We support a College of Policing, although there is a discussion to be had around police standards and the management and accountability of covert operations. We accept that in many cases undercover police operations are vital in the fight against serious and organised

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1490

crime and terrorism. We recognise the bravery and dedication of the police officers involved. But—and this is a serious “but”—such operations must be subject to the highest ethical and operational standards. We are all aware of those cases where, in the reasonable judgment of most of us in your Lordships’ House and outside, such standards have not been met. That has caused enormous and justified distress to those affected. Those who have been inappropriately and wrongly targeted by such operations have really suffered, including my noble friend Lady Lawrence in the shocking case that showed an appalling lack of judgment on the part of the authorities responsible. There are also alarming cases where undercover officers have instigated sexual relationships, fathered children, and then abandoned and discarded their new families along with their undercover identity. That is wrong. Our view is that any such operations need greater oversight and better accountability. They must be carried out only when they are deemed necessary, and their use must be proportionate and sensitive. The Minister in the other place said that enhanced oversight would be undertaken by secondary legislation. However, the noble Lord will know the limits that places on your Lordships’ House and further discussion on this issue is essential.

It is welcome that the Government have agreed with us that the IPCC should also cover private companies. We look forward to further discussions on the range of policing issues in the Bill. This part of the Bill also proposes changes to the Terrorism Act, about which the Joint Committee on Human Rights has expressed reservations. It said that,

“the legal framework should distinguish between powers which can be exercised without reasonable suspicion, such as the power to stop, question, request documentation … and more intrusive powers such as detention, strip searching”,

and,

“the taking of biometric samples”.

Clearly, on these issues, it would be right for the Government to explain fully why they consider such proposals justified.

Extradition is a sensitive issue and the amendments now in Part 12 were tabled late in the day at the end of Committee stage in the Commons. I look forward to further debate and the expertise of your Lordships’ House on this issue.

I know that the Joint Committee welcomes the proportionality test. However, we remain concerned that the Government are seeking to remove the automatic right of appeal for people being extradited from the UK. It would mean that an individual could appeal only with the permission of the High Court.

My noble friend Lord Beecham will speak to the issues in Part 13, but it might be helpful if I briefly outline our position. We are very concerned about the proposals in which the Government seek to redefine the compensation test, when an individual has been convicted of an offence but has then been deemed in law to have been wrongly convicted. The Government’s proposals would limit this to,

“if and only if the new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person was innocent of the offence”.

I am not a lawyer, but we seem to have moved a long way from being found not guilty to having to prove

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1491

innocence. We have heard the Government's explanations for this and are not convinced. We will therefore seek to amend this clause.

I regret that this is a long speech, but I hope that I have conveyed to your Lordships’ House something of the way in which we will be approaching this Bill. The issues are all serious and, in many cases, difficult, and I know that the Bill will benefit from your Lordships’ scrutiny. That was recognised in the other place by Members on all sides of the House. The Government have to accept that they cannot simply legislate to try to cut crime and anti-social behaviour when they take other decisions that make it harder to tackle these problems. There is great inconsistency in the Government bringing in new legislation that they say will tackle crime and then taking other actions that do the opposite. The issues of the numbers of police and PCSOs and the huge 60% cuts to community safety budgets come to mind. Although we have seen crime reduced, we are also seeing convictions coming down and anti-social behaviour reports increasing.

There are other examples of such actions. In my local authority area in Essex, cuts to its budget mean that it is going to switch off all the street lights every night, apart from those on some main routes. Clearly, that will have an effect on people’s attitudes and fear of crime. Local communities value CCTV as a crime prevention measure, but the Government tie up those cameras with so much red tape that it will cost between £14 million and £30 million to comply, which I suspect will lead to a reduction in CCTV. My noble friend Lord Harris has written about the same concerns regarding the DCLG’s approach to the crime prevention measures in Secured by Design.

Everyone has a right to feel safe in their home and in their community. Despite including measures that we welcome, this Bill is a missed opportunity. However, over the coming weeks, we will do our best to make it a Bill that can really make a difference.

5.55 pm

Baroness Hamwee (LD): My Lords, scrutiny can be misunderstood. Criticism, however gentle and constructive, can be heard as objection. Therefore, I apologise to my noble friend the Minister that tonight I focus on what concerns me in the Bill—many aspects of which I welcome. However, I am explicit in welcoming my noble friend Lord Paddick.

The focus of the Bill is the issue of victims, which is hugely important. As I thought about anti-social behaviour, which can have an enormous impact, I also thought that identifying all victims is not always easy. Perpetrators may be victims, too. Those who engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance and annoyance may themselves be the victims of health problems, learning difficulties or the failings of society. They may become society’s victims because the response, through measures such as these, is neither appropriate nor effective. They may be victims in the traditional sense—for instance, beggars run by criminal groups.

I welcome the inclusion of positive requirements to help turn around behaviour, which, of course, is resource-intensive. However, there seems to be a blurring of lines between the civil and the criminal. We have due process for a reason: to differentiate between the factually

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1492

guilty and the factually innocent, and thus between those who should and should not be subject to sanction. However, here we are without the criminal standard of proof that would be appropriate and strict liability means that we risk using orders against those who do not comprehend fully their actions or their impact. That, of course, is once we get past whether we should address through these measures conduct of as low a level as nuisance or annoyance, in the normal sense of those words. The terms are very wide; you do not even have to travel on the Clapham omnibus to invoke them.

Indeed, some people truly regard as a nuisance what is to others the exercise of civil liberties—many of your Lordships will have heard representations from naturists on this point. Other people will regard conduct that is a nuisance to some as simply normal. Some immigrant communities gather on the street because that is normal to them, but it may make other local residents uncomfortable. ACPO commented yesterday on the importance of not becoming,

“intolerant to normal child-like behaviour”.

It is alert to this, of course, because the police have to respond. We all know that legislation cannot do everything but, to quote ACPO again, talking about the importance of diverting young people from committing anti-social behaviour,

“A small minority of children and young people commit anti-social behaviour so enforcement responses need to be proportionate and effective”.

I would like to understand better why ASBOs have not been successful, given that there is such a high rate of breach. I am depressed that the impact assessment for this Bill assumes a breach rate of 40% for IPNAs, which must mean considerable reliance on the criminal or contempt of court proceedings without, for adults, the possibility of community penalties.

I will mention two other aspects. In the criminal courts, the default position is not to name and shame a child or young person for reasons of rehabilitation and safeguarding. I would like to see the same approach here. In my view, imprisonment as a sanction for breach of a CBO, an IPNA or a dispersal order, particularly in the case of a child, is not proportionate. Surely any action that justifies detention will be an offence under other legislation. In 1997, the then Government said that ASBOs would rarely be used against under-18s but that has not been the case. It is a reminder that legislation needs to be precise.

The response to many of these points often directs us to guidance and judicial discretion to mitigate harsh impacts. Even if it is appropriate that a matter gets as far as a court, I, for one, would prefer to rely on the law as expressed in statute. My noble friends Lord Dholakia and Lady Linklater, who are voices of compassion—including for those at risk of harm, whom I do not want to be thought to be ignoring— and experience of the dangers of stigmatising and criminalising, will have a lot to say on that part, I am sure.

The community remedy documents, which have been mentioned, involve the community, and I welcome that, but, as their object needs to be solely punishment, should we have concerns such as those which this House expressed when police and crime commissioners

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1493

were introduced? In preparing these documents, a PCC, for electoral reasons, might not take a rounded view but might respond in a rather simplistic manner.

Having talked about proportionality and reasonableness, noble Lords will not be surprised by my reservations about dispersal powers, which I fear are too restrictive for a society that values its freedoms. I do not even get as far as mere reservations about riot-related powers of possession. Generally, the powers of eviction that the Bill introduces worry me intrinsically and for practical reasons, including the duties of local authorities whose role across the Bill needs more exploration. Nor will noble Lords be surprised at my view that public spaces protection orders are potentially oppressive. That is one issue where we are asked to look to guidance. My noble friend Lord Greaves will have a good deal to say on that.

My noble friends Lady Doocey and Lord Redesdale will talk about dangerous dogs. I take the view that the legislation should be about dangerous owners. No doubt my noble friend Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames, along with the other stellar cast of lawyers, will address the extradition provisions in forensic detail. I warn him that I will join in on the issue of compensation for miscarriage of justice. Happily, far fewer people are affected by that than by other parts of the Bill—which is an argument in itself for not rolling back the law—but it is ironic that the burden of proof is lowered at the start of the Bill and then raised at the end when it deals with individuals who suffer a miscarriage of justice at the hands of the state. They should not have to prove their innocence, a concept not used elsewhere in the criminal justice system.

Many of my noble friends will speak about forced marriages. I give no guarantee that their views will be the same. I confess that I am not convinced about criminalisation. It has not eradicated female genital mutilation. The danger of increased underreporting because of fear of incriminating family members seems real to me.

My noble friends Lady Harris of Richmond and Lady Doocey have long been concerned about the powers and effectiveness of the IPCC. The accountability and professionalism of the police is particularly topical. So is the extent of the Schedule 7 powers under the Terrorism Act. My noble friend Lord Avebury and I will have a good deal to say in Committee on this, when we will want to understand the justification for powers that are still very broad. I welcome the proposed changes as far as they go, but without justification for the changed powers and how they are exercised in practice public confidence is jeopardised.

I return to and finish on the early clauses. These are not my words but those of Kevin Brown of Newcastle University, whose work on this I read with interest. He said that balancing can become a zero-sum game when policymakers assume that by taking rights away from one set of people they can improve the lot of another.

6.04 pm

Lord Ramsbotham (CB): My Lords, I must admit that when I saw the streamlined proposal, as the Minister described it, contained in the 200 pages of

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1494

the Bill, I groaned at the thought of yet another dog’s breakfast of unconnected legislation that we would have to slog through.

When I read Part 1, I was immediately reminded of the words of Winston Churchill on 20 July 1910 that the way in which it treats its crime and criminals is a true test of the civilisation of any country. I say that because I was struck by the immediate reference in Part 1 to the fact that we were dealing with 10 year-olds under the Bill. I was therefore struck today by the brief sent to us by Justice, which many noble Lords have no doubt read, which states:

“The overall restriction of a person’s liberty should be proportionate to the seriousness of the illegality that the order seeks to restrain and to the status of the order as a civil preventative measure”.

I read on, but immediately had two thoughts.

First, I spent nearly 41 years in the Army trying to ensure civilised conditions in which all our children could grow up. I little thought that, 20 years later, I should be standing in this House feeling that I was fighting for the same. I was then tempted to suggest that I might take out an injunction against Part 1 to prevent a nuisance or annoyance.

I then reflected on two other things. One was an extraordinary conversation I once had in Belfast with a Republican woman called Kitty O’Kane who used to encourage small boys to throw stones at soldiers. We were able to include her in a picture of an incident, which I gave her; we knew her well enough to describe her to the artist. Asked why, when she knew that we were there to try to restore law and order, she put those boys into danger and at risk of being shot, she said to me, “Have you got a map?”. I said yes, and she said, “Take it out”. I took it out of my pocket. She said, “There are no football fields”. She was absolutely right. Where was there in all that part of West Belfast a place for young people to let off the inevitable steam of growing up?

I then thought of the infamous phrase of Mr Tony Blair when, as shadow Home Secretary, he promised to be,

“tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”.

Somewhere along the route, he found an “r” and became tough on the causers of crime rather than the causes. It is the causes that we need to tackle and which have been avoided. The trouble with being tough on causers is that he cranked up that toughness over and over again, and we now have a tough Minister of Justice who announced that he wants to be tough on mentally disordered offenders but failed to tell us how he intends to do that. Parts of this Bill, although it is welcome, follow that cranking and have taken some things to a new level of toughness which, to my mind, stand starkly against the civilisation of which Winston Churchill talked.

Many noble Lords will mention—some have already mentioned—some of the areas which I find very difficult in Part 1. There is the injunction to prevent nuisance and the low burden of proof that a person,

“has engaged or threatens to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person”.

For heaven’s sake, just think. We have all been parents or grandparents of 10 year-olds. Can we think that there has never been an occasion when they gave us an

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1495

opportunity to say, “You are causing an annoyance, or you look as if you are likely to cause an annoyance”? Now we are threatening them with detention for three months or imprisonment for two years and eviction from their houses. What are we doing as a civilised society? No wonder that the Home Affairs Select Committee said that the power was far too broad and that the Joint Committee on Human Rights said that this part ought to be removed.

There are already terrible problems with breach. Fifty-seven per cent of those on anti-social behaviour orders breached between 2000 and 2012, and 53% were given an immediate prison sentence, cranking up the prison population. Thirty-eight percent were under-18s—who are said to be rarely likely to be given an ASBO. I am always suspicious when I hear “rarely used”. That applied to under-18s on ASBO and to people on indeterminate prison sentences. Look what has happened. What are we going to do? Are these people, having been sent into prison for breaching, to be given the supervision orders that are part of the transforming rehabilitation programme coming from the Ministry of Justice? Are they to be subject to supervision for a year? Who is going to provide it? Where is it going to come from? Has this been worked out?

I come to naming and shaming. Why should, suddenly, Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 not apply? I am very worried about evictions and this riot-related possession because I do not think that this thing has been thought through enough. Again, the Joint Commission on Human Rights and the Law Society say remove it. I believe therefore that there is a great deal to be gone through in Part 1.

There is no time to go through all the various measures, but I have one other thing to say to the Minister. I am very disappointed that there is one omission in another clause of the Bill, which is to do with extradition. This issue falls much wider across the criminal justice system and the system involving the employment of private sector companies to conduct public services. I refer to the regulation of the individuals employed to carry out services. The Minister will remember the case of Jimmy Mubenga, the Angolan killed by G4S guards while under restraint on his way back to Angola. The Crown Prosecution Service will have to go back and reconsider their decision not to prosecute because the coroner in the case recently found that this was unlawful killing.

In inquiries—one that I led and one that the Home Affairs Select Committee led—we discovered that there is no supervision at all of these individuals employed from private security companies by the Security Industry Authority. What I hoped for and expected in the extradition part of this Bill was that the mechanisms for enforced removal would receive supervision, and that that would include the regulation of individuals employed by the Government to carry out that extradition on their behalf. That, of course, leads me to worry about the supervision or regulation of those supervisors who will be employed in community rehabilitation companies by the Ministry of Justice to replace the functions of the probation service. Time does not allow me to expand on that, but why has this been

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1496

excluded and what is the Home Office to do about this regulation? The position of the Security Industry Authority needs looking into.

6.13 pm

The Lord Bishop of Lichfield: My Lords, there is much to welcome in this Bill. The strengthening of the laws on firearms and on forced marriage, for example, are obvious steps forward. The measures for prevention of sexual harm, while raising important issues about the need for caution in restricting the freedoms of unconvicted people, will make possible swifter and more effective action to protect potential victims. The College of Policing has made an encouraging start. I am pleased to welcome the draft code of ethics. It sets a strong, ethical and I would say spiritual basis for law and its enforcement, which is a key concern for us all.

The emphasis on communities—people working together for the common good—has run through the long gestation period of these proposals. The principles of restorative justice and restorative practice, especially in local communities, are built into the efforts of churches in every part of this country to serve their local communities and especially those who are most vulnerable. In my part of the world, 80% of young people typically reoffend in the first two years after their sentence. However, with those who are taken on board by church monitoring and mentoring groups, even with the more difficult cases, the rate of reoffending is less than 20%.

If that can work with young prisoners, I suggest this kind of community mentoring could also work for lower-level criminality. It is at this local level that community remedies, community triggers and other measures which the Government has largely drawn back from prescribing in detail, but has left to be worked out in response to local conditions, can be made effective and constructive rather than simply becoming another layer of bureaucracy. On the same theme of practical attention to local need, I am glad to support the proposal of a requirement on courts to consider the immediate care needs of the children of those committed to prison, and I commend the Families Left Behind campaign for pressing this point.

As with a number of other noble Lords, I suspect, the notes of caution which I wish to sound relate chiefly to the measures on countering anti-social behaviour. Noble Lords will recall the four aims set out in the White Paper which began this process: to focus the response on the needs of victims; to empower communities to get involved in tackling anti-social behaviour; to ensure professionals are able to protect the public quickly; and to focus on long-term solutions. These were and are sound aims, and there is much in the early parts of this Bill which supports them. I hope that we shall keep these four aims clearly in view as we steer a course between tolerating bad behaviour on the one hand, and on the other hand taking an overly punitive and controlling approach to those whose behaviour can just be annoying. I am not here thinking of street preachers or those who sing hymns very loudly—though a balance has to be struck even in those instances—but chiefly of young people and the more vulnerable among adults.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1497

The very broad definition of anti-social behaviour, as has already been noticed, as that which is,

“capable of causing nuisance and annoyance”,

doubtless has its place in the social housing context to which it applies in the 2003 Act, but it could easily be used to make too many aspects of the “public square” fall silent; and perhaps more importantly, it would be likely to restrict unreasonably the normal activities of young people.

The net is further widened by the reduction in the standard of proof to the balance of probability. The impact on those under 18, or people vulnerable through mental-health and other issues, would be aggravated by the presumption in favour of naming the individual and the threat of imprisonment in case of breach. An injunction to prevent nuisance and annoyance becomes potentially so severe as to be capable of driving its recipient further into anger and a sense of grievance and exclusion.

I began by welcoming much, indeed most of this Bill. If the emphasis on helping communities to resolve problems and restore relationships drives our approach to anti-social behaviour, and enables us to temper some of the more heavy-handed provisions of this Bill in bearing down on such behaviour, then the judgment of history may well be kind to it.

6.18 pm

Lord Faulks (Con): My Lords, this Bill, in 14 parts, will need a great deal of scrutiny. While I would like to address a number of parts to the Bill, your Lordships will be relieved to know that I do not propose to do so.

As a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, I have had the opportunity to look closely at the Bill. Many noble Lords will have seen a copy of our report, which includes the Government’s human rights memoranda and their lengthy responses to the various questions we posed.

As a committee, we looked at the Bill primarily through the prism of the Human Rights Act, but even if there were no such legislation, it would still be important closely to examine the scope of the Bill where it concerns the tension between civil liberties and the capacity of the police and other agencies to exercise control over anti-social behaviour. Much has been said already—and I expect will be said again—about the need to protect children and vulnerable adults from the potentially oppressive exercise of powers under this Bill, when their liberty can depend upon what is inevitably a subjective interpretation of what constitutes a nuisance and annoyance. This is a source of potential anxiety.

However, it is important to focus on the reason behind the legislation: the acute need to protect the victims of anti-social behaviour. It is in reality the poor, the mentally ill, the aged and the most vulnerable in society who are usually the victims of anti-social behaviour and whose lives can be made intolerable by it. They look to the police and other agencies to protect them. The Bill attempts to improve on existing powers and to provide better protection for them. It was to meet this need that the party opposite introduced ASBOs, and it was significant that during debate in

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1498

the other place there was no suggestion from any members of any party that powers of this sort were not needed. With respect, Members of the other place, being in touch with their constituents, are in a good position to help on these issues. In fact, the shadow Home Secretary said that she thought that the provisions were “too weak”.

Although there are areas which will need careful examination, I broadly welcome the Bill. Of those areas that cause concern, one is clearly the expression “nuisance and annoyance”. It is considered by many to be too low a threshold, even though it has a pedigree in the housing context. I, along with many other noble Lords, have been lobbied by the Christian alliance, naturists and other not very homogenous groups who are concerned about the potential for their lawful activities to offend someone and thus fall foul of the legislation. The Minister will need to reassure your Lordships about this. The amendment suggested by our committee was not to scrap the clause, as the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, said, but that the definition should be amended so as to refer to conduct that “might reasonably be regarded” as being capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person. This imports a degree of objectivity into the definition and might, together with reassurances given by the Minister in the other place, serve to allay some anxieties.

Removing people from their home is a drastic step and the committee was concerned that there were adequate safeguards in this regard. I am not at all convinced of the need for the power to evict those involved in riots. I do not doubt for a moment that rioters such as we had in the summer of 2011 should be dealt with firmly and swiftly—but that is precisely what happened. Evicting them seems a step too far. The current sentencing powers are quite sufficient.

I would like to say something about forced marriage but I will wait until Committee. Similarly, miscarriages of justice and their compensation may benefit from a prolonged debate, which they did not have in the other place. It is an exquisitely difficult problem, which noble Lords will have to confront, that successive courts have tried vainly to come up with a satisfactory definition of a miscarriage of justice. The proposal in the Bill has the benefit of clarity. The question for your Lordships’ House is whether its clarity and simplicity will in fact work an injustice in some cases.

Finally, I come to stop-and-search provisions. It was the committee’s view that the statutory power to stop, question and search travellers at ports and airports was not inherently incompatible with Articles 5 or 8 of the European convention. In our view, the Government had clearly made a case for a without suspicion power to stop, question and search travellers at ports and airports, given the current nature of the threat from terrorism. The question is whether there is a need for more intrusive powers being exercisable without reasonable suspicion and whether these powers should be exercisable only after an examiner or officer reasonably suspects that the person has been involved in terrorism. The Minister will be well aware of the evidence that the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, gave in this regard to

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1499

the committee. Your Lordships’ House will need to be satisfied that the powers need to be quite as extensive as they are in the Bill.

Nevertheless, I am concerned about a wholesale challenge to the anti-terror powers—those, incidentally, exercised in the Miranda case. I know, as the Minister said, that the Government are awaiting a report on the Miranda case from Mr Anderson. The case that concerns me is one brought by a Mr Malik, who is apparently seeking to strike out these provisions, which originally come from Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000, and has obtained permission to go on to a full hearing—this whole-scale challenge being entertained by the Strasbourg court, notwithstanding the fact that the Home Office has made it clear that Schedule 7 examinations have produced information which has contributed to long and complex intelligence-based counterterrorist investigation. We as a committee found that there was a clear case to retain those powers, albeit that their extent might be questioned. Can the Minister reassure us that the Government propose to contest Mr Malik’s case?

There is a great deal to say about this Bill, and there are areas which we covered in our report and will cover in Committee. Your Lordships’ House is well equipped to examine the Bill carefully and I look forward to taking a prominent part, or at least a part, in the process.

6.25 pm

Lord Beecham (Lab): My Lords, this Bill is not so much a curate’s egg as a curate’s omelette, with some distinctly unsavoury ingredients mixed in with some reasonable proposals. Before addressing some of the substantive measures included in the Bill’s 200 pages which have emerged, after scant debate, from the House of Commons, it is necessary to complain yet again at the cavalier way in which this Government go about churning out legislation that deals with sensitive aspects of public and social policy even when they impinge on important areas such as human rights and access to justice.

Once again the Joint Committee on Human Rights—which has just four Labour members in its membership of 12—has been driven to express serious concerns not just about some of the Bill’s proposals but about the procedure employed. The committee drew attention to a number of government amendments to the Bill that have human rights implications and to the lack of time allowed to scrutinise them. It is pursuing its,

“concerns about the recurring inadequacy of the time available”,

for such scrutiny,

“with the Leader of the House”.

Can the Minister tell us what has transpired on that score?

Even more pointedly, the committee complains that two pieces of information in relation to controversial matters—in respect of Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act, and the suggested change in compensation for miscarriages of justice—were promised for 29 July but delivered on 7 October, 48 hours before the committee met to consider its report. What justification if any can the Minister advance for such conduct, and what assurances can he give for the future?

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1500

Turning to some of the proposals in the Bill, I acknowledge the importance of the issue of anti-social behaviour. It has been a problem in parts of the ward that I have represented in Newcastle for the last 46 years and it requires a co-ordinated approach from the courts, the police and the local authority, by listening to and working with the community affected. I am currently dealing with a case in which a young council tenant has been subjected to constant harassment by a group of youths not resident in the estate. I well recall how two streets in my ward suffered so badly from the behaviour of a small number of families who moved in after being evicted from their homes in an adjoining ward that, in the end, the streets were demolished. These were at all times private tenants. The Bill extends the procedure to enable such people to be dealt with to other tenures, subject to an authorised procedure. As we have heard, however, it worryingly adopts, in effect, the notion of guilt by association in respect of those who have been participating in riots—not just for the rioters but for their families—so that the innocent householder and their family may be evicted after such a person participates in a riot taking place anywhere, not even in the immediate locality.

As we have also heard, the Bill does little to ensure that the interests of children—both the practical ones in terms of their accommodation, and the legal ones in relation to their human rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child—are sufficiently taken into account when sanctions are imposed on their family. Of course, eviction in such cases may well lead not just to problems for the child but, in the short or longer term, to increased pressure and cost on hard-pressed children’s services. The same reservations arise, as the Joint Committee stresses, in relation to new civil injunctions on children as young as 10, the use of detention for breach of such an injunction for children over 14 and the possible removal of reporting restrictions in relation to children in injunction proceedings.

Moreover, the shift in the case of these new injunction proceedings from the need to show that an order is necessary and proportionate to what is just and convenient, is deemed by the Joint Committee to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, not least because the injunction procedures apply to cases where the conduct complained of is,

“capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person”.

We have heard that phrase used before tonight. It is a loose, unsatisfactory and highly subjective test.

Another troubling issue is the provision in relation to compensation for miscarriages of justice, under which someone whose conviction has been overturned will, as we have heard, now have to prove their innocence in order to secure their compensation. This effectively reverses the burden of proof. Indeed, it comes close to importing the Scottish “not proven” verdict into English law. By chance, the other night on the radio, I heard part of the serialisation of a dramatised version of an apparently famous Scottish case in which one defendant secured such a verdict—“not proven”—which she described as meaning, “We know you did it but we can't actually find you legally guilty on the evidence”. Effectively, that is now to be applied to those seeking compensation for a miscarriage of justice. It is

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1501

unacceptable to import such an approach by the back door—not least when, as we have also heard, only a couple of cases a year result in a payment.

Other areas that we will wish to explore in Committee include extradition, about which we have heard something tonight, and the notion that costs in courts and tribunals should not merely be set to achieve full recovery—itself a challenging concept, given what has happened to legal aid and advice—but should also generate a surplus as a contribution to reducing the deficit. This could, of course, be the thin end of a very large wedge. If that principle is applied to the courts and tribunals, why not to the National Health Service or to education? Perhaps the Government already have that in mind. Does the proposal also imply that the Government will further ratchet up the fees for employment tribunals so recently and controversially imposed?

The role of local government does not seem to be adequately reflected in some of the new provisions—for example, in relation to dispersal powers or in the new community remedy approach set out in Clause 93 and the community protection notices in Clauses 40 to 54, which have yet to be evaluated. As the Home Affairs Committee pointed out in its scrutiny report on the draft bill, interagency working is essential if the issues of anti-social behaviour and disorder are to be tackled effectively.

The Bill as it stands is flawed in a number of respects. I hope the Government will listen seriously to the concerns it arouses and respond constructively to attempts to improve it, with the twin aims of tackling significant social and other problems while preserving our reputation for upholding civil liberties and human rights. I am sure that your Lordships’ House will offer many positive suggestions to improve the Bill.

6.32 pm

Baroness Doocey (LD): My Lords, there are some welcome provisions in the Bill, but I am concerned that many of the reforms will cost money, yet no additional budget appears to have been proposed to make the necessary changes, at a time when police and local authorities are facing significant financial challenges.

I shall focus on just a few of the specific issues. There is no doubt that if the dispersal powers proposed in Part 3 of the Bill are used well, they can prevent tensions rising in an area, and can also prevent other serious illegal activity. But although dispersal will give short-term relief at a particular site, longer-term work will be needed to avoid displacement to a nearby location. We must also recognise that “intelligence-led” preventive dispersal orders on, say, a housing estate may be unfair if those subjected to such an order are resident on that estate.

Very significant powers are already available to the police for public order offences, so care must be taken to see what value will be added by creating these new powers. The most effective solutions to anti-social behaviour tend to be community based rather than legislative, so the focus of our attention should be on rebuilding coherent communities, which would produce all kinds of social benefits besides reducing anti-social behaviour. The proposed “community remedies”, whatever their merits, are not a substitute for this.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1502

Part 5 of the Bill makes provision for the possession of secure tenancies on anti-social behaviour grounds. In practice, this would usually apply to social housing. But there could be real conflict about the definition and threshold of anti-social behaviour. I believe that this is better tackled by clear application of tenancy terms and by mediation between tenants.

There is also the question of alternative accommodation. The lack of alternative accommodation and the capacity needs of many of the tenants already severely limit local authorities’ capability to evict, as they have a duty of care towards the tenant. Moving tenants of social housing may mean moving them significant distances, particularly outside densely populated areas. What will be the consequences for schooling the children? Will this create more problems than it solves?

Part 7 of the Bill covers the problem of dangerous dogs. I very much welcome the fact that the new legislation will extend current police powers into private premises, which means offences committed on private property can now be dealt with. However, I am concerned that the Bill does not address the problem of dogs being deliberately bred as weapons, or for fighting, or to be used as “bait” in fights, which is quite common. This is quite distinct from the problem of irresponsible owners. The Bill is a missed opportunity to put things right. Indeed, the proposed “trespasser” defence risks encouraging the keeping of dogs as defence weapons at home, and provides an unacceptable defence in court against charges of deliberate ownership of such dogs.

The increased powers proposed for the Independent Police Complaints Commission in Part 11 of the Bill, are broadly welcome, but we must ensure that any reforms restore public confidence. The main reason for the lack of public confidence is that the IPCC conducts relatively few investigations itself, but in the vast majority of cases allows the police to investigate themselves. The Bill provides an ideal opportunity to remedy this failing.

It is not simply a question of the IPCC carrying out a higher proportion of investigations. These investigations should not be carried out by police officers or former police staff working for the IPCC; otherwise there will remain a lack of public confidence in the independence of investigations. For this reason, transferring resources from individual police forces’ professional standards departments and other relevant areas to the IPCC is the wrong approach. There are already far too many former police officers working for the IPCC. According to the IPCC’s annual reports, in the past two years all senior investigators have been former police officers or police staff, as have half of all deputy senior investigators and over a quarter of all investigators. The IPCC must live up to its name and build an independent investigation team large enough to do its work, which is drawn from other investigation services, in a similar manner to the way in which local authority and fire authority investigation and enforcement teams work.

There are some very welcome provisions in this Bill, but I remain concerned that many of its provisions could have unintended consequences. I trust that the Government will listen to concerns from noble Lords in all parts of the House and respond by tabling amendments to address some of those concerns.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1503

6.37 pm

Lord Condon (CB): My Lords, I declare my registered interest in policing. I too look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, my former colleague, and I wish him well with it.

I intend to focus on the clauses relating to policing, and I say at the outset that I broadly support all those clauses. From the time of my appointment as commissioner I have argued for a totally independent police complaints process, and simpler and more effective ways of dealing with police misconduct. Much has changed for the better, but the Independent Police Complaints Commission still needs strengthening, and improved resourcing. For that reason I support the progress that will be made through Clauses 121 to 125, which will enhance the role of the IPCC in five important areas. I shall not go into those areas at this stage.

I believe that the majority of police officers are courageous dedicated professionals doing a good job in tough circumstances. However, a small minority of officers continue to behave badly, and commit criminal offences. They, disproportionately, do terrible damage to the reputation of the police service and jeopardise public confidence. The reforms set out in Clauses 121 to 125 are necessary, sensible and proportionate. Good police officers have nothing to fear from a very strong independent IPCC, and I hope that public confidence will be enhanced if these measures are enacted.

If enacted, Clause 126, on the appointment of chief constables, would clear the way for suitable candidates from approved overseas forces to be appointed as chief constables or indeed as commissioner. In these challenging times for the police service, nothing is more vital than good police leadership. In my opinion, it would be wrong to continue to disqualify all overseas candidates unless they have served as a constable in the United Kingdom. There should be the potential for outstanding candidates to be considered. We have a Canadian Governor of the Bank of England, an American has recently been appointed to a senior National Health Service role and, in the recent past, British police officers have been appointed to the most senior chief police officer roles in Australia. I fear that it risks professional arrogance to insist on the continued disqualification of all overseas police candidates from senior police roles in this country. I am not arguing for a mass influx of overseas candidates, but we must look to the very best around the world for our police leadership.

Clause 126 makes sensible arrangements for the College of Policing to designate which countries, which police forces and which ranks could be considered, and these designations will have to be approved by the Home Secretary. Similarly, it makes very good sense for the College of Policing to develop a process to integrate the chief constable appointed from overseas. Much will depend on the mood music behind these appointments. The mood music that suggests, “I don’t think any of you police chiefs are up to this so I’m going to look anywhere in the world for an alternative”, is a bad message, but mood music that says, “We need the finest police leaders from around the world for these challenging roles, and open and fair competitions may well appoint an overseas candidate”, is the right message that we should be giving to the public.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1504

I support Clauses 117 to 120, which transform the review bodies for police remuneration. Based on the recommendations of Tom Winsor’s review, and after widespread consultation, these clauses, if implemented, will enable the abolition of the Police Negotiating Board. In a previous life I sat through hours, days and sometimes weeks of fruitless negotiation in these bodies. The PNB’s replacement by a police remuneration review body to consider the remuneration of police officers up to the rank of chief superintendent, with the Senior Salaries Review Body considering the remuneration of chief police officers, will be a vast improvement. These are sensible changes that will simplify the current complex, labyrinthine layers of negotiation which all too often default to arbitration.

The police clauses in the Bill are necessary and largely pragmatic. I hope that they will improve policing and public confidence in the police service, and I support them.

6.43 pm

Baroness Newlove (Con): My Lords, I am very pleased to welcome the Bill into the House. For me, it contains a number of important clauses on two aspects that are very close to my heart and work. These are the powers around tackling anti-social behaviour and the focus on victims. Perhaps some noble Lords will know my story and will therefore know that, when I speak about anti-social behaviour services and support for victims, I speak from the heart. When we say “anti-social behaviour”, there are some who will truly understand what it means, how a victim feels when they are subjected to it and what the repercussions can be, not just for the victims but for their families. Anti-social behaviour is very real, and I believe that it is a growing problem in our communities. I know this first-hand as the result of going around the country as the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales.

We all know about the tragic cases of Fiona Pilkington and David Askew, and so many others in this country. My late husband’s name is also on that list. If I may, I shall briefly share my experience with noble Lords again, because it is important to demonstrate what the Bill is trying to tackle. What does it feel like for victims? I can tell the House. In 2007, I lost my late husband through the mindless actions of a group of alcohol-fuelled and drug-fuelled youths. Before that, though, I was an activist in my community because of all the anti-social behaviour that it was suffering and enduring every weekend. My first-hand experience was that everyone was powerless, as anti-social behaviour was not even considered important enough to be dealt with. The police and local agencies did not do enough. All the while, victims of anti-social behaviour were suffering, and I know both from meeting people and from the letters that I still receive that many still are, many of them in silence. I assure the House that anti-social behaviour is not a low-level crime.

For me, it was essential to get a place where these concerns could be addressed and this behaviour could be brought to a stop. I remember clearly that as I walked back from a community meeting one day with a neighbour, I said, “Nothing will change until someone is murdered”. Sadly, that someone was my late husband, Garry. That is why I welcome the Bill, and I welcome

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1505

the powers that will make it far easier for victims to be heard and to have a say through the community remedy; and for the police and crime commissioners, local authorities, social landlords and other forces to be able to deal immediately with the anti-social behaviour that blights our country and its citizens—that is, the community that is the majority.

I know how devastating the impacts of anti-social behaviour and crime can be, so it is imperative that communities and professionals have the right powers to enable them to deal with such matters. I think that the move from 19 powers to six goes some way towards addressing that. There is a good range in these powers: the criminal behaviour order, the public spaces protection order and the police dispersal powers, to name but a few. These will allow various authorities the power to deal expeditiously with a number of anti-social behaviour-related matters, allowing victims a chance for their concerns to be heard and for some respite. There is a need to publish some of these data so that the community is aware of the hot spots and can hold their police and crime commissioners to account; so that we all know how many requests there were for the community trigger and how many met the criteria; and so that if adjustments need to be made, in a world that changes and moves so rapidly, the police and the authorities can move with it and victims are not left powerless.

I have said this before but I believe that it is worth reiterating: as the first point of contact for most victims of anti-social behaviour, it is important that police officers and local agencies have the skills to support and protect them quickly and effectively. This includes having access to powers that they are familiar with and find easy to use. I am confident that the powers in the Bill will be used by the police to good effect. I am pleased that the Government have prepared and laid draft guidance to support front-line professionals in understanding and guide them in the use of the powers set out in the Bill. I am sure that officials consulted with professionals before preparing the document, but the fact that it is available in draft is good indeed because it can be refined where necessary. I hope that the Home Office is open to taking on board feedback from victims, professionals and communities if need be.

However, I am concerned about the community trigger and the expectations it could raise. I fully support the idea of a review of responses to complaints of anti-social behaviour, and the fact that any individual can call for a review means that the anonymity of witnesses can be preserved. Even one incident of anti-social behaviour is too many. Of course I understand that police and local authority resources are limited, so there must be a proportionate response, but as each area will have its own threshold of incidents before a trigger could be activated I remain of the view that this should be renamed so that it does not raise expectations. I have previously suggested that this could be “community review” or “community alert”, which I hope that the Minister will consider.

I fully support the provision in Clause 129 which would mean that the police and crime commissioners were rightly, as elected representatives of their communities, responsible for commissioning the bulk

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1506

of victim services. They are best placed to provide the depth and breadth of services required to meet the individual needs and circumstances of victims, and to identify the effective services currently operating in their area, including the small grass-roots organisations working to support particular groups of people which have sprung up in response to specific needs in the community.

Many of these organisations provide outstanding services to victims and witnesses which should be recognised and properly funded. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with local people and assess what works for their community and what further resources are needed. It is a chance to define standards of care more clearly, in partnership with victims, and to work with their communities to address gaps in provision and ensure that all services—from the biggest statutory agencies to the smallest specialist charities—work together to provide the best possible support to allow victims to cope with and, as far as is possible, recover from the impacts of crime.

I am against a system where the Government prescribe how services are commissioned. Police and crime commissioners must have the flexibility to commission services based on local needs assessments and not on instructions from the centre. That variety and quality of support has been missing from current service provision and cannot be provided at a national level. It is time to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach, which simply does not work, so I am pleased that this clause is contained in the Bill.

In my written evidence I said that the type of protection arrangements provided to vulnerable victims should not be dependent on their willingness to be involved in criminal proceedings; it should be entirely dependent on the risk to their safety. I maintain that view and I fully support these changes to current legislation, which will help ensure that statutory-based protection is available to all those who may need it.

As the Victims’ Commissioner, I am proud to represent the voices and concerns of the many vulnerable people who sadly feel forgotten or unsupported. As a mother of three beautiful daughters, whose father, Garry, was murdered as a result of anti-social behaviour, I know from the pain in my heart and the sadness in their eyes what can result if anti-social behaviour goes unchallenged. Therefore, I stand here today in support of the majority of this Bill and hope that the Minister will take on board my concerns.

6.54 pm

Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede (Lab): My Lords, I shall speak mainly to Parts 1 to 6 of the Bill. I remind the House that I sit as a magistrate in central London, although I am speaking in a personal capacity.

The Government are essentially proposing to replace ASBOs with two orders: the IPNA—the injunction to prevent nuisance and annoyance—and the crime prevention order. As we have heard, the IPNA is a civil injunction that replaces a range of current orders and there is a maximum penalty for breach of two years’ custody. The crime prevention order, which will be available on conviction through the criminal courts, has a maximum penalty of five years’ custody on breach.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1507

The Government’s objective is to reduce the number of civil orders available, and to reduce the perceived bureaucracy of the current system. The flaw in the Government’s approach is to have fewer orders covering a wider definition of nuisance and annoyance, and with fewer legal safeguards, in a bid to reduce bureaucracy. The point is forcefully made by the Home Affairs Committee in its February 2013 report on the Bill, which said:

“Each time successive Governments have amended the ASB regime, the definition of anti-social behaviour has grown wider, the standard of proof has fallen lower and the punishment for breach has toughened”.

Annoyance and nuisance in local communities are indeed a blight on people’s lives. I look forward to the contribution from the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, this evening because I am sure he knows better than many about the blight of annoyance and nuisance. I do not mean the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, but the noble Lord, Lord Paddick—although the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, knows about it as well.

Changing the names of orders and tinkering with the definitions may make some procedures simpler. However, changing procedures always leads to agencies having to find new ways to process things and that can be a significant problem. What really matters is that victims have the confidence in the procedures and sentences given, and offenders are deterred from repeat offending.

I read over the Home Office’s White Paper Putting Victims First and I agree with the central two observations: that anti-social behaviour remains stubbornly high, and that victims’ needs are not addressed quickly enough. However, it remains true that there are many thousands of victims who do not report low-level crimes to the police because they have little confidence that they will receive a proper response. My own view on this is that all victims, witnesses and defendants should be able to log on to a website to see the progress of their cases, the requirements of particular sentences and how these requirements may change as the sentence progresses.

I have some personal experience of administering ASBOs and it has certainly been my experience that they have been more appropriately sentenced in recent years. When I first started as a magistrate about eight years ago, it was quite common to have breaches of ASBOs where you could genuinely say that the offender was set up to fail. In my experience, that is less common these days.

The introduction of the proposed changes in the Bill have to be seen in a wider context, and that wider context is the explosion of out-of-court settlements that we have seen over the past 10 years. At present, nearly 50% of all recorded violent offenders receive a caution. I acknowledge that Chris Grayling has made an announcement on this, and indictable-only offences will not be able to be cautioned, and that is a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, that is a huge figure for the number of people receiving cautions for violent offences.

The thing that I believe most profoundly is that there needs to be proper scrutiny of the cautions that are applied. I understand that the appropriate legislation is in place for scrutinising police cautions, but in my

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1508

experience, this is simply not happening; it is simply not happening here in London. I argue that the proper scrutiny of cautions, so that they are not applied inappropriately, would do more to enhance victims’ confidence in the criminal justice system than changing the names and definitions of particular orders. I believe that is of profound importance.

I, like others, have received the Liberty briefing. Liberty believes that the overuse of ASBOs and similar orders,

“dangerously blur the distinction between serious criminal activity and nuisance, create personalised penal codes that set the young, vulnerable or mentally ill up to fail”,

and can have the effect,

“of fast-tracking individuals into the criminal justice system rather than diverting them away”.

I take the point made in the Liberty briefing, but we have seen exactly the opposite effect, particularly in our youth courts, where we have seen a massive reduction in the number of youths who come to court. Very often, when they come to court, they are up in front of the youth court on very serious charges and have a long and established history of pre-court interventions that have not worked. So there is another side to the story of fast-tracking people into the criminal justice system. Sometimes the criminal justice system does not pick up people appropriately early enough.

I am not saying that Liberty’s point is wrong and that I am particularly right about when people go into the criminal justice system, but I am saying that public confidence is key to the whole administrative process. I believe that poor administration of cases does more to undermine people’s faith in the criminal justice system than any other matter.

I shall speak briefly about three specific aspects of the Bill. The first is Clause 86(5) and covers the point the noble Lord, Lord Faulks, made about the recovery of possession of dwelling houses. I live in the London Borough of Wandsworth. I contacted a local councillor, Tony Belton, about what happened after the riots because Wandsworth was well publicised for trying to evict council tenants where youths under 18 had taken part in the riots. What actually happened is that nobody got evicted in that situation. The council, which is a Tory council, did not pursue the evictions. The only people who were evicted were single men who were sent to prison for long periods of time. So I ask the Minister: what is the problem? That seems to me to be a reasonable outcome. The council did not even pursue the evictions that were so well publicised.

The second point I want to make is about theft from shops where the value is less than £200. There are other pre-court interventions which can be administered. First, there is a penalty notice for disorder where you can be fined £80, and the next is a caution, which requires an admission of guilt, but you do not have to go to court, so it could be on the third or more offence of shoplifting that you get into court. That seems to trivialise the offence. In addition, many shoplifters have drug, alcohol and homelessness problems, and when they come to court they can be picked up and suitable sentences applied.

My third and final point is a very specific point about the victim surcharge for youth offenders. At the moment, magistrates and judges are obliged to put in

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1509

place the victim surcharge. I have several times had cases where a youth has assaulted their parent or guardian, and because of this order, the court has been obliged to make the parent or guardian pay the victim surcharge when they were the one who was assaulted. It is absolutely ridiculous, but the court has no discretion in the matter.

On the Labour Lords blog today, my noble friend Lady Smith described this Bill as a “Sunday afternoon drive” with,

“many twists and turns and the inevitable dead end”.

I would liken it more to a drive around southern England yesterday afternoon, after the storm had ravaged the countryside. Yes, there are twists and turns and dead ends, but the road map is not very helpful and the Government do not know where they are going.

7.04 pm

Lord Paddick (LD): My Lords, I think the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede, was confusing my name with my current state of mind. In 1977, when I was a police constable walking the streets of Holloway in north London, I never believed that I would ever come to say: “My Lords, it is an honour and a privilege to address this important and, from where I am standing right now, rather daunting place”. I thank your Lordships most warmly for the welcome that has been extended to me and for the support and help that I have received, which I am sure I will continue to receive, thanks to the generosity of the Members and staff of this place.

Now there may be some who, not for the first time in my life, consider me to be either brave or foolish on this particular occasion for making my maiden speech the day after my introduction. Indeed, I recall the rather dubiously encouraging words of the noble Lord, Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, who, when he was my boss in the Metropolitan Police, said, “Brian, I like a man who takes a risk, provided it comes off”. However, I have some first-hand experience of the matters this Bill seeks to address, and I want to share some of that experience with your Lordships today. I am acutely aware of the conventions of the maiden speech, and while there are matters in the Bill that cause me some concern, on this occasion I will restrict myself to highlighting the positives.

My policing career spanned more than 30 years. During that time, I visited and dealt with the issues facing families on some of the most rundown council estates in London as well as the rich, the famous and the political elite. Those experiences have left me with the conviction that if everyone had a reasonable standard of living, a “living” rather than a “minimum” wage and a decent place to live that they could genuinely afford, there would be far less anti-social behaviour, far less crime and this country would be a far safer place for everyone.

In all that time, it was of great concern to me that anti-social behaviour was not always being addressed effectively. Many senior police officers, driven by centrally imposed targets, did not take the issue seriously enough and then latterly, albeit with the best of intentions, legislation blurred the distinction between the criminal and civil burden of proof. Senior police officers have to strike a difficult balance between giving priority

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1510

to what some consider relatively minor offences that blight the lives of many people or concentrating on serious offences that affect relatively few. Where to focus time and resources is often a matter of professional judgment and, it must be said, this judgment sometimes goes awry.

However, there is no doubt that anti-social behaviour has very serious consequences for communities and, as we have heard this evening, individuals. What is more, when anti-social behaviour is allowed to continue unchecked, it is sadly all too common that those involved go on to be caught up in more serious crime. It is in the interest of the police, victims, communities and, indeed, the perpetrators themselves that we give police officers and other agencies the tools they need to tackle this behaviour.

As a Liberal Democrat, I also believe that we need to be responsive to the needs of our communities. That is why I am pleased that this Bill tries to ensure that the genuine concerns of decent people cannot be ignored by introducing a community trigger requiring action by local authorities, the police and others when anti-social behaviour occurs.

Although anti-social behaviour orders—ASBOs—helped to focus police attention, the fact that they were originally granted on the balance of probabilities but breaching them was a criminal offence undermined the safeguard in our judicial system that no one can be held to be a criminal, and perhaps even deprived of their liberty, unless their guilt is proved beyond all reasonable doubt. The Bill goes some way to addressing this concern through civil injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance without an automatic power of arrest if they are breached. Further, rather than simply imposing that injunction, the Bill proposes that the subject should be helped to comply and in the case of young people, that the local youth offending team is consulted. Providing this kind of positive support can help steer people away from negative behaviour and give them the direction they need to get on in life.

Another concern that I had as a senior police officer was that ASBOs were used in inappropriate cases, particularly those involving young people with underlying behavioural issues, such as hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder, which almost guaranteed their inappropriate criminalisation. Whether child or adult, the criminal behaviour orders proposed in this Bill when someone has been convicted of an offence can be granted only where it can be shown that the order will help to prevent reoffending.

Like my noble friend Lady Doocey, the other major issues in the Bill that I am particularly concerned about are the way in which the police are held to account and the role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. I have very serious concerns about the whole process of the investigation and prosecution of complaints of police misconduct which I believe from my own experience serve neither the public nor police officers well. Strengthening the powers of the IPCC, as proposed in the Bill, is a necessary step in the right direction, but I believe we need to go much further.

I will have more to say on another occasion, but I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to address your Lordships today. I hope always to be helpful, informative, and respectful, and if I fail on any count

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1511

I ask that your Lordships tell me directly. I promise that this former police officer will try his hardest not to get ideas above his station.

7.11 pm

Lord Dholakia: My Lords, let me congratulate my noble friend Lord Paddick on his excellent contribution. He brings with him his vast policing experience and it is right that we will have further contributions from him on these subjects. We also must not forget his experience as a mayoral candidate in London, which brought him into contact with our very diverse communities. A word of polite warning to my noble friend: his experience on the TV programme “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” no longer applies because he will find that until the House of Lords is reformed he will remain here.

My objective in looking at any proposed legislation is to see what priority is being given to crime prevention in its broadest sense and to diverting young offenders from the criminal justice system. This may sound a soft approach, but we pay little regard to the strictly limited contribution that courts and prisons make in reducing crime. The end product of judicial decision has little impact on the overall pattern of crime. Prisons, to many, are a revolving door and an expensive way to regulate behaviour. Public expectation of prisons to prepare inmates for their eventual release is high, but the ability of prisons to deliver that is fairly limited. Of course, prison confinement is appropriate to those whose offending makes other alternatives unacceptable, but it would solve many problems if we ensured that those sentenced to prison stay there no longer than absolutely necessary. That is my starting point in this debate.

I welcome many of the measures in the Bill, including provisions to improve the law and practice relating to anti-social behaviour, sexual offending, forced marriages, dangerous dogs, policing, and extradition. In common with a number of other noble Lords, I have reservations about some aspects of the Bill, including those relating to victim support and the eviction of families of those engaged in anti-social behaviour. I hope the Government will be prepared to listen to arguments and consider amendments on these points in Committee.

I am pleased to see that the Government propose to abolish the discredited ASBO, which is a crude and thoroughly flawed measure. ASBOs have a high breach rate overall and a particularly high breach rate for young people. One of the central flaws of ASBOs is that their provisions are purely negative. In other words, courts can include provision in an ASBO requiring somebody to refrain from doing something but cannot require somebody to take part in positive activities to provide them with support and rehabilitation. It is true that courts can provide support for a young person by making an individual support order alongside an ASBO, but in practice they do this only in a small fraction of cases. In the absence of support, it is hardly surprising that young people in dysfunctional families with chaotic lifestyles so often end up repeatedly breaching the order.

I therefore welcome the abolition of the ASBO and various related orders, and their replacement by the new injunction to prevent nuisance and annoyance in

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1512

the criminal behaviour order. I welcome the fact that the injunction will be a civil order and that breach will be treated as a civil matter with a maximum penalty on breach of two years’ imprisonment rather than a criminal conviction and five years’ imprisonment, as is now the case. This was always a draconian penalty for behaviour which was anti-social but did not amount to a criminal offence. The fact that the new injunction is a civil order will avoid unnecessarily criminalising young people for breaching the order, which the current ASBO does.

Although I consider the orders a distinct improvement on the ASBO, I have some reservations about the details—these can be considered in Committee. We should reconsider whether the new injunction should be available for conduct which merely causes nuisance or annoyance rather than the stronger test of harassment, alarm, or distress which applies to the ASBO. I would also like to see a stronger prohibition on the reporting of names of children subject to this proceeding. The naming and shaming of children is almost always counterproductive. It can seriously hinder a child’s rehabilitation. In some cases people react by regarding this notoriety as a badge of honour. Then they try to live up to their reputation by increasingly extreme behaviour to look hard in front of their friends. I would like to see the law include a strong presumption against reporting children’s names in these proceedings.

There is one aspect of the new powers in relation to the anti-social behaviour order which I am unable to support: the provision of the mandatory eviction of whole families because one of the family has breached an injunction to prevent nuisance or annoyance. Courts should have the discretion to order possession when this is appropriate in all circumstances, but the Bill gives the courts very little discretion. This could lead to a large number of families rendered homeless and destitute because one family member has been involved in offending or anti-social behaviour. As homelessness increases the chances of criminal behaviour, this is more likely to increase crime than reduce it.

There are other issues that, again, we need to look at in Committee. For example, there is the provision in the Bill to protect the victims of forced marriage. By making breach of forced marriage protection orders a criminal offence, the Bill will ensure that the police always have the power to arrest those who breach the order. The new offence of inducing someone to leave the United Kingdom and travel to another country to be subject to a forced marriage is another valuable provision, but we all know that changing legal powers is not enough by itself to tackle the problem of forced marriage. Legal change needs to be accompanied by much greater efforts to enable people at risk of forced marriages to seek help in the knowledge that they will receive it. Much more also needs to be done to educate teachers, health workers and other professionals to recognise and act on the signs that someone is at risk of forced marriage if the provisions of the Bill are to have maximum effect.

The Bill includes important provisions to strengthen the power of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. I was delighted to listen to the views expressed by my noble friend Lord Paddick, such as on the extension of the IPCC’s jurisdiction to include

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1513

complaints against subcontractors. At a time when an increasing number of police functions are outsourced to private contractors, this is an important safeguard. Alongside the strengthening of the IPCC, I am delighted to see that the Bill makes statutory provision for the establishment of a College of Policing, which will help to promote professionalism and standards across the police service.

The Bill includes some important reforms to the powers of the police, and immigration and customs officers to detain travellers at ports and airports under the Terrorism Act in cases where there are no grounds for reasonable suspicion that the person is involved in terrorism. I particularly welcome the reduction of the maximum period of examination in these cases from nine to six hours, the extension of the right to inform other people and consult solicitors, the restriction of the grounds on which strip-searching can take place, and the repeal of the power to seek samples of blood and other body fluids.

I would certainly like to see the Government go further and end the power to detain people without any suspicion. I also favour further safeguards for people detained in these circumstances, including the video and audio recording of these examinations. However, the provisions in the Bill are a valuable move in the right direction and the Government obviously ought to be congratulated on taking this important step.

There is one other area of the Bill that we have failed to mention so far and on which I hope the Government will be prepared to think again: the provision to devolve funding for victim and witness support from central government to police and crime commissioners. At present the Ministry of Justice provides funding to a range of organisations which support victims and witnesses. The central backbone of these services is provided by the excellent organisation Victim Support. The existence of a properly funded national organisation guarantees that high-quality support from well-trained volunteers is readily available to victims in all areas of the country. The staff and volunteers are supported by an experienced organisation with 35 years’ experience of providing high-quality services to support people who have suffered loss, injury, damage, abuse and distress from crime. It is difficult to see the sense in proposals to break up this high-quality service and to leave the provision of victim support provision to the varying decisions and priorities of police and crime commissioners.

In conclusion, I welcome the Bill, which includes many valuable reforms that will improve the quality of justice in many areas of the law. I trust that with a constructive attitude on all sides of the House and openness on the part of the Government, we can work together in Committee to change a good Bill into an even better one.

7.22 pm

Baroness O'Loan (CB): My Lords, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, on his eloquent and humorous maiden speech. We look forward to hearing much more from him.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1514

I welcome many of the provisions of this legislation, in particular those in relation to forced marriage, dangerous dogs and the additional powers given to the IPCC. In particular, and most importantly, I welcome Clause 123, which provides for access to information—a critical tool for an investigator. I also join with many of the comments that have been made in relation to anti-social behaviour and the deficiencies of the Bill as currently drafted. I also draw attention to the 20 or so recommendations and observations of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, to which I belong, in relation to that section of the Bill alone.

I will speak on the issue of compensation for miscarriages of justice. Clause 151 provides that compensation will be payable for a miscarriage of justice,

“if and only if the … newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person was innocent of the offence”.

The UK has a long and proud history of the presumption of innocence in criminal matters unless guilt is proved beyond reasonable doubt. The European Convention on Human Rights, which was drafted largely by United Kingdom representatives, maintains this presumption in Article 6(2) of the Convention. It is one thing to be able to prove that there is reasonable doubt as to the safety of a conviction, and even that will normally take years, during which the person wrongly convicted will serve a prison sentence. The CCRC process and the process of the Court of Appeal do not involve a retrial. The person seeking to overturn a conviction is often in a very lonely place—it is not an easy process. The Minister has told us that Clause 151 is intended by the Government to bring much needed clarity—as the noble Lord, Lord Faulks, said, it does. However it is, in fact, a total change in the law. Never previously has the victim of a miscarriage of justice had to prove innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.

As I have said, the business of disproving guilt is not easy. A court may, as the Minister in the other place stated, determine that a person’s conviction is overturned; for example, because DNA evidence comes to light showing that they could not have committed the offence. That may seem a very simple example, but it is not. In many cases, both here and in Northern Ireland, there will be people convicted long before DNA testing became available, where the evidential material, which may well have contained exculpatory DNA evidence, has been destroyed for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, evidence such as clothing was destroyed because blood contamination was regarded as constituting a health risk. That should not happen now, but the cases in which there is a referral to the Court of Appeal by the CCRC are not recent cases, and they are only the most serious ones. People may also be convicted on what turns out to be false expert evidence, as in the cases of parents whose children died suddenly and who were wrongly convicted. If it transpires that the evidence is not reliable, the conviction will be overturned. That will not prove the innocence of the mother or father. There are many other reasons why a person may be incapable of proving their innocence to the standard required by this test. Obviously I cannot give examples of all of them in the time allowed.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1515

If we legislate in the way suggested by the Government, we will create two types of “not guilty”. There will be those who are fortunate enough to be able to present evidence that proves conclusively that they are innocent; they will be entitled to compensation. Others, not so fortunate, will only be able to prove that they should not have been convicted. Since they cannot prove their innocence, while they may assert that they did not commit the offence they will not be able to claim compensation, and it is inevitable that some people will conclude that they are not innocent because they are not innocent beyond all reasonable doubt.

In a number of cases people were convicted on evidence fabricated by police officers. I think, for example, of a schoolboy in his late teens who was convicted of murder on the basis of a confession and other evidence secured as a result of wrongful behaviour by police officers. The boy in question did not commit the murder, but could not prove that and served over a decade in prison before being released. His conviction was overturned, but that evidence, which should never have been presented to the court, does not prove his innocence. It is something completely different to ask the victim of a miscarriage of justice to prove his innocence.

Such victims would effectively have to reinvestigate their own case in order to prove their innocence. In many cases they would not get the right of access to documents, to question witnesses, to get expert evidence checked, or to get access to retired police investigators, who would not assist them. Have the Government considered how such a person is supposed to satisfy that test, which is not the test required by the Court of Appeal?

It has been pointed out that had this clause been law at the time of the cases of the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, the Maguire Seven, the Cardiff Three and Judith Ward, they would all have been highly unlikely to meet the test. In criminal law people do not have to prove their innocence; the prosecution has to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. When the state has held that a person was wrongly convicted, years after the event, it is very likely that it will just not be possible to marshal the necessary evidence to prove innocence.

Compensation is given for the wrongful conviction and for the time served in prison. If a court declares a conviction to be unsafe, the person who is released will have to try and rebuild his or her life. They will usually have spent long years in prison. They will have lost their opportunities to be educated, marry, have children, build a life and contribute to society. Above all, they may have lost contact with their family, or their relationships may have broken down to the extent that they are not repairable—and all that because they were wrongly convicted. Now the Government propose to remove the right to compensation from anyone who cannot prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt. This matter was discussed briefly in the other place, and amendments were tabled that sought to address this. There was some debate, but it was decided in the end to leave the matter to this House. They said,

“leave it to the other place to find the right answer”.—[

Official Report

, Commons, 15/10/13; col. 610.]

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1516

The Minister told us that there are two to four cases a year in which compensation is paid. Can he tell the House whether that number covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or whether it is England and Wales only? If it does not cover Northern Ireland, can he give us the Northern Ireland figures? Can he also tell the House how many unsuccessful legal challenges there are each year? I suppose that I am really asking the Government, “Is this really mischief which requires to be remedied through legislative change, or is it something that will damage forever the reputation of law in the United Kingdom?”.

7.30 pm

Baroness Gale (Lab): My Lords, I, too, add my congratulations to the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, on his excellent speech.

I wish to speak on Part 7 of the Bill about dangerous dogs. In doing so I am aware of the great service that dogs give to our community. We know that dogs are great friends, they can be of great comfort to lonely people and children love them as pets. However, dogs also attack. There were 6,450 hospital admissions in the 12 months up to April 2012 caused by dog injuries and they cost the NHS £3 million.

I should like to tell your Lordships’ House a story of which I am personally aware involving a friend of mine. Dilwar Ali’s six year-old son was attacked in his own garden by a neighbour’s dog. Dilwar told me the story of what happened to his son. He said:

“On 2nd September 2011, my six-year old son was helping my wife bring in the washing from the back garden of our home in Llandaff North, Cardiff. Suddenly the fence came down and the dog from next door bounded into my back garden. The dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, bit my son on both sides of his face, taking a chunk out of his right cheek and hand. I’m told that these dogs were bred to hunt lions. I do know that it took two men to restrain the dog. The dog has since been destroyed. My son was rushed to the University Hospital of Wales, then to Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery at Morriston for emergency surgery. Miraculously he was not killed but he is scarred for life and will have to undergo several operations on his face over the next 10 years. It is over 22 years since the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was passed. Public money and resources have been spent by police forces seizing dogs suspected of being a particular breed regardless of whether they are behaving dangerously or not. Yet dog bite incidents continue to rise proving that the Westminster Government's response in 1991 has not provided a solution. I do not believe that in most cases it is the dog which is at fault. Whilst genetics affect a dog’s temperament, its environment and training are far more important. These issues are down to the owner and the way the dog is, or is not, cared for. It is time for the law to be changed; time for a Dog Control Act encouraging responsible ownership and holding irresponsible owners to account”.

That was Dilwar Ali’s experience and his son will have to live with that for the rest of his life.

The Bill introduces community protection notices for general use in containing anti-social behaviour, including irresponsible behaviour by dog owners. All the experts agree that specific dog control notices are the better tool to give to local authorities to enable them to take steps to prevent dogs going out of control and to bring dogs back under control. There are differences between a community protection notice and a dog control notice. First, a community protection notice can be issued only after multiple incidents have occurred in practice, after a written notice has already

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1517

been given to the dog owner and after someone has complained about the owner’s failure to prevent persistently aggressive behaviour on the part of the dog. Secondly, the criteria for issuing a CPN are broad. They focus on a threat to the quality of life for whole communities and do not take into account one-off, isolated attacks that threaten the quality of life of an individual.

A dog control notice would in effect be an early warning system allowing dog owners to address their dog’s behaviour before multiple incidents occur and punishments are handed out. Intervening early may also improve dog welfare because DCNs would ensure that dogs are retrained and owners re-educated in conjunction with the advice of local authorities. This makes a DCN more specific to an incident and therefore much more effective. A DCN looks at the warning signs and puts preventive measures in place. It takes action before an out-of-control dog attacks and it promotes responsible ownership. Dog control notices lay greater responsibility on the dog and its owner by providing a fairer and more balanced law that prevents the need for punitive measures, and it can save money. Enforcers do not need to resort to costly court proceedings, notices and prosecutions, thereby making better use of limited resources and time by nipping the problem in the bud. Perhaps the Minister can comment on that in his reply.

Clause 98 amends the Dangerous Dogs Act to include private property as well as public places and is to be welcomed. However, can the Minister say whether this would include the case I spoke of earlier—that of a dog that jumps over the garden fence and attacks a child playing in his own garden? Would this clause deal with such cases—that of a dog entering a private garden and attacking a person? The Minister said in his opening remarks that the clause would cover all places and, I assume, all incidents of that nature.

The Minister will be aware that the Welsh Government have withdrawn their own Bill on dangerous dogs and are working with the UK Government on this Bill. I understand that working together has been beneficial to the United Kingdom Government, given that a lot of work has been done by the Welsh Government. As I understand it, the Welsh Government have retained their right to introduce legislation if the UK Government do not cover all the aspects that the Welsh Bill would have covered. Can the Minister comment on that? I understand that the Welsh Government are working now with his department in order to produce a good Bill that will cover the aspects that we want in Wales.

7.37 pm

Lord Hope of Craighead (CB): My Lords, I wish to speak briefly on two issues. The first relates to Part 1 and in particular to the threshold that Clause 1 sets regarding the power to grant an injunction under it. The second issue relates to the test in Part 13 regarding compensation for miscarriages of justice under Clause 151. Of the two, the first issue is much the most important because Clause 1 will enable a court to grant an injunction against a person aged as young as 10, and because of what the breach of such an injunction, whatever the person’s age, may lead to.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1518

Of course there is a real social problem about anti-social behaviour that must be addressed, as the noble Baroness, Lady Newlove, in her moving speech reminded us. However, one must surely be very careful to set an appropriate threshold for what constitutes such behaviour within the meaning of the statute. What is or is not appropriate will depend very much on the context. The nature of any sanction and its consequences will be crucial to that decision. What is proposed is the granting of an injunction to stop the behaviour. An injunction is one of the most powerful weapons in a court’s armoury, never to be granted lightly because a breach of an injunction will be treated as a contempt. Here Clause 86 tells us that a breach may lead to recovery of possession of a dwelling house in which the child lives or which he visits, which could have damaging effects on the family life of others who are living there. Indeed, it may affect whole families, as the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, told us. Schedule 2 tells us that it may lead to the person’s detention. These are very serious matters. I have never, in all my 40 years of experience, heard of a court granting an injunction against a child, let alone one as young as 10, so to provide for this by statute is a very significant step, not to be taken lightly. If a court is to be enabled to do what is envisaged by this clause, three things surely are fundamental to the way that the power may be exercised. First, the threshold must be set at an appropriate level; secondly, the court must be satisfied that the person fully understands what he is being told to do or not to do; and thirdly, the language of the court’s order must be clear and precise so as to leave no room for doubt on that matter in that person’s mind.

Let us take first the threshold that appears in subsection (2). Every word used here to describe what the person has been doing, or is threatening to do, is important. We find the words “conduct capable of causing”, “nuisance or annoyance” and “to any person”. Contrast that phrase “nuisance or annoyance” with “harassment, alarm or distress”. Why is the threshold being reduced so much? Will the Minister explain the problem that has led to the decision to do this? It is a very significant reduction, let there be no doubt. I have searched the case law over the past 50 years as much as I can, for some guidance as to what a court would be likely to make of this formula. Most cases where the issue has arisen are about noise: shouting, banging doors, loud quarrels between people. However, it does not have to reach a very high level to fall within the expression “nuisance or annoyance”. Those two words, “nuisance” and “annoyance”, are put together as if they are a reasonably high threshold. However, the two words mean the same thing; putting the two together does not add anything. That which is a nuisance will annoy, and that which annoys will be a nuisance. Let us face the fact that this clause is simply dealing with people who are thought to be a nuisance.

Mention will be made, no doubt, of judicial discretion. There is a case in the books, from 1958—Raymond v Cook—that illustrates the problem. It was a case about an ice-cream man. His chimes disturbed the sleep of two night workers who had to sleep during the day. They complained, and the magistrate found the ice-cream man guilty of causing a nuisance. The Court

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1519

of Appeal had a look at the case and refused to interfere, as it said that this was a matter of fact for the magistrates. It was not necessary to prove that the inhabitants generally were annoyed. The defence led people from the neighbourhood who said that they were not disturbed at all by the ice-cream van, but that made no difference: those two night workers found it to be a nuisance.

What then of the formula used here, of,

“conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance”,

and the words “to any person”? Even the best behaved children are often noisy. Are children whose noise when playing wakes up people who have to sleep during the daytime to be exposed this regime? I cannot believe that the Minister really intends that. If that it is so, surely that should be made clear. Even injecting “serious” into the phrase would help to some extent, but surely it would be far better to retain the ASBO formula unless something is demonstrably wrong with it. Indeed, we find it used in Clause 21(3) for criminal behaviour orders. At the very least, an explanation will be needed in Committee as to exactly why the threshold is being so drastically reduced.

It is also disturbing to find nothing in Clause 18 about the making of special rules for cases involving children under 15 or persons with mental disabilities. Should the court not be required expressly to explain the purpose and content of the injunction, to ensure that children and other vulnerable people really do understand what the order means and what its consequences will be if it is breached? The rather loose wording of Clause 1(4), which uses the words “do anything” in relation to what may be put into the order, is another point of concern. These prohibitions and requirements ought to be related precisely to the behaviour that has given rise to the injunction. These points are just as valid, whatever the wording of the threshold may be that must be crossed.

I turn very briefly to Clause 151, concerning miscarriages of justice. Of course the number of cases likely to be affected will be very few, but it is important that we get the wording of the clause right and, as the noble Lord, Lord Faulks, said, this is quite a difficult issue. The Supreme Court examined the issue in Adams. I must declare an interest, as I was a party to that decision. We will of course discuss the issue much more fully in Committee, but I will make two points now. The first is that I do not claim any primacy for the majority view in that case at this stage. I believe that it is right that Parliament should take a fresh look at this issue and should do so with an open mind. It is also right to seek to promote clarity and certainty in this difficult area.

The second point, which follows very much what the noble Baroness, Lady O’Loan, said a moment or two ago, is that it is at least doubtful whether the test that this clause lays down will cover all cases of miscarriage of justice where it is just that compensation should be available. It is not difficult to envisage situations where sheer proof of innocence, whatever the standard might be—it does not really matter whether it is beyond reasonable doubt or just on the balance of probabilities—will be simply unattainable. No doubt there will be cases where DNA evidence will resolve the issue. However, that evidence may have been lost

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1520

or disposed of, and not all crimes are open to proof of guilt or innocence by that kind of evidence. It may, in the end, simply come down to one person’s word against another’s and, if you are dealing with the evidence of a wrongly convicted person who was not believed by the jury which convicted him, how can his word alone be enough to prove his innocence?

These are difficult issues. We will come back to them, and I am sure will examine them with very great care, when the time comes in Committee.

7.46 pm

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts (Con): My Lords, it is a slightly daunting experience in a Second Reading debate on a criminal justice Bill to follow such a distinguished lawyer as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope of Craighead, who has a lifetime of experience of these matters, which he has just deployed to the great advantage of the House over the last few minutes. I, as a non-lawyer, have no equality of arms whatsoever.

I shall focus my remarks on two points. The first concerns the contents of the Bill, the second the process of the passage of the Bill. In regard to the contents of the Bill, I will confine my remarks to Part 12, which concerns changes to our extradition laws. I immediately declare an interest as a trustee of Fair Trials International, a charity which, as its name implies, focuses on miscarriages of justice and sees some of the practical results of the operation of the Extradition Act—in particular, the operation of the European arrest warrant, hereinafter referred to as the EAW.

It is not surprising that Ministers of all parties underline the value of the EAW by referring to the most high-profile cases: terrorism, child exploitation—the teacher running off to France with a pupil—murder, major financial crime. To be sure, the EAW has been extremely valuable in ensuring the swift return of alleged offenders to face justice. However, the majority of the cases are, unsurprisingly, of much lower profile and concern offences where the circumstances are not always open and shut and, in some cases, are downright dubious.

It is worth reminding ourselves just how speedy the process under the EAW can be. A warrant served in London will require a preliminary hearing within 48 hours, at which the individual will be defended by the duty solicitor, who may or may not have a knowledge of extradition law. Within 21 days, there must be a full hearing and, if the case is proved, within 10 days thereafter surrender takes place. So the process can be as short as 34 days. If this were to happen to a Member of your Lordships’ House, we are all capable of finding the right button to press to make sure that we are represented properly. However, I am afraid that not all our fellow citizens are so fortunate. They can therefore be removed speedily and find themselves in a country where they do not speak the language, accused of a crime the full nature of which is not entirely clear to them, operating under a legal system that is entirely unfamiliar, defended by a lawyer who may or may not be competent and with a prison and/or judicial system that may in certain circumstances have features that would not be found acceptable in this country. Therefore, I argue that we need to ensure that a proper level of safeguards is built into this process.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1521

In his opening remarks, my noble friend on the Front Bench reminded us all of the improvements that have been made, and the Government are to be congratulated on that. Sir Scott Baker’s review introduced a number of changes, which the Government have fully implemented. They include the forum bar and the removal of the Home Secretary’s discretion in Part 2 extradition cases. Further changes are planned to deal with trivial offences and to try to avoid lengthy pre-trial detention by the requesting state. However, the Bill provides an opportunity to take this process further and to make the operation of the EAW completely fair and balanced. Therefore, I hope that the Government will look with some favour on amendments to Clause 137 which will seek to address some residual concerns about delays in cases coming to court, would remove some of the ambiguities in drafting and ensure that, in considering whether a case is trial-ready, judges take into account evidence external to the content of the warrant itself, including that relating to the past record of the issuing state in this regard.

Clause 138 addresses the issue of proportionality. While this is an entirely welcome development, it remains a limited test. Therefore, there is a question of whether amendments should remove the judicial discretion as to whether a proportionality assessment should be carried out and extend the list of “specified matters” which a judge may take into account, including the human impact of extradition, the passage of time since the alleged commission of the offence, the costs of extradition, and the public interest in extradition being carried out.

Further, a number of aspects of the operation of the temporary transfer regime envisaged under Clause 140, and the restrictions on the right to appeal envisaged under Clause 141, referred to by the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Basildon, in her opening remarks, also deserve some discussion and scrutiny by your Lordships’ House. The same applies to the question of the power of a UK court to seek further information when a case of mistaken identity is suspected—a power which I think the court does not currently have.

So much for the Bill itself. I turn to my second point and conclude with a couple of words on the parliamentary process—an issue that has been raised by other noble Lords. I hope that the House will agree that some of the concerns I have raised about extradition procedures are serious ones. In my view, like other aspects of the Bill, they go to the heart of the structure of our civil liberties, painfully built up over the centuries. Yet when the amendments that I have been discussing tonight were tabled in the other place, not one was discussed or debated because of the operation of the guillotine.

It is not for me to comment on the proceedings in the House of Commons but I fear that the reputation of the Government—a Government whom I strongly support—would not be enhanced if the desultory way that the Bill was proceeded with in the House of Commons became more widely known. In particular this is true because many of us, often speaking as shadow spokesmen from the Front Bench in the period before the 2010 general election, were very critical indeed of the widespread use of timetable Motions by

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1522

the then Labour Government and the consequent impact on the quality of legislative scrutiny. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

7.53 pm

Lord Harris of Haringey (Lab): My Lords, I start by declaring my interests as co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Policing, as chair of the anti-forced marriage charity, Freedom, and as an adviser to Airwave Solutions and to Lockheed Martin.

This debate has been enlivened by the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Paddick. Having twice sat on Metropolitan Police appointments panels which promoted him, and indeed having sat on a third panel which did not promote him and where he accused me of heckling him, I look forward to his future contributions in your Lordships’ House.

This Bill is a strange pot-pourri of measures. It reminds us that this coalition Government have run out of steam. And what do Governments do when they are short of legislation to make themselves look busy and purposeful? Why, they turn to the Home Office, because the Home Office can always be relied on to produce a ready-basted, oven-ready Bill, and this is the 2013 offering.

In fact, I support significant parts of the Bill—for example, the extension of the role of the IPCC, some of the new child protection measures, the creation of the new firearms offences, the extension of dangerous dogs legislation and the making of forced marriage an offence. However, it is counterintuitive to be weakening the powers to combat anti-social behaviour at the same time as 80% of the population believe that the problems have got worse in the past year. No doubt the Minister will explain that to us.

However, what is missing is the context. Overall, crime has declined in the past 15 years or so. The trend in burglary is particularly marked and has been remarkably consistent. However, the significant change in the past couple of decades is that new developments—homes, both new build and refurbished, schools, play areas, hospitals, and many others—have been informed by and have adopted the principles of Secured By Design. Indeed, this morning I spent an hour and a half looking at some of the homes that have been built on the new Olympic park site. They have all been built using Secured by Design principles.

Since its inception under the auspices of the Association of Chief Police Officers in 1989, Secured by Design has achieved a great deal. Secured by Design developments—those using the products and materials that it has approved—are half as likely to be burgled and they show a 25% reduction in criminal damage. This is at a modest cost. The additional cost of using Secured by Design standards in the average home is only £170. In one year alone, some 700,000 burglaries could be thwarted if appropriate security devices were installed, representing an annual saving of more than £1.97 billion. Indeed, the Association of British Insurers has estimated that the introduction of Secured by Design standards across the UK would bring more than £3.2 billion-worth of savings to the economy over 20 years.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1523

This is a success story and one which I am sure the Government and the Home Office would wish to trumpet. Is it not strange then that this same Government are now seeking to undermine this success story? The Department for Communities and Local Government published—in the depths of August, typically—a consultation document seeking views on the results of the recent review of building regulations and housing standards. The proposals it is putting forward on the security of buildings suggest a two-tiered standard: a basic minimum level that could be generally required and a so-called enhanced standard.

The basic standard is demonstrably inadequate and has been shown to have little security benefit. Frankly, there is little point in specifying stronger locks. They are not much of a deterrent if the door in which they are located may be so flimsy that it can be kicked in with one firm kick. Even the enhanced standard would be lower than the existing Secured by Design standards, and they could be required by a local authority only where what is described as a “compelling” case existed for the higher standard to be applied in the case of an individual development. To make this compelling case, a local authority will have to demonstrate that the development will be subject to an “elevated” risk of burglary and that there will be a higher than normal impact of burglary on the tenants.

It goes without saying that this is a test that is almost impossible to pass in respect of a new development. What is more, the test has to be applied site by site in a way which is likely to produce confusion and added uncertainties for developers, who, when they submit a proposal, will not know whether the authority will be able to apply the enhanced standard. However, as has already been said, this enhanced standard will not be as beneficial as the existing proven Secured by Design guidelines. It will not be open to a local authority to require those proven guidelines, and to apply even the enhanced standards it will have to go through complicated processes to demonstrate the compelling case required by the DCLG, with all the implicit threats of legal action that that entails.

This is the antithesis of localism. I may need to be corrected on this but I believe that it is a policy of this Government that localism is a good thing. But this is saying that local authorities shall not apply these higher standards that have been drawn up and are proven to work. Surely it should be for local people through their locally-elected councillors to decide what level of security is appropriate for their own neighbourhoods. Instead, those same local people are being forced to accept a centrally driven dumbing- down of standards, which puts their communities and individual householders at risk.

This is all being put forward as a simplification of the planning process and that somehow these Secured by Design standards, which on average cost £170 per dwelling, have been the cause of stalled developments. What world are DCLG Ministers and officials living in? Have any of them had to live in an area blighted by excessive crime facilitated by poor design and inadequate security standards? Local authorities should be able to choose the level of security standards that they consider appropriate for the communities that they represent. What is the problem that Ministers think they are

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1524

going to solve by preventing that local democratic discretion? What is more, we can only assume that no consideration has been given by the Government to the consequences down the line. This change, which will curtail police influence on planning for secure facilities, is dangerous and short-sighted.

What it risks is that the progress that has been made over the past two decades in designing out crime, reducing burglary and making anti-social behaviour harder will be put into reverse. What it risks is adding to the costs of the criminal justice system. If we throw away the advantage that designing out crime has given us, how will our communities cope in the future with a diminished police force and neighbourhood policing being no more than a distant memory while the threat of crime rises again? Who benefits from this short-sighted policy? The only people who will benefit are the developers who will see an increase in their profits. Yet again we see a Government who neglect the many in favour of the privileged few.

What representations did the Home Office make about these ill thought out proposals? Is the Home Secretary powerless in stopping her Cabinet colleague, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, discarding 20 years of progress in reducing crime? May we perhaps have an assurance that, even at this late stage, Mr Pickles will be reined back? If we do not get some progress on this there is frankly no point in having this Bill, worthy though some elements of it may be. We might as well acknowledge that this Government are prepared to give up the fight against crime, solely to placate a handful of privileged developers.

Unless we get some serious assurances from the Minister on these points, this Bill will be rendered an irrelevance. We might as well pack up now. Unless we get some assurances tonight, I for one am not prepared to support this Bill receiving its Second Reading and will be not content.

8.03 pm

Lord Avebury (LD): My Lords, first, I join in the congratulations that have been expressed on the outstanding maiden speech of my noble friend Lord Paddick. We can tell from his speech not only that he has a great contribution to make in future to the matters covered by this Bill, but that he has a tremendous sense of humour which we will welcome in any debate in which he chooses to engage.

Like my noble friend Lord Dholakia, I welcome the changes that have already been made by the Government in this Bill to the extreme powers that were formerly in Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act, but they do not go far enough. The case referred to by my noble friend Lord Faulks—of David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who was stopped and detained for nine hours while transiting Heathrow in August—is now the subject of an inquiry by David Anderson QC. My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister has said that if Mr Anderson recommends further restrictions on the Schedule 7 powers, the Government should use this Bill for that purpose. We understand that his report may be delayed because of ongoing legal proceedings. I would be grateful if my noble friend the Minister could elaborate on that,

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1525

because ideally the report should be available while it may still be of assistance to your Lordships during the passage of this Bill.

As far as I know, Mr Miranda has not been arrested or charged with any offence. However, the police are examining the tens of thousands of documents stored on his laptop, mobile and other electronic devices, to see whether they constitute evidence that he,

“has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”.

I ask my noble friend: would the mere possession of material acquired by former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden related to the monitoring of telephone calls by the agency amount to terrorism? I understand that the Guardian had copies of all the files, and so did other media, so if there is an offence that could be used to charge Mr Miranda, it could be used against the Guardian and other media as well.

GCHQ obviously knows, from its general monitoring of communications, that Mr Miranda is a person of interest to it. It flags up his passport so that when he presents it to a scanner at a port of entry to the UK, he is detained and questioned under the powers of Schedule 7, even if at that point there is no reason to suspect that he has been engaged in committing, planning or instigating terrorism.

I am afraid that he is not the only person to have been stopped under Schedule 7 because his passport triggers a warning. A friend of mine, a British citizen of Bahraini origin, has been stopped three times, once at Heathrow and twice at St Pancras, within a 12-month period. I wrote to the Security Minister, James Brokenshire, in August and he replied a month later referring me to the police. I wrote to the Metropolitan Police and had an acknowledgement a week later. The matter was taken over by the IPCC on 1 October. On 15 October I met two police officers for a discussion on the case. That discussion consisted almost entirely of me giving them further background on the case, underlining the fact that a black mark existed against my friend’s name on the computer and that he wanted it removed.

Knowing how friendly we are with the Bahraini autocracy, and that the regime had asked us to consider an extradition treaty with it to enable it to harass Bahraini dissidents in the UK, I suspect that the use of Schedule 7 against my friend and other Bahraini exiles in the UK is politically motivated. This is a good illustration of the need to amend the power so that it can be used only to detain a person when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting his involvement in terrorism, as the Liberal Democrat autumn conference recommended.

Last week I had a meeting with senior officials of the Muslim NGO, ENGAGE, to discuss Schedule 7 among other matters. In their submission to the consultation they had detailed what they regarded as evidence of disproportionately large numbers of Muslims being stopped and searched—a concern which needs to be addressed for the sake of good community relations. I took up the case of a distinguished British imam who was stopped at Heathrow Terminal 1 in December 2008, detained and compelled to give a DNA sample and fingerprints. There was no reason

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1526

why he should have been suspected of terrorism, but it took me 15 months and 57 rounds of correspondence before I could persuade S015 counterterrorism command to destroy the sample and fingerprints. It is such cases that provide grounds for Muslims to believe they are being singled out.

We have an excellent blueprint for reform of Schedule 7 in the shape of the JCHR’s report on the Bill. The other place unfortunately did not have the time to consider its recommendations on this, as on other matters, because they were only published four days before Third Reading, with a weekend in between. Why did the Government not publish the responses to the consultation in full, as the JCHR had already recommended in its report on the Justice and Security Green Paper?

Do they accept that the powers that continue to be available under the amended Schedule 7 are still too widely defined, and will they publish their responses to each of the further amendments proposed before we get to Committee stage? On the code of practice, are they going to discuss paragraphs 15 to 18 with the EHRC with a view to reducing the danger that the powers are used disproportionately against Muslims and other minority groups? Do they agree that records of examinations should include the self-declared religion of the person examined? It would save time in Committee if the Government would respond positively to the JCHR recommendations in the Minister’s winding-up speech this evening.

8.10 pm

Lord Hylton (CB): My Lords, I wish to raise just two points on this Bill—the first concerns prisoners’ families and children; the second, the notorious ASBO and its replacement orders.

I had the privilege of being president of the Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders for many years. The association, inter alia, provided services to prisoners’ families and children. It described the impact of sentences, especially long ones, on the wives and children as “the silent sentence”. That is why I support the coalition of NGOs in this jurisdiction that wishes to amend this Bill to ensure that courts, the probation service and social services have a duty to arrange proper care and advice for the children and any vulnerable adults dependent on a person remanded in custody or in prison. Acceptance of an amendment on these lines will help to break the cycle of offending. We know already that children of prisoners are twice as likely as others to experience mental health problems. Some 65% of boys with a father in prison will later themselves offend. Their employment prospects are reduced and they are more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs. The impact on the children of a woman prisoner who suddenly disappears from her family may be even worse emotionally. We are therefore seeking both crime prevention and health improvement. An amendment has already been drafted and I urge Her Majesty’s Government to accept it or perhaps to take it away and gold-plate it.

The second point to which I draw your Lordships’ attention concerns “annoying conduct” and its definition under Clause 1. The phrase itself is subjective, because

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1527

what is annoying to one person will seem quite ordinary to another. The new injunctions replacing ASBOs will have a lower threshold, going wider than causing “harassment, alarm or distress”, and a lower standard of proof. This has already been criticised by the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights and even by the Association of Chief Police Officers. The new powers should be examined to ensure they are grounded in necessity and not just in convenience. The Government should turn their mind to the standard of proof and to the apparent lack of a defence of reasonableness.

All these matters, and Clause 33, deserve the most careful scrutiny. I say this having previously argued that acceptable behaviour contracts should be used before resorting to an ASBO. If I have been right to raise these two points, of which I have a little knowledge, it seems likely that the rest of this 200-page Bill will also need much improvement.

8.14 pm

Lord Borrie (Lab): My Lords, reading the House of Commons Hansardin relation to this Bill, I noticed that one Conservative Member of Parliament said that it was,

“a Christmas tree of a Bill”.—[

Official Report

, Commons, 15/10/13; col. 696.]

That makes it very difficult to discuss many of its aspects due to lack of time. Even in the last few minutes of Third Reading in another place, a second Conservative MP said,

“we are yet to have a proper debate on the extradition provisions”.—[

Official Report

, Commons, 15/10/13; col. 700.]

I think I am right in saying that there never was an opportunity to discuss the extradition provisions, hence the importance of this House debating these matters becomes enormous. A Bill of this sort with 13, 14 or 15 parts, with a very disparate group of subjects to discuss, means that even in this House we shall find it quite difficult to do proper justice to all the matters that should be raised.

I thought that one matter in this Bill was very welcome and indeed fairly bold. Perhaps the Government have their finger on the pulse when they propose that to be a chief of police you do not necessarily have to have been a police constable in the UK. That is a very welcome proposition because many professions over the years have been extremely restrictive in their approach, particularly the legal profession. It took a great deal of effort to get the law changed and to get the desirability of competition accepted across the different parties in this country. It is very useful that the opportunity is being taken to say that, from time to time, it may be desirable for the police to do what the Bank of England has done and choose a boss from another country, provided that he or she fulfils the requirements designated by the police college. I do not suppose there will be many new chief officers of police who have not been a police constable on the beat because that is surely a useful qualification. The difference is that it is only a desirability to be taken into account and is not necessarily required. I was pleased to hear the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Condon, who is not in his place at the moment. As an ex-Metropolitan Police Commissioner, he takes the broad view that I mention.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1528

I was also impressed by the speech of the noble Baroness, Lady O’Loan. She referred to the provisions in the Bill dealing with miscarriages of justice. She made it quite clear—as would everyone in the Chamber make it clear—that it is part of the rule of law in this country that no one can be found guilty of a criminal offence unless it is proved beyond reasonable doubt. She made a good case for saying that that proposition is brought into question if on an occasion when someone seeks to establish a fact after being found guilty of an offence—someone who seeks to establish a miscarriage of justice by reference to new facts and new matters that he or she wishes to bring before a court—there is a clash in the attitudes of the different stages of the procedure. Yet here we have it. The noble Baroness, Lady O’Loan, made it quite clear that under Clause 151 someone can establish a case for a miscarriage of justice to claim compensation only if he or she can show beyond reasonable doubt that he or she is innocent. The clash between that and the normal aspect of the rule of law in establishing guilt was made very clear.

In the case of Adams—which was referred to by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, because he wanted to mention that he was involved in that case—the Supreme Court had such a matter in front of it. The deputy president of the Supreme Court, the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Hale, said:

“A person is only guilty if the state can prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt”.

She continued:

“He does not have to prove his innocence at his trial and it seems wrong in principle that he should be required to prove his innocence now”,

“now” meaning in establishing a miscarriage of justice before the Supreme Court. The Government want clarity, but what is the advantage of clarity in relation to what the Government are proposing? Why is that more clear than clarity based on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Adams, to which I have referred?

I want to refer to one other matter—shoplifting. Noble Lords may think that this is an unimportant part of the Bill but I was fascinated to find a clause about shoplifting because in the 1950s, as a young barrister, I used to prosecute accused shoplifters up and down Oxford Street. They came into the magistrates’ courts and normally pleaded guilty but, even if they did not, they certainly did not want a jury trial; they wanted it all over there and then.

I find it difficult to consider where Clause 152 has sprung from. I do not think the word “shoplifting” has ever previously been found in a statute to describe what is involved in shop theft or market stall theft. Nowadays the prosecution is of course conducted under the Theft Act 1968; in my long and distant days it was the Larceny Act 1916. We got rid of the word “larceny”, which is good because it is a technical phrase, and the word “theft” is understood by everyone. To call theft “shoplifting” rather lends credence to the idea that some people have that shoplifting is somehow not as serious as real theft. I see no point in Clause 152 and no sense in distinguishing between the theft of £200-worth of goods and something less than £200-worth

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1529

of goods. I shall be glad to hear from the Minister whether there is a real case for that particular provision in the Bill.

8.22 pm

Lord Redesdale (LD): My Lords, unlike my noble friend Lord Paddick, who made such an excellent maiden speech, I am a serial offender on the issues that are being raised today. I shall speak on dogs, as I have often before. In fact, I have raised two Private Member’s Bills on dangerous dogs.

I welcome the initiative brought forward by the Government. Like many of the organisations that deal with dogs, I would have liked a Bill specifically focused on dogs and the issues around them. However, I can understand why the Government have taken the course that they have. We are looking at the amendment of 12 different pieces of legislation, which causes problems for those people who try to administer issues around dangerous dogs. It is complicated and involves a number of different issues: the breed of the dog, the type of the dog, the behaviour of the dog, the behaviour of the owner and the circumstances of the incident.

Nevertheless, I welcome this Bill because dogs, like archaeology—another issue that I have raised over many years—always seem to be tagged on to the end of other pieces of legislation. It is good to see that many of the issues are being brought forward. I would very much like the opportunity to discuss the guidance document on dogs with the Minister; the noble Lord, Lord De Mauley, has been most helpful. I understand why it is a complicated document, but it now runs to around 100 pages. That gives the impression that we will have difficulty in understanding what that guidance actually contains, and that is, perhaps, a recipe for slight issues. I hope that a one-page précis can be given out to those who try to enforce it, because a number of agencies will have to administrate it—not just the police but dog wardens and other appointed parties.

I want to raise a number of other issues in the very brief time allotted for these speeches. Considering how many hours I have spent talking about dogs, I think that six minutes is very parsimonious. I know that the Dogs Trust is hoping for dog control notices, and that issue will be discussed. There are also provisions on dogs attacking trespassers on their own property. While I very much welcome and have pushed for provisions on dog attacks on private property to solve some of the problems that we have seen, we need to discuss the defence of owners, which is an important aspect. We forget that there are 8.2 million dogs in this country; most owners are extremely responsible and would be horrified by the idea that they might be labelled as owners of dangerous dogs.

The whole point of any legislation around dogs is that it is the owner who is responsible. The important point is which end of the lead is actually responsible for the behaviour of the dog. A key aspect of the legislation that the Government are bringing forward is to make sure that owners understand their responsibilities. On that basis, I welcome the severe tariffs that are associated with owners who have used dogs as a weapon. There have been several cases, and at least one conviction, where a dog has been used as a

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1530

murder weapon. That is totally unacceptable. I believe, therefore, that the tariff should reflect the seriousness and the heinous nature of such a crime. Many people who own dogs for intimidation do so because it does not have the same tariff as carrying a knife. We have to take that issue into account.

The other issue is that of protected animals. Under the 2006 Act, protected animals are specified. I am glad to see that frogs are not included because I have a cockapoo who lost a fight recently with a frog—it is a long and complicated story, so I will leave it, given the time of night. However, there is an issue with dogs attacking other dogs. We know from the figures that dogs that have been used to attack other dogs often attack people. The Blue Cross is particularly concerned about making owners aware that it is unacceptable to use their dogs to attack other animals, such as cats. I think that that will cause some controversy.

I give the Minister prior notice that “protected animals” includes farm livestock. This just shows the difficulty of introducing legislation in this area. As a farmer, the Minister knows that there is a severe financial penalty for sheep worrying. Indeed, the NFU gave the figure of £1,500 in some recorded cases. Unfortunately, the offence is handled under the 1956 Act, where the maximum penalty is £10. I very much hope that we can revisit this to make sure that owners are aware of the great burden that can fall on sheep farmers, especially when the income of hill farmers is not at its highest. I declare an interest as the owner of two hill farms, so I know that the income from them is not high.

8.30 pm

Baroness Stern (CB): My Lords, it is a long time since I have been involved in a Home Office Bill about anti-social behaviour. Reading the Bill, I am reminded of how much we have now come to take for granted and accept that, in my view, we should not take for granted or accept.

I refer specifically here to Parts 1 to 6, in so far as they affect those who are under 18—children, teenagers and adolescents. Clause 1 is striking. The Government propose that the full majesty of the law should be invoked and an injunction imposed on a 10 year-old child if that child is engaged or threatens to engage in,

“conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person”,

and that it is “just and convenient” to grant the injunction to prevent the child carrying on with the threats to cause nuisance and annoyance. Liberty describes that power as “breathtakingly wide”. I am very grateful to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, for his forensic demolition of those powers, which I am sure that the Minister found very helpful.

If it is just and convenient to impose an injunction, the injunction will stop the 10 year-old from doing anything described in it. Presumably, there are limits to what can be described in the injunction, although I am not sure where they are set down. It may also require the child to do anything described in the injunction. The court deciding on the injunction can also decide that the child can be named in public, which means that the child will be searchable on the internet for life and the record gained aged 10 will always be there.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1531

When the child defaults on any of those obligations—the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, helpfully reminded us that 40% are expected to do so—the child will be in more trouble and could have a supervision order imposed, which could include measures such as curfews and electronic monitoring that are normally given by the courts to people convicted of offences. Should the child have reached the age of 14, this “just and convenient” way could lead to some time in detention.

In case the Minister reminds me that I have not noted it, I note that, compared with the previous regime, a child will not have a criminal record when an injunction is imposed. I note that, under the previous regime, custody could be imposed for breach from the age of 12 and the Bill raises that age to 14. I note that the maximum sentence of detention for breach of an injunction is three months under the Bill, compared to the current regime which provides for five years. Those reductions in the draconian nature of the measures do not make them acceptable.

That is not to say that children and young people do not behave very badly. They can cause great misery to vulnerable people. To cite the noble Baroness, Lady Newlove, that is very real. Surely there must be a better way to respond to a very naughty child. Surely there are dedicated professionals working in the field who can find another route than the one set out in the Bill to find the assistance that such children need, to help their hard-pressed parents to fight for access to the child and adolescent mental health services that they know they need but which they cannot get, and the appropriate education services, to make arrangements that are, to cite our international obligations to children,

“in the best interests of the child”.

Can the Minister tell the House if any other country in the world is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child that has similar legislation in place? Also, can he tell us why the Government produced a substantial analysis of the compatibility of the Children and Families Bill with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but failed to do so for this Bill?

I briefly mention two other matters. First, I endorse what has been said so effectively by my noble friend Lady O’Loan about the presumption of innocence in Part 12. I also support the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, about devolving the funding for witness and victim services to the police and crime commissioners. This seems to me to be a very worrying step—not as a reflection on police and crime commissioners as such but from a concern about the quality of service for victims. This country’s arrangements for victim support have been a model for the world and many countries have learnt much from us.

My particular concern is about the response to victims of rape and sexual assault. When they responded to my report of 2010 on how rape complainants are dealt with by public authorities, the Government made a very positive statement about services for victims of rape. They said that there must be a coherent approach that victims can rely on and that society has a positive responsibility to help and protect victims, aside from the operation of the criminal law. The Government have achieved a great deal with funding for rape support centres, Rape Crisis and other services. Once these services become subject to locally, politically

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1532

driven decisions, rape victims will not get a consistent response that they can rely on. Can the Minister tell the House how the Government intend to ensure that these services continue to exist and meet the needs of women and girls, men and boys, who have been raped or sexually assaulted?

8.37 pm

Lord Marlesford (Con): My Lords, I thank and congratulate the Minister on the illuminating tour he took us on of the Christmas tree that this Bill is, shining his torch on the various baubles hanging on it. Some of them were pretty, some less so. Many of us would agree, frankly, that there is much too much legislation. The Home Office plays its part in that. Very often, of course, these are pieces of legislation brought in to correct defects in previous legislation.

I always remember that when I first arrived here in the days of the John Major Government, the Home Office had persuaded the Government to bring in a Bill, which became a law, saying that judges were no longer allowed to take account of previous offences for which people had served a sentence. This astonishing idea actually got through. It did not last very long. Of course, it was removed. Now we have had the devastating dissection of the drafting defects of this Bill from the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope. We have a Bill that could be argued as having at least 10 separate Bills contained in it. I am not very good at arithmetic, but to be told that we have five hours for Second Reading will mean, it seems to me, not much more than a half hour Second Reading per Bill.

That may have been agreed between the usual channels. I hope that the usual channels will be more realistic when it comes to Committee stage. We must start to scrutinise these Bills carefully and properly. We cannot go on like this. The House of Commons has no hope of doing so, as was pointed out by my noble friend Lord Hodgson, with the combination of the guillotine and a standing committee which is appointed and cannot bring in particular experts. All these subjects in this Bill are much too important to be sloshed through in such a sloppy manner, as is inclined to happen.

I propose to talk a little about Part 1 and to make a suggestion which I hope will help the Government, and which I hope that my noble friend might look kindly upon, regarding anti-social behaviour. I noticed with interest that in the useful publication which we were given, Reform of Anti-Social Behaviour Powers: Draft Guidance for Frontline Professionals—I was rather flattered to be given a copy of that—the first example of this behaviour was littering. It happens that I introduced to your Lordships a Bill on litter, the Littering from Vehicles Bill, which is still with us. It had its Second Reading on 19 July, when 10 Members of your Lordships’ House took part. All supported it, except the Minister. As a matter of interest, I wonder whether littering came into my noble friend’s 2.2 million anti-social behaviour incidents. I do not think that it can have done because you would have to multiply that figure by about 100. At any rate, the Bill clearly covers litter.

I suggest that the main point in my Bill should be incorporated into this Bill. That point was to introduce,

“a civil penalty for littering from vehicles”,

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1533

to make,

“the registered keeper of the vehicle”,

from which the litter was thrown the automatic recipient of the penalty. That would be a change in two respects. First, it moves it from being a criminal offence to a civil offence and, secondly, it greatly simplifies something which in the past has proved unworkable. I was therefore rather disappointed to have a very long letter from my noble friend Lord de Mauley, giving me all the reasons which the civil servants had put forward as to why my Bill was not acceptable. Unfortunately, different people had obviously put different reasons and although those reasons were self-contradictory, they appeared in the same letter.

First, the letter says that the change clearly raises questions of proportionality and civil liberties in its suggestion to make littering something where the keeper is responsible, as he is for parking a vehicle. That is apparently seen as an infringement of civil liberties and proportionality, and was therefore regarded as being much too drastic. Then we have a great thing, which I rather agree with, regarding anti-social behaviour,

“which demonstrates a basic disrespect for the community and the local environment”.

There is one other wonderful bit of it. Regarding keeping the charges as criminal, the letter points out that,

“unspent criminal convictions, including those for littering, will also of course show up on any criminal record check carried out by a prospective employer and must be declared when applying for a visa to travel to certain countries”.

I am not sure that littering is necessarily dealt with by such severity.

The example and the lesson in all this is that when you have something that needs doing, you do it as simply as possible and at as low a level as possible. You do not make things criminal when they do not need to be. The system of criminal offences does not actually work—it is a great pity—because the criminal law requires you to know who has thrown the litter from the vehicle, which people are not prepared to own up to. Nothing can therefore be done and there are no convictions. This is an example where, in a very small way, I would add one little bauble to the Christmas tree, which I hope might be well received.

I do not want to go on very long but I must say one word about the police, because this is so serious. I wonder whether the leaders of the police, particularly the Police Federation, realise just what damage is done by the lack of integrity illustrated by some of the recent incidents. It is about not just public confidence but, I suspect, the willingness of juries to convict on police evidence. I am not a lawyer, but there are plenty here who will say whether I am right. I am glad to say that we had an excellent maiden speech from my noble friend Lord Paddick, who clearly also feels that the present arrangements are unsatisfactory.

I was appalled that the Commissioner of the Met should have agreed, let alone proposed, that the Met should itself investigate the plebgate affair. The public will ask, “What hope have I, if the police can stitch up a Cabinet Minister?”. I am a great supporter of the police and crime commissioners, and I hope that they

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1534

will take on board, as one of their most important duties, the need to do what they can to improve the integrity of police forces.

8.45 pm

Lord Judd (Lab): My Lords, I have found this debate particularly interesting. Some of the speeches will be well worth reading again to ponder more deeply. I include in those the splendid and powerful maiden speech by the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, and the speech by the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, which I found very telling.

We have talked a great deal about ASBOs in this debate. When I was in the other place I had an inner-city constituency and I was brought face to face, very rudely, with the realities. Quite a small number of people can certainly make a living hell for people in a community that is already disadvantaged, and where there are frail people, elderly people and frightened people. It is all very well for those of us who live in more affluent areas to talk about this in terms of high policy, but we have to face the realities on the ground.

That is exactly what makes me worried about our approach to such things in terms of containing and managing, as distinct from solving and overcoming. If we are to solve and overcome, we have always to ask why: we have always to ask about the causes of the unacceptable behaviour that confronts us. If we get that wrong, we are likely to aggravate the situation. We shall accentuate alienation and stigmatisation, and drive people into chronic delinquency and quite sinister criminal communities.

What are the causes? What lies behind it? This is not sentimental stuff; this is hard thinking, if I may say so. Of course deprivation, broken and dysfunctional families, domestic brutality and alcoholism are all highly relevant to the situation. Of course we need a matrix approach to tackling it. We need an education system that at all levels, in all parts of society, emphasises social responsibility and citizenship as much as achieving and success. We also need to introduce, in practical ways, a matrix approach, which must engage community workers, social workers, counsellors—and, indeed, local councillors—youth workers and conciliation services. If we do not have that kind of matrix approach, just trying to shove things back by managing the situation with punitive measures will not lead to any kind of worthwhile future at all. The problem is that it is exactly these areas that we see being prioritised for cuts—cutting back at the very time when, if we are really serious about this, we should be enhancing and strengthening the matrix work.

Of course we as a society need to be clear about what is acceptable and what is not; my own conviction is that the law should be clear on that. However, in keeping with my own understanding of justice and its importance to our ethos as a nation, these practical measures—the steps that we have to take as envisaged in the Bill—are there to underpin that ethos. I remember that when I was Defence Minister, a very senior officer said to me once on a visit to an establishment, “Of course the Queen’s regulations are important, but the officer or NCO who walks around with a copy of the Queen’s regulations under his arm is lost”. That underpins the point: it is about ethos, consistency and credibility.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1535

That means that our understanding of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, and indeed what is anti-social behaviour, has to apply at absolutely every level of society. We should be condemning bankers and financiers who act irresponsibly in terms of anti-social behaviour, as we should anyone at the bottom of the pile. How on earth are we going to have credibility with people at the bottom of the pile unless the same principles clearly apply to those who are at the peak of society, as we like to regard it?

I shall finish with four points that I personally shall be watching carefully as the Bill proceeds. First, we talk about a responsible society, but how can we claim responsibility when it is still the case that when parents or carers go into prison, or into custody on remand, there is not necessarily a proper inquiry about their children—how many they have, who is looking after them and what the plans for them are? How can that be responsible? It is likely to lead to aggravation of the very issues that we claim to be concerned about. We need to look at whether the Bill helps to strengthen our behaviour in that respect.

Secondly, I find myself in agreement with those who say that to talk about “nuisance” or “annoyance” is very subjective. One thinks of children playing tag or football in the street or cycling around in it; one thinks of exuberance in the community playground; one thinks of cooking aromas. To different people, these will be very objectionable and anti-social. We must have clearer language here about what we are really talking about.

Thirdly, we need to look at the consequences of mandatory evictions. If we are just driving people into more insecurity and worse behaviour, and driving children into more disorientation than they have already encountered in their lives, how does that help? We must have a social policy that goes alongside any use of evictions. I am not very happy about evictions anyway, but we cannot just talk about mandatory evictions in certain circumstances.

Fourthly, whether directly or indirectly, if any behaviour or consequence of it is likely to lead a person into the stigma of criminality, we really cannot go on talking about the balance of probabilities; we have to talk about “beyond reasonable doubt”. That has been central to our legal system in the past, and it needs to apply in these situations every bit as much as anywhere else.

8.55 pm

Baroness Harris of Richmond (LD): My Lords, I remind the House of my interests, which involve many years of working with the police service in various roles, and of chairing the police authority in North Yorkshire for a number of years. I will limit my speech to Part 11 of the Bill, which involves policing matters. I too welcome my noble friend Lord Paddick and congratulate him on his excellent maiden speech and I know we will hear much more from him, certainly on police matters.

I want to again bring up the concerns of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, the PFNI, about the move from a pay negotiating board to a pay review body. First, it was not properly consulted on these matters, and it makes the point that Scotland, which has devolved policing, is not to have this move thrust

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1536

upon it. It also made the point to me that it is much better able to articulate the views of the rank-and-file officers by way of round-table negotiation as opposed to submitting papers and proposals to people it has never met and who, almost certainly, will not know the complexity and danger that the PSNI, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, face in that Province.

I remind your Lordships that in the context of Northern Ireland, with the ongoing terrorist threat facing police officers there and the volatility of public order incidents, the officers feel they must have the opportunity of articulating their views and concerns about fair pay and conditions of service. I agree with them. In the past 18 months, 689 officers have been injured—something that, if it happened in England or Wales, would be utterly and completely unacceptable. The PFNI simply wants the right to represent its members thoroughly and properly. I hope that the Minister will be able to reassure me that a decision on this matter will be taken at the earliest opportunity.

I would certainly wish to see the National Crime Agency extended to Northern Ireland and I am dismayed that some politicians there are resisting its implementation. What is stopping these people from encouraging the NCA to help clear up organised crime, fuel laundering, smuggling, dealing in prostitution, drug dealing and the like? It is absolutely essential that the PSNI has the services of the NCA to help bring the paramilitary organisations to justice, and enable it to help Northern Ireland to the shared peaceful future it deserves. Those politicians who are resisting this must look to their consciences and make the right decision to support the inclusion of the NCA into Northern Ireland legislation.

Remaining in Northern Ireland, I want to touch on the part of the Bill which deals with miscarriages of justice and which has already been referred to by other noble Lords. Much was said in the other place about this and I will not weary your Lordships with repetition of Hansard in this matter, but Clause 151 would change the law significantly, and put the onus on the individual to prove themselves to be innocent. That cannot be right. Everyone is entitled to due process and legal protection in this country.

I move now to other matters in the Bill. I welcome the work that is going to be done by the College of Policing. However, I am concerned that the membership is not reflective of the importance of the wide-ranging work that it will have to undertake. It is in its infancy and it is to be hoped that there will be fewer ACPO chiefs and former chiefs and it will give way to a more diverse membership. A good start was made with its independent chair, but much more needs to be done if it is to shape the future of the police service. It has a huge job to do with the recent, awful policing revelations and I hope that it will commit to developing a strong code of ethics for police officers, the vast majority of whom give great service to this country and who are now under severe scrutiny because of the abject failure of some of their colleagues. The Home Secretary trialled the idea of a code of ethics back in March when she was speaking about police corruption, and I am advised by ACPO that it is now out for public consultation. Will the Minister ensure it gets the widest possible publicity for a meaningful consultation document?

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1537

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, the IPCC, will need really excellent resources if it is to undertake the enormous amount of extra work it is now being asked to do, especially dealing with issues like the tragic case of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter, who committed suicide because the police had not acted on her complaints in spite of her contacting them 33 times over a number of years. It will need excellent officers to get beneath the horror story that is Hillsborough and other dreadful events. Dame Anne Owers is the very best person to chair it, and I wish her well. As we have already heard, we need a truly independent complaints procedure, something I have been calling for in this House for many years, and I can only hope that this Bill will give it to us. I will look at any amendments with interest.

Another issue facing the IPCC is the importance of business licensing for people engaged with the private security industry. When these people work alongside the police, they need to be properly regulated so that inappropriate people—should I say cowboys?—are driven out. Will the Minister assure me that this will be looked at and action taken if it is felt that people working alongside the police are not properly licensed? It is a shame that the Security Industry Authority is no more, and it would be interesting to learn whether unscrupulous people are making inroads into security firms, since there appears to be nothing to stop them doing so now.

Policing is in a pretty awful place at the moment. In my 35 years of taking an interest in these matters, I have never known morale to be so low. Police officers are generally fond of having a good moan, but at the moment that is becoming a cry of despair. They simply do not think anyone is listening to them, and the massive changes they are undergoing are destabilising them. Modernisation is absolutely necessary. They know that and are prepared to countenance a large part of what is proposed, but at the moment they also need to be acknowledged for the good work they do, and they feel as if they are being particularly targeted and used as scapegoats. So the Bill, while welcome in many ways, must take account of those parts which relate solely to policing issues and recognise the concerns I have raised this evening. I hope the Minister will do so.

9.01 pm

Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood (Non-Afl): My Lords, I propose to focus on just one clause in this lengthy Bill. I refer to Clause 151, in Part 13, concerning compensation for miscarriages of justice. Let me make plain at the outset that far from opposing this provision, as a great majority of those who have spoken about it today appear to do, I support it although, as I shall shortly explain, I could accept a slight modification to it, a modest dilution of its effect. Instead of the person seeking compensation having to prove his innocence beyond reasonable doubt—that is the criminal standard of proof for guilt to be established—it may be thought preferable that he need establish innocence only on the balance of probabilities. But I believe that establish his innocence he must, not of course, to have his conviction set aside and to go free, but to secure monetary compensation.

29 Oct 2013 : Column 1538