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I shall now turn to the Home Office side of the Government's programme. We have set out a clear shift in the Government's approach to a number of areas, such as ID cards. Your Lordships' House will not be surprised by that. As an indication of our determination to get on with this part of the agenda, legislation has already been introduced in the other place. Our commitment to civil liberties is nowhere more apparent than in the decision to wish to do this-to abolish not just identity cards but the national identity register, which would have contained up to 50 items of personal information for each individual and to which the cards would have been connected. We want to remove the notion that the state has the right or the need to collect and amass huge volumes of personal data of people and lodge them all in one place. I must also say that much can be done. A noble Lord said that we still have too much legislation; that is a sentiment with which I personally sympathise. In my view, much can be done without legislation.
I turn for a moment to counterterrorism policy, where that is certainly the case. We will maintain the framework of the CONTEST strategy, which we have always supported as conceptually sound-I pay tribute to those who formulated and pioneered it. It is a model that many other countries have looked to and imitated. It has proved its worth and we will build on it. As noble Lords may also be aware, we are reviewing one part of it: the operation of Prevent, which is not at present attaining its objective of preventing people becoming terrorists.
We believe that effective intervention with individuals needs to occur upstream of the prevention of violence and that that policy should be about more than the enforcement of the boundary between lawful and unlawful activity. We see cohesion as a separate issue.
We will also review control orders. Consistent with the security situation, our aim is to cease to have resort to them. They have big implications, so I hope that the House will allow us time to achieve that. We have also undertaken to consider detention before charge. That will come up quite soon. We will also look at the operation of stop-and-search powers in relation to terrorism. An especially difficult area is our ability to deport foreign nationals whose presence is not conducive to the public good. We will pursue that issue, despite the difficulty of getting assurances abroad.
Finally, on the more general security front, as the House knows, we have instituted the operation of the National Security Council. As the noble Lord, Lord McNally, said, we want in certain areas to roll back the powers of the state, and reduce the weight of government on our citizens and the surveilling of law-abiding people. We will adopt the protections of the Scottish model of the DNA database, which, we believe, will provide us with the necessary instruments for good policing and crime detection. We will regulate with due note for balance CCTV cameras and we will restore rights to non-violent protest and historic freedoms such as the right to trial by jury.
Lord Campbell-Savours: I ask a question about the operation of the Intelligence and Security Committee, which is an independent committee of Parliament. Is the noble Baroness prepared to initiate work in her department on whether that could now be transformed into a full committee of both Houses?
Baroness Neville-Jones: My Lords, the Government intend to give the committee greater status, more powers and greater separation from the Executive. Exactly how that is to be done is being considered at the moment, but I think that a proposal will come forward shortly. We are certainly moving in the direction that the noble Lord wants.
The time has come to wind up. We will do considerable work in the area of police reform. The election of an individual to whom the police will report and be accountable will not manage or interfere with operational independence. There will be checks and balances accompanying such an individual. Perhaps I can go
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Many other points were raised by noble Lords, including matters concerning the forthcoming legislation from the Department for Communities and Local Government, where we will push forward our agenda of localism. I will write to noble Lord, Lord Avebury, and the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, on the various points that they raised.
In conclusion, I hope very much that the reforms that we have outlined in the Government's legislative programme for this first Session will secure the ambition, which I am sure is shared in this House, of Britain being not just a safe and secure society but a free one. I commend the programme to your Lordships.
Debate adjourned until Wednesday next.
Lord Healey and Lord Hurd of Westwell took the oath.
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