Power to issue warrants to law enforcement officers

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:15 pm ar 21 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 12:15, 21 Ebrill 2016

Thank you, Mr Owen. A number of points have been raised. Clearly, law enforcement agencies use equipment interference to stop serious crime, but it is important to add that they also use it to help people at risk of serious harm. That might include locating missing people or helping vulnerable children; there is a whole range of preventive measures that anticipate harm. The Bill brings into a single place the powers that are already used in those ways; there are no additional powers here.

It is also important to point out that these matters were looked at, as were all matters, during the extensive scrutiny that the Bill enjoyed before it came to the Committee. None of the reports of the three Committees of the House, for example, recommended changing the current arrangements for the way in which these kinds of warrants are authorised and used. We have modelled the arrangements in the Bill on the current system under the Police Act 1997, which authorises property interference. That is how this activity is currently dealt with.