Clause 331 - Offences of prejudicing investigation

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 29 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 10:30, 29 Ionawr 2002

I agree with the hon. Gentleman. He will remember that we highlighted that matter at length when we discussed the civil recovery provisions, and I expressed my misgivings about the whole approach.

My difficulty is that further discussion would reopen an issue that we debated earlier—although I shall be happy if the Minister continues to think about it.

After hearing the hon. Gentleman's point, I wondered whether I had missed something that made clause 331 unworkable or difficult. However, I do not think that I have, so I did not pursue that point further. I am grateful to him for raising the matter, because I continue to be worried about it. I am not allowed to reopen an old debate, although if those who advise me continue to have disquiet on the subject, we may return to it on Report.

I am grateful to the Minister for explaining the relationship between the two offences and for highlighting the fact that the provision originates from the 1994 legislation. Setting out the different offences in this way is not the healthiest way to proceed, but I see the point of it.