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Commons Amendments

Volume 413: debated on Tuesday 21 October 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

4 Clause 2, page 3, line 1, leave out 'take that person' and insert 'detain that person and take him as quickly as is reasonably practicable'.

5 Clause 2, page 3, line 2, leave out 'that person may be detained' and insert 'the detention may continue'.

6 Clause 2, page 3, line 8, at end insert ';and when a person has been detained under subsection (1) above for a period of six hours, he shall be informed immediately upon expiry of this period that his detention has been terminated'.

7 Clause 2, page 3, line 13, leave out 'exercises the power conferred by' and insert 'detains a person under'.

8 Clause 2, page 3, line 14, leave out 'concerned'.

9 Clause 2, page 3, line 15, leave out 'and' and insert 'of'.

10 Clause 2, page 3, line 16, leave out from 'and' to 'of' in line 18.

11 Clause 2, page 3, line 20, leave out 'place of detention' and insert 'place where detention begins and the police station or other premises to which the person is taken'.

12 Clause 2, page 3, line 22, after 'time' insert 'when detention under subsection (1) above begins and the time'.

My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 4 to 12 en bloc. The purpose of this group of amendments, apart from Amendment No. 6, is to make quite clear that detention must be taken as beginning when the police first exercise the power contained in Clause 2(1), rather than when the detained person reaches the police station. The amendments ensure that no one is deprived of his liberty under Clause 2 for a total period of more than six hours, and represent a safeguard for the detained person not to be found in the Thomson report (which recommended that detention should only begin when a person arrived at a police station). Nor was such a safeguard to be found in the previous Government's Bill.

Amendment No. 4 is of particular importance in that it requires transfer to a police station or other premises to be made
"as quickly as is reasonably practicable".
The Government consider detention should normally take place in a relatively formal setting and this amendment prevents undue delay in taking the suspect to a police station. Amendments Nos. 11 and 12 are also important; they provide for a record to be made of the time when, and the place where, detention begins; of the police station or other premises to which the suspect is taken, and his time of arrival.

Amendment No. 6, which was proposed in another place by the honourable Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles, deals with what happens at the conclusion of the six hours period of detention. It ensures that the detained person is told by the police that the period of detention has terminated, and he therefore will know that he is free to go, unless of course the police decide at that point that he should be arrested. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments.—( The Earl of Mansfield.)

My Lords, it is only right that I should acknowledge that these amendments do, in fact, improve the Bill and certainly improve the rights of persons detained under Clause 2. I hope that the House will accept the Commons amendments.

My Lords, may I venture to draw attention to what seems to me to be a minor mistake in Amendment No. 9. I do not think that it should be there at all. Perhaps my noble friend will kindly look at the amendment, because otherwise there will be two 'of's together. The point is that it says:

"At the time when a constable exercises the power conferred by subsection (1) above, he shall inform the person concerned of his suspicion and"—
and that is to be changed to "of"—
"of the reason for the detention".
The words,
"his suspicion of the reason for the detention".
do not make sense.

On Question, Motion agreed to.