Clause 280 - Victims of theft, etc.

Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:45 pm ar 18 Rhagfyr 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

I seek clarification from the Minister about subsection (3)(b), particularly about the force behind the word ''immediately''. It is an interesting word to insert in the clause. Will the hon. Gentleman explain what it means? It seems that the intention is to protect someone who portrays himself or herself as a victim of crime. Obviously, it will be possible for property to be disposed of prior to a period that may be declared as ''immediately'', yet, in being so disposed of, not seek to make clear at that point what knowledge was in the mind of the person who was disposing of the property. I hope that I have put my point lucidly; the matter is complicated. Is not the word ''immediately'' redundant? Is it not unnecessarily limiting?

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I shall try to pick up on the hon. Gentleman's point. Property that the person was deprived of must not have been recoverable property immediately before he was deprived of it. A declaration should not benefit someone who has stolen the property from its original owner but who, in turn, has had that property stolen from him. The property may have been transferred several times, but it is the immediate preceding situation that applies.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 280 ordered to stand part of the Bill.