London Local Authorities Bill [HL]
Wednesday 19 February 2003
680. MR KHAN: My Lords, the Mayor sets the budget
whereas the MPA does the police authority, and that does draw
from its membership members of the London Assembly, which is a
Member of your Lordships' House.
681. CHAIRMAN: Indeed he is.
682. LORD ELTON: I think the substantive point is
that the police authority is no longer the Home Office.
683. LORD TORDOFF: How do you define "Balkanisation"?
684. MR PAPALEONTIOU: Balkanisation is a term that
the Secretary of State's report was largely based on comments
of the Deputy Commissioner Blair. By "Balkanisation"
we mean the fragmentation of policing responsibilities.
685. LORD TORDOFF: That is what I assumed.
686. CHAIRMAN: Just to ask you again, the powers
of the new Community Support Officers are pretty similar to what
the parks police have at present.
687. MR HEPPLE: The powers of Community Support Officers
are largely for lower-level, anti-social, minor disorder offences
- the type of offences that would be useful in open spaces and
parks but would not actually give them a power of arrest and they
do not have the power to stop and search which are powers which,
I think, are being sought for the parks constabularies.
688. CHAIRMAN: How are these community support officers
allocated around the place?
689. MR HEPPLE: That is a matter for the chief officer
of police. They are all employed by the police authority and the
operational matters are dealt with by the chief officer. At the
moment it would be for the Commissioner to decide where to allocate
them in London.
690. CHAIRMAN: So the London borough itself has no
influence on the number of community support officers that it
might have allocated?
691. MR HEPPLE: I do not think that is the case at
the moment but I think the Deputy Commissioner in particular is
looking to see if some of the London boroughs would like to contribute
to the costs of community support officers. Under section 96 of
the 1996 Police Act conditions can be attached whereby they would
be allocated to a particular borough.
692. CHAIRMAN: You say in your paper that wealthy
boroughs could get more police basically than poorer boroughs.
That was given as a disadvantage to this proposal and you have
just said that actually wealthy boroughs could hire some more
community support officers.
693. MR HEPPLE: Yes, I agree that is inconsistent
with what we said there. I know this is an issue that the Deputy
Commissioner is particularly concerned about and I think that
the Metropolitan Police's management will want to make sure that
does not happen whereby policing support is only bought in by
wealthy boroughs and other boroughs are being neglected.
694. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Unless there are no further
questions at this point ----
695. LORD ELTON: I would like to ask the Promoters
to go back to my question. I apologise for working from the PACE
Bill of 1984 but I was the minister who took it through the House
and it is the most recent Act with which I am familiar and I think
the groundwork is familiar to most people concerned with the police.
It seems to me that what is the need that has been exposed is
principally in Part 3 of the Bill on arrest. Once you get into
Part 4 and detention you attract a whole panoply of duties, requirements
and supervisions from outside which I would not have thought you
were contemplating. Are you, for instance, intending to have places
in which you can detain arrested suspects or are you still proposing
to take them to police stations?
696. MR LEWIS: Mr Ausling is probably the best person
to answer in detail the question you have raised, my Lord. I passed
him a note the instant you asked it saying "could you please
list the powers in PACE which you would like to have". I
think you are broadly correct in saying, and Mr Ausling will correct
me if I am wrong, that it really is the Part 3 arrest powers that
the parks constabulary are really interested in. I do not think
there is any question of them seeking the additional powers of
detention and setting up, if you like, their own detention centres.
697. LORD ELTON: It does seem to me very surprising
if what you want is really Part 3. You have not excluded in your
request the, how many are there, eight other parts and six schedules,
seven schedules, which you would be hanging around your neck to
no purpose. It seems a very large request that you are making.
698. MR LEWIS: If I am right in what I have just
said we can certainly seriously think about an amendment which
would restrict those powers under PACE.
699. CHAIRMAN: Could I ask an additional question
to Lord Elton's. He asked about detention, somewhere to take offenders
or suspects, or whatever you would like to call them. What about
follow-up when you actually have to present yourself in court
as a witness which the Metropolitan Police has to do now? Would
that not require a considerable change in the way you presently
(Mr Ausling) My Lord, with regards to the
question you posed just now, during the training I have been giving
officers, training in the presentation of evidence at court, on
many occasions officers from the parks police service do attend
court to give evidence locally at magistrates' court and later
at the Crown Court.