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House of Lords Hansard
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Offensive Weapons Bill
19 March 2019
Volume 796

Third Reading

Clause 15: Requirements for application for order under section 14

Amendment 1 not moved.

Clause 16: Application without notice

Amendment 2 not moved.

Clause 17: Interim knife crime prevention order: application without notice

Amendment 3 not moved.

Clause 18: Interim knife crime prevention order: application not determined

Amendment 4 not moved.

Clause 20: Requirement to consult on application for order under section 19

Amendment 5 not moved.

Clause 22: Requirements included in knife crime prevention order etc

Amendment 6 not moved.

Clause 23: Duration of knife crime prevention order etc

Amendment 7 not moved.

Clause 38: Delivery of bladed products to residential premises etc

Amendment 8

Moved by

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8: Clause 38, page 32, line 32, at end insert—

“(aa) the delivery is not made by a trusted courier of bladed products, and”Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment, and the amendment at page 32, line 37, would allow for the Government to create a “trusted courier” scheme, and to exempt sales using “trusted couriers” from restrictions in this section. This follows the Minister’s undertaking on 4 March (HL Deb, column 448).

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My Lords, Amendment 8 in my name would enable bladed products to still be delivered to home addresses by establishing a scheme whereby the product is delivered by a trusted courier. This is an issue that I have raised in all the Bill’s stages in this noble House. Initially, I thought a trusted trader scheme would be the best option but I concluded that this trusted courier scheme is a better way forward.

The Bill would prohibit the delivery of bladed objects to residential properties, and the concern of small and medium-sized knife manufacturers and retailers is about the detrimental impact this ban will have on their businesses. As more and more sales move online, consumers expect to be able to receive deliveries directly to their home.

I have said at each stage that I support the aims of the Bill but I am concerned that it is a legislative sledgehammer that will affect small and medium-sized businesses based in the UK while having no impact on knife crime whatever. There is no shred of evidence that these high-quality knives being sold online are being bought for criminal intent. If there were, it would have been presented.

I think we all accept that if you bought a knife online with the intent to stab someone, you would create a very easy evidence trail for the police to follow. We all want to achieve the Bill’s objective and reduce knife crime, but at the same time not destroy or damage UK-based businesses. All I seek is to achieve protection for British business in the form of an approved deliverer.

Representatives of the industry met me, the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Trafford, and the noble Baroness, Lady Barran, a few weeks ago, when the industry put what I thought was a very convincing case to the Minister, along with the honourable Members for Sheffield Central and Sheffield South East. I want to find a solution that does not harm business, and I think this is the way forward. I beg to move.

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My Lords, I support the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy of Southwark, in principle, although I have concerns about it. Noble Lords will recall that the Bill as drafted would mean that someone could order a knife from an overseas website and have it delivered to their home address, but could not order the same knife from a UK supplier and have it delivered to their home address. The noble Lord is attempting to remedy that situation. The difficulty I have with it—perhaps he can assist the House in this degree—is that the Bill also covers delivery to a locker. Would his amendment enable a trusted courier to deliver a bladed product to a locker as well as to residential premises, which in my view would be undesirable?

The second issue is that the amendment does not apply to Clause 41, which relates to the delivery of a bladed product to someone under 18 from an overseas website. The legislation sets down rules whereby, if the courier knows that the consignment contains a bladed product, they have to verify the age of the person to whom the bladed product is being delivered. I wonder whether it would be sensible, were the Government to accept that a trusted courier system is necessary, to extend that to Clause 41. Having said that, were the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy, to divide the House, we would support his amendment.

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My Lords, my noble friend will know how unhappy I am with the state of the Bill as it is. We are greatly disadvantaging British sellers of knives and doing almost nothing to control foreign sellers of knives. If we are after stopping knives getting into the hands of young people, sending them down a domestic route, where we know the person who has sold them and the courier who has delivered them and everything has been done in the open and properly, must be better than encouraging anyone buying knives to buy them abroad—indeed, making it almost essential—because only that way can they have them delivered to their homes.

If we were achieving something by the Bill as it is—if it was actually going to make things safer—I and, I suspect, the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy of Southwark, would support the Government. But, as it is, we are just disadvantaging British business without making anything safer for anyone. The amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy, is a step in the right direction—I am sure the drafting will be improved—but the main thing is that I would really like to see the Government accept that they need to improve the Bill in this area and to undertake to do so in the course of ping-pong.

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My Lords, I agree with everything the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, has said. I also support this amendment, because it is a move in the right direction. To my mind, it does not go far enough because we are disadvantaging all UK distributors against all foreign ones. It just leaves a huge loophole—and personally I think the Government will be massacred in the press once what they are passing here comes to light—so I recommend they put at least this in.

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My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy, for his amendments, because they enable us to return to whether or not the Bill should provide exemptions to the prohibition on arranging delivery of bladed products to residential premises or a locker. I am grateful to him and to the Sheffield knife manufacturers for the time they spent in discussion with me on this.

The noble Lord tabled an amendment on Report on whether trusted traders should be exempt from the prohibitions in the Bill on arranging delivery of bladed products to residential premises or a locker. In response, I said we would look to have further discussions with delivery companies on the issue. We have discussed this with a number of companies that provide delivery services. It is difficult for delivery companies to give a firm view on how they might operate in this sphere in future, and it will depend to a large extent on whether the criminal liability falls on the seller, as it does in the Bill in relation to the UK, or on the deliverer, as it does in relation to overseas sellers under Clauses 38 and 41.

Whether deliverers would be willing to take on the criminal liability—and with it the risk of an unlimited fine—for the offence of handing over items to a person under 18 is likely to depend on the specific circumstances in each case; for example, where a major retailer is involved, a delivery company may be prepared to take on the criminal liability because the commercial benefits of the contract outweigh the risks, but a small retailer may decide not to take on the liability. Placing the liability on deliverers could therefore work against small manufacturers and retailers, meaning that big firms can still have their products delivered to a person’s home but small ones need to use a collection point. This would be a perverse outcome that would put small businesses at a commercial disadvantage to larger firms.

I turn now to the amendments. When we considered the trusted trader amendments previously, I expressed concerns that their effect would be to transfer the responsibility for complying with the legislation and for ensuring that all bladed products are handled properly from the seller to the Government. I have similar concerns about a scheme that would exempt sellers using a trusted courier from the prohibition on the delivery of bladed products to residential premises. A trusted courier scheme would require the Government to set out the details of the proposed scheme, which would then allow for the delivery of bladed products to residential premises.

Setting up, administering and overseeing a trusted courier scheme would create a further burden on the Government or local authorities, with inevitable cost implications. In addition, simply being part of a scheme or possessing a seal of approval as a trusted courier does not guarantee compliance with the conditions of the scheme. No liability is placed on the courier in the current proposal, meaning there is no consequence for the courier company if it fails to comply; for example, by simply leaving knives at an individual’s door. Such a scheme would impose regulatory burdens on participating businesses. In addition, the scheme would need to be administered by an independent regulatory body or by local authorities, albeit with the expectation that participating businesses would be required to meet the cost of running the scheme.

In addition to the costs of setting up and administering such a scheme, many delivery companies work with self-employed individuals on a casual and part-time basis. Therefore, many of the persons who deliver items on the company’s behalf are not employees of the delivery company. This business model is likely to make it even more difficult to determine whether a delivery company can be trusted to provide reassurances that a bladed product will not be handed to a person under 18. It may therefore be more difficult to accredit a trusted courier than a trusted seller, for whom you will have information about the type of products they sell; their knowledge of their customer base; the systems they have in place to ensure that age is checked at the point of sale; and the arrangements they have for packaging and delivering items. With a trusted courier, you will simply have their assurances that they will not hand items over to a person under 18.

The Government remain of the view that the requirement to pick up the item at a collection point is necessary. We are concerned that exempting sellers who use certain delivery companies from this requirement will undermine the legislation’s effectiveness.

In Committee, a number of examples were shown to be defined as bladed products and therefore banned from delivery to a home address, including food processors, mixers and lawnmowers. Whether these items fall within the definition of a bladed product will depend on the facts of each case, but the Government do not intend for them to do so. I am sympathetic if this is a major concern. We can deal with this issue by making it clear in the statutory guidance accompanying the Bill that such items are not intended to be covered by the term “bladed product” and can be delivered to residential premises. Trading standards and the Crown Prosecution Service would have regard to guidance when deciding whether or not to bring a prosecution. When we suggested this approach in our discussions with retailers who raised the issue of food processors, they were content with such an approach. We can also exclude these items through secondary legislation under Section 141A(3)(c) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 where we are content that they can be sold more generally to a person under 18.

I hope that I have been able to persuade noble Lords. Given the phrase that the noble Earl used—that we would be “massacred” for this—I do not think the noble Lord is going to withdraw his amendment.

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My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who spoke in the debate. I want to address a couple of the points that were raised. On delivery to lockers, I agree entirely with the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, that that would not be a good thing. I hope that Amendment 9, which calls for regulations, would deal with that point. The noble Lord made another good point about deliveries from abroad. We will potentially stop UK companies delivering products to home addresses, but a company based in Germany, France or anywhere else in the world can carry on doing it. That is just not fair and, again, is a disadvantage to business. For me, that highlights why this amendment should be agreed today.

If the amendment is passed by this House, it will be sent to the Commons and we will ask the Commons to look at the matter. I am sure that, as part of the ping-pong process, they will decide that my wording is not quite as good as it could be. But if the Government decide to accept this or something like it, I am sure the draftsperson will come back with a suggested amendment.

Again, I thank the noble Lords, Lord Paddick and Lord Lucas, and the noble Earl, Lord Erroll, for their support today. I thank the Minister for her contribution as well. But I am not prepared to withdraw the amendment and would like to test the opinion of the House.

Division 1

19 March 2019

Division on Amendment 8

Content: 234
Not Content: 213

Amendment 8 agreed.

View Details

Amendment 9

Moved by

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9: Clause 38, page 32, line 37, at end insert—

“( ) The Secretary of State may by regulations determine the conditions of being designated a trusted courier of bladed products in England and Wales for the purposes of section 38(1)(aa).( ) Scottish Ministers may by regulations determine the conditions of being designated a trusted courier of bladed products in Scotland for the purposes of section 38(1)(aa).( ) The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland may by regulations determine the conditions of being designated a trusted courier of bladed products in Northern Ireland for the purposes of section 38(1)(aa).”Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment, and the amendment at page 32, line 32, would allow for the Government to create a "trusted courier" scheme, and to exempt sales using "trusted couriers" from restrictions in this section. This follows the Minister's undertaking on 4 March (HL Deb, column 448).

Amendment 9 agreed.

Clause 45: Prohibition on the possession of offensive weapons

Amendment 10

Moved by

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10: Clause 45, page 42, line 19, at end insert—

“(14A) After subsection (12) insert— “(12A) An order under this section which has the effect that possession in private of a weapon of a particular description is, or is to become, an offence under subsection (1A) may make provision—(a) enabling arrangements to be made for the surrender of weapons of that description;(b) as to the procedure to be followed in relation to the surrender of such weapons;(c) for the payment of compensation in respect of weapons surrendered in accordance with the arrangements;(d) as to the requirements that must be met by a person making a claim for compensation;(e) as to the procedure to be followed in respect of a claim and for the determination of a claim;(f) enabling a person to exercise a discretion in determining whether to make a payment in response to a claim and the amount of such a payment.””Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment would mean that, where weapons are brought within the prohibition on possession in section 141(1A) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 by order, the order can provide for compensation if required to do so by Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (but need not make this provision if not required to do so).

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My Lords, I will now speak to the amendments regarding kirpans, and in doing so express my gratitude to the noble Lords, Lord Kennedy and Lord Singh, and my noble friend Lady Verma. They have all been tireless in their promotion of this issue; I hope that the amendments will provide an outcome satisfactory to everyone. In particular, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Singh, for his advice and to the organisation Sikhs in Politics, which has engaged positively with officials on the development of these amendments.

As noble Lords will recall, we held a round table on the issue of kirpans following the debate on these clauses in Grand Committee. This identified a gap in the current defences in that the cultural practice of gifting large ceremonial kirpans by Sikhs to eminent non-Sikhs was not covered by the “religious reasons” defence. These amendments will therefore create a defence for a person of Sikh faith to present another person with a curved sword in a religious ceremony or other ceremonial event, as covered by Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

These amendments will also create a defence for Sikhs of possessing such swords for the purposes of presenting them to others at a ceremony and for the recipients of such a gift to possess swords that have been presented to them. The amendments also ensure a defence is available for the ancillary acts, such as manufacture, sale, hire or importation, where those acts are for the purpose only of making the sword available for such presentation. Finally, the amendments enable the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland to commence the provision in relation to Northern Ireland, other than in relation to importation, which is a reserved matter.

As noble Lords will be aware, the amendments do not mention the word “kirpan”. Kirpans vary considerably in their size and shape, with the only common factor being their association with the Sikh faith. It would not be possible to include a defence for kirpans without defining them legally. However, we are clear that these defences are specifically aimed at kirpans and we will include a reference to kirpans in the final Explanatory Notes for the Bill. We will also make it clear in the statutory guidance that defences of “religious reasons” and gifting by ceremonial presentation include, in particular, the possession, supply and gifting of kirpans for those purposes. We will certainly continue to engage with Sikh organisations, including Sikhs in Politics, when we develop the statutory guidance. I hope that, given what I have said, noble Lords will be able to support these amendments. I forgot to mention the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, in my thanks, so I do that now.

I turn to the amendments on compensation arrangements. Amendment 10 will amend Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, so that any future order made under this section which has the effect of banning possession in private of an offensive weapon may also make provision for the surrender and payment of compensation for such weapons. This amendment therefore provides statutory authority to introduce surrender and compensation arrangements for any future orders bringing additional offensive weapons into full prohibition. Without this amendment and the authority it provides, there could be doubt as to whether compensation could be paid for any future prohibited offensive weapons.

I should point out that this amendment differs slightly from the existing provisions found under Clause 48, which allow for compensation payments to be made for offensive weapons which the Bill prohibits private possession of. Clause 48 requires the Secretary of State, Scottish Ministers or the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland to provide for such payments by regulations. However, this amendment provides that the Secretary of State, Scottish Ministers or the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland may make provision for surrender arrangements and the subsequent payment of compensation.

This is an important difference as it allows the authority discretion in deciding whether or not to pay compensation for future items that become prohibited by way of an order. There may be exceptional circumstances in which it is considered that payment is not required under Article 1 of the Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights. However, it is anticipated that in most circumstances, a payment would be appropriate, as is the case for weapons the possession of which is prohibited under this Bill. None the less, providing this discretion to pay or not to pay compensation for future items is important.

Amendments 14 to 19 will ensure that cyclone knives fall within the compensation and surrender arrangements as they stand in the Bill. Noble Lords will recall that cyclone knives were prohibited by virtue of the Bill through a government amendment in Committee in this House. This minor amendment will allow for compensation to be paid to owners of these knives, in the same way that the compensation arrangements apply to the other offensive weapons which the Bill provides private possession of.

Amendment 20 then amends the date by which a person needed to have owned or contracted to acquire a cyclone knife in order to claim compensation. The date, 20 June 2018, is already set out in the Bill, and continues to apply to these weapons, private possession of which was prohibited by the Bill on introduction. The date of 22 January 2019 will apply to cyclone knives. This will allow anyone who owned or contracted to acquire a cyclone knife, up until the date that the government amendment prohibiting them was introduced, to claim for compensation.

Amendments 21 and 22 are consequential. Amendments 26 and 27 relate to Northern Ireland. Clauses 47 and 48 will come into force upon Royal Assent. However, these amendments allow the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland to commence these provisions locally.

I remind noble Lords that the compensation regulations which we have published in draft are subject to the affirmative procedure following assent to the Bill. Accordingly, they will need to be debated and approved by both Houses before they can come into force. I beg to move.

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My Lords, I am very grateful to the Minister for the amendments relating to kirpans—even though the legislation does not refer to kirpans as such—because of the importance to the Sikh community of presenting the ceremonial curved sword as a mark of esteem.

Representatives from the Sikh community have also pointed out the difficulties that some Sikhs have in carrying a kirpan on their person as part of their religious observance. Although it is accepted that it has not been a problem in terms of prosecution, the fact that possession of a bladed article or pointed instrument is an offence—without the need for any criminal intent—has created difficulties for Sikhs when visiting attractions such as Madame Tussauds and the London Eye. Sikhs have been barred from going into those attractions because of having a kirpan on them. The security guards are working on the basis that the law states that possession of a pointed instrument or a bladed article is an offence, and therefore a person is not allowed to bring it in. I do not know whether there is any scope here. The Minister has already mentioned the Explanatory Notes for the final legislation, including instructions about what is and is not a kirpan. Could anything be mentioned in those notes regarding the issue that some Sikhs have with regard to entry to those sorts of premises?

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My Lords, before I begin, I refer to the discussion in Grand Committee when I referred to the Network of Sikh Organisations, the NSO. I should have mentioned that I am a member of the NSO. I make it clear that in the discussions on this Bill, and indeed, in all my contributions in this House, I speak as a member of the wider Sikh community. On behalf of all Sikhs, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Williams, and the Government for moving this amendment, and the noble Lords, Lord Kennedy and Lord Tunnicliffe, for initiating an earlier amendment, supported by the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, with wider cross- party support.

I have heard it asked whether there is such a thing as an inoffensive weapon. The Sikh kirpan comes close, in that its use is limited to defence and the protection of the vulnerable. Again, I thank all in this House and in the other place for recognising and supporting the religious and cultural significance of the kirpan.

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My Lords, I am very content with the amendments in respect of compensation and devolved matters. My remarks will be on the issue of the kirpan. First, however, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Trafford, very much. We had a very useful round-table meeting. The noble Baroness and the Government have listened, and we are grateful to them for that. The noble Lord, Lord Singh, explained that this is a very important issue for the Sikh community, and it is good that the Government listened. The noble Lord, Lord Paddick, made a wider point about people not understanding what the kirpan is and the difficulties experienced by Sikhs in going about their daily business. I am not going to get into the issue about the fact that they have the kirpan on their person, but I hope that this will go some way to help people understand more about different faiths, including the Sikh faith, and why people carry the kirpan. I am very happy with the amendment and very pleased that the Government listened, for which I thank them very much.

Amendment 10 agreed.

Clause 46: Prohibition on the possession of offensive weapons: supplementary

Amendments 11 to 13

Moved by

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11: Clause 46, page 43, line 3, leave out “(7)” and insert “(7B)”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment and the Minister's amendments at page 43, line 43 and page 43, line 44 would create defences to the offences in section 141(1) and (1A) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and section 50(2) and (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 relating to the presentation of Sikh kirpans. This follows the Minister's undertaking on 4 March (HL Deb, column 470).

12: Clause 46, page 43, line 43, at end insert—

“(7A) After paragraph 5A insert—“5B(1) Sub-paragraph (2) applies to—(a) a person charged with an offence under section 141(1) or (1A) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 in respect of any conduct of the person relating to a curved sword, and(b) a person charged with an offence under section 50(2) or (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 in respect of any conduct of the person relating to a curved sword.(2) It is a defence for the person to show that the person’s conduct was for the purpose only of making the sword available for presentation by a Sikh to another person at a religious ceremony or other ceremonial event.(3) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 141(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 of giving a curved sword to another person to show that the person’s conduct consisted of the presentation of the sword by a Sikh to another person at a religious ceremony or other ceremonial event.(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 141(1A) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 of possession of a curved sword in private to show that—(a) the person was a Sikh at the time the offence is alleged to have been committed and possessed the sword for the purpose only of presenting it to another person at a religious ceremony or other ceremonial event, or(b) the sword was presented to the person by a Sikh at a religious ceremony or other ceremonial event.(5) In this paragraph—“curved sword” means a weapon to which section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applies by virtue of paragraph 1(r);“Sikh” means a follower of the Sikh religion.”(7B) In paragraph 6, for “and 5A” substitute “, 5A and 5B”.”Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's amendment at page 43, line 3.

13: Clause 46, page 43, line 44, leave out “(7)” and insert “(7B)”

Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's amendment at page 43, line 3.

Amendments 11 to 13 agreed.

Clause 47: Surrender of prohibited offensive weapons

Amendments 14 to 16

Moved by

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14: Clause 47, page 44, line 20, after “45” insert “(by itself or in combination with section 46)”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment and the Minister's other amendments to this Clause and Clause 48 would ensure that the provisions for surrender and compensation in this Clause and Clause 48 cover weapons which are brought within section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 by virtue of Clause 46(2), (3) or (10).

15: Clause 47, page 44, line 25, after “45” insert “(by itself or in combination with section 46)”

Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's amendment at page 44, line 20.

16: Clause 47, page 44, line 31, after “45” insert “(by itself or in combination with section 46)”

Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's amendment at page 44, line 20.

Amendments 14 to 16 agreed.

Clause 48: Payments in respect of surrendered offensive weapons

Amendments 17 to 20

Moved by

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17: Clause 48, page 45, line 20, after “45” insert “(by itself or in combination with section 46)”

Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's amendment at page 44, line 20.

18: Clause 48, page 45, line 21, leave out “20th June 2018” and insert “the relevant date”

Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's amendment at page 44, line 20.

19: Clause 48, page 45, line 23, leave out “20th June 2018” and insert “the relevant date”

Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's amendment at page 44, line 20.

20: Clause 48, page 45, line 37, at end insert—

“(12) In this section “the relevant date”—(a) in relation to a weapon to which section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 is to apply by virtue of section 46(3) or (10) of this Act, means 22nd January 2019;(b) in any other case, means 20th June 2018.”Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's amendment at page 44, line 20.

Amendments 17 to 20 agreed.

Clause 68: Extent

Amendments 21 to 23

Moved by

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21: Clause 68, page 59, line 27, after “(7)” insert “and (14A)”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment is consequential on the Minister's amendment at page 42, line 19.

22: Clause 68, page 59, line 28, after “(7)” insert “and (14A)”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment is consequential on the Minister's amendment at page 42, line 19.

23: Clause 68, page 60, line 19, leave out “(7)” and insert “(7B)”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment is consequential on the Minister's amendment at page 43, line 43.

Amendments 21 to 23 agreed.

Clause 69: Commencement

Amendments 24 to 27

Moved by

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24: Clause 69, page 61, line 42, leave out “to 46” and insert “and 45”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment and the Minister's second amendment at page 61, line 42 would mean that the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland could bring Clause 46 into force only so far as it does not make provision about the unlawful importation of weapons.

25: Clause 69, page 61, line 42, at end insert—

“(ha) section 46 except so far as it makes provision in relation to a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 50(2) or (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979;”Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's first amendment at page 61, line 42.

26: Clause 69, page 61, line 42, at end insert—

“(hb) sections 47 and 48 so far as they confer functions on the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland or the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland;”Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment and the Minister's amendment at page 62, line 6 would provide for the Department of Justice to bring Clauses 47 and 48 into force so far as they confer functions on the Department or the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

27: Clause 69, page 62, line 6, after “48” insert “except so far as they confer functions on the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland or the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland”

Member’s explanatory statement

See the explanation of the Minister's third amendment at page 61, line 42.

Amendments 24 to 27 agreed.

Motion

Moved by

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That the Bill do now pass.

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My Lords, on moving this Motion, I take the opportunity to say a few words of thanks to those who have contributed to the Bill’s passage through your Lordships’ House. I thank my noble friends Lady Barran and Lord Howe for undertaking some of the heavy lifting in Committee and on Report. Among all the Bills that I have dealt with this has not been the easiest, so I thank them very much. I also thank my noble friend Lady Manzoor for acting as the Government Whip on the Bill, and, on the opposition Benches, the noble Lords, Lord Kennedy, Lord Rosser, Lord Tunnicliffe and Lord Paddick, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee—and my noble friend Lord Attlee for his well-drafted amendment on the storage of certain firearms.

I cannot, of course, omit the noble Lord, Lord Singh, for his constructive assistance in the drafting of the amendment on the kirpan. In fact, I thank all the Sikh organisations with which we have engaged during the Bill’s passage. I thank all noble Lords across the House who have contributed in various ways to the Bill. None of us could do it without officials from the Home Office, who have supported me and my noble friends Lady Barran and Lord Howe throughout the its passage.

The Bill has taken some funny twists and turns but has not lost sight of our ultimate aim, which is to end the scourge of this terrible crime on our streets and in our communities. I am pleased to have been able to reach a position of broad consensus on all but two of the Bill’s provisions, namely the introduction of KCPOs and the delivery of bladed articles. We are, however, continuing to reflect on these issues in advance of the Bill going to and returning from the House of Commons. I beg to move.

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I thank the noble Baroness for the way she has conducted the Bill through the House. I also thank the noble Baroness, Lady Barran, and the noble Earl, Lord Howe. I appreciate the constructive way they have engaged with the House, as they always do. I also place on record my thanks to my noble friends Lord Rosser and Lord Tunnicliffe for the help that they have given me, as well as to the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. I was grateful, too, for the contributions of many other noble Lords from around the House, particularly those of the noble Lords, Lord Lucas and Lord Singh, and the noble Earl, Lord Erroll.

We are certainly sending the Bill back in a better state than that in which it arrived. I am not sure that it will quite achieve all the things that it wants to do, but I certainly support its aims. We have done a good job. I also thank the Bill team at the Home Office, who have always been very courteous and happy to engage with me and other colleagues. I also put on record my thanks to Ben Wood, who works in the Opposition office here in the House of Lords and has kept me armed with briefing notes, amendments and everything else.

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My Lords, I add my thanks to those expressed to the noble Baronesses, Lady Williams of Trafford and Lady Barran, and the noble Earl, Lord Howe, for the way they have conducted the Bill. As the noble Baroness mentioned, there has not really been a consensus on knife crime prevention orders and delivery of bladed articles. I think that my colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime will discuss knife crime prevention orders with their colleagues before the Commons has an opportunity to consider the amendments put forward by the Government that place knife crime prevention orders in the Bill. I hope that the Government will reflect on the delivery of bladed articles in the light of the amendment passed today. I am grateful to officials and the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy of Southwark, for the co-operation that we have had during the passage of the Bill.

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My Lords, I too am grateful to my noble friends for the help that I have had in the course of the Bill and for the time that the Bill team have given me. I regret some of the decisions that we have taken. I think that we have hurt people needlessly and let ourselves in for compensation that we need not have paid, but there we are.

Bill passed and returned to the Commons with amendments.