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Lord Harris of Greenwich: My Lords, of course I accept what the noble Baroness said. She is entirely right. The point I was making referred to the last sentence of the explanatory memorandum. We are not talking about costs in the normal sense but about manpower resources. The memorandum states that there will be no effect on manpower resources but, as I said a few moments ago, manifestly that cannot be true. The police will have to carry out inquiries and investigations. If they did not, there would be no purpose in having the legislation.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I happily agree with the distinction between whether there will be increased activity and whether the activity is a neutral cost when it comes to paying for it.

As to the guidelines, my understanding is that the guidelines are being drawn up by the CPS in consultation with other prosecuting authorities. They have not yet been completed and I understand that the cost for considering confiscation is around £10,000. It is expected that the guidelines will state that a confiscation order should not generally be sought when it is likely to realise less than £10,000. That point was well made by the noble Lord. It is anticipated that such a judgment will be made by a suitable senior official in the Crown Prosecution Service. I hope that the Bill will be given a Second Reading.

9.34 p.m.

Lord Chesham: My Lords, this has been a brief but interesting debate which has achieved a certain amount of clarification. I thank your Lordships warmly for the support which the Bill has received this evening. I commend the Bill and very much hope that the House will grant it a Second Reading.

On Question, Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

Statute Law (Repeals) Bill [H.L.]

Reported from the Joint Committee with amendments, and re-committed to a Committee of the whole House; it was ordered that the Bill be printed as amended.

26 Apr 1995 : Column 1019


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