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COMMONS AMENDMENT

3

After Clause 16, insert the following new clause--

Removal of truants to designated premises etc

(".--(1) This section applies where a local authority--
(a) designates premises in a police area ("designated premises") as premises to which children and young persons of compulsory school age may be removed under this section; and

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(b) notifies the chief officer of police for that area of the designation.
(2) A police officer of or above the rank of superintendent may direct that the powers conferred on a constable by subsection (3) below--
(a) shall be exercisable as respects any area falling within the police area and specified in the direction; and
(b) shall be so exercisable during a period so specified;
and references in that subsection to a specified area and a specified period shall be construed accordingly.
(3) If a constable has reasonable cause to believe that a child or young person found by him in a public place in a specified area during a specified period--
(a) is of compulsory school age; and
(b) is absent from a school without lawful authority,
the constable may remove the child or young person to designated premises, or to the school from which he is so absent.
(4) A child's or young person's absence from a school shall be taken to be without lawful authority unless it falls with subsection (3) (leave, sickness, unavoidable cause or day set apart for religious observance) of section 444 of the Education Act 1996.
(5) In this section--
"local authority" means--
(a) in relation to England, a county council, a district council whose district does not form part of an area that has a county council, a London borough council or the Common Council of the City of London;
(b) in relation to Wales, a county council or a county borough council;
"public place" has the same meaning as in section 15 above;
"school" has the same meaning as in the Education Act 1996.").

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 3.

This amendment gives the police an additional power to take truants back to school or another place designated by the local education authority for that purpose. It is part of the Government's package to tackle school exclusions and truancy which the Prime Minister announced in May when he launched the Social Exclusion Unit's report on this subject. It will be used in support of local multi-agency efforts to tackle truancy in which the police, schools and local education authorities identify and discuss local problems and draw up strategies to deal with them.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 3.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

4

Clause 17, page 14, line 28, leave out ("has") and insert ("means a local authority within").


5

Page 14, line 29, at end insert ("or the Common Council of the City of London").

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 4 and 5 en bloc.

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These amendments relate to the City of London and its arrangements. The Common Council of the City of London is not a local authority as defined in Section 270(1) of the 1972 Local Government Act. Clause 17 as currently drafted means that the duty to consider crime and disorder implications of all decisions applies to Common Council only in its capacity as a police authority, and not in its capacity as a local authority.

This is an unintended anomaly. The new obligation will apply to all local authorities in England and Wales. The exclusion of the Common Council was accidental. The purpose of the amendments is to ensure that the obligation therefore applies to the council in both its capacities.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 4 and 5.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

6

After Clause 24, insert the following new clause--

Powers to require removal of masks etc

(".--(1) After subsection (4) of section 60 (powers to stop and search in anticipation of violence) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 ("the 1994 Act") there shall be inserted the following subsection--
"(4A) This section also confers on any constable in uniform power--
(a) to require any person to remove any item which the constable reasonably believes that person is wearing wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing his identity;
(b) to seize any item which the constable reasonably believes any person intends to wear wholly or mainly for that purpose."
(2) In subsection (5) of that section, for the words "those powers" there shall be substituted the words "the powers conferred by subsection (4) above".
(3) In subsection (8) of that section, for the words "to stop or (as the case may be) to stop the vehicle" there shall be substituted the following paragraphs--
"(a) to stop, or to stop a vehicle; or
(b) to remove an item worn by him,".").

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 6.

This is a most important matter which relates to a question which your Lordships will recall was raised by the noble Earl, Lord Carnarvon. It deals with a gap which I think was generally perceived to exist in the law concerning those who wear face coverings to avoid identification, in particular on occasions of public violence or demonstrations. Your Lordships will remember that when the noble Earl raised this matter I undertook to have further consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers and others who had an interest in the matter. It was not possible at that time to have an amendment properly drafted because there were some difficulties in your Lordships discussing it at that stage. Accordingly it was introduced in another place.

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Amendments Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 108 go together. Amendment No. 6 empowers a police officer to demand the removal of, and to seize, face coverings. This is potentially a far-reaching power and therefore it has the safeguard that it is exercisable only where authorised by an officer of at least inspector rank where he reasonably believes that there will be violence or weapons are carried. This is intended to make the police more effective in dealing with people who wear masks to avoid being identified when they carry out violent offences.

Amendment No. 7 provides for regulations to be made for the retention and disposal of seized face coverings. Amendment No. 8 gives a power of arrest for someone who fails to comply with a demand to remove his or her face covering, and corrects an anomaly in arrest powers in Scotland. Amendment No. 108 extends the face covering measures to Scotland.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No.6--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

7

After Clause 24, insert the following new clause--

Retention and disposal of things seized

(". After section 60 of the 1994 Act there shall be inserted the following section--
"Retention and disposal of things seized under section 60.

60A.--(1) Any things seized by a constable under section 60 may be retained in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State under this section.
(2) The Secretary of State may make regulations regulating the retention and safe keeping, and the disposal and destruction in prescribed circumstances, of such things.
(3) Regulations under this section may make different provisions for different classes of things or for different circumstances.
(4) The power to make regulations under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament."").
8

Insert the following new clause--

Power of arrest for failure to comply with requirement

(".--(1) In section 24(2) (arrestable offences) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 ("the 1984 Act"), after paragraph (n) there shall be inserted--
"(o) an offence under section 60(8)(b) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (failing to comply with requirement to remove mask etc.);".

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(2) After section 60A of the 1994 Act there shall be inserted the following section--
"Arrest without warrant for offences under section 60: Scotland.

60B. In Scotland, where a constable reasonably believes that a person has committed or is committing an offence under section 60(8) he may arrest that person without warrant."").

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 7 and 8 en bloc.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 7 and 8.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


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