|Serious Organised Crime And Police Bill - continued||House of Commons|
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Clause 141: Criminal records checks: verification of identity
384. The clause enables the CRB (and disclosure bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland) to check passports and driving licences presented by applicants in order to verify their identity. It creates a statutory gateway to enable the CRB to access information held by the UK Passport Agency, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, and also the database of National Insurance numbers maintained by the Department for Work and Pensions. It gives effect to recommendation 31 of the report of the Bichard Inquiry.
Clause 142: Certain references to police forces
385. This clause contains amendments to sections 119, 120A and 124A of the Police Act 1997. Subsection (1a) amends subsection 119(3) to allow the Secretary of State to determine administratively the fees which are payable to police authorities for dealing with requests for information.
386. Subsection (1b) inserts new subsections 119(6) and (7). This amendment ensures that the definition of "police authority" for the purposes of section 119 includes bodies such as the Northern Ireland Policing Board, and the other bodies included in new subsections 113B(11) and (12). Subsections (2) and (3) amend sections 120A and 124A of the Police Act 1997 in the same way.
Clause 143: Further amendments to Police Act 1997 as it applies to Scotland
387. This clause contains amendments to sections 120A and 126 of the Police Act 1997 in relation Scotland. Subsection (1) amends subsection 120A(5) to allow the Scottish Ministers to determine administratively the fees which are payable to police authorities for dealing with requests for information.
388. Subsection (2) amends section 126 by inserting 2 new subsections. New subsection (3) provides for references to the Secretary of State in Part V to be construed as references to the Scottish Ministers for purposes of the exercise of any functions in relation to Scotland. New subsection (4) provides for new subsection (3) not to apply to the exercise of a function under section 118(2A)(c) (data held by the Secretary of State in connection with keeping records of national insurance numbers).
Clause 144: Part 5 of the Police Act 1997: Channel Islands and Isle of Man
389. This clause permits the extension of Part 5 of the Police Act 1997 to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man by Order in Council.
Clause 145: Powers of Crown Court and Magistrates' Court to issue witness summons
390. This clause amends section 2(1) of the Criminal Procedure (Attendance of Witnesses) Act 1965, section 97 and 97A of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980, paragraph 4(1) of Schedule 3 to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and section 51A(1) of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978. Under the law as it currently stands, the court must issue a summons if two conditions are met. First, if a person is likely to be able to give evidence likely to be material evidence, or produce any document or thing likely to be material evidence for the purpose of any criminal proceedings before the court. Second, if the person will not voluntarily attend as a witness or will not voluntarily produce the document or thing. This clause alters this second condition so that the test for the issuing of a witness summons is instead that the court must be satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so. This will allow a court to issue a witness summons in more situations and, specifically, earlier in the proceedings in order to pre-empt the likely non-attendance of a witness. It applies equally to both applications for a witness summons by the defence and the prosecution.
Clause 146: Powers of courts-martial etc. to issue warrants of arrest in respect of witnesses
391. This clause amends Section 25 of the Armed Forces Act 2001, which amended the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 and the Naval Discipline Act 1957, so that the same conditions apply to the issue of a Witness Summons in Courts Martial as to their issue in the Criminal Courts, as amended by clause 144.
Clause 147: Private Security Industry Act 2001: Scottish extent
392. This clause gives effect to Schedule 15 which extends the remit of the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001 to include Scotland.
Schedule 15: Private Security Industry Act 2001: Scottish extent
393. Schedule 15 makes a number of amendments to the PSIA 2001 to extend its scope to include Scotland. These are mainly technical in nature. Where a section of the 2001 Act is not amended this is because it will apply in Scotland without modification.
394. A new Section 2A is inserted after Section 2. Subsection 1 provides that for certain purposes the SIA is to be treated as a cross-border public authority within the meaning of the Scotland Act 1998. These purposes are
395. Subsection (2) provides that references to a listed authority in the 2002 Act are to be construed as including a reference to the SIA. The effect of subsection 1(a) and (d) and subsection (2) is that the SIA will be liable to investigation by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman in respect of its devolved functions in Scotland.
396. Paragraph 2(a) amends Section 2 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (PSIA 2001) which deals with directions by the Secretary of State. It places a duty on the Secretary of State to consult Scottish Ministers where any directions to the Security Industry Authority relate either wholly or mainly to Scotland.
397. Paragraph 2(b) places a duty on the SIA to provide Scottish Ministers with information relating to Scotland requested by them
398. Paragraph 3 amends Section 7 of the PSIA 2001 which deals with licensing criteria and directs that the SIA must publish details of the determining criteria and how that criteria should be determined. It requires that the Secretary of State must first approve any criteria or revised criteria in order for them to have effect. This amendment has the effect of requiring the Secretary of State to consult Scottish Ministers before giving such approval.
399. Paragraph 4 amends section 11 of the PSIA 2001 which sets out the mechanisms for appeals against refusal of grant of a licence; conditions imposed on a licence issued under the Act; or where a licence is modified or revoked. The amendments are technical and ensure that the appeals system works within the Scottish Justice system by providing for a first appeal to a Sheriff and a subsequent appeal to a Sheriff Principal.
400. Paragraph 5 excludes Section 13 of the PSIA 2001 from having an effect in Scotland. The Section has the effect of allowing the Secretary of State by order to make provision for Local Authorities in England and Wales to carry out some or all of the functions of the SIA.
401. Paragraph 6 extends the provisions of Section 15 of the PSIA 2001 to include Scotland. Section 15 imposes a duty on the SIA to maintain a scheme by which persons providing security industry services in England and Wales may receive approval of their services or part of them by the SIA.
402. Section 18 of the PSIA2001 sets out the mechanisms for appeals against refusal of Section 15 approval application; conditions imposed on an approval; modification or withdrawn approval. Paragraph 7 ensures that the appeal mechanism works within the Scottish Justice System.
403. Paragraph 8 extends the definition of a body corporate in terms of Section 23 of the PSIA2001 to include an offence which may be committed by a Scottish partnership.
404. Section 24(4) of the PSIA2001 requires the Secretary of State to consult the Security Industry Authority before making any orders or regulations. Paragraph 9 makes the following amendments to that section:
405. Paragraph 10 amends section 26(4) and extends the provisions of the PSIA 2001 to Scotland.
406. Paragraph 11 amends Schedule 1 of the PSIA 2001. Schedule 1 contains detailed provisions about the constitution of the Security Industry Authority, including membership, financial matters and production of an annual report. This amendment:
407. Paragraph 12 amends Schedule 2 of the 2001 Act. Schedule 2 describes the activities that are subject to control under the Act. Part 1 relates to the controlled activities of security operatives. Part 2 provides for additional controls in relation to door supervisors and, in England and Wales only, wheel clampers. The amendments to the Schedules are as follows:
Part 6: Final provisions
Clause 148: Orders and regulations
408. This clause sets out the parliamentary procedure, if any, in respect of the various order and regulation-making powers in the Bill. All the delegated powers are subject to the negative resolution procedure save for those specified in subsection (4), where no parliamentary procedure applies, and subsection (5) where the affirmative procedure applies. Subsection (2) specifies that any delegated power exercisable by the Secretary of State includes the power to make different provision for different cases or different purposes or areas; the last of these would enable provisions of the Bill to be piloted, for example in specified police force areas, before being rolled out country wide. This subsection also enables orders and regulations to make incidental, supplementary, consequential, transitory, transitional or saving provisions.
Clause 149: Supplementary, incidental, consequential etc. provision
409. This clause enables the Secretary of State to make supplementary, incidental or consequential provision. An order made under this power will be subject to negative resolution procedure, other than where primary legislation is being amended in which case it is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
410. This clause is different from the power provided in clause 148(2) in that it is exercisable independently of the commencement power in clause 154 and creates in effect a free-standing power to make consequential provisions at any time, including a power to amend primary and secondary legislation. It is considered necessary, particularly in respect of the SOCA and arrest provisions, to pick up any consequential amendments not identified before the Bill's introduction or during its passage.
Clause 150: Repeals and revocations
411. This clause gives effect to Schedule 16 which sets out legislation to be repealed by this Bill.
Clause 151: Penalties for offences: transitional modification for England and Wales
412. The penalties for various new offences set out in the Bill have been drafted on the basis that the offences will come into force after the new sentencing framework provided for in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force. In the event that this is not the case, this clause substitutes lower maximum penalties that would apply for specified offences until such time as the relevant provisions of the 2003 Act come into operation.
Clause 152: Expenses
413. This clause authorises additional expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State as a result of the provisions of the Bill and increases in expenditure under existing Acts.
Clause 153: Interpretation
414. This clause defines 'SOCA' and 'enactment' for the purposes of the Bill.
Clause 154: Commencement
415. This clause provides for commencement (subsections (1) to (3)). Subsection (7) contains a free standing order-making power (that is, separate from the power to make commencement orders) to make transitional or saving provisions connected with the coming into force of any provision in the Bill. The order-making power is not subject to any parliamentary procedure.
Clause 155: Short title and extent
416. Subsection (1) sets out the short title of the Bill. Subsections (2) to (7) set out extent of the Bill. The SOCA provisions (Part 1 of the Bill) and provisions on the financial reporting orders (Chapter 2 of Part 2), witness protection (Chapter 4 of Part 2), international obligations (Chapter 5 of Part 2) and Proceeds of Crime (Chapter 6 of Part 2) will apply throughout the UK. Chapter 1 of Part 2 (investigatory powers of the DPP) will extend to England, Wales and Scotland. The Queen's Evidence provisions in Chapter 2 of Part 2 will extend to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Financial reporting orders (Chapter 3 of Part 2) will extend to England and Wales only. The provisions of the Bill amend existing legislation, and with some exceptions, will have the same extent as the relevant legislation (subsection (6)).
FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL
417. The total costs of the Bill for Government Departments are estimated to be some £40m/£43m/£37m in the financial years 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 respectively. These figures are based on a number of assumptions about implementation which are subject to review. The figures are also subject to the allocation of the 2004 Spending Review settlement by the Departments concerned. Based on the same assumptions it is currently estimated the Bill will mean a net saving of downstream financial costs (that is the additional consequential costs for legal aid, the CPS and the Courts Service) for the CJS departments and their agencies. Downstream costs are estimated at £1.8m/£1.6m/£1.6m for the financial years 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 respectively.
418. All the estimated costs, including downstream costs, will be subject to a number of variables, including take up and use of the provision; timing of implementation; the form, composition and priorities of the Serious Organised Crime Agency; efficiency savings; and the behaviour of the downstream agencies and courts.
419. These estimated costs, including downstream costs, will be met from within the existing Criminal Justice Departments' or DCMS SR04 settlements, or existing Police Authority budgets. It is also expected there will be significant potential efficiency and cost savings and benefits for the Home Office, the Police, the Assets Recovery Agency, the CPS, and Department of Constitutional Affairs which have not been quantified.
420. Some tax relief for basic rate tax payers will arise under normal tax rules for applicants for Security Industry Authority licences as a result of the Authority's remit being extended to Scotland. SOCA will have the same standing as other NDPBs on tax exemptions.
421. The main financial implications of the Bill for the public sector lie in the following areas:
Part 1: SOCA
422. Based on actual resource allocation in the financial year 2004-2005 for the precursor agencies, the estimated set up costs for SOCA for the financial year 2005-2006 is £27M. This is over and above the costs of its existing constituents estimated at £341M for 2005-2006 (the HMCE part of these figures are based on 2003-2004 figures). On the same basis, the uplift for SOCA once it is established is £33m in the financial year 2006-2007 and £32m in 2007-2008. This is over and above the estimated costs of £340m that would be transferred from its constituents' allocations for the same financial years. The uplift figures include the costs of specialist prosecutors estimated at £2.9M, £0.7M and £0.4M for the financial years 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 respectively. Although it is at present difficult to quantify the downstream costs of SOCA once it is established, it is estimated that this is likely to mean savings or at least remain the same compared with the present for its constituent agencies. On this basis it is estimated Part 1 will not add to the downstream costs incurred by the CJS Departments.
Part 2: Investigations, prosecutions and other measures
423. The amendments to Proceeds of Crime Act made in Chapter 6 of Part 2 will result in significant savings for the Assets Recovery Agency and the Department of Constitutional Affairs. Based on the current average annual legal costs of a civil recovery case, the current average cost of a receiver and the current numbers of civil recovery cases the ARA proceeds with, it is estimated there will be a saving for DCA of around £2.4M and for the ARA of around £2.1M in each financial year. An equivalent sum of between £2.4M-£4.5M will be lost from the Home Office receipts that would be recovered from the recovery orders.
Part 3: Police powers etc.
424. The take up and use of further powers of community support officers and accredited persons (clause 113) will vary across Police forces. Therefore it is not yet possible to estimate the potential costs or savings in Police time of these clauses. Downstream costs that may be incurred by the provisions relating to begging and enforcement of licensing offences will be minimal.
425. The clauses relating to fingerprints of persons not detained or under arrest (clause 108) will result in savings in terms of police time. These are currently estimated at £4.4M for each of 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, together with £0.5M annual opportunity costs savings in police time and revenue of £1.6M over the 2 years. These outweigh the costs incurred by the clause which are estimated at £4.3M and £3M for the financial years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 respectively. Estimated costs of £3M in the financial year 2005-2006 and £1.7M in the financial year 2006-2007 will be met from within the existing Police Information Technology Organisation baseline for their SR04 settlement from the Home Office. The remaining estimated costs of £2.7M will be met from within existing local Police Authority budgets across England and Wales over the 2 years. It is expected that the national roll-out of portable live scan equipment will be self-financing from the financial year 2007-2008 and thereafter.
426. Direct costs for the clause relating to the power to stop and search for prohibited fireworks (clause 106) are currently estimated at £0.3M for each of the financial years 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. These will be met from within existing Police Authority budgets across England and Wales. Downstream costs are estimated at £0.8M for each of the same financial years.
Part 4: Public order and conduct in public places etc.
427. Costs for the provisions relating to Harassment (clauses 116 to 118) are minimal and will be met from within existing Police Authority budgets across England and Wales. Downstream costs are estimated at around £0.2M for each of the financial years 2005-2206, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.
428. Total costs incurred as a result of the clauses relating to religious hatred (clause 119) are very minor. Minimal Police costs will be met from within existing Police Authority budgets. Downstream costs are currently estimated at around £0.2M for the financial year 2005-2006 falling to around £0.1M in the financial year 2006-2007 and the year thereafter.
429. The downstream costs relating to the offence of trespass on sites of national importance are de minimis.
Part 5: Miscellaneous
430. There will be downstream costs for the clauses relating to vehicle registration and road traffic offences (clauses 129 to 133) which are currently estimated at £0.5M for each financial year 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. These are likely to be offset across Government by the income from the fixed penalties paid for this offence currently estimated at £1M for each financial year for the same period. In addition there will be costs relating to removal, storage and disposal of uninsured vehicles. These costs and where they will fall will be quantified following the closure of the current consultation on 26 November 2004.
431. Costs for the clause relating to the dissemination of local policing information (clause 134) will be met from within existing Police Authority budgets. They are currently estimated at a maximum of between £1.1M - £1.3M, at an average of £25K to £30K costs per Police Authority in England and Wales for the financial years, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008. Many forces already provide similar information.
432. The increased use of witness summonses as a result of the provisions in clause 145 will mean fewer trial delays and postponements resulting in savings to both Crown and Magistrates' courts. Based on 2002-2003 figures, conservative estimates indicate savings in the order of £1.6M in the financial year 2005-2006 and potentially more each year thereafter.
433. Estimated costs of £2.2M for the financial year 2005-2006 and £1.1M for each of the financial years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 incurred by the clauses relating to the criminal record checks (clauses 140 to 144) fall on the CRB. These will be recovered through charging. Of these charges, an estimated £0.1M will be met by local authorities each year.
434. Ongoing costs relating to the clauses on the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (clause 147) will fall to the Security Industry Authority and will be recovered through charging for licences. This includes covering downstream costs of prosecutions and appeals. Other costs to a maximum of around £0.2M for the financial years 2005-2006 and £0.5M 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 will be borne by the Scottish Vote from within the Scottish Executive's SR04 settlement to cover set up costs; training set up costs within Scotland; publicity within Scotland by the Executive; and other costs incurred by the Executive in implementing regulation.
435. All costs relating to the disbandment of the Royal Parks Constabulary (clauses 138 and 139) will fall on the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). These are currently estimated at around £3.2M. Running costs of £7.8m for 2005-2006 which will be met from DCMS SR04 settlement would have been incurred regardless of the merger.
436. The downstream costs for the provisions relating to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders etc are minimal.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2004||Prepared: 24 November 2004|