National Assembly for Wales: devolution of responsibility for policing

Part of Policing and Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:45 pm ar 12 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 2:45, 12 Ebrill 2016

I reiterate the comments made by the shadow Policing Minister about the tone of how the hon. Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd introduced her amendments. It has been useful. The issue is enormously complicated for Wales as part of the United Kingdom. The obvious references to Scotland and Northern Ireland are difficult to add to a report, not least because they have completely independent and different criminal justice systems. There is only one police force in Scotland now, and there has been only one police force in Northern Ireland for many years.

This issue must be decided by the people of Wales. The Government have made it clear that if there is not consensus within the Silk commission’s proposals, we will not consider devolving full powers to the Government of Wales and the Welsh Assembly. I heard the hon. Lady say that there is consensus, and that is certainly true of the correspondence and conversations that I have been having. I reiterate what the shadow Police Minister said. I have visited Wales on many occasions. There are many Conservative MPs there, not least the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. What I am trying to indicate politely is that it is not a one-party state.

PCC elections will be held in Wales imminently. They will give the people of Wales the best chance to decide what sort of policing they want in their part of the world. That is devolution, and that is democracy. Although I understand that this is a probing amendment, I am also pleased that new clause 7 will not be pressed to a vote.