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 Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 10:30, 9 Medi 2014

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for tabling and explaining the amendments, which relate to what rank of immigration officer should be able to use the power to detain a land vehicle, ship or aircraft. This gives me a helpful opportunity to set out the Government’s view about how best to ensure the power is used appropriately and proportionately.

The power applies where an individual is arrested for a human trafficking offence. If the constable or senior immigration officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a land vehicle, ship or aircraft has been used, or was intended to be used, in the commission of the human trafficking offence, the officer can detain that vehicle at the point of arrest. Detention is made prior to a court finding an individual guilty of an offence and without prior reference to a court. That reflects the need to disrupt traffickers’ activities.

The individual can apply for the release of their property. Given that detention of a potentially valuable asset will often cause significant disruption and that detention can take place even when the asset’s owner is not the person arrested, we consider it appropriate to have the safeguard of reserving the power for senior immigration officers. That reflects the existing legislation on which the power is based. Immigration enforcement is already using the power with the safeguard, and I am not aware of any difficulties with it.