Joint Committee On Human Rights Fifth Report

Part 10 of the Bill: police powers

27. The Bill would allow the Atomic Energy Authority constables, the Ministry of Defence Police and the British Transport Police to operate off-site and sometimes in support of the civilian police in a civilian context. In our Second Report,[43] we noted that we would be unable to feel confident that the Bill provides adequate safeguards against abuse of and interference with human rights, until the extent of those safeguards (including the application and adequacy of Codes of Practice, recording requirements, complaints procedures, and training programmes) had been made clear.

28. We note that the Government explained, during the Committee Stage in the House of Commons, that it was intended that the powers should be exercised by the Ministry of Transport Police only in an emergency.[44] The Government also undertook to introduce further measures in due course (but not in the current Bill) to secure the accountability of the Ministry of Transport Police.[45] We welcome the guarantees offered by Ministers in relation to the extensions of police powers to these other forces. We are not, however, satisfied that these meet all the concerns we outlined. We again draw those concerns to the attention of each House.

43   op cit, para. 68 Back

44   HC Deb., 26 November 2001, cc 775-778 (Dr. Moonie) Back

45   ibid., c 779 Back

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