Policing And Crime Bill - continued          House of Commons

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Clause 76: Prohibition on importation or exportation of false identity documents etc

473.     Clause 76 prohibits the importation and exportation of false identity documents.

474.     Subsection (1) creates a prohibition on the importation and exportation of false identity documents. A prohibition on importation or exportation engages the existing powers in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA). This means that where the prohibited items are discovered they are liable to forfeiture under section 49 CEMA and can be seized under section 139. Improper importation of a prohibited item is an offence under section 70 of PACE and evading the prohibition is an offence under section 170,

475.     Subsection (2) sets out which documents are caught by the prohibition.

476.     Subsection (3) defines “document”, “false” and “identity document”. It relies on definitions in the Identity Cards Act 2006 and the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

Clause 77: Prohibition on important of offensive weapons

477.     Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 contains a power to specify offensive weapons. Where a weapon is specified, it is an offence to sell, hire or manufacture that weapon under section 141(1). The importation of the weapon is also prohibited (under section 141(4)). Currently 18 items have been specified including knuckle dusters, butterfly knives and stealth knives.

478.     There is a lack of clarity between the Scottish Executive and Whitehall departments on the competence of the Scottish Ministers to make an order under section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. It is the “import” aspect that has led to the disagreement, as import is a reserved matter.

479.     Clause 77 addresses this disagreement by separating out the importation consequences of specifying a weapon in an order under section 141 from the consequences that flow under section 141(1) - that is sale, hire etc. The clause replicates the regime existing under section 141 for the purposes of importation.

480.     Clause 77 will mean that importation restrictions will be created by the Secretary of State on a UK wide basis. Scottish Ministers will be able to make an order under section 141 which makes it an offence to manufacture, sell or hire a weapon specified in the order, but no importation consequences would flow from the order.

481.     Subsections (2) to (4) contain transitional provisions. These provisions will apply where a weapon has been imported in breach of a prohibition but it cannot be proven whether the prohibition is that imposed by section 141(4) (before it was repealed) or by clause 77. In such a case, it shall be conclusively presumed that the conduct took place after the commencement of clause 77 and therefore that the relevant prohibition is that in clause 77. The purpose of this transitional provision is to ensure that a defendant is not able to escape liability solely on the basis that it cannot be proven which importation prohibition has been breached.

Football spectators

Clause 78: Prohibiting attendance at matches in Scotland and Northern Ireland

482.     Subsection (1) extends the definitions of “banning order”, “external tournament” and “control period”, so that those subject to English and Welsh orders will be banned from attending regulated football matches in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Reporting requirements, and related provisions, will only apply to “regulated matches” involving Scottish and Northern Irish teams when they are played outside the UK.

483.     A “regulated match” means any association football match prescribed by an order made by the Secretary of State in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by sections 14(2) and 18(1) and (2) of the Football Spectators Act 1989. When a court in England or Wales imposes a football banning order the subject is prevented from attending any regulated match in England and Wales, and from attending any regulated match outside England and Wales when given notice in writing by the English and Welsh enforcing authority under section 19(2B) of the 1989 Act. Prior to commencement the statutory instrument prescribing regulated matches would be amended to reflect the effect of clause 78.

Clause 79: Requirements to report at police stations

484.     Clause 79 provides that when an individual is directed to report to police by the court or by the enforcing authority the specified police station may be anywhere in the UK, and thus local to the individual’s place of residence.

485.     Subsection (1) provides that the police stations specified under any of the provisions listed in subsection (2) may be anywhere in the United Kingdom. The provisions are:

  • Initial reporting at a police station as specified in an order imposed in England, Wales or Scotland.

  • Reporting at a police station as required by a notice from the English and Welsh Enforcing Authority or the Scottish Football Banning Orders Authority in relation to regulated football matches outside the UK.

Clause 80: Enforcement of 1989 Act in Scotland and Northern Ireland

486.     Subsection (1) provides that the following offences under the Football Spectators Act 1989 extend to Scotland and to Northern Ireland:

  • failure to comply with a requirement imposed by a banning order or the requirements of a notice issued by the English and Welsh enforcing authority;

  • failing, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a requirement imposed by police on a person reporting initially at a police station specified by the banning order;

  • providing the English and Welsh enforcing authority or police with what is known to be false information in connection with an application to the authority for an exemption from their reporting instructions.

487.     Subsection (2) provides a defence in Scotland of reasonable excuse for failing to comply with a requirement of a banning order or notice issued by the English and Welsh enforcing authority. The Football Spectators Act 1989 does not provide a statutory defence in England and Wales for failing to comply with a requirement of a banning order or notice issued by the English and Welsh enforcing authority. However section 68(2) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 provides a defence in Scotland of reasonable excuse for failing to comply with a requirement of a banning order or notice issued by the Scottish enforcing authority. For consistency in the treatment of breaches of banning order requirements within Scotland a statutory defence is provided.

488.     Subsections (3), (4) and (5) set out the maximum penalties for the offences described in subsection (1). A person guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (1)(a) is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale (currently £5,000) (or both). A person guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (1)(b) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level two on the standard scale (currently £500). A person guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (1)(c) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level three on the standard scale (currently £1,000).

Clause 81: Enforcement of 2006 Act in England and Wales and Northern Ireland

489.     Clause 81 extends to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with appropriate sentencing provisions, the offences of failing to comply with the requirements of a Scottish banning order or a notice issued by the Scottish Football Banning Orders Authority or the offence of giving false information in connection with an application for an exemption.

490.     Subsection (2) increases the maximum custodial penalty available for failing to comply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with a requirement imposed by a Scottish banning order, or a notice pursuant to one, from three months (the penalty provided by the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2007) to six months (the maximum available in Scotland). Subsections (3) - (4) set out the sentencing provisions for other offences under the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 as they apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A person guilty of an offence under section 68(1)(b) of the 2006 Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level two on the standard scale (currently £500). A person guilty of an offence by virtue of section 68(5) of the 2006 Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level three on the standard scale (currently £1,000).

491.     Subsection (5) revokes Articles 1(5) and 5 of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2007 which created offences in England and Wales and Northern Ireland of breaching Scottish banning orders.

Clause 82: Relevant offences for the purposes of Part 2 of the 1989 Act

492.     Clause 82 adds to the list of relevant offences convicted in England and Wales:

  • failing to comply with a requirement made on initially reporting to the police in respect of an English and Welsh imposed order;

  • knowingly making false statements in relation to an application for an exemption to the English and Welsh enforcing authority;

  • and those offences extended to England and Wales in respect of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 by virtue of clause 81.

493.     The offences listed in Schedule 1 to the 1989 Act are offences in relation to which English and Welsh courts may seek football banning orders (or the extension of existing banning orders) on conviction.

Other

Clause 83: Strategies for crime reduction etc probation authorities

494.     Clause 83 provides for every provider of probation services in a particular area, whose arrangements under section 3 of the Offender Management Act 2007 provide for it to be a responsible authority, to be added to the list of “responsible authorities” which comprise the CDRP (Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships in England) or CSP (Community Safety Partnership in Wales) in that area. It also extends the remit of CDRPs/CSPs to explicitly include the reduction of re-offending.

495.     Subsection (2) adds every provider of probation services in a local government area, whose arrangements under section 3 of the Offender Management Act 2007 provide for it to be a responsible authority, to the list of responsible authorities for that area. The responsible authorities must work together and with other local agencies and organisations to formulate and implement crime and disorder strategies and strategies for combating the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances in the area. Prior to this, local probation boards were not responsible authorities but were required to co-operate with those persons and bodies who were. The Offender Management Act 2007 gives the Secretary of State power to make arrangements with providers for the provision of probation services from the public (probation trusts), private or third sector or to provide the services himself. Those arrangements will state whether the provider will be a responsible authority or whether they will remain a co-operating body.

496.     Subsection (3) section 5(1B)(b) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 currently limits the Secretary of State’s power to merge by order two or more partnership areas in England to cases where he considers it would be in the interests of reducing crime and disorder or substance misuse. This subsection extends these criteria to include reducing re-offending.

497.     Subsection (4) extends the existing duties of responsible authorities to formulate and implement a strategy to reduce re-offending in the area.

498.     Subsection (5) provides that the appropriate national authority for making regulations relating to strategies for reducing re-offending is the Secretary of State and the Welsh Ministers acting jointly.

499.     Subsection (6) amends section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Section 17 places a duty on certain defined authorities, such as local authorities, to exercise their functions with due regard to the likely effect on, and the need to do all that it reasonably can to prevent, crime and disorder and substance misuse. This subsection expands this duty to include reducing re-offending.

Clause 84: Applications of aspects of UK law to SOCA employees working abroad

500.     Clause 84(a) inserts into paragraph 20 of Schedule 1 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 new exceptions to the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s status as a non-Crown body so that SOCA employees, in certain circumstances, will be deemed to be carrying out the work of the Crown.

501.     Clause 84(b) sets out the three exceptions to the general rule that SOCA employees are not servants of the Crown by inserting three new subparagraphs into Schedule 1 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. These are:

502.     Subparagraph (2) SOCA employees who are working outside the United Kingdom will be treated as Crown servants for the purposes of section 31(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1948 and will therefore be subject to prosecution and punishment for any indictable offence carried out whilst on duty abroad.

503.     Subparagraph (3) SOCA employees who are working outside the United Kingdom will be treated as Crown servants for the purposes of sections 26 to 28 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 and will consequently be liable to pay UK tax on their earnings.

504.     Subparagraph (4) SOCA employees who are working outside the United Kingdom will be deemed servants of the Crown for the purposes of section 299 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 and will therefore be entitled to the tax free allowances of a Crown servant intended to facilitate their operating in a foreign jurisdiction.

Clause 85 - Partial exemption for SCDEA from Firearms Act 1968

505.     Clause 85 amends section 54 of the Firearms Act 1968 to bring members of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) within the meaning of “persons in the service of Her Majesty” in that section. Certain provisions of the Firearms Act will therefore apply to members of the SCDEA (subject to modifications) in the same way as they apply to members of a police force and a member of staff of the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

PART 8 - GENERAL

Clause 86: Minor and consequential amendments and repeals

506.     Clause 86 confers a power on the Secretary of State by order to make supplementary, incidental or consequential provision for the purposes of the Bill. The power includes a power to amend or repeal any Act or subordinate legislation including the Bill (subsection (5)). The power also includes power to make transitional, transitory or saving provision. The affirmative resolution procedure will apply to any order which amends or repeals public general Acts. The section also introduces Schedule 7 (minor and consequential amendments) and Schedule 8 (repeals).

Clause 87: Transitional, transitory and saving provision

507.     Clause 87 contains a power for the Secretary of State to make transitional, transitory or saving provision in connection with the coming into force of any provision of the Bill.

Clause 88 - Financial provisions

508.     Clause 88 authorises, out of money provided by Parliament, any expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State under the Bill. It also authorises any additional expenditure incurred under any other Acts, where that additional expenditure results from the Bill.

Clause 89 - Extent

509.     Clause 89 sets out the territorial extent of the Bill’s provisions.

510.     The provisions relating to the prohibition of importation of offensive weapons (clause 77) will apply throughout the UK.

511.     The provisions relating to orders imposed on sex offenders (Clauses 21-24), premise closure orders (clause 20 and Schedule 2), the offence of persistently possessing alcohol, the powers for the Secretary of State to prescribe the form, manner and contents of an application under Part V of the Police Act 1996, and the provisions to enforce the 2006 Act all apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

512.     The requirements to report to Police stations (clause 79) and clause 80(2) extend to Scotland only. The remainder of clause 80 extends to Scotland and Northern Ireland. The remaining provisions relating to Football Spectators and the provisions relating to police secondments apply to England and Wales only.

513.     All other repeals or revocations made by the Bill have the same extent as the provisions amended, repealed or revoked, unless otherwise specified in Schedule 7. The commencement provision for the Bill (clause 90) provides that the Secretary of State must obtain the consent of Scottish Ministers before commencing clause 79 and clause 80 by order.

Clause 90: Commencement

514.     Clause 90 of the Bill provides for commencement. The renaming of the Independent Barring Board (clause 62) and the power for Customs officers to intercept postal items (clause 75) will come into force on Royal Assent. Additionally sections 86(3)-(8) and clauses 87-91 will come into force on Royal Assent.

515.     Clauses 73, 74 and 76 (provisions relating to Border Controls) will be brought into force by means of commencement orders made by the Treasury. Regulation of lap-dancing and sex-encounter venues (clause 25) and the relevant paragraph in Schedule 6, insofar as it relates to England will be brought into force by means of commencement orders made by the Secretary of State, and insofar as it relates to Wales by means of commencement orders made by Welsh Ministers.

516.     Part 14 of Schedule 6 and Part 12 of Schedule 7 and their related parts will be commenced at the end of 2 months after the date of Royal Assent.

517.     All the remaining provisions in the Bill will be brought into force by means of commencement orders made by the Secretary of State.

Clause 91: Short Title

518.     Clause 91 sets out the short title of the Bill as it may be used in subsequent citations.

FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL

519.     The total costs of the Bill to the public sector are estimated by the Home Office to be £5.6m/£24.2m/£24.0m in the financial years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 respectively. All the estimated costs, including consequential costs to other departments, will be subject to a number of variables, including take up and use of the provision; timing of implementation; efficiency savings; and the behaviour of the criminal justice agencies and courts.

520.     Based on the same assumptions the Home Office has identified that the Bill will result in some consequential financial costs for the Criminal Justice departments and their agencies. The Criminal Justice departments and agencies involved in are the Ministry of Justice, the Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS) and the National Offenders Management System. The consequential costs are currently estimated by the Home Office and affected departments at £1.1m/£20.0m/£20.1m for the financial years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 respectively.

521.     These estimated costs, including consequential costs, will be met from within the existing Home Office and Criminal Justice Departments’ Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 settlements, or existing Police Authority budgets. The Department also expects there will be potential efficiency and cost savings and benefits for the Home Office, the Police, and Local Authorities which have not been quantified.

522.     The financial effects of the provisions not mentioned below are either cost neutral or minimal to the public sector. The main financial implications of the Bill for the public sector lie in the following areas:

Part 1 - Police Reform

523.     The Police Senior Appointments Panel is expected by the Government to cost £0.3m/£0.5m/£0.5m for the years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 which will be met by the Home Office.

Part 2 - Sexual Offences and Sex Establishments

524.     The Government expects that the paying for sexual services of a prostitute controlled for gain strict liability offence will cost £0.2m/£0.4m/£0.4m for the years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Costs to HMCS (including legal aid) are expected to be £0.2m in 2009-10 rising to £0.3m per annum thereafter.

525.     The amendments to the Sex Offences Act 1985 to remove “persistence”, “causing annoyance” and “causing nuisance” from the offence of kerb crawling and “persistence” from soliciting another person for the purposes of prostitution is expected by the Government to cost £0.3m/£0.5m/£0.5m for the years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. The consequential costs will fall as follows:

  • Crown Prosecution Service - £0.05m in 2009-10 and £0.1m year on year thereafter

  • HMCS (including legal aid) - £0.2m in 2009-10 and £0.4m year on year thereafter.

526.     The provisions that introduce a new rehabilitative penalty for prostitution as opposed to a fine are expected by the Government to cost £0.1m/£0.1m/£0.1m for the years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. This will be the cost to the HMCS including legal aid.

527.     The Home Office expects the provision allowing for the closure of premises are expected to cost £0.4m/£0.7m/£0.7m for the years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. This will fall to HMCS.

Part 3 - Alcohol Misuse

528.     The Home Office expects that the provisions of persistently selling alcohol to children and persistently possessing alcohol will result in costs totalled at £1m per annum which fall to HMCS (including legal aid). These costs will be year on year from 2010-11.

Part 4 - Proceeds of Crime

529.     There are costs arising from 3 of the proceeds of crime provisions, (the power to retain and sell seized personal property, transferring applications for production orders and search and seizure warrants in detained cash investigation from the High Court to the Crown Court and applications to the magistrates’ courts for a detention order following seizure of goods). The Government estimates the costs to be £1.0m in financial year 2009-2010, £2.0m in the financial year 2010-2011 and £2.1m in the financial year 2011-2012. Of these costs £0.1m/£0.2m/£0.3m will fall on HMCS in the respective years. However, overall the Government expects those provisions to result in savings through increased asset recovery.

Part 5 - Extradition

530.     The Amendments to the Extradition Act are expected by the Government to result in a net cost across Government of £17.0m per annum. These costs can be broken down as follows:

  • £8.3m - Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)

  • £4.3m - HMCS (including legal aid)

  • £1.8m - Crown Prosecution Service

  • £0.3m - Scottish Extradition

  • £2.4m - Ministry of Justice

Part 6 - Aviation Security

531.     In 2007/08, the cost of providing a dedicated police presence at non-designated airports in the UK amounted to approximately £16.4m. It is estimated by the Government that from 2011 onwards, there will be a net transfer of costs from police authorities to the aviation sector of between £12-17m per annum (2008 prices) as a result of these provisions. Costs saving to police authorities are anticipated to start from 2011.

 
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Prepared: 19 December 2008