Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill
TO BE MOVED
[Supplementary to the Seventh Marshalled List]
After Clause 117
Insert the following new Clause—
“Disclosure of information about convictions etc. of violent abusers to members of the public
(1) The responsible authority for each area must, in the course of discharging its functions under arrangements established under section 325 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, consider whether to disclose information in its possession about the relevant previous convictions of any violent abuser managed by it to any person deemed by the authority to be at risk.
(2) In the case mentioned in subsection (3) there is a presumption that the responsible authority should disclose information in its possession about the relevant previous convictions of the offender to the particular member of the public.
(3) The case is where the responsible authority for the area has reasonable cause to believe that—
(a) a serial violent abuser managed by it poses a risk in that or any other area of causing serious harm to a particular at risk person, and
(b) disclosure of information about the relevant previous conviction of the offender to the particular member of the public is necessary for the purpose of protecting the at risk person from serious harm caused by the offender.
(4) The presumption under subsection (2) arises if the person to whom the information is disclosed requests the disclosure.
(5) Where the responsible authority makes a disclosure under this section—
(a) it may disclose such information about the relevant previous convictions of the offender as it considers appropriate to disclose to the member of the public concerned, and
(b) it may impose conditions for preventing the member of public concerned from disclosing the information to any other persons.
(6) Any disclosure under this section must be made as soon as is reasonably practical having regard to all the circumstances.
(7) The responsible authority for each area must compile and maintain a record about the decisions it makes in relation to the discharge of its functions under this section.
(8) The record must include the following information—
(a) the reasons for making a decision to disclose information under this section,
(b) the reasons for making a decision not to disclose information under this section, and
(c) the information which is disclosed under this section, any conditions imposed in relation to its further disclosure and the name and address of the person to whom it is disclosed.
(9) Nothing in this section requires or authorises the making of a disclosure which contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998.
(10) This section is not to be taken as affecting any power of any person to disclose any information about a violent abuser.”
Insert the following new Clause—
“Disclosure of information about convictions etc. of violent abusers to members of the public: interpretation
(1) This section applies for the purposes of section 117A.
(2) “At risk person” means a person deemed by the responsible authority to be at risk because of a proximate relationship to a person with a history of violent abuse.
(3) “Violent abuse” means any offences falling within the parameters of section 224 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 committed against a person with whom the offender enjoyed a proximate relationship.
(4) “Violent abuser” means any person who—
(a) has been convicted of an offence covered by subsection (3),
(b) has been found not guilty of such an offence by reason of insanity,
(c) has been found to be under a disability and to have done the act charged against the person in respect of such an offence, or
(d) has been cautioned in respect of such an offence.
(5) “Responsible authority” is used in relation to any area and means the chief officer of police, the local probation board for that area, or (if there is no local probation board for that area) a relevant provider of probation service and the Minister of the Crown exercising functions in relation to prisons, acting jointly.
(6) In relation to a responsible authority, references to information about the relevant previous convictions of a violent abuser are references to information about—
(a) convictions, findings and cautions mentioned in subsection (4)(a) to (d) which relate to the offender, and
(b) anything under the law of any country or territory outside England and Wales which in the opinion of the responsible authority corresponds to any conviction, finding or caution with paragraph (a) (however described).
(7) References to serious harm caused by a violent abuser are references to serious physical or psychological harm caused by the offender committing any offence against another person with whom they enjoy a proximate relationship.
(8) References to a proximate relationship are references to a person who is associated with the victim as established under section 177(1)(a) Housing Act 1996.
(9) A responsible authority for any area manages a violent abuser if the offender is a person who poses a risk in that area which falls to be managed by the authority under the arrangements established by it under section 325 Criminal Justice Act 2003.
(10) For the purposes of this section the provisions of section 4 of, and paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (protection for spent convictions and cautions) are to be disregarded.
(11) In this section “cautioned”, in relation to any person and any offence, means—
(a) cautioned after the person has admitted the offence, or
(b) reprimanded or warned within the meaning given by section 65 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
(12) Section 135(1), (2)(a) and (c) and (3) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (mentally disordered offenders) apply for the purposes of this section as they apply for the purposes of Part 2 of that Act.”