HC Deb 29 January 1997 vol 289 cc425-7 7.15 pm
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I beg to move amendment No. 259, in page 42, line 38, leave out 'sexual'.

Madam Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments Nos. 260, 261, 44, 262 to 264, 93, 265 to 268, 94, 269, 270, 95, 271, 96 and 272 to 276.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I should like to refer first to amendment No. 274, upon which amendment No. 259 and others in the group are consequential. As hon. Members are aware, clause 44 extends police powers to take DNA samples from all persons who have been convicted of a serious sexual offence and who are still in custody.

We have considered the proposal further and we believe that it is equally important for the police to have that facility available to them in respect of persons who have been convicted of violent offences. People who commit crimes of violence are completely abhorrent to society. In some cases, those offenders are an even greater threat to the community than people who have been convicted of a sexual offence.

It is our duty to try to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to protect members of the public from that type of menace. We must ensure, therefore, that the police have as much assistance as possible to help them prevent and detect such crimes. We see the proposal as a step nearer to helping them do just that.

Violent offenders frequently leave traces of human matter at the scenes of their crimes and the analysis of that matter can lead to the detection of those crimes. It would therefore be helpful to the police to be able to take samples from violent offenders, and we propose to allow them to do so.

Incidentally, I had a sample taken from me by the police as an example of how it was done. It is a perfectly acceptable procedure, although I got the impression that not everyone would have volunteered for it because of the strong hand of the police officer concerned.

Other amendments in the group extend the list of qualifying offences and in so doing address some proposals made in Committee that I was able to accept in principle.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 260, in page 42, line 40, leave out 'sexual'.

No. 261, in page 42, line 41, after 'imprisonment' insert 'in respect of that offence'.

No. 44, in page 43, line 11, after 'so' insert 'taken or'.

No. 262, in page 43, line 19, leave out 'sexual'.

No. 263, in page 43, line 22, leave out from beginning to end of line 26 and insert—

No. 264, in page 43, line 27, leave out '(i)' and insert '(a)'.

No. 93, in page 43, line 27, at end insert— '(b) clandestine injury to women;'.

No. 265, in page 43, line 28, leave out (ii)' and insert '(c)'

No. 266, in page 43, line 29, leave out '(iii)' and insert '(d)'.

No. 267, in page 43, line 30, leave out '(iv)' and insert '(e)'.

No. 268, in page 43, line 31, leave out '(v)' and insert '(f)'.

No. 94, in page 43, line 32, leave out 'towards a child'.

No. 269, in page 43, line 33, leave out '(vi)' and insert '(g)'.

No. 270, in page 43, line 34, leave out '(vii)' and insert '(h)'.

No. 95, in page 43, line 35, leave out from beginning to end of line 37.

No. 271, in page 43, line 38, leave out from beginning to offence' and insert— ';and (i) any'.

No. 96, in page 43, line 45, at end insert—

  1. '(iia) section 106 of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 (protection of mentally handicapped females);
  2. (iib) section 107 of that Act (protection of patients);'.

No. 272, in page 44, line 11, leave out from beginning to end of line 16 and insert—

No. 273, in page 44, line 17, leave out '13(5)' and insert '13(5)(b) and (c)'.

No. 274, in page 44, line 18, after 'offences);' insert— '"relevant violent offence" means any of the following offences—

  1. (a) murder or culpable homicide;
  2. (b) uttering a threat to the life of another person;
  3. (c) perverting the course of justice in connection with an offence of murder;
  4. (d) fire raising;
  5. (e) assault;
  6. 427
  7. (f) reckless conduct causing actual injury;
  8. (g) abduction; and
  9. (h) any offence which consists of a contravention of any of the following statutory provisions—
    1. (i) sections 2 (causing explosion likely to endanger life) or 3 (attempting to cause such an explosion) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883;
    2. (ii) section 12 of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937 (cruelty to children);
    3. (iii) sections 16 (possession of firearm with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury), 17 (use of firearm to resist arrest) or 18 (possession of firearm for purpose of committing an offence listed in Schedule 2) of the Firearms Act 1968;
    4. (iv) section 6 of the Child Abduction Act 1984 (taking or sending child out of the United Kingdom);'.

No. 275, in page 44, line 20, leave out 'sexual'.

No. 276, in page 44, line 28, at end insert— '(5) In this section—

  1. (a) any reference to a relevant offence includes a reference to any attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit such an offence; and
  2. (b) any reference to—
    1. (i) a relevant sexual offence mentioned in paragraph (i); or
    2. (ii) a relevant violent offence mentioned in paragraph (h),
of the definition of those expressions in subsection (4) above includes a reference to aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of such an offence.'.—[Lord James Douglas-Hamilton.]

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