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Lynne Featherstone: Does the Minister not accept that the judiciary, in its judicious interpretation of the phrase that the court "may" require a report, would apply the provision only to cases where they deemed it necessary to receive a medical report? Such a requirement would therefore not have an adverse effect on the vast number of drinking banning orders that may be imposed.

Hazel Blears: The hon. Lady knows that the courts have discretion when looking at the cases that are brought before them. They must be satisfied that two requirements are met: first, someone must be guilty of offending behaviour; and, secondly, it must be necessary to make the order. The court will consider a range of factors when deciding whether the second requirement has been met. May I advise the hon. Lady that my comments are meant kindly? She has talked a great deal about human rights, which are important. However, we have to achieve a balance of human rights, and respect the human rights of the decent, law-abiding majority whose peaceful existence is threatened when people drink far too much and get out of control, causing the nuisance that happens far too often. Getting that balance right is important, but in this instance she is wrongly seeking to put the rights of the perpetrator above those of decent members of the community.

Amendments Nos. 13 and 14, which were tabled by the Opposition, seek to include a definition of "disorderly" to cover

We had a long discussion about that in Committee. There is no need to define the word "disorderly" in the Bill. It is not defined in relation to the offence of being drunk and disorderly in section 91 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967. The Select Committee on Home Affairs concluded that it would be a mistake to try to define more closely the current definition of antisocial behaviour. The courts are perfectly aware of behaviour that is disorderly, and of behaviour that results in a criminal act. In Committee, I gave the hon. Member for Woking an example of disorderly behaviour. If a large group of people are marauding through an area, kicking over bins and causing excessive noise, they may not necessarily commit a public order offence, but they are certainly guilty of disorderly behaviour.
14 Nov 2005 : Column 727

The hon. Gentleman talked about high spirits, but in Committee some telling examples were given, particularly by my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Ms Butler), who said that "high spirits" was not an accurate description of the problems in her community.

Amendment No. 5 would require that for orders on conviction the court must be satisfied that the individual was drunk, rather than under the influence of alcohol. That would raise the threshold at which a drinking banning order could be obtained and could lead to a wide range of offenders who were under the influence of alcohol escaping the prohibitions imposed by a DBO. I think that it is for the courts to come to a view based on the evidence before them on whether an offender was under the influence of alcohol when they committed an offence. I ask hon. Members to think about the sort of problem that we are trying to tackle. The courts are well placed to determine whether someone was under the influence of alcohol. I direct the House's attention to the second limb of the offence, which is that for an order to be made, it must be necessary to protect the rest of the community. The courts will examine that closely before making an order.

Amendment No. 6 would ensure that a court must consider only applications by the Crown. That would defeat part of our purpose, which is to encourage the proactive use of DBOs. The court would have to wait for the Crown to make an application; it would not be able to consider the matter of its own volition. That would weaken our proposals.

Liberal Democrat amendment No. 30 would reimpose automatic reporting restrictions in proceedings for an order on conviction involving young people. Several hon. Members have said that they consider it useful not to bind the court to automatic reporting restrictions. That does not mean that restrictions cannot apply in specific, narrow cases if they are necessary for the protection of the individual. I happen to believe that if people have gone out, deliberately got drunk, got involved in violent behaviour under the influence of alcohol, and acted in a such a way that the court finds it necessary to make an order to protect the rest of the public, it is extremely hard to make a case for their name and details being kept a secret from the rest of the community, who have been the victims of that behaviour. Far from being a badge of honour, being banned from one's favourite pubs and clubs is likely to be a good incentive to change one's behaviour. In addition, it is important that local people are able to report it to the police if they see the individuals in question in pubs and clubs from which they are banned, so that action can be taken in relation to the breach.

Government amendment No. 43 gives district councils the same right as county councils to make applications for DBOs, which is entirely right and proper. Government amendment No. 42 is merely a small consequential amendment. The other Government amendments are welcome tidying measures. Clause 23 is to be removed because, on reflection, we realised that the DBO provisions make the Licensed Premises (Exclusion of Certain Persons) Act 1980 superfluous. We can achieve everything that we want to achieve through the DBO route, which is a much better provision. The 1980 legislation is extremely narrow—it depends on a conviction on the licensed premises themselves.
14 Nov 2005 : Column 728

The DBO is—dare I say to the hon. Member for Woking?—a more modern and appropriate way in which to deal with the mischief we encounter in our communities these days. I ask him and his hon. Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Grieve), who has taken a very legalistic approach to various pieces of our legislation, to think carefully about making sure that legislation is modern, flexible, about changing behaviour and able to cope with the new challenges that we face, rather than cleaving to the traditional interpretation of the law and focusing simply on prosecution. Making available ASBOs and DBOs is about making sure that our criminal justice system is modern, flexible and able to meet the challenges of this day and age.

Mr. Malins: I confess to being disappointed by the Minister's response. The truth of the matter is that the Government have presided over a massive rise in binge drinking and alcohol-related violence, which they are doing very little to stop. The existing laws are not being enforced, but all the Government want to do is introduce a new flagship policy on the basis that a headline and a new Act will solve all their problems—tell that to the people on the streets who are suffering as a result of alcohol-fuelled violence.

New clause 1 seeks to amend the ASBO legislation to make it more flexible. Why on earth can the Minister not accept that making ASBO legislation more flexible is a good idea? She does not want to accept any arguments from this side of the House, as a result of which I want to put the new clause to the opinion of the House.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 155, Noes 327.

Division No. 88
[5.41 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Baron, Mr. John
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brokenshire, James
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Butterfill, Sir John
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Mr. Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evennett, Mr. David
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Horam, Mr. John
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Ruffley, Mr. David
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Peter Atkinson and
Michael Fabricant


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, Danny
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bell, Sir Stuart
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Annette
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Mr. Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Lorely
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
Davey, Mr. Edward
David, Mr. Wayne
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Gapes, Mike
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harris, Mr. Tom
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horwood, Martin
Hosie, Stewart
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunter, Mark
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Kramer, Susan
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laws, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Love, Mr. Andrew
MacDougall, Mr. John
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh Mr. John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morley, Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mulholland, Greg
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Price, Adam
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, Mr. Alan
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Bob
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, John
Smith, Sir Robert
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Swinson, Jo
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Taylor, Matthew
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, Keith
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watts, Mr. Dave
Webb, Steve
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Wilson, Sammy
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Tony Cunningham and
Mr. Tom Watson

Question accordingly negatived.

14 Nov 2005 : Column 731

New Clause 2

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