HL Deb 02 November 1989 vol 512 cc412-4

52 Clause 14, page 12, line 43, leave out from beginning to end of line 6 on page 13 and insert —

  1. '(a) to report initially to the police station specified in the order within the period of five days beginning with the date of the making of the order, and
  2. 413
  3. (b) subject to any exemption, to report on the occasion of designated football matches when required to do so under section 17(7)(b) below to any police station in England or Wales at the time or between the times specified in the notice by which the requirement is imposed.'.

53 Clause 14, page 13, line 12, leave out 'the designated reporting agency' and insert 'any police station'.

Earl Ferrers

I beg to move that this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 52 and 53. Amendments Nos. 52 and 53, 79 to 88 and 101 all refer to one matter. After the restriction order scheme was conceived we looked carefully at how best its requirements might be carried out. Various organisations were considered for carrying out the role of a reporting agency but from the outset the police service was a strong candidate in terms of its experience in dealing with offenders and its obvious network of local stations.

In consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers we set about developing a scheme which would be effective without imposing an undue burden on the police service. I wrote on 14th September to the noble Lord, Lord Graham, the noble Lord, Lord Harris, and others of your Lordships to explain our plans.

We concluded that it would be right for police stations to be the locations to which those subject to restriction orders should register initially and thereafter report as required. However, in order to keep to a minimum the work falling on the local police station only those essentially local functions will need to be dealt with there. The great bulk of administrative work will be carried out in a central enforcing authority. I am pleased to say that the Association of Chief Police Officers is happy with the arrangement as proposed.

The amendments allow offenders to report to the police station and for the administrative work in connection with offenders to be undertaken by the enforcing authority. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House do agree with the Commons in the said amendments. —(Earl Ferrers.)

Lord Harris of Greenwich

My Lords, the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers, was good enough to receive a deputation from the Association of Chief Police Officers, myself and the noble Lord, Lord Knights. We expressed considerable concern about Part II of the Bill in terms of its impact on police resources. As the noble Earl said, he wrote to me on the subject. I am glad that there has been agreement and I believe that that is a far better procedure than the one which was initially proposed in the Bill.

Lord Northfield

My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Earl for explaining the matter and I do not want to raise points on it. However, he will realise from what I said earlier that what he has now placed on the record is important, particularly to football clubs —for example, to Wembley, with which I have been associated —in helping them to understand how the Bill is to work. This therefore reinforces my protest —it is not a very strong one; I am not critical —that we cannot take large numbers of amendments en bloc. It is important to set some of the points on the record.

Earl Ferrers

My Lords, I understand the concern of the noble Lord. As he will realise, various amendments are grouped together because they refer to the same subject. They are grouped together for the convenience of noble Lords as a whole, but on this occasion we might have been a little quick. I am glad to have been able to give him the explanation that he wished.

On Question, Motion agreed to.