|Criminal Justice And Police Bill - continued||House of Commons|
|back to previous text|
Part VII: Miscellaneous and supplemental
Clause 128: Requirement to give reasons for granting bail.
348. This clause amends section 5 of the Bail Act 1976, which makes certain procedural provisions relating to bail decisions. At present, courts are required to give reasons when refusing bail but not, save in the most serious cases (e.g. murder and rape), to give reasons for granting it. The clause adds a requirement that, wherever a magistrates' court or the Crown Court grants bail to a person to whom section 4 of the Bail Act 1976 applies, the court must give reasons for its decision in any case where the prosecutor makes representations against the granting of bail on any conditions. It also requires the court to give the prosecutor, on request, a copy of the note of the reasons for its decision.
COMMENTARY ON SCHEDULES
349. Schedule 8 does not require any explanation or comment. The effects of Schedules 1 to 7 have been dealt with in the notes on the individual provisions of the Bill. Schedule 1 is dealt with in the accompanying notes to clause 45; Schedule 2 is dealt with in the accompanying notes relating to clauses 49, 50 and 54; Schedule 3 is dealt with in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 69; Schedule 4 in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 86; Schedule 5 in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 101; Schedule 6 in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 106; and Schedule 7 in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 127.
FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL AND EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER
350. Overall the Bill will add some £24.5m to public expenditure in the next three years. This is accounted for by the measures on videotaping suspects (£21m capital funding allocated although this will incur additional costs which will be assessed in pilot schemes) and transitional funding of £3.5m for the new Central Police Training and Development Authority. There will also be additional annual costs of between £1.5 - £2m accounted for by travel banning orders for drug traffickers, the information disclosure proposals and new powers of seizure. The Bill's other measures have negligible expenditure implications or their costs are being met from within existing spending plans for the services concerned. Details are set out below.
351. The Bill will lead to an increase of 14 -30 full-time equivalent staff accounted for by the information disclosure measures. The other provisions are expected to make relatively small changes in public sector staffing. Details are set out below.
Provisions for combatting crime and disorder
352. Additional public expenditure is unlikely for the on the spot fines proposals. There will be costs in managing and enforcing on the spot fines but these should be offset by fines revenue and savings of police time. The overall savings/costs incurred will also depend on whether the scheme is used chiefly to divert cases from court or to deal with offending that is currently the subject of a caution or an informal warning. It is not certain whether the saving in police time will feed through to a reduction in public service manpower (police) or whether fixed penalty offices might need more staff.
353. The measures relating to closing licensed and unlicensed premises will impose a small extra burden on magistrates' courts, but the Lord Chancellor's Department have said that they could absorb this. The measures relating to underage drinking and public consumption of alcohol will not incur any public expenditure.
354. The measures relating to child curfew schemes may incur minor administrative costs to set up the schemes, and some small expenditure on implementation.
355. There will be minimal, ongoing and annual costs for the courts as a consequence of administering travel banning orders for convicted drug traffickers and the hearing of any applications for revocation/suspension. The annual cost is estimated to be in the region of £40,000 to £50,000. It is expected that the costs will be absorbed by the Lord Chancellor's Department.
356. Enabling all prosecutions for witness intimidation to be made under statute law instead of a mixture of statute law (for intimidation of witnesses in proceedings for an offence) and common law (for witnesses in all other court proceedings) should bring efficiency savings. Reductions in costs and use of manpower will be off-set by greater success in combating witness intimidation leading to an increase in Anti Social Behaviour Order applications, which are running at about 100 a year. However, at the time of the then Crime and Disorder Bill (now the 1998 Act) provision was made for 5,000 Anti Social Behaviour Order cases a year and the Home Office do not envisage that forecast being exceeded by virtue of these new measures. There may be a slight increase in other proceedings which are not for an offence, as a result of less witness intimidation but in most civil proceedings where intimidation is possible the courts will be likely to continue to deal with any such threat by the use of injunctions.
357. The information disclosure provisions will entail some additional expenditure by the Inland Revenue as it responds to requests for information. The Inland Revenue may initially be faced with a backlog of requests but the workload will be reduced once this is dealt with. The total annual cost is difficult to estimate but most likely to be between £500,000 and £1 million. Again, the human resources requirements are dependent entirely on the number of requests, and are expected to be between 14 and 30 people. The costs will be absorbed within the existing Inland Revenue budget, subject to any agreements reached as to payments by recipients of information.
358. Additional costs and human resources requirements for other departments will be minimal, as the provisions only slightly expand existing information disclosure provisions.
Powers of Seizure
359. There will be costs for the judicial process, for example, in respect of applications to judges by people who wish to dispute the removal of material. It is difficult to estimate the number of applications which might be made. However, on the basis of a best current estimate of 1000 applications a year, the cost of considering them would be unlikely to exceed £1 million. There will be savings in policing costs, as currently the police have to search and sift material on premises which is more expensive and time consuming than being removing it for sifting elsewhere.
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and Terrorism Act 2000
360. Powers of arrest: kerb crawling. Insofar as the existence of a power of arrest will encourage greater police activity against kerb crawlers, there could be an increase in work for the criminal justice system in terms of increased numbers of prosecutions in the courts and financial implications for the duty solicitor scheme and legal aid fund. However, this should be offset by the deterrent effect of a power of arrest. Kerb crawling affects particular areas, but is not a volume crime. Attempts have been made to quantify the possible costs/savings with the police, but the figures have not been conclusive. The Home Office does not expect a significant cost increase. Hit and Run. The Home Office does not expect significant cost increase with the introduction of a power of arrest for hit and run.
361. Video taping of interviews with suspects. There are a number of costs associated with this proposal including the installation of video equipment in police interview rooms (although in the proposed pilot areas, this equipment will already be in place) and affected Crown Court Centres. There may be costs for the Crown Prosecution Service if they have to prepare short descriptive notes to accompany video evidence and legal aid costs. Costs will not arise until 2001/2002. The pilot projects in the four forces will assist in evaluating overall costings and savings. There is £21 million allocated in capital funding by the Treasury from the Capital Modernisation Funding fund for next three years, but the overall figure and distribution of funding will need to be reassessed as the pilots progress.
362. Review of detention by video link. The main cost would be for the installation of video equipment in certain police stations. This cost would be offset by the reduction in costs for inspectors having to travel to conduct reviews. Additionally, there would be savings from the proposals to use video to facilitate other custody decisions. An officer at a non-designated police station would not have to be trained in all custody decisions, because a more expert custody officer would be carrying out those functions remotely resulting in a reduction in training costs.
363. It is expected that the other proposed amendments to PACE such as the reduction in rank authorities and allowing nurses to take intimate samples rather than doctors, will result in savings. The costs associated with trialling amendments to the PACE codes of practice, making the importation of indecent or obscene material an arrestable offence and the measures relating to fingerprints, footprints and DNA samples are negligible.
364. Additional public expenditure is unlikely for the provision to apply the "special procedure" provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to DTI officials. There will be minimal costs to the court service where the best current estimate is that there will be a maximum of 150 applications a year to a circuit judge. These will be offset by the saving in the time of investigation of officers of the Department of Trade and Industry.
365. There will be no impact on public expenditure or manpower relating to the provisions to enable cross border execution of search warrants.
366. Running costs for the new Central Police Training and Development Authority will be met initially by grant-in-aid at the same level as current funding for National Police Training. Additional funds of £3.5 million have been allocated specifically to help meet the costs of transition from Home Office organisation to a Non-Departmental Public Body. The other legislative changes will not give rise directly to increased demands on resources, although some increased expenditure on training may be necessary in due course, depending on the extent to which the prescription of mandatory qualifications or a core curriculum requires training activity which is not already covered by existing programmes.
367. There will be no additional costs relating to the re-introduction of the police ranks of deputy chief constable and chief superintendent because there are already two ranges on the salary scales for superintendents and in practice many of the forces have kept the two ranks.
368. There will be minor administrative savings relating to the police pension measures.
369. There will be no significant effects on public expenditure and public service manpower relating to the police authority measures and implementing the right to silence in police disciplinary proceedings.
370. There will be no significant costs or manpower implications arising from the measures relating to the financial provisions and constitution of the Service Authorities for NCS and NCIS.
Miscellaneous and Supplemental
371. There will be no significant costs or manpower implications relating to the bail measures.
SUMMARY OF THE REGULATORY APPRAISAL
Closure of disorderly licensed premises
372. The financial costs to industry only involves businesses which breach the existing terms, conditions and restrictions attached to liquor and public entertainment licences and existing law. These measures should not impact on businesses maintaining orderly premises save by creating a deterrent against any reduction in standards.
373. It is estimated that the closure of innocent premises who are in the vicinity of other disorderly premises would only arise in very rare cases, perhaps less than 15. The police will be issued with guidance that such a measure should be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary.
374. As regards errant premises which do not comply with the law, it is estimated, based on information provided by the police service, that a very small number of businesses, perhaps less than 800, are likely to fall foul of this closure power. The costs to those businesses, depending on their size and the length of closure, will range from £1,100 to £60,000 in terms of commercial losses and legal costs associated with subsequent revocation proceedings. If the number of closures is taken to be approximately 1000, the total cost to errant businesses could be between £1.1 million and £60 million. In addition, the cost to the estimated 15 innocent premises (mentioned above) could be between £16,500 and £900,000. The total cost could therefore be between £1.16 million and £60.9 million. The costs to a business of the potential loss of licence following a court hearing are unquantifiable, involving both owners of businesses and salaried managers.
375. A copy of the full RIA can be obtained from the Home Office website, or from Naim Siddiqui, Home Office, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AT or by email, [email protected]
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
376. Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement, before second reading, about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). The Secretary of State for the Home Department has made the following statement:
In my view the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Police Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.
377. Sections 107, 114(7) and 117(7) and 132 of the Bill will come into force on royal assent. Part II and section 82 will come into force two months after royal assent. The remaining provisions of the Bill will be brought into force by commencement order.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2001||Prepared: 19 January 2001|