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Lord Hardie: Amendments Nos. 95 and 96 would mean that the fact that a person has breached a sex offender order in the course of committing a criminal offence could not be taken into account as an aggravating factor in determining the sentence for that other offence.

For example, if a person has been prohibited by a sex offender order from entering a particular school playground and that person is subsequently found guilty of indecently assaulting a child in that school playground, had he abided by the terms of the sex offender order he could not have committed the assault on the child. So there is an aggravation of the offence by breaching the order. It is only right that the aggravation should be taken into account in sentencing the person for the indecent assault in that example. The provision as drafted would allow this to happen. The amendment would, however, mean that the breach could be taken into account only if the behaviour which constituted it was in itself criminal. Given the likely terms of sex offender orders, this would happen only rarely, if at all, whereas with the antisocial behaviour provisions, one has to establish that the breach is criminal before it becomes an aggravation. In a sex offender order, the breach of the order is itself an

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aggravation which is added to the penalty for the sex offence. With that explanation, I invite the noble and learned Lord to withdraw that amendment.

Amendment No. 97, which is grouped with Amendments Nos. 95 and 96, corrects a typographical error in a previous print of the Bill.

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate. Now that I know the purpose of the provisions, I apologise to the Committee for further delaying matters and I beg leave to withdraw Amendment No. 95.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 96 not moved.]

Lord Hardie moved Amendment No. 97:

Page 18, line 13, leave out ("(7)") and insert ("(6)").

The noble and learned Lord said: I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 98 not moved.]

Clause 21, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 5 [Authorities responsible for strategies]:

Lord Henley moved Amendment No. 99:

Page 5, line 10, leave out from beginning to ("and") in line 12 and insert--
("(a) the local authority according to the meaning given under section 33 below;").

The noble Lord said: We now move away from Scotland and return to England, so we can allow the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate and my noble and learned friend a brief rest until we reach Amendment No. 166 when we shall return again to Scotland.

We come now to the crime and disorder strategies which are set out in Clauses 5, 6 and 7. The noble Lord, Lord Williams, will note that relatively few amendments have been tabled to those clauses. In moving Amendment No. 99, I am speaking also to Amendment No. 101 (also to Clause 5) and to Amendments Nos. 104 and 105 to Clause 16, as well as, I understand, to the government amendment, Amendment No. 100, which the noble Lord will no doubt explain in due course when he responds to the one or two points that I wish to make about the crime and disorder strategies.

First, I hope that when the noble Lord responds he will be able to expand to some extent on exactly what the crime and disorder strategies are designed to achieve and how the Government propose that they should work. Perhaps the noble Lord could then go on to consider the question of exactly who should be responsible for the strategies. If I understand Clause 5(1)(a) correctly--as one who has tried to work out what it means, I must say that it is not the clearest piece of drafting--it applies in areas where there are not unitary authorities, with both the county and the district being involved. Paragraph (b) provides that the chief officer of police of any police authority lying within the area should also be responsible.

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At Second Reading, I asked why sometimes the counties and sometimes the districts are to be involved in the strategies. If I have understood this provision correctly, it seems that both of those two authorities will be involved. That seems to create a number of bureaucratic problems with both authorities coming together to produce presumably separate--I may be wrong--strategies for any given area, with one strategy for the county and a number of different strategies for the districts that comprise that county. Obviously, where there is a unitary authority, the process is somewhat simpler. I should be grateful for some explanation from the noble Lord of why that should be the case.

The noble Lord will see that our amendment seeks to state that it should be for the county to pursue such matters on the basis that the county is often (although not always) the authority which is coterminous with the police authority, so the two will already have considerable links.

The noble Lord will have noted my two amendments to Clause 16 which, in the rather peculiar order that we are considering the Bill, we are now considering with Clauses 5, 6 and 7. Again, I should be grateful if the noble Lord could expand on the purpose and intention of Clause 16. Am I right in thinking that it implements the Morgan report? No doubt the noble Lord can assure me on that point. My amendments to Clause 16 were tabled as a means of getting the noble Lord to the Dispatch Box on this clause and, almost as a tease, to ask what on earth the national parks authorities or the Broads Authority would have to do in terms of the duty to consider crime and disorder implications. As I understand it, the parks authorities are purely planning authorities and have no other role. I see that as having relatively little impact on crime and disorder. No doubt if I am mistaken, the noble Lord will be able to reassure me that it is essential that the national park authorities and the Broads Authority are included. I beg to move.

6.45 p.m.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: As the noble Lord indicated, I shall be speaking to Amendments Nos. 99, 100, 101, 104, 105 and 156. The effect of Amendments Nos. 99 and 101 would be to exclude the district council from the process of developing and implementing crime and disorder strategies in all those parts of the country where county councils still exist. We think that would be wrong. It would severely compromise the effectiveness of the strategies for at least two reasons. First, it would give a much larger geographical focus. That means, almost by definition, more remoteness from the specific and particular needs of the particular communities they are intended to serve. Secondly, on a practical basis, district councils are responsible for providing a range of services which impact directly on crime and disorder levels. If carried, the amendment would mean that those services and the wider resources of the districts would be excluded from the fight against crime in two-tier areas.

I repeat what I said earlier. Very often, crime problems are particularly local to particular areas or parts of areas. We think that local communities have a very important part to play in the fight against crime.

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They also have particular interests. On the basis of that explanation, I hope that the noble Lord will agree to withdraw his amendment.

The noble Lord asked about strategies. They are specifically described in Clause 6, which contains the injunction for the responsible authorities to formulate a strategy, having (under Clause 6(2)) carried out a review of the levels and patterns of crime and disorder; prepared an analysis of the results; published a report, and had full consultation with, and obtained views from, appropriate people. Under subsection (4)(a) a strategy shall include:

    "objectives to be pursued by the responsible authorities, by co-operating persons or bodies or, under agreements with the responsible authorities, by other persons or bodies; and"--

under paragraph (b)--

    "long-term and short-term performance targets for measuring the extent to which such objectives are achieved".

I strip that down to say that what is required is research in a particular area; consultation in that area; a finding of what the true problem is; setting what targets ought to be established for a particular area and, thereafter, ascertaining to what extent those long-term and short-term performance targets have been achieved. I cannot think of anything more sensible and more practical than having that as an obligation in particular areas--for the very first time in our criminal law system. I commend the scheme to your Lordships.

Amendments Nos. 100 and 156 will change the definition of police authorities in Clause 5 to ensure that it includes the Home Secretary since he is the police authority for the Metropolitan Police and the Common Council for the City of London. They were left out originally because we were troubled that in the case of the metropolitan area the Home Secretary would have to become personally involved in the development of about 40 separate strategies, which would be neither practicable nor desirable. That would have been, on second thoughts, an anomalous situation. We have now agreed arrangements under which the Home Secretary will ask the Metropolitan Police Committee to undertake any necessary liaison on his behalf.

Amendments Nos. 104 and 105, which have been described by the noble Lord as a tease, are viewed by the Government in the following way. National parks authorities and the Broads Authority do not have the same focused attachment and responsibility perhaps as district councils, for example. However, as the noble Lord rightly observed, they are responsible for planning decisions within their areas. Planning decisions can sometimes--I accept not always--have significant implications for crime and disorder. Since other local authorities when coming to various conclusions will be subject to the quite elementary requirement to have due regard to the crime and disorder implications of their policies, we say that it is right--although I agree in a lesser context--for the parks authorities and the Broads Authority to be subject to the same requirement. It will not be unduly burdensome but it may sometimes be of assistance.

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