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"DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION ABOUT INSURANCE STATUS OF VEHICLES
(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for and in connection with requiring MIIC to make available relevant vehicle insurance information to PITO for it to process with a view to making the processed information available for use by constables.
(2) "Relevant vehicle insurance information" means information relating to vehicles the use of which has been (but no longer is) insured under a policy of insurance, or security in respect of third party risks, complying with the requirements of Part 6 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52).
(3) The regulations may in particular
(a) require all relevant vehicle insurance information or any particular description of such information to be made available to PITO,
(b) determine the purposes for which information processed from such information by PITO may be made available for use by constables, and
(c) determine the circumstances in which any of the processed information which has been made available for use by constables may be further disclosed by them.
(4) In this section
"information" means information held in any form,
"MIIC" means the Motor Insurers' Information Centre (a company limited by guarantee and incorporated under the Companies Act 1985 (c. 6) on 8th December 1998), and
"PITO" means the Police Information Technology Organisation.
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(5) Regulations under this section
(a) may make different provision for different purposes, and
(b) may contain any incidental or supplementary provision which appears appropriate.
(6) The power to make regulations under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument; and a statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament."
The noble Viscount said: I shall be much briefer than I had anticipated. This amendment and Amendment No. 209 have cross-party agreement, and I hope, following the election, that they might form part of an appropriate Bill. One in 20 vehicles on our roads are uninsured, which means that there is a much higher concentration in certain areas. Those vehicles have more collisions than insured vehicles, leading to a £30 increase to our premiums.
Amendment No. 208 would provide a readily accessible database available to police officers and in particular through automatic number plate recognition units. That would quickly reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on our roads. Amendment No. 209 would provide the facility of evidential roadside breath testing which, through its operation, would reduce drink driving. Research indicates that deaths and injuries on our roads involving drivers over the limit are increasing. The amendment would increase the likelihood of such drivers being caught. I beg to move.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My name is attached to these amendments. I merely rise to thank the noble Viscount for tabling them and bringing them to our attention. Like him, I hope that we have the opportunity after the election, whatever the result of that election may be, to ensure that those matters are properly considered, as they deserve to be.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The amendment seeks to insert into the Bill provisions already in the Road Safety Bill. Clearly, it would have been preferable to have seen that Bill enacted in the current Session. However, as that will not now happen, I would be content in principle for the two clauses to be imported into this Bill.
As the Committee will be aware, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has commented that in the case of the new clause to be inserted by Amendment No. 209 there may be a risk of incompatibility with Article 5 of the ECHR. If my noble friend Lord Simon will agree to withdraw his amendments, I will today table revised amendments for Report stage tomorrow that will address the Committee's concerns. Consequential amendments are also required to Clause 174. I should add that as a result of the loss of Clause 18 of the Road Safety Bill, I shall also be bringing forward an amendment to provide for an exemption from speed limits for SOCA staff when discharging agency business.
"In section 3 (conduct prohibited without a licence), after subsection (3) insert
"(3A) In the application of this Act to Scotland
(a) the reference in subsection (3) to the Secretary of State must be construed as a reference to the Scottish Ministers; but
(b) before making any order under subsection (3) the Scottish Ministers are to consult the Secretary of State.""
The noble Baroness said: Schedule 16 amends the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to extend the remit of the Security Industry Authority and introduce regulation of the private security industry to Scotland. Currently the 2001 Act gives a power to the Home Secretary to designate, by order, which sectors are to be licensed and when. The amendments will give that order-making power to Scottish Ministers after consultation with the Home Secretary.
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Amendment No. 224 will give the Scottish Ministers powers of commencement in relation to the provisions of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 as they relate to Scotland after consultation with the Secretary of State. The amendment ensures that the commencement powers as regards the 2001 Act are consistent with Clause 173. I hope that I have pre-empted any concern that might have been expressed by the noble Duke, the Duke of Montrose. I beg to move.
" In section 21 (access to enhanced criminal record certificates), the existing words "from (ga) a licence" to the end become sub-paragraph (i) and after that sub-paragraph add
"(gb) a licence under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to engage in any such licensable conduct (within the meaning of that Act) as will or may involve, or relate to, activities which paragraph 4A of Schedule 2 to that Act applies (taking precognitions)"."
The noble Duke said: In spite of the Minister's words, I have a few other questions on the application to the private security industry in Scotland. With the leave of the Committee, I would like to address Amendments Nos. 225 to 229 at the same time as Amendment No. 218, because I am told that there is a public interest element in them.
Amendment No. 218 extends Section 21 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to include precognition agents, because Schedule 15 to the Bill amends the 2001 Act and extends the provisions to Scotland. This schedule extends the regulatory function of the security industry to include inter alia precognition agents. The Law Society of Scotland welcomes this aspect of the Bill, as it will ensure that a range of consumer protection mechanisms will be available for those witnesses who are interviewed by precognition agents.
Precognition agents can in the course of their employment come into contact with child and vulnerable witnesses. The society therefore believes that precognition agents should be subject to enhanced disclosure checks when applying for a licence with the Security Industry Authority. This would also ensure conformity with other provisions contained in the legislation directed at enhancing child protection. The amendment seeks to achieve this. Amendment No. 226 is consequential.
Amendment No. 225 provides that trainee solicitors in Scotland will be exempt from the provisions of paragraph (4) of Schedule 2 to the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The Bill does not define "solicitor" and, accordingly, the definition given in the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 would applynamely, that a person enrolled with the Law Society of Scotland would be the only one qualified.
As currently drafted, only advocates and solicitors in Scotland would be exempt from the provisions of paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 to the Private Security Industry Act 2001. First-year trainee solicitors and some second-year trainees who have not be admitted by the Law Society of Scotland would not, therefore,
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be able to conduct the investigations outlined in paragraph 4 of Schedule 2, without being required to register with the Security Industry Authority. Part of the training currently given to trainee solicitors may involve work in this area.
An important part of the training involves how to precognosce witnesses and prepare cases for court. This training is given by solicitors who are enrolled with the society and who supervise the trainees concerned. The society suggests that the exemption given to solicitors and advocates should be extended to trainee solicitors. This will ensure that trainees receive comprehensive training. I beg to move.
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