Roche, Mrs Barbara Tyler, Paul
Vaz, Keith
Rogers, Allan Walker, Sir Harold
Rooker, Jeff Wallace, James
Rooney, Terry Walley, Ms Joan
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Rowlands, Ted Wareing, Robert N
Ruddock, Ms Joan Watson, Mike
Salmond, Alex Welsh, Andrew
Sedgemore, Brian Wicks, Malcolm
Sheerman, Barry Wigley, Dafydd
Sheldon, Robert Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Shore, Peter Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Short, Clare Wilson, Brian
Skinner, Dennis Winnick, David
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Smith, Chris (Islington S) Worthington, Tony
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent) Wray, Jimmy
Snape, Peter Wright, Dr Tony
Soley, Clive
Spearing, Nigel Tellers for the Noes:
Spellar, John Mr. John Cummings and
Squire, Ms R (Dunfermline W) Mrs. Bridget Prentice.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendment proposed: No. 136, in page 6, line 23, after 'an', insert 'additional requirement of a probation'.—[Mr. McFall.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 284, Noes 296.

Division No. 59] [5.34 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Blair, Tony
Adams, Mrs Irene Boateng, Paul
Ainger, Nick Boyes, Roland
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Bradley, Keith
Allen, Graham Bray, Dr Jeremy
Alton, David Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary Burden, Richard
Ashdown, Paddy Byers, Stephen
Austin-Walker, John Caborn, Richard
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Callaghan, Jim
Barnes, Harry Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Barron, Kevin Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Battle, John Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Bayley, Hugh Campbell-Savours, D N
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Canavan, Dennis
Beith, A J Cann, Jamie
Bell, Stuart Carlile, Alex (Montgomery)
Benn, Tony Chisholm, Malcolm
Bennett, Andrew F Church, Ms Judith
Benton, Joe Clapham, Michael
Bermingham, Gerald Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Berry, Roger Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Clelland, David Home Robertson, John
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hood, Jimmy
Coffey, Ms Ann Hoon, Geoffrey
Cohen, Harry Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Connarty, Michael Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Howells, Dr Kim
Corbett, Robin Hoyle, Doug
Corbyn, Jeremy Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Corston, Ms Jean Hughes, Robert (Ab'd'n N)
Cousins, Jim Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Cox, Tom Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Hutton, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try SE) Illsley, Eric
Cunningham, Dr John Ingram, Adam
Cunningham, Ms R (Perth Kinross) Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampst'd)
Dafis, Cynog Jackson, Mrs Helen (Hillsborough)
Dalyell, Tam Jamieson, David
Darling, Alistair Janner, Greville
Davidson, Ian Jenkins, Brian D (SE Staffs)
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C) Jones, Barry (Alyn & D'side)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H) Jones, Dr L (B'ham Selly Oak)
Denham, John Jones, Martyn (Clwyd SW)
Dewar, Donald Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Dixon, Don Jowell, Ms Tessa
Dobson, Frank Kaufman, Gerald
Donohoe, Brian H Kennedy, Charles (Ross C & S)
Dowd, Jim Kennedy, Mrs Jane (Broadgreen)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Khabra, Piara S
Eagle, Ms Angela Kilfoyle, Peter
Eastham, Ken Lestor, Miss Joan (Eccles)
Ennis, Jeff Lewis, Terry
Etherington, Bill Liddell, Mrs Helen
Evans, John (St Helens N) Litherland, Robert
Ewing, Mrs Margaret Livingstone, Ken
Fatchett, Derek Lloyd, Tony (Stretf'd)
Faulds, Andrew Llwyd, Elfyn
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Loyden, Eddie
Fisher, Mark McAllion, John
Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim) McAvoy, Thomas
Foster, Derek McCartney, Robert (N Down)
Foster, Don (Bath) Macdonald, Calum
Foulkes, George McFall, John
Fraser, John McGrady, Eddie
Fyfe, Mrs Maria McKelvey, William
Galbraith, Sam Mackinlay, Andrew
Galloway, George McLeish, Henry
Gapes, Mike Maclennan, Robert
Garrett, John McMaster, Gordon
George, Bruce McNamara, Kevin
Gilbert, Dr John MacShane, Denis
Godman, Dr Norman A McWilliam, John
Godsiff, Roger Madden, Max
Golding, Mrs Llin Maddock, Mrs Diana
Gordon, Ms Mildred Mahon, Mrs Alice
Graham, Thomas Mandelson, Peter
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Marek, Dr John
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Grocott, Bruce Martlew, Eric
Gunnell, John Maxton, John
Hain, Peter Meacher, Michael
Hall, Mike Meale, Alan
Hanson, David Michael, Alun
Hardy, Peter Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Harman, Ms Harriet Milburn, Alan
Harvey, Nick Miller, Andrew
Hattersley, Roy Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Henderson, Doug Moonie, Dr Lewis
Heppell, John Morgan, Rhodri
Hill, Keith (Streatham) Morley, Elliot
Hinchliffe, David Morris, Alfred (Wy'nshawe)
Hodge, Ms Margaret Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Hoey, Kate Morris, John (Aberavon)
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld) Mowlam, Ms Marjorie
Mudie, George Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Mullin, Chris Soley, Clive
Murphy, Paul Spearing, Nigel
Nicholson, Miss Emma (W Devon) Spellar, John
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks) Squire, Ms R (Dunfermline W)
O'Brien, William (Normanton) Steel, Sir David
O'Hara, Edward Steinberg, Gerry
O'Neill, Martin Stevenson, George
Orme, Stanley Stott, Roger
Parry, Robert Strang, Dr Gavin
Pearson, Ian Straw, Jack
Pendry, Tom Sutcliffe, Gerry
Pickthall, Colin Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Pike, Peter L Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Pope, Greg Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Powell, Sir Raymond (Ogmore) Thurnham, Peter
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle) Timms, Stephen
Prescott, John Tipping, Paddy
Primarolo, Ms Dawn Touhig, Don
Purchase, Ken Trickett, Jon
Quin, Ms Joyce Turner, Dennis
Radice, Giles Tyler, Paul
Randall, Stuart Vaz, Keith
Raynsford, Nick Walker, Sir Harold
Reid, Dr John Wallace, James
Rendel, David Walley, Ms Joan
Robertson, George (Hamilton) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E) Wareing, Robert N
Roche, Mrs Barbara Watson, Mike
Rogers, Allan Welsh, Andrew
Rooker, Jeff Wicks, Malcolm
Rooney, Terry Wigley, Dafydd
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Rowlands, Ted Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Ruddock, Ms Joan Wilson, Brian
Salmond, Alex Winnick, David
Sedgemore, Brian Wise, Mrs Audrey
Sheerman, Barry Worthington, Tony
Sheldon, Robert Wray, Jimmy
Shore, Peter Wright, Dr Tony
Short, Clare
Skinner, Dennis Tellers for the Ayes:
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E) Mr. John Cummings and
Smith, Chris (Islington S) Mrs. Bridget Prentice.
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey) Boyson, Sir Rhodes
Aitken, Jonathan Brandreth, Gyles
Alexander, Richard Brazier, Julian
Alison, Michael (Selby) Bright, Sir Graham
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Brooke, Peter
Amess, David Brown, Michael (Brigg Cl'thorpes)
Ancram, Michael Browning, Mrs Angela
Arbuthnot, James Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Budgen, Nicholas
Ashby, David Burns, Simon
Atkins, Robert Burt, Alistair
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Butcher, John
Baker, Kenneth (Mole V) Butler, Peter
Baldry, Tony Butterfill, John
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Carlisle, John (Luton N)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Linc'n)
Bates, Michael Carrington, Matthew
Batiste, Spencer Carttiss, Michael
Bellingham, Henry Cash, William
Bendall, Vivian Chapman, Sir Sydney
Beresford, Sir Paul Churchill, Mr
Biffen, John Clappison, James
Body, Sir Richard Clark, Dr Michael (Rochf'd)
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Booth, Hartley Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Boswell, Tim Coe, Sebastian
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Colvin, Michael
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Congdon, David
Bowden, Sir Andrew Conway, Derek
Bowis, John Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Cope, Sir John Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)
Cormack, Sir Patrick Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Couchman, James Hunt, Sir John (Ravensb'ne)
Cran, James Hunter, Andrew
Curry, David Jack, Michael
Davies, Quentin (Stamf'd) Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jenkin, Bernard (Colchester N)
Day, Stephen Jessel, Toby
Deva, Nirj Joseph Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Devlin, Tim Jones, Robert B (W Herts)
Dorrell, Stephen Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Key, Robert
Dover, Den King, Tom
Duncan, Alan Kirkhope, Timothy
Duncan Smith, Iain Knapman, Roger
Dunn, Bob Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Dykes, Hugh Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Eggar, Tim Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Elletson, Harold Knox, Sir David
Emery, Sir Peter Kynoch, George
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'ld) Lamont, Norman
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Lang, Ian
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Evennett, David Legg, Barry
Faber, David Leigh, Edward
Fabricant, Michael Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lester, Sir Jim (Broxtowe)
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lidington, David
Fishburn, Dudley Lilley, Peter
Forman, Nigel Lloyd, Sir Peter (Fareham)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Lord, Michael
Forth, Eric Luff, Peter
Fowler, Sir Norman Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) MacGregor, John
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) MacKay, Andrew
Freeman, Roger Maclean, David
French, Douglas McLoughlin, Patrick
Fry, Sir Peter McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Gale, Roger Madel, Sir David
Gallie, Phil Maitland, Lady Olga
Gardiner, Sir George Major, John
Garel-Jones, Tristan Malone, Gerald
Garnier, Edward Mans, Keith
Gill, Christopher Marland, Paul
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl Marlow, Tony
Goodlad, Alastair Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gorst, Sir John Mates, Michael
Grant, Sir Anthony (SW Cambs) Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Mayhew, Sir Patrick
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Mellor, David
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Merchant, Piers
Gummer, John Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hague, William Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Hamilton, Sir Archibald Moate, Sir Roger
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Monro, Sir Hector
Hampson, Dr Keith Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hannam, Sir John Nelson, Anthony
Hargreaves, Andrew Neubert, Sir Michael
Harris, David Newton, Tony
Haselhurst, Sir Alan Nicholls, Patrick
Hawkins, Nick Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hawksley, Warren Norris, Steve
Hayes, Jerry Onslow, Sir Cranley
Heald, Oliver Oppenheim, Phillip
Heath, Sir Edward Ottaway, Richard
Heathcoat-Amory, David Page, Richard
Hendry, Charles Paice, James
Heseltine, Michael Patnick, Sir Irvine
Higgins, Sir Terence Patten, John
Hill, Sir James (Southampton Test) Pattie, Sir Geoffrey
Hogg, Douglas (Grantham) Pawsey, James
Horam, John Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hordern, Sir Peter Pickles, Eric
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk) Porter, David
Portillo, Michael Sykes, John
Powell, William (Corby) Tapsell, Sir Peter
Rathbone, Tim Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Redwood, John Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Richards, Rod Taylor, Sir Teddy
Riddick, Graham Temple-Morris, Peter
Robathan, Andrew Thompson, Sir Donald (Calder V)
Roberts, Sir Wyn Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Robertson, Raymond S (Ab'd'n S) Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Roe, Mrs Marion Townsend, Sir Cyril (Bexl'yh'th)
Rowe, Andrew Tracey, Richard
Rumbold, Dame Angela Tredinnick, David
Ryder, Richard Trend, Michael
Sackville, Tom Trotter, Neville
Sainsbury, Sir Timothy Twinn, Dr Ian
Scott, Sir Nicholas Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Shaw, David (Dover) Viggers, Peter
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Waldegrave, William
Shephard, Mrs Gillian Walden, George
Shepherd, Sir Colin (Heref'd) Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Waller, Gary
Shersby, Sir Michael Ward, John
Sims, Sir Roger Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Skeet, Sir Trevor Waterson, Nigel
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Watts, John
Smith, Tim (Beaconsf'ld) Wells, Bowen
Soames, Nicholas Wheeler, Sir John
Speed, Sir Keith Whitney, Sir Raymond
Spencer, Sir Derek Whittingdale, John
Spicer, Sir Jim (W Dorset) Widdecombe, Miss Ann
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs) Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Spink, Dr Robert Wilkinson, John
Spring, Richard Willetts, David
Sproat, Iain Wilshire, David
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch) Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesf'ld)
Stanley, Sir John Wolfson, Mark
Steen, Anthony Wood, Timothy
Stephen, Michael Yeo, Tim
Stern, Michael Young, Sir George
Stewart, Allan
Streeter, Gary Tellers for the Noes:
Sumberg, David Mr. Anthony Coombs and
Sweeney, Walter Mrs. Jacqui Lait.

Question accordingly negatived.

5.45 pm
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I beg to move amendment No. 106, in page 6, line 26, leave out '245F' and insert '245G'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 151, in page 7, line 2, after 'shall', insert 'ascertain from the offender

  1. (i) where he lives and if he intends to move during the currency of the order;
  2. (ii) if he works, attends school or other educational establishment;
  3. (iii) if he owns or rents his accommodation; and
  4. (iv) if his religion or beliefs require him to be present at a defined location for a specified period of time and.'.

Government amendments Nos. 107, 5, 108 and 6.

No. 220, in page 7, line 39, after '(9)', insert 'Subject to subsection (9A) below'.

Government amendments Nos. 7 and 251.

No. 221, in page 7, line 47, at end insert— '(9A) No regulations under subsection (9) above shall be made after the first regulations have been made under that subsection until the Secretary of State shall have laid before both Houses of Parliament a statement assessing the effectiveness of the first regulations made under that subsection.'.

Government amendment No. 8.

No. 222, in page 8, line 4, leave out 'annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either' and insert 'approved by resolution of each'.

Government amendments Nos. 9 to 12, 112, 13, 113, 14 to 17, 114, 18 to 21 and 116.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

These are technical amendments. I shall be happy to speak to any of them, if the House so wishes.

Ms Roseanna Cunningham (Perth and Kinross)

I shall speak to amendments Nos. 220 to 222, which my hon. Friend the Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) and I tabled.

The amendments, of which amendment No. 221 is the main one, relate to the Government's proposed pilot project for electronic tagging. The purpose of amendment No. 221 is to bring the results of the pilot project back to Parliament for a full debate before we consider whether it should be extended to the whole of Scotland.

Although the explanatory and financial memorandum to the original draft of the Bill noted that the Government intended to set up a pilot project for restriction of liberty orders—or, as we have called it, electronic tagging—there is no mention of the pilot in the Bill. Instead, the legislation overrides the need to evaluate the feasibility of the disposal, and empowers the Government to extend the restriction of liberty orders nationwide and to change the nature of the disposal, without the requirement to seek the approval of Parliament in subsequent legislation. Any subsequent regulations will be made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament. That is a negative resolution procedure that does not permit debate on the Floor of the House.

There are several general concerns about electronic monitoring of offenders—a number were raised in a previous debate on the tagging of those under age 16—and those objections strengthen the case for proper parliamentary scrutiny and evaluation of the pilot project before the disposal is extended across Scotland. The case is also strengthened by the Government's concession to the legal profession over the pilot project that will establish a public defender system.

In spite of comparative examples that have led the Government to believe that a public defender system could work in Scotland, they have decided to restrict the legislation's provisions to a limited pilot study which, after three years, will have to come before Parliament to be either withdrawn or renewed or extended by primary legislation. If that is deemed correct for the proposed public defender project—it clearly is—I contend that the electronic tagging provisions, which are untried and untested in a Scottish context, merit similar scrutiny and evaluation by Parliament. I do not see why there should be one rule in respect of the public defender system and another in respect of electronic tagging.

Reference has been made to trials in England, which commenced in June 1995 and will continue until March 1997. They are monitored by Securicor in Manchester and Reading and by Geographix in Norfolk. I listened with interest to the earlier comments of the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) about Securicor and the value that it perceives in the electronic tagging concept I suspect that the only value Securicor is interested in is the "loads of dosh" value from which it and other private companies will benefit. That is a grave concern for many Opposition Members.

After the first full year of trials, the average cost was estimated at £14,000 per offender. That compares with an average cost of £2,500 per probation order. The trials in England have also demonstrated that the tag can have a stigmatising effect for the wearer. In November 1995, Richard McGuiness was reported to have removed his tag after being assaulted when he was allegedly mistaken for the only other person to be tagged in Reading—a sex offender whose case had been well documented in the local media.

It is interesting to note that there were only two taggings in the whole of Reading. The Government gave the impression that many people would be running around with electronic tags but, in reality, tags are used in only a limited number of cases. Participants also noted that it was difficult to find employment while being monitored, partly because of the longer curfew hours for unemployed accused and partly because of the stigma associated with the anklet.

Tagging is no substitute for projects that concentrate on the offender's behaviour. Concerns were expressed in Committee about the impact of electronic tagging on the offender and on his or her family. It was felt that, in some cases, family members who have to cope with a difficult offender will be punished although they have committed no crime. During the fourth sitting of the Committee, the Minister promised that if any difficulties"— with regard to family members— arise, they will be taken fully into account before extending such schemes more widely". However, it is uncertain how we will develop a clear picture of any difficulties without the involvement of social workers or probation officers. In the clause stand part debate in Committee, the Minister said: The Bill's provision will permit restriction of liberty orders to be introduced in Scotland on a pilot basis. Even those … who have doubts about the proposal's effectiveness cannot object to it being tried out in practice to establish whether it has a useful role to play."—[Official Report. First Scottish Standing Committee. 19 November 1996: c. 152. 172.] Given the concerns and the uncertainty surrounding the disposal, the Government would surely not object to Parliament's debating fully the results of the pilot study so that Parliament could determine whether it can play a useful role. Why is the Minister's approach to electronic monitoring different from his approach to the public defender project, the results of which must be reported to Parliament? I shall press amendment No. 221 to a vote at a later stage.

Dr. Godman

The remarks of the hon. Member for Perth and Kinross (Ms Cunningham) make a lot of sense. The Minister offered to answer any questions that hon. Members may have concerning the Government amendments, but I have a query about the hon. Lady's amendments. What group of people would carry out the evaluation of the pilot study? Would Scottish Office officials perform that function or would the Scottish Office commission independent analysts to evaluate the trials?

I refer the Minister to Government amendment No. 251—if I can catch his ear, as he is blethering away—which mentions district courts. Would that include the district court in Greenock? I do not want a pilot study or trial to be carried out in my constituency as I genuinely believe that, as my hon. Friends the Members for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion) and for Paisley, North (Mrs. Adams) said, severely deprived youngsters from council schemes would be singled out. Where does Greenock district court stand in relation to amendment No. 251?

Mr. McFall

I commend the hon. Member for Perth and Kinross (Ms Cunningham) for introducing amendment No. 221, which we support. The Minister has been in correspondence with me about amendment No. 151—notably in a letter dated 30 December—because we raised certain matters in Committee. We are concerned about the offender. We would like the Bill to take into consideration where the offender lives and whether he intends to move during the currency of the order; if he works, attends school or another educational establishment; if he owns or rents accommodation; and, lastly, if his religion or beliefs require him to be present at a defined location for a specific period.

Freedom of religion and tolerance are recognised in the terms of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. Section 12(3) states: The requirements in a curfew order shall … avoid

  1. (a) any conflict with the offender's religious beliefs or with the requirements of any other community order … and
  2. (b) any interference with the times … he normally works or attends school".
The amendment ensures that a court obtains certain information from an offender before imposing the order. It ensures, therefore, that the court will examine whether it is appropriate to make such an order, taking account of the offender's circumstances. I seek the Minister's views on those points.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I was asked about research. It has not been decided who should conduct the research. In England, it was conducted by Home Office researchers, and I believe that in Scotland Scottish Office researchers will be able to perform that function. However, as I have said, no decision has been taken.

The hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) asked about amendment No. 251. If the availability of restriction of liberty orders is extended, such extension can, if appropriate, be limited to the stipendiary magistrates arm of the district court. It seems sensible to allow such a distinction, because the sentencing powers of stipendiary magistrates correspond to those of a sheriff under summary jurisdiction, rather than to those of other district courts.

We debated amendment No. 151 in Committee, and I wrote to Committee members about an aspect of it on 30 December. As I said on both occasions, I do not dispute that the factors specified may be relevant to the making of a restriction of liberty order, but I am not convinced that the proposed mechanism is necessary or appropriate, so I am unable to accept that amendment.

Amendments Nos. 220, 221 and 222, tabled by the hon. Member for Perth and Kinross (Ms Cunningham), would require that when courts are being empowered to make restriction of liberty orders, and when methods of monitoring compliance with such orders are being specified, that should be done by regulation subject to affirmative resolution of both Houses.

Those amendments would also require that such regulations could not be altered before the Secretary of State had laid before both Houses a statement assessing the effectiveness of the regulations. We believe that the amendments are technically flawed, but I do not make too much of that point. The main reason for opposing them is that they would introduce an inappropriately burdensome procedure for prescribing which courts and which methods of monitoring are to be authorised in relation to restriction of liberty orders.

6 pm

Scots law does not require such a procedure to be followed for other community disposals. For example, when a court is being empowered to make community service orders, there is no requirement either for regulations to be subject to affirmative resolution or for a prior statement. Scots law merely requires the Secretary of State to notify a court that the necessary arrangements exist.

We intend to be as open as possible about the operation of restriction of liberty orders. I am happy to give a commitment that, before moving beyond the proposed pilot schemes, we will fully assess those schemes and make the results available. On that basis, I hope that the hon. Lady will not press her amendments.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 246, in page 6, line 43, leave out 'for any period up to 12 months' and insert—

  1. '(a) in respect of an offender other than a child offender, for any period up to 12 months; and
  2. (b) in respect of a child offender, and subject to subsection (3A) below, for any period up to 6 months.
(3A) A requirement under subsection (2)(a) above made in respect of a child offender may not be made for a period in excess of 3 months.

No. 107, in page 7, line 11, leave out second 'the' and insert 'any'.

No. 5, in page 7, line 11, after 'person' insert 'responsible for'.

No. 108, in page 7, line 16, leave out second 'the' and insert 'any'.

No. 6, in page 7, line 17, leave out 'monitor' and insert 'be responsible for monitoring'.

No. 247, in page 7, line 32, at end insert— '( ) Without prejudice to subsection (6) above, before making a restriction of liberty order in respect of a child offender the court shall obtain and consider information about that offender's family circumstances and the likely effect on those circumstances of the order which the court is proposing to make.'.

No. 109, in page 7, line 33, leave out 'Subject to subsection (8) below'.

No. 110, in page 7, line 36, leave out from beginning to end of line 38.

No. 248, in page 7, line 41, leave out 'and'.

No. 249, in page 7, line 44, at end insert 'and (c) the class or classes of offenders in respect of which restriction of liberty orders may be made,'.

No. 250, in page 7, line 46, leave out '(a) and (b)' and insert '(b) and (c)'.

No. 7, in page 7, line 47, at end insert— '( ) Regulations under subsection (9) above may make such transitional and consequential provisions, including provision in relation to the continuing effect of any restriction of liberty order in force when new regulations are made, as the Secretary of State considers appropriate. ( ) A court shall not make a restriction of liberty order which requires an offender to be in or, as the case may be, not to be in, a particular place or places unless it is satisfied that his compliance with that requirement can be monitored by the means of monitoring which it intends to specify in the order.'.

No. 251, in page 7, line 47, at end insert— ( ) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (9) above, in relation to district courts, regulations under that subsection may make provision as respects such courts by reference to whether the court is constituted by a stipendiary magistrate or by one or more justices'.—[Lord James Douglas-Hamilton.]

Amendment proposed: No. 221, in page 7, line 47, at end insert— '(9A) No regulations under subsection (9) above shall be made after the first regulations have been made under that subsection until the Secretary of State shall have laid before both Houses of Parliament a statement assessing the effectiveness of the first regulations made under that subsection.'.—[Ms Roseanna Cunningham.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 164, Noes 287.

Division No. 60] [6.3 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Corston, Ms Jean
Adams, Mrs Irene Cox, Tom
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Cummings, John
Allen, Graham Cunliffe, Lawrence
Alton, David Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try SE)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Dafis, Cynog
Armstrong, Ms Hilary Dalyell, Tam
Ashdown, Paddy Davidson, Ian
Austin-Walker, John Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Barnes, Harry Dewar, Donald
Barron, Kevin Dixon, Don
Beith, A J Donohoe, Brian H
Bell, Stuart Eagle, Ms Angela
Benn, Tony Eastham, Ken
Bermingham, Gerald Ennis, Jeff
Bray, Dr Jeremy Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Fatchett, Derek
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Faulds, Andrew
Callaghan, Jim Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Fisher, Mark
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Foster, Don (Bath)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Foulkes, George
Campbell-Savours, D N Fyfe, Mrs Maria
Canavan, Dennis Galbraith, Sam
Cann, Jamie Gapes, Mike
Carlile, Alex (Montgomery) George, Bruce
Chisholm, Malcolm Godman, Dr Norman A
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Godsiff, Roger
Connarty, Michael Golding, Mrs Llin
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Gordon, Ms Mildred
Graham, Thomas Meale, Alan
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Michael, Alun
Grocott, Bruce Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Gunnell, John Moonie, Dr Lewis
Hall, Mike Morley, Elliot
Hanson, David Mowlam, Ms Marjorie
Hardy, Peter Mudie, George
Harvey, Nick Nicholson, Miss Emma (W Devon)
Henderson, Doug Pendry, Tom
Hill, Keith (Streatham) Pickthall, Colin
Hinchliffe, David Pike, Peter L
Hodge, Ms Margaret Pope, Greg
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld) Powell, Sir Raymond (Ogmore)
Home Robertson, John Prentice, Mrs B (Lewisham E)
Hoon, Geoffrey Prescott, John
Hoyle, Doug Primarolo, Ms Dawn
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Reid, Dr John
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Rendel, David
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Hutton, John Roche, Mrs Barbara
Ingram, Adam Rooney, Terry
Janner, Greville Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Jenkins, Brian D (SE Staffs) Rowlands, Ted
Jones, Barry (Alyn & D'side) Salmond, Alex
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Sheldon, Robert
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd SW) Shore, Peter
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Simpson, Alan
Jowell, Ms Tessa Skinner, Dennis
Kaufman, Gerald Smith, Chris (Islington S)
Kennedy, Chartes (Ross C & S) Spearing, Nigel
Kennedy, Mrs Jane (Broadgreen) Spellar, John
Kilfoyle, Peter Steel, Sir David
Kirkwood, Archy Steinberg, Gerry
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eccles) Straw, Jack
Lewis, Terry Sutcliffe, Gerry
Liddell, Mrs Helen Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Livingstone, Ken Thurnham, Peter
Llwyd, Elfyn Timms, Stephen
McAllion, John Trickett, Jon
McAvoy, Thomas Tyler, Paul
Macdonald, Calum Vaz, Keith
McFall, John Wallace, James
McKelvey, William Watson, Mike
Mackinlay, Andrew Wigley, Dafydd
Maclennan, Robert Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
McMaster, Gordon Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
McWilliam, John Wilson, Brian
Madden, Max Winnick, David
Maddock, Mrs Diana Wise, Mrs Audrey
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Marek, Dr John Tellers for the Ayes:
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Mr. Andrew Welsh and
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Ms Roseanna Cunningham.
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey) Booth, Hartley
Aitken, Jonathan Boswell, Tim
Alexander, Richard Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)
Alison, Michael (Selby) Bottomley, Mrs Virginia
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Bowden, Sir Andrew
Amess, David Bowis, John
Ancram, Michael Boyson, Sir Rhodes
Arbuthnot, James Brandreth, Gyles
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Brazier, Julian
Ashby, David Bright, Sir Graham
Atkins, Robert Brooke, Peter
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Brown, Michael (Brigg Cl'thorpes)
Baker, Kenneth (Mole V) Browning, Mrs Angela
Baldry, Tony Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Budgen, Nicholas
Bates, Michael Burns, Simon
Batiste, Spencer Burt, Alistair
Bellingham, Henry Butcher, John
Bendall, Vivian Butler, Peter
Beresford, Sir Paul Butterfill, John
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Carlisle, John (Luton N)
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Linc'n) Haselhurst, Sir Alan
Carrington, Matthew Hawkins, Nick
Carttiss, Michael Hawksley, Warren
Cash, William Hayes, Jerry
Chapman, Sir Sydney Heald, Oliver
Churchill, Mr Heath, Sir Edward
Clappison, James Heathcoat-Amory, David
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochf'd) Hendry, Charles
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushdiffe) Heseltine, Michael
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Higgins, Sir Terence
Coe, Sebastian Hill, Sir James (Southampton Test)
Colvin, Michael Hogg, Douglas (Grantham)
Congdon, David Horam, John
Conway, Derek Hordern, Sir Peter
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F) Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)
Cope, Sir John Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Cormack, Sir Patrick Hunt, Sir John (Ravensb'ne)
Couchman, James Hunter, Andrew
Cran, James Jack, Michael
Currie, Mrs Edwina Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Curry, David Jenkin, Bernard (Colchester N)
Davies, Quentin (Stamf'd) Jessel, Toby
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Day, Stephen Jones, Robert B (W Herts)
Deva, Nirj Joseph Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Devlin, Tim Key, Robert
Dorrell, Stephen King, Tom
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Kirkhope, Timothy
Dover, Den Knapman, Roger
Duncan, Alan Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Duncan Smith, Iain Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Dunn, Bob Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Eggar, Tim Knox, Sir David
Elletson, Harold Kynoch, George
Emery, Sir Peter Lamont, Norman
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'ld) Lang, Ian
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Legg, Barry
Evennett, David Leigh, Edward
Faber, David Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark
Fabricant, Michael Lester, Sir Jim (Broxtowe)
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lidington, David
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lilley, Peter
Fishburn, Dudley Lloyd, Sir Peter (Fareham)
Forman, Nigel Lord, Michael
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Luff, Peter
Forth, Eric Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Fowler, Sir Norman MacGregor, John
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) MacKay, Andrew
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) Maclean, David
Freeman, Roger McLoughlin, Patrick
French, Douglas McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Fry, Sir Peter Madel, Sir David
Gale, Roger Maitland, Lady Olga
Gallie, Phil Major, John
Gardiner, Sir George Malone, Gerald
Garel-Jones, Tristan Mans, Keith
Garnier, Edward Marland, Paul
Gill, Christopher Marlow, Tony
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Goodlad, Alastair Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Gorst, Sir John Mayhew, Sir Patrick
Grant, Sir Anthony (SW Cambs) Mellor, David
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Merchant, Piers
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Gummer, John Moate, Sir Roger
Hague, William Monro, Sir Hector
Hamilton, Sir Archibald Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Nelson, Anthony
Hannam, Sir John Neubert, Sir Michael
Hargreaves, Andrew Newton, Tony
Harris, David Nicholls, Patrick
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Norris, Steve Stanley, Sir John
Oppenheim, Phillip Steen, Anthony
Ottaway, Richard Stephen, Michael
Page, Richard Stern, Michael
Paice, James Stewart, Allan
Patnick, Sir Irvine Streeter, Gary
Patten, John Sumberg, David
Pattie, Sir Geoffrey Sweeney, Walter
Pawsey, James Sykes, John
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Tapsell, Sir Peter
Pickles, Eric Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Porter, David Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Portillo, Michael Taylor, Sir Teddy
Powell, William (Corby) Temple-Morris, Peter
Rathbone, Tim Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Redwood, John Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Richards, Rod Townsend, Sir Cyril (Bexl'yh'th)
Riddick, Graham Tracey, Richard
Robathan, Andrew Trend, Michael
Roberts, Sir Wyn Trotter, Neville
Twinn, Dr Ian
Robertson, Raymond S (Ab'dn S) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Viggers, Peter
Roe, Mrs Marion Waldegrave, William
Rowe, Andrew Walden, George
Rumbold, Dame Angela Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Ryder, Richard Waller, Gary
Sackville, Tom Ward, John
Sainsbury, Sir Timothy Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Scott, Sir Nicholas Waterson, Nigel
Shaw, David (Dover) Watts, John
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Wells, Bowen
Shephard, Mrs Gillian Wheeler, Sir John
Shepherd, Sir Colin (Heref'd) Whitney, Sir Raymond
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Whittingdale, John
Shersby, Sir Michael Widdecombe, Miss Ann
Sims, Sir Roger Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Skeet, Sir Trevor Wilkinson, John
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Willetts, David
Smith, Tim (Beaconsf'ld) Wilshire, David
Soames, Nicholas Winterton, Nicholas (Macdesf'ld)
Speed, Sir Keith Wolfson, Mark
Spencer, Sir Derek Yeo, Tim
Spicer, Sir Jim (W Dorset) Young, Sir George
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs)
Spink, Dr Robert Tellers for the Noes:
Spring, Richard Mr. Timothy Wood and
Sproat, Iain Mrs. Jacqui Lait.

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendments made: No. 8, in page 8, line 1, leave out from 'regulations' to end of line 2 and insert 'substitute for the period of—

  1. (a) hours for the time being mentioned in subsection (2); or
  2. (b) months for the time being mentioned in subsection (3) or (3A),
such period of hours or, as the case may be, months as may be prescribed in the regulations'.

No. 252, in page 8, line 5, at end insert— '(12) For the purposes of this section and sections 245B to 245G of this Act—

No. 9, in page 8, line 10, leave out 'name of the person who is to' and insert 'person or class or description of persons who may'.

No. 10, in page 8, line 14, leave out from 'shall' to 'the' in line 15 and insert 'include provision in the order for making a person notified by the Secretary of State under subsection (1) above, or a class or description of persons so notified, responsible for the monitoring of.

No. 11, in page 8, line 16, after 'person' insert 'or class or description of persons'.

No. 12, in page 8, line 18, after 'shall' insert ', if necessary,'.

No. 223, in page 8, line 39, at end insert—

'Concurrent probation and restriction of liberty orders

245CC.—(1) Notwithstanding section 228(1) and 245A(1) of this Act, where the court— (a) intends to make a restriction of liberty order under section 245A(1); and (b) considers it expedient—

  1. (i) having regard to the circumstances, including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender; and
  2. (ii) having obtained a report as to the circumstances and character of the offender,
that the offender should also to 25 be subject to a probation order made under section 228(1) of this Act, it may make both such orders in respect of the offender.

(2) Where the court makes both a restriction of liberty order and a probation order by virtue of subsection (1) above, the clerk of the court shall send a copy of each order to both—

  1. (a) any person responsible for monitoring the offender's compliance with the restriction of liberty order; and
  2. (b) the officer of the local authority who is to supervise the probationer.

(3) Where the offender by an act or omission fails to comply with a requirement of an order made by virtue of subsection (1) above—

  1. (a) if the failure relates to a requirement contained in a probation order and is dealt with under section 232(2)(c) of this Act, the court may, in addition, exercise the power conferred by section 245E(2)(b) of this Act in relation to the restriction of liberty order; and
  2. (b) if the failure relates to a requirement contained in a restriction of liberty order and is dealt with under section 245E(2)(b) of this Act, the court may, in addition, exercise the power conferred by section 232(2)(c) in relation to the probation order.

(4) Where the offender by an act or omission fails to comply with both a requirement contained in a probation order and a requirement contained in a restriction of liberty order to which he is subject by virtue of subsection (1) above, he may, without prejudice to subsection (3) above, be dealt with as respects that act or omission either under section 232(2) of this Act or under section 245E(2) of this Act but he shall not be liable to be otherwise dealt with in respect of that act or omission.'.

No. 112, in page 8, line 41, leave out second 'the' and insert 'any'.

No. 13, in page 8, line 41, after 'person' insert 'responsible for'.

No. 113, in page 8, line 45, leave out second 'the' and insert 'any'.

No. 14, in page 8, line 45, after 'person' insert 'responsible for'.

No. 15, in page 8, line 46, after 'may' insert 'by order'.

No. 16, in page 9, line 1, leave out 'or'.

No. 253, in page 9, line 2, after '245A(3)' insert 'or, as the case may be, (3A)'.

No. 17, in page 9, line 3, at end insert'; or (d) revoking the order. (3) Where the court, on the application of a person other than the offender, proposes to—

  1. (a) exercise the power conferred by paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (2) above to vary (otherwise than by deleting a requirement) a restriction of liberty order, it shall cite the offender to appear before the court and section 245A(4) shall apply to the variation of such an order as it applies to the making of an order; and
  2. (b) exercise the power conferred by subsection (2)(d) above to revoke such an order and deal with the offender under section 245EE of this Act, it shall issue a citation requiring him to appear before the court.
(4) If an offender fails to appear before the court after having been cited in accordance with subsection (3) above, the court may issue a warrant for his arrest.'.

No. 114, in page 9, line 13, after 'failed' insert 'without reasonable excuse'.—

No. 18, in page 9, line 14, leave out 'vary the order or revoke it' and insert 'by order—

  1. (a) without prejudice to the continuance in force of the order, impose a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale;
  2. (b) vary the restriction of liberty order; or
  3. (c) revoke that order.
( ) A fine imposed under this section in respect of a failure to comply with the requirements of a restriction of liberty order shall be deemed for the purposes of any enactment to be a sum adjudged to be paid by or in respect of a conviction or a penalty imposed on a person summarily convicted.'.

No. 19, in page 9, line 17, after 'in' insert 'paragraphs (a) to (c) of.

No. 20, in page 9, line 18, leave out from beginning to 'it' in line 19 and insert—

'Disposal on revocation of restriction of liberty order

245EE.—(1) Where the court revokes a restriction of liberty order under section 245D(2)(d) or 245E(2) of this Act.'

No. 115, in page 9, line 22, at end insert— '(2) Where the court revokes a restriction of liberty order as mentioned in subsection (1) above, and the offender is, by virtue of section 245CC(1) of this Act, subject to a probation order, it shall, before disposing of the offender under subsection (1) above, discharge the probation order.'.

No. 21, in page 9, line 31, leave out 'the person responsible for monitoring the order' and insert 'a person nominated for the purpose of this paragraph by the Secretary of State'.

No. 116, in page 9, line 45, after 'circumstances.' insert—

'Procedure on variation or revocation of restriction of liberty order

245G. Where a court exercises any power conferred by sections 232(3A), 245D(2) or 245E(2)(b) or (c) of this Act, the clerk of the court shall forthwith give copies of the order varying or revoking the restriction of liberty order to any person responsible for monitoring the offender's compliance with that order and that person shall give a copy of the order to the offender.'.—[Lord James Douglas-Hamilton.]

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