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Draft Police Act 1996 (Amendment and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2022

Debated on Thursday 7 July 2022

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chair: Christina Rees

Afolami, Bim (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con)

† Cryer, John (Leyton and Wanstead) (Lab)

† David, Wayne (Caerphilly) (Lab)

Duffield, Rosie (Canterbury) (Lab)

† Edwards, Ruth (Rushcliffe) (Con)

Elmore, Chris (Ogmore) (Lab)

† Elphicke, Mrs Natalie (Dover) (Con)

† Evans, Dr Luke (Bosworth) (Con)

† French, Mr Louie (Old Bexley and Sidcup) (Con)

† Kearns, Alicia (Rutland and Melton) (Con)

† Knight, Sir Greg (East Yorkshire) (Con)

† Malthouse, Kit (Minister for Crime and Policing)

† Randall, Tom (Gedling) (Con)

† Shah, Naz (Bradford West) (Lab)

Sheerman, Mr Barry (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op)

† Tomlinson, Michael (Lord Commissioner of Her Majestys Treasury)

Whitley, Mick (Birkenhead) (Lab)

Seb Newman, Susie Smith, Committee Clerks

† attended the Committee

The following also attended, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(2):

Hall, Luke (Thornbury and Yate) (Con)

Twist, Liz (Blaydon) (Lab)

Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee

Thursday 7 July 2022

[Christina Rees in the Chair]

Draft Police Act 1996 (Amendment and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2022

In what will probably be my final act as Policing Minister, I beg to move,

That the Committee has considered the draft Police Act 1996 (Amendment and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2022.

The draft regulations were laid before the House on 9 June and will change the name of the Hampshire police area, in my own fair county, to Hampshire and Isle of Wight. That will better reflect the make-up of the police area and the communities it serves across the counties of Hampshire and Isle of Wight.

I thank in particular Donna Jones, our brilliant police and crime commissioner in the two counties, for her campaign and representations on this important local matter. There is significant local support for the change, with 82% of local residents indicating their support in a consultation carried out by the commissioner. The standout reason cited was the simple fact that Hampshire constabulary serves two counties: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Respondents also noted that those on the Island sometimes feel forgotten, and it was felt that a more inclusive name would help to address that. Key local leaders are also united in their support for the name change, including the leader of Isle of Wight Council, my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight (Bob Seely) , the force’s chief constable and the district commander based on the Island.

Parliament’s approval of the draft regulations will therefore respond to the specific requests of the people of the Isle of Wight, recognising their strong sense of identity. It will also better reflect Hampshire constabulary’s full geographical coverage and bring the force into line with the corresponding fire service, which rebranded as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service following the recent merger of the Island and mainland fire services.

Police area names and the power to amend them are set out in the Police Act 1996, section 31A of which allows for the Secretary of State to amend those names by regulations subject to the affirmative procedure. This draft instrument will amend schedule 1 to the Act, which sets out the names of all police areas in England and Wales, with the exception of the Metropolitan police district and the City of London police area. Furthermore, articles 34 and 35 of the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2012 makes provision in relation to election expenses in police areas. Those articles include references to “Hampshire”, which these regulations will substitute with “Hampshire and Isle of Wight”.

Should the amendment be approved, the Government intend to make a further statutory instrument, subject to the negative resolution procedure, to come into force at the same time as the draft regulations, to reflect the name change in other secondary legislation. Together with the strong local support, I trust that I have made a clear case for enacting this important local change.

I had wanted to ask the Minister to clarify that there would be no cost implications, but he mentioned it earlier.

Question put and agreed to.

Committee rose.