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Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill: Lords Amendments

Published Monday, February 3, 2014

This note gives background on Lords Amendments to the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill, which are due to be considered by the Commons on 4 February 2014.

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This note gives background on Lords Amendments to the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill. Parts 1-6 of the Bill would reform the tools available to deal with anti-social behaviour. There have been some concerns about the breadth of a number of these new powers, and the adequacy of safeguards. Other parts of the Bill cover a wide range of other criminal justice and policing matters. The Government has produced Explanatory Notes to the Lords Amendments.

There were a lot of Government amendments agreed to in the Lords, many on Report or Third Reading in response to arguments made in Committee. They include changes to:

• the definition of anti-social behaviour used for the new Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (which is now similar to that used in existing legislation)

• powers to exclude people from their homes (which now only apply to adults)

• the standard of proof to be used for Criminal Behaviour Orders

• the forced marriage offence to cover situations where the victim lacks mental capacity

• the firearms provisions, to subject those on suspended sentences to the same prohibitions as those whose sentences had not been suspended, and to prevent prohibited persons from possessing antique firearms

• the new Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders to provide for all applications concerning under 18s to be heard in the youth court

• the provisions on port and border controls to clarify the rights of a detained person to consult a solicitor and specify the process for reviewing detention.

• the Extradition Act 2003, building in additional safeguards and dealing with technical flaws with the operation of the Act.

Other changes would introduce:

• New powers for Chief Constables to confer on Police Community Support Officers

• A new civil penalty for registered keepers of vehicles where a littering offence has been committed from that vehicle.

• Longer maximum sentences for aggravated offences where a dog is dangerously out of control and injures a person or assistance dog

• Powers to allow the police to obtain information about guests staying at hotels, guest houses and B&Bs where they suspect sexual exploitation could be taking place.

• Powers to take further fingerprints or non-intimate samples if a criminal investigation is restarted, and to retain a DNA profile where someone has a previous conviction or caution that allows retention, irrespective of whether the arrest for which the profile was obtained was itself followed by a conviction

• An extension of existing powers to temporarily close premises used for prostitution and child pornography offences, to allow for temporary closure of premises used for a wider range of child sex offences.

In addition, Lords amendment 113 would abolish the defence of marital coercion.

Clause 172 is concerned with the test used to determine whether there has been a miscarriage of justice for which a person should receive compensation. The Bill as originally introduced provided for the test to be whether a new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person was innocent of the offence. Lords Pannick’s amendment, which was agreed on division at Report Stage (Lords amendment 112), would provide for the test to be whether a new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that the evidence against the person at trial is so undermined that no conviction could possibly be based on it. The Government is seeking to replace Lords Amendment 112 with their own amendment

The other main non-Government amendment (which the Minister said was a matter for Parliament) concerned protests around Parliament. This would extend the area in which controls apply.

Commons Briefing papers SN06810

Authors: Pat Strickland; Jacqueline Beard; Joanna Dawson

Topics: Animals, Anti-social behaviour, Criminal law, Environmental protection, Firearms, Police

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