Motion A

Part of Victims and Prisoners Bill - Commons Amendments and Reasons – in the House of Lords am 3:15 pm ar 24 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Brinton Baroness Brinton Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol 3:15, 24 Mai 2024

My Lords, it seems only 24 hours ago that we were discussing these amendments. Indeed, we were. There has been some progress made, for which we thank the Government from these Benches. It may not meet everything that we were seeking, but there has been some clarity on some of the issues.

On Amendment 33—the training support and the alternative offer from the Government—the reason that those of us who supported it really wanted to see it is the lack of consistency in training between police forces and other parts of the criminal justice system. Although the Minister says that is expensive, it is also very expensive when mistakes are made because the training has not been adequate. We put on notice that this is yet another of the items that will, I suspect, appear as amendments in the future.

I completely support everything my noble friend Lady Hamwee has said on the immigration firewall, and I will not add any more to that. The review of the duty of candour for major incidents is welcome, given that the Government would not agree to Labour’s amendment on it. I hope the review will look at not just major incidents but the duty of candour widely in the public sector, because I am not sure, for example, that the infected blood scandal would have appeared as a major incident for perhaps a decade, or two decades, or even longer. I hope those involved with that committee will look at that, but we welcome the review.

On the MAPPA points, I think that is a helpful amendment, and I can understand why it has been laid. From these Benches, we would like to see it in operation to make sure that it works.

The final point I want to come to is on the Government’s own amendment to the eligibility for home detention curfews. I am very pleased that the Minister specifically mentioned that those convicted of stalking, even with sentences of under four years, will not be able to access home detention curfew. We spent some considerable time during the passage of the Bill also discussing why it is often the case that the CPS charges people with things other than stalking. Those people who are known to be stalkers, but are convicted of a lesser crime, still pose the same risk, particularly when they have been multiple offenders. We urge the Government from these Benches to make sure that the CPS looks at charging stalking and a lesser offence because we believe that that is a problem for many of the things that have been progressed during the passage of the Bill.

I will say very briefly that I am very grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Newlove, for her help as the Victims’ Commissioner, and to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and the London Victims’ Commissioner —who is in the Gallery today—and all their teams. They have briefed your Lordships’ House to help the progress of this Bill. The London Victims’ Commissioner and I were remembering that it was 14 years ago that the stalking inquiry report was published, and much but not all of that has been enacted. I hope that future Governments will make sure that we can better resolve stalking cases in the future.