Clause 71 - Local community safety partnerships

Part of Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 7:15 pm ar 12 Chwefror 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Shadow Spokesperson (Women), Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 7:15, 12 Chwefror 2002

Patience is one of those rare virtues that I might not have. However, I have been patient since clause 70 and we are now considering clause 71. It was a pleasure to hear during the previous debate that the Minister had found that the First Minister and Deputy First Minister could be consulted about acting jointly.

I was reminded by the contribution of the hon. Member for Reigate that the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 dedicated an entire schedule, running to five pages, to the composition of district policing partnerships. I am concerned that, so much detail having been given on that occasion, we are being asked to approve a provision in this Bill for membership of local community safety partnerships to be specified by order made by the Secretary of State. That is unnecessarily vague. I should like to tease out what sort of membership the Minister has in mind and to address the concern in communities in Northern Ireland that paramilitaries could use this as an avenue to influence and to become part of community safety partnerships. A lot of trouble was taken in the Police (Northern Ireland) Act to ensure that that could not happen. I should like to see its provisions repeated in this legislation.