Clause 8 - Director General: customs powers of Commissioners and operational powers

Part of Crime and Courts Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 8:55 am ar 29 Ionawr 2013.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 8:55, 29 Ionawr 2013

I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation. I do not want to be churlish, but the Bill has not gone through all its stages in Parliament—not even clause 1, which states:

“A National Crime Agency, consisting of the NCA officers, is to be formed.”

Mr Keith Bristow was appointed as the director general of the National Crime Agency, which is yet to be formed, more than 12 months ago. I was asking the Minister, effectively, what consideration under clause 8 has been given to Keith Bristow’s competences on the other issues? Self evidently, as a chief constable, he has

“the powers and privileges of a constable”,

but he was appointed 12 months ago, before the Bill has received Royal Assent. What consideration was given to the designation of

“the powers of an officer of Revenue and Customs” and

“the powers of an immigration officer”?

I would like to know whether, for example, the Secretary of State has considered appointing the advisory panel for which schedule 5 provides in respect of Keith Bristow. Again, this is not a criticism of Mr Bristow; I just want to know what consideration was given, because the Minister’s test that clause 8 is not yet law does not stand: clause 1 is not yet law, yet Mr Bristow has been appointed. He has walked away from being the chief constable of Warwickshire and is now the director general of the NCA, yet neither clause 8 nor clause 1 have taken effect. Will the Minister give some indication of where we are with the process and the proposed director general?