|Criminal Justice And Police Bill - continued||House of Lords|
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Clause 115: Duty of NCS Service Authority to prepare accounts
352. Similar to clause 112, this clause amends the Police Act 1997 by inserting provisions governing the keeping of proper accounts and records in relation to those accounts, the preparation of a statement of those accounts for each financial year, and the sending of copies of that statement to the Secretary of State and the Comptroller and Auditor General. It will be the statutory duty of the Comptroller and Auditor General to examine and certify the NCS statement of accounts and issue a report to be laid before Parliament together with the statement.
Clause 116 and 119: Appointment of NCIS and NCS Director General
353. Sections 6 and 52 of the Police Act 1997 require the NCIS and NCS Service Authorities to appoint a Director General of NCIS and NCS respectively. In each case, the Director General is chosen by a panel of members of the Authority from a list of candidates prepared by that panel and approved by the Secretary of State. These clauses amend the Act so that the Secretary of State appoints future Directors General to NCIS and NCS on such terms and conditions as he considers appropriate and the Authorities are required to pay remuneration determined by the Secretary of State. The statutory obligation to prepare a list of eligible candidates will remain with a panel of the relevant Service Authority and further amendments about the constitution of the panel of members responsible for preparing that list are made by subsection (6) and Schedule 7. The Secretary of State will then decide whether or not to approve the list. If it is approved, the intention is that the panel will then interview the candidates. The panel may make recommendations to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is obliged, before making an appointment, to have regard to any recommendations made to him (and, in the case of NCIS, to consult with the Scottish Ministers).
Clauses 117 and 120: Removal of NCIS and NCS members (other than the Directors General)
354. Sections 7 and 53 of the Police Act 1997 enable the NCIS and NCS Service Authorities, respectively to remove their Director General. Sections 9(10) and 55(10) of that Act apply sections 7 and 53, to give the Service Authorities equivalent powers in relation to other members of the NCIS/NCS (except those appointed by the Directors General under section 9(8) or 55(8)). Sections 7 and 53 are repealed by the Bill and replaced with the provision made by clauses 118 and 121. Accordingly, sections 9(10) and 55(10) can no longer operate by reference to those sections. Clauses 117 and 120 insert two new sections into the 1997 Act (sections 9A and 55A) to make provision equivalent to that previously made by sections 9(10) and 55(10). Sections 9(10) and 55(10) are consequently repealed by the Bill.
Clause 118 and 121: Removal of NCIS and NCS Directors General etc
355. As mentioned in paragraph 354, the Bill repeals sections 7 and 53 of the Police Act 1997. Clauses 118 and 121 amend sections 29 and 74 of that Act so as to enable the Secretary of State to call upon the Director General of NCIS or NCS to retire in the interests of the efficiency or effectiveness.
356. Before exercising his powers under those sections, the Secretary of State must give the Director General an opportunity to make representations. In the case of the Director General of NCIS, he must also consult the Scottish Ministers. Before exercising his powers under this section, the Secretary of State must appoint a person or persons to hold an enquiry and report to him.
Clauses 122-125: Police ranks
357. Clauses 122, 123, and 125 amend the Police Act 1996 to reintroduce the ranks of deputy assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, deputy chief constable and chief superintendent and make consequential amendments. Clause 124 inserts a new section 12A in the 1996 Act which enables the deputy chief constable of a police force to carry out the functions of the chief constable in the absence or incapacity of the chief constable, during a vacancy in that office, or at any other time with the chief constable's consent.
Clause 126: Inferences in police conduct proceedings
358. Amends section 50 of the Police Act 1996 to enable regulations made under that section to provide for section 34 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to apply in a modified form to procedures leading to a sanction being imposed on a member of a police force. Such regulations would allow a modified caution to be given when an officer is notified of an allegation of misconduct. If the officer then chooses to remain silent, the tribunal at the subsequent hearing will be able to draw inferences from this.
Clause 127: Pensions for members of NCIS and NCS
359. This clause amends the Police Pension Act 1976 to enable senior officers with fixed term appointment to NCIS and NCS to be included within the Police Pension Scheme.
Clause 128: Pensions for ACPO staff
360. This clause adds the staff of the Association of Chief Police Officers - both current staff and deferred pensioners - to those who may be members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme established under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972.
Clause 129: Amendments relating to NCIS and NCS
361. Subsection (1) introduces Schedule 7, which makes minor and consequential amendments relating to Part VI of the Bill. Subsection (2) makes transitional provision in respect of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland of the kind mentioned in paragraph 344 of these notes.
Schedule 7: Minor and Consequential Amendments relating to NCIS and NCS
362. This Schedule makes minor and consequential amendments to the Police Act 1997, local government enactments applying to the NCS Service Authority and various other enactments.
Paragraphs 2 to 11
363. Paragraphs 2 to 11 amend the Police Act 1997 in consequence of the new arrangements concerning the constitution and funding of the Service Authorities.
364. Paragraph 12 inserts a new Schedule 2A to the Police Act 1997 which makes further provision about the Service Authorities. Provision is now required because the local government enactments do not apply to the NCS Service Authority and the equivalent orders will no longer apply to the NCIS Service Authority. Provision is as follows:-
Paragraph 1 gives the Authorities certain powers which, in the case of the power to acquire and dispose of property or borrow money, are subject to obtaining the consent of the Secretary of State.
Paragraph 2 provides that the Secretary of State's approval is required prior to the appointment to committees of persons who are not members of the Service Authorities and further allows him to set the amount of remuneration and allowances to be paid to such members of committees.
Paragraph 3 provides the NCIS and NCS Service Authorities with the statutory power to regulate their own procedures subject to the provisions set out in this Schedule.
Paragraph 4 requires the quorum for Service Authority meetings to include a minimum of three core members from independent, chief officer of police and police authority representatives and in the case of committee or sub-committee meetings, one member or employee of the Service Authority.
Paragraph 5 concerns the delegation of powers and provides for the discharge of any of the functions of an Authority to be carried out by a committee or sub-committee, or by an officer of the Service Authority. Further delegation to a sub-committee or officer is permitted unless otherwise directed. The Authority or committee will not be prevented from exercising any of its functions after making such arrangements.
Paragraph 6 specifies that either Service Authority can discharge any of its functions jointly with the other Service Authority or with one or more police authorities and allows for the provision of those functions by a joint committee or officer of one authority. Similar to paragraph 6, the carrying out of functions can be delegated to a sub-committee unless otherwise directed.
Paragraph 7 defines the discharge of Service Authority functions for the purposes of paragraphs 6 and 7 to include doing anything to facilitate, or which is incidental, to the discharge of those functions.
Paragraph 8 defines an officer of the NCIS or NCS Service Authority as the Director General, his deputy and any employee of the Authority. Provision is made for the Director General of NCIS or NCS or his deputy to delegate any of the functions of the Authorities to another member of NCIS or NCS.
Part VII: Miscellaneous and supplemental
Juvenile secure remands and electronic monitoring
368. Section 23 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 as modified by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 currently provides that courts may remand all 12-14 year olds, 15 and 16 year old girls and some vulnerable 15 and 16 year old boys to local authority secure accommodation if certain criteria are satisfied. Other 15 and 16 year old boys requiring custodial remand are held in prison service accommodation. The court has to be satisfied that the young person is charged with or convicted of a violent or sexual offence or an offence punishable in the case of an adult with 14 years or more imprisonment or has a recent history of absconding while remanded to local authority accommodation and is charged with or had been convicted of an imprisonable offence while so remanded. In addition, in either case, the court must also be of the opinion that only a secure remand is adequate to protect the public from serious harm from the alleged offender. The provisions currently exclude those offenders who commit while on bail strings of medium level offences such as theft, criminal damage and assault.
369. The new provisions strengthen the courts' powers by extending the current criteria for court-ordered secure remands in section 23 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969. This will cover alleged offenders who have a recent history of being charged with or committing imprisonable offences while on bail or on remand to local authority accommodation and are also deemed to be at risk of committing further imprisonable offences.
370. The clauses also offer to the courts the option of using electronic monitoring for juveniles on bail or on non-secure remand to local authority accommodation who would otherwise have been remanded into secure accommodation. In addition, they will allow local authority secure remandees to be placed in secure training centres.
Registration for criminal records purposes
371. These amendments are concerned with additional provisions in relation to persons applying for registration with the Criminal Records Bureau under Part V of the Police Act 1997.
Clause 130: Requirement to give reasons for granting or continuing bail.
372. This clause amends section 5 of the Bail Act 1976, which makes certain procedural provisions relating to bail decisions. At present, courts are required to give reasons when refusing bail but not, save in the most serious cases (e.g. murder and rape), to give reasons for granting it. The clause adds a requirement that, wherever a magistrates' court or the Crown Court grants bail to a person to whom section 4 of the Bail Act 1976 applies, the court must give reasons for its decision in any case where the prosecutor makes representations against the granting of bail on any conditions. It also requires the court to give the prosecutor, on request, a copy of the note of the reasons for its decision.
Clause 131: Remands and committals to secure accommodation etc
373. There are two versions of section 23 of the 1969 Act as amended by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The principal version deals with all juveniles aged 12-14 and also 15 and 16 year old girls. The modified version (which was introduced by section 98 of the 1998 Act) deals just with 15 and 16 year old boys.
374. Subsections (2) -(4) amend the principal version of section 23 of the 1969 Act. This will enable courts, in addition to their current powers, to remand into custody any juvenile aged 12-14 years and any 15-16 year old girl, who is charged with or who has been convicted of one or more imprisonable offences which would amount, in the court's opinion, to a recent history of repeatedly committing imprisonable offences while remanded on bail or to local authority accommodation.
375. The provision repeats the existing condition that the court must also be satisfied that only a secure remand-rather than bail or remand to non-secure accommodation-will protect the public from serious harm from him or her. It also adds an alternative condition that the court be satisfied that only a secure remand would be adequate to prevent the commission of further imprisonable offences by the young person.
376. It also requires the court to consider all the possible options before making any decision as to whether to remand the young person to secure accommodation. These options include unconditional bail, bail with conditions and supervised bail.
377. Subsections (5)- (7) amend the modified version of section 23 of the 1969 Act which applies to 15 and 16 year old boys in exactly the same way.
Clause 132: Monitoring of compliance with bail conditions
378. Subsection (1) adds a new subsection (6ZAA) to section 3 of the Bail Act 1976. This gives the court the power to impose electronic monitoring on 12-16 year olds to ensure compliance with bail conditions.
379. Subsection (2) adds a new section (3AA) to the 1976 Act. Subsections (2) - (5) of section 3AA set out the conditions which must be satisfied before a court can order electronic monitoring. These are that:
380. Subsections (6-10) of new section 3AA deal with the arrangements for electronic monitoring and the associated powers of the Secretary of State. They give the Secretary of State the power to make an order designating certain individuals as responsible officers for the supervision of electronic monitoring. They also require the court to appoint a responsible officer in each case where it orders electronic monitoring. In addition, they allow the Secretary of State to make rules regulating electronic monitoring and the functions of responsible officers.
381. Subsection (4) of clause 132 provides that electronic monitoring is only available to the courts. It is not available in cases of police bail.
Clause 133: Monitoring of compliance with conditions of non-secure remand
382. This clause deals with the electronic monitoring of 12-16 year olds who are remanded to local authority accommodation. The provisions are exactly the same as those in clause 132 for the electronic monitoring of juveniles on bail.
Clause 134: Arrangements for detention in secure training centres
383. This clause allows local authorities to arrange for 12-16 year olds who are remanded by the courts to local authority secure accommodation under section 23 of the 1969 Act to be placed in secure training centres at the request of the local authority with the consent of the Secretary of State. It also provides that any payments made by the local authority for this purpose are lawful.
Clause 135: Registration for criminal records purposes
384. Under Part V of the Police Act 1997, persons will be able to apply for a certificate, at one of three levels. Certificates will show information held about the applicant on police records and also, in the case of persons working with young people under the age of 18, or with vulnerable adults, information from lists held by the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Employment of people considered unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults. Applications for the two higher levels of certificates will need to be countersigned by a person who is registered for that purpose. This clause makes additional provision with regard to people applying for such registration.
385. Subsection (1) introduces a new section 120A into the Police Act 1997.
386. Subsection (2) makes three changes to section 119 of the 1997 Act:
387. Subsection (3) makes the duty to include of persons in the register, under section 120(2) of the 1997 Act, subject to the new section 120A.
388. Subsection (4) amends section 120 (3) of the 1997 Act so that regulations about the maintenance of the register may also provide for
COMMENTARY ON SCHEDULES
389. Schedule 8 does not require any explanation or comment. The effects of Schedules 1 to 7 have been dealt with in the notes on the individual provisions of the Bill. Schedule 1 is dealt with in the accompanying notes to clause 47; Schedule 2 is dealt with in the accompanying notes relating to clauses 51, 52 and 56; Schedule 3 is dealt with in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 71; Schedule 4 in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 88; Schedule 5 in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 103; Schedule 6 in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 108; and Schedule 7 in the notes accompanying those relating to clause 129.
FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL AND EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER
390. The Bill will add some £24.5m to public expenditure in the next three years as a result of the measures on videotaping suspects (£21m capital funding allocated although this will incur additional costs which will be assessed in pilot schemes) and transitional funding of £3.5m for the new Central Police Training and Development Authority. The measures relating to electronic tagging and juvenile remands will incur annual costs of approximately £29.1m. There will also be additional annual costs of between £1.5 - £2m accounted for by travel banning orders for drug traffickers, the information disclosure proposals and new powers of seizure. £150,000 will need to be spent to set up a new computer system at Companies House. The Bill's other measures have negligible expenditure implications or their costs are being met from within existing spending plans for the services concerned. Details are set out below.
391. The Bill will lead to an increase in 14 -30 full-time equivalent staff accounted for by the information disclosure measures. The other provisions are expected to make relatively small changes in public sector staffing. Details are set out below.
Provisions for combatting crime and disorder
392. Additional public expenditure is unlikely for the on the spot fines proposals. There will be costs in managing and enforcing on the spot fines but these should be offset by fines revenue and savings of police time. The overall savings/costs incurred will also depend on whether the scheme is used chiefly to divert cases from court or to deal with offending that is currently the subject of a caution or an informal warning. It is not certain whether the saving in police time will feed through to a reduction in public service manpower (police) or whether fixed penalty offices might need more staff.
393. The measures relating to closing licensed and unlicensed premises will impose a small extra burden on magistrates' courts, but the Lord Chancellor's Department have said that they could absorb this. The measures relating to underage drinking and public consumption of alcohol will not incur any public expenditure.
394. The measures relating to child curfew schemes may incur minor administrative costs to set up the schemes, and some small expenditure on implementation.
395. There will be minimal, ongoing and annual costs for the courts as a consequence of administering travel banning orders for convicted drug traffickers and the hearing of any applications for revocation/suspension. The annual cost is estimated to be in the region of £40,000 to £50,000. It is expected that the costs will be absorbed by the Lord Chancellor's Department.
396. Enabling all prosecutions for witness intimidation to be made under statute law instead of a mixture of statute law (for intimidation of witnesses in proceedings for an offence) and common law (for witnesses in all other court proceedings) should bring efficiency savings. Reductions in costs and use of manpower will be off-set by greater success in combating witness intimidation leading to an increase in Anti Social Behaviour Order applications, which are running at about 100 a year. However, at the time of the then Crime and Disorder Bill (now the 1998 Act) provision was made for 5,000 Anti Social Behaviour Order cases a year and the Home Office do not envisage that forecast being exceeded by virtue of these new measures. There may be a slight increase in other proceedings which are not for an offence, as a result of less witness intimidation but in most civil proceedings where intimidation is possible the courts will be likely to continue to deal with any such threat by the use of injunctions.
397. As an additional option for the police in dealing with protest, the measure to allow the police to give directions stopping the harassment of a person in his home should not result in additional cost. It may result in savings if the handling of such situations becomes more effective.
398. Companies House estimates that it would cost in the region of £150,000 to set up the necessary computer systems to accommodate secure addresses of directors and secretaries. This would include designing and building the new database, enabling electronic delivery of the secure data in an encrypted form and implementing appropriate internal messaging systems and processes to check the data and route it to the database. On top of these costs would come the setting up of internal systems to process the applications and forms design and prescription work.
399. Running costs - essentially the cost of staff to handle incoming requests and access to the secure register - are more difficult to estimate. Much depends on the number of applications, and the degree to which staff are likely to become involved in appeals procedures.
400. The information disclosure provisions will entail some additional expenditure by the Inland Revenue as it responds to requests for information. The Inland Revenue may initially be faced with a backlog of requests but the workload will be reduced once this is dealt with. The total annual cost is difficult to estimate but most likely to be between £500,000 and £1 million. Again, the human resources requirements are dependent entirely on the number of requests, and are expected to be between 14 and 30 people. The costs will be absorbed within the existing Inland Revenue budget, subject to any agreements reached as to payments by recipients of information.
401. Additional costs and human resources requirements for other departments will be minimal, as the provisions only slightly expand existing information disclosure provisions.
Powers of Seizure
402. There will be costs for the judicial process, for example, in respect of applications to judges by people who wish to dispute the removal of material. It is difficult to estimate the number of applications which might be made. However, on the basis of a best current estimate of 1000 applications a year, the cost of considering them would be unlikely to exceed £1 million. There will be savings in policing costs, as currently the police have to search and sift material on premises which is more expensive and time consuming than being removing it for sifting elsewhere.
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and Terrorism Act 2000
403. Powers of arrest: kerb crawling. Insofar as the existence of a power of arrest will encourage greater police activity against kerb crawlers, there could be an increase in work for the criminal justice system in terms of increased numbers of prosecutions in the courts and financial implications for the duty solicitor scheme and legal aid fund. However, this should be offset by the deterrent effect of a power of arrest. Kerb crawling affects particular areas, but is not a volume crime. Attempts have been made to quantify the possible costs/savings with the police, but the figures have not been conclusive. The Home Office does not expect a significant cost increase. Hit and Run. The Home Office does not expect significant cost increase with the introduction of a power of arrest for hit and run.
404. Video taping of interviews with suspects. There are a number of costs associated with this proposal including the installation of video equipment in police interview rooms (although in the proposed pilot areas, this equipment will already be in place) and affected Crown Court Centres. There may be costs for the Crown Prosecution Service if they have to prepare short descriptive notes to accompany video evidence and legal aid costs. Costs will not arise until 2001/2002. The pilot projects in the four forces will assist in evaluating overall costings and savings. There is £21 million allocated in capital funding by the Treasury from the Capital Modernisation Funding fund for next three years, but the overall figure and distribution of funding will need to be reassessed as the pilots progress.
405. Review of detention by video link. The main cost would be for the installation of video equipment in certain police stations. This cost would be offset by the reduction in costs for inspectors having to travel to conduct reviews. Additionally, there would be savings from the proposals to use video to facilitate other custody decisions. An officer at a non designated police station would not have to be trained in all custody decisions, because a more expert custody officer would be carrying out those functions remotely resulting in a reduction in training costs.
406. It is expected that the other proposed amendments to PACE such as the reduction in rank authorities and allowing nurses to take intimate samples rather than doctors, will result in savings. The costs associated with trialling amendments to the PACE codes of practice, making the importation of indecent or obscene material an arrestable offence and the measures relating to fingerprints, footprints and DNA samples are negligible.
407. Additional public expenditure is unlikely for the provision to apply the "special procedure" provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to DTI officials. There will be minimal costs to the court service where the best current estimate is that there will be a maximum of 150 applications a year to a circuit judge. These will be offset by the saving in the time of investigation of officers of the Department of Trade and Industry.
408. There will be no impact on public expenditure or manpower relating to the provisions to enable cross border execution of search warrants.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2001||Prepared: 19 March 2001|