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 Vera Baird Vera Baird Llafur, Redcar 10:30, 29 Ionawr 2002

Before the hon. Gentleman withdraws the amendment, I seek clarification. The Minister put forward the case for the two offences, but I wish to raise two points.

The tipping-off provisions in clause 325 include the caveat that an offence will be committed if a disclosure is likely to prejudice a subsequent investigation. Will there not inevitably be considerable overlap between the two types of criminality in the case of a disclosure that leads to an investigation? A person could be charged under clause 325 or clause 331.

It is not necessary to pursue my second point straight away, but the offence of prejudicing an investigation under clause 331 seems exactly like a classic case of perverting the course of justice. Consequently that provision is unnecessary, and such duplication should be avoided if possible.