Clause 91

Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:45 pm ar 27 Tachwedd 2007.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Notification requirements: initial notification

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)

I beg to move amendment No. 214, in clause 92, page 63, line 18, leave out ‘or’ and insert—

‘(ca) any prescribed change of circumstances, or’.

Photo of Edward O'Hara Edward O'Hara Llafur, Knowsley South

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Government amendments Nos. 213 to 216, 242, 249 and 250.

Government new clause 40—Notification requirements: prescribed information.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)

Amendments Nos. 213 to 216 provide the Secretary of State with the power to add to the notification requirements of violent offender orders by secondary legislation. The clause will require that all individuals subject to a violent offender order or an interim violent offender order are also subject to notification requirements. Additions to the existing notification requirements are currently made only by primary legislation, but the Government feel that the police and public would benefit from the greater flexibility offered by the measures.

The notification requirements imposed on sex offenders as introduced by the Sex Offenders Act 1997 have proved an effective method by which to manage the risks posed by sex offenders in the community. We have previously strengthened the requirements through the Sexual Offences Act 2003 by requiring sex offenders to register more information with the police and by shortening the time scales by which information must be provided. However, the protection of children from sex offenders review identified the benefits of requiring offenders to register more information, which could mean offenders providing more personal details and so on. To enable the requirements to be changed more easily, the review recommended that we should take a power to amend them by secondary legislation. That will enable us to respond more quickly to technological developments and new patterns of behaviour. Government new clause 40 will provide that power. The Association of Chief Police Officers expressed its support for the review’s commitment to the additional requirements.

Amendment No. 242 will allow the Secretary of State to make transitional arrangements when prescribing additional information that must be notified by sex offenders and to create different requirements for different types of offender. A power to allow the Secretary of State to amend the notification requirements of the 2003 Act by secondary legislation is provided by new clause 40 and Government amendment No. 242. It makes it clear that the amendment to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which states explicitly that transitional provisions can be made through regulations, does not affect the validity of transitional provisions in regulations that have already been passed under the Act—for example, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Travel Notification Regulations) 2004.

Amendment No. 250 would repeal sections 86(4) and 87(6) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which allow regulations made under those sections—foreign travel notifications—to make different provisions for different categories of persons.

Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

I note that this part of the Bill covers the English and Welsh jurisdictions, but not Scotland and Northern Ireland. What is the procedure for notifying Scottish or Northern Irish authorities when the home address notified under the initial requirement, or indeed under a notification of change, is in Scotland or Northern Ireland?

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)

I will have to get back to the hon. Gentleman on that. I cannot give him a proper answer now, but I shall try to do so at some point, or write to him.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 91, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.