Clause 12 - Detention of land vehicle, ship or aircraft

Part of Modern Slavery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 9 Medi 2014.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 10:30, 9 Medi 2014

This is another short probing amendment that I hope the Committee can deal with quickly. The detention of a land vehicle, ship or aircraft is a reasonable power, but the clause allows that

“a constable or senior immigration officer may detain a relevant land vehicle, ship or aircraft.”

A constable is defined in law as anything from a chief constable to a constable on the ground—they all hold the warrant of constable—yet subsection (7) defines a “senior immigration officer” as

“an immigration officer not below the rank of chief immigration officer.”

Simply for the record and to test the Government’s intention, I want to the Minister to explain the logic behind why a constable, who could in effect be anyone from a police constable to a chief constable, may detain a vehicle, ship or aircraft under the powers in the clause, while immigration officers may not, unless they are of the rank of chief immigration officer.

I tabled the amendment because, if we look at later clauses—which, given the context of this discussion, I hope you will allow me to do, Mr Pritchard—we see that clause 23, on “Slavery and trafficking risk orders”, defines, for a magistrates court making a risk order, that an application should be made by

“a chief officer of police…an immigration officer, or…the Director General of the National Crime Agency”.

Different types of individuals undertake different things under the Bill. Clause 12 gives powers to a police constable, but the chief officer of police must be involved in slavery and trafficking risk orders. Furthermore, an immigration officer at the lowest level has clause 23 powers, while the chief immigration officer must be involved under clause 12. Therefore, what judgment have the Minister, her officials and the Department made as to why different levels of authority are given in clause 12?