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Lord Bassam of Brighton: Obviously, this is a very important issue since it goes to the heart of all our

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debates. We seek to make the police and probation services more effective in controlling this particular group of sexual and violent offenders. One can never be certain that one has it absolutely right. Progress in this field of enforcement has been incremental. One has built on experience and learnt from what has gone before, as is often the case. One needs to improve and perfect one's performance. As I have sought to make clear in debate, we are willing to listen and learn from all those with an interest in this subject so that we arrive at the best possible answers. There is no perfect solution to any of these problems, but we must ensure that the police and probation services and prisons have the tools to do the job, that risk assessment is in place, and that we deal with offenders in the correct way. That is no easy task. No doubt we shall have further discussions to try to improve on what we are already doing.

The Earl of Listowel: Looking at the amendment moved by the Minister, the public concern in this area is that perhaps in order to do an excellent job of supervising these potentially very dangerous people everyone will be watched and resources will be spread too thinly so that the effort is not so effective. One example given to me when speaking to detective chief inspectors was the case of two young people. The older of the two had been convicted of a minor sexual offence. The consequences of that offence will be with the person for a long time and it will be treated as seriously as a much graver offence. I am concerned that the new measure may not be sufficiently sensitive to deal with the various kinds of sexual offender about whom we are concerned.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: It is always hard to make a judgment as to whether the legislation proposed goes far enough. We want a precise and targeted, not a scattergun, approach. For that reason we have risk assessment processes in prisons, and the fruits of those programmes are well known to the law enforcement agencies which must engage with sex offenders. We hope that treatment programmes also have an impact. We shall endeavour to improve performance with precision. Clearly, we do not want to bring people within the scope of these measures when their inclusion is entirely inappropriate. That is why risk assessment is available and the police and probation services improve the quality of their training to get it right.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 145:


    After Clause 60, insert the following new clause--

SUPPLEMENTAL

(" .--(1) For the purposes of section (Arrangements for assessing etc risks posed by certain offenders) a person is a relevant sexual or violent offender if he falls within one or more of subsections (2) to (5).
(2) A person falls within this subsection if he is subject to the notification requirements of Part I of the Sex Offenders Act 1997.

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(3) A person falls within this subsection if--
(a) in England and Wales he is convicted of a sexual or violent offence (within the meaning of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000), and
(b) one of the following sentences is imposed on him in respect of the conviction--
(i) a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 12 months or more,
(ii) a sentence of detention in a young offender institution for a term of 12 months or more,
(iii) a sentence of detention during Her Majesty's pleasure,
(iv) a sentence of detention for a period of 12 months or more under section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (offenders under 18 convicted of certain serious offences),
(v) a detention and training order for a term of 12 months or more, or
(vi) a hospital or guardianship order within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983.
(4) A person falls within this subsection if--
(a) in England and Wales he is found not guilty of a sexual or violent offence (within the meaning of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000) by reason of insanity or to be under a disability and to have done the act charged against him in respect of such an offence, and
(b) one of the following orders is made in respect of the act charged against him as the offence--
(i) an order that he be admitted to hospital, or
(ii) a guardianship order within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983.
(5) A person falls within this subsection if any of the conditions set out in sections 27(2) and (3) and 28(2) and (3) are satisfied in his case.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 146:


    After Clause 60, insert the following new clause--

DUTIES OF LOCAL BOARDS IN CONNECTION WITH VICTIMS OF CERTAIN OFFENCES

(" .--(1) This section applies in a case where--
(a) an offender is convicted of a sexual or violent offence, and
(b) a relevant sentence is imposed on him in respect of that conviction.
(2) This section shall not apply in a case where the offence of which the offender is convicted is a sexual or violent offence by virtue of paragraph (c) of subsection (10) unless the relevant sentence in respect of the conviction was imposed by the Crown Court or the Court of Appeal.
(3) In cases where this section applies, the local board for the area in which the offender is sentenced must take all reasonable steps to ascertain whether any appropriate person wishes to--
(a) make representations about whether the offender should be subject to any conditions or requirements on his release and, if so, what conditions or requirements, or
(b) receive information about any conditions or requirements to which the offender is to be subject on his release.
(4) In this section "appropriate person", in relation to an offence, means any person who appears to the local board in question to be, or to act for, the victim of the offence ("the victim").

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(5) Where it is ascertained that an appropriate person wishes to make representations in accordance with paragraph (a) of subsection (3), the relevant local board must forward those representations to the person responsible for determining the matters mentioned in that paragraph.
(6) Where it is ascertained that an appropriate person wishes to receive information in accordance with subsection (3)(b), the relevant local board must take all reasonable steps--
(a) to inform that person whether or not the offender is to be subject to any conditions or requirements on his release,
(b) if the offender is to be subject to any such conditions or requirements, to provide that person with details of any conditions or requirements which relate to contact with the victim or his family, and
(c) to provide that person with such other information as is considered by that local board to be appropriate in all the circumstances of the case.
(7) For the purposes of subsections (5) and (6) "relevant local board" means--
(a) where the offender is to be supervised on release by an officer of a local board, that local board,
(b) in any other case, the local board for the area in which the prison or other place of detention from which the offender is to be released is situated.
(8) Section 5(2)(a) and (7) applies to arrangements made by a local board for the purposes of this section as it applies to arrangements made for the purposes mentioned in section 1.
(9) In this section--
"conditions" means conditions in a licence;
"relevant sentence" means--
(i) a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 12 months or more,
(ii) a sentence of detention in a young offender institution for a term of 12 months or more,
(iii) a sentence of detention during Her Majesty's pleasure,
(iv) a sentence of detention for a period of 12 months or more under section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (offenders under 18 convicted of certain serious offences), or
(v) a detention and training order for a term of 12 months or more;
"requirements" means requirements specified in a notice under section 65(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (requirements imposed in connection with supervision of young offenders after release).
(10) An offence is a sexual or violent offence for the purposes of this section if it is--
(a) a sexual or violent offence within the meaning of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000,
(b) an offence in respect of which the offender is subject to the notification requirements of Part I of the Sex Offenders Act 1997, or
(c) an offence against a child within the meaning of Part II of this Act.
(11) This section has effect in relation to cases where the relevant sentence is imposed after this section comes into force.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 147:


    After Clause 60, insert the following new clause--


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