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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I am at a loss. This amendment says that the regulations for the suspension of the chief constable of the British Transport Police shall not come into force until 31st December 2004. That cannot be what the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, meant. I do not believe that he meant it to be in Clause 21. Perhaps the noble Lord would like to table the amendment at Third Reading in the right place and we can talk about it there.

Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 27 [Civilian employees]:

Lord Bradshaw moved Amendment No. 9:



"( ) For the purpose of employing community support officers under section 38 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (c. 30) (police powers for police authority employees)—
(a) the Authority shall be considered a police authority;
(b) the Police Force shall be considered a police force; and
(c) the Chief Constable shall be considered a chief officer of police."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, we turn now to the Police Reform Act. There are other amendments grouped with this in the name of the Minister and they may touch on what I have to say.

We are very anxious that the British Transport Police should enjoy the same powers as other police forces in terms of their ability to employ community support officers, civilian employees and special constables, if that is the wish of the police authority, so that the British Transport Police are not treated as some kind of poor relation and a force apart, but as one of the police forces of this country and empowered to do their job with all the tools which we can put at their disposal. I beg to move.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, without curtailing debate, I shall speak to Amendment No. 10 because it does exactly what Amendment No. 9 is intended to do, only better. Our amendment will allow the British Transport Police to deploy community support officers and investigation, detention and escort officers as they want to. It brings the British Transport Police fully into line with Home Office police forces as regards these kinds of civilian officers.

Viscount Astor: My Lords, from this side of the House we are grateful to the Minister for bringing forward his amendment, which I believe will satisfy the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, and perhaps also the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner of Worcester.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, it certainly does. Indeed, it goes further than I dared hope that the

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government amendment would. I was delighted to hear what my noble friend said. I am sure that the British Transport Police will be grateful that they are being treated exactly on all fours with the 43 Home Office forces.

Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, I thank the Minister for what he has said and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 10:


    After Clause 27, insert the following new clause—


"EXERCISE OF POWERS BY CIVILIANS
(1) The following provisions of the Police Reform Act 2002 (c. 30) shall apply in relation to the Police Force as they apply in relation to other police forces—
(a) section 38 (police powers for police authority employees),
(b) section 39 (police powers for contracted-out staff),
(c) section 42 (supplementary),
(d) section 45 (code of practice),
(e) section 46 (offences),
(f) section 47 (interpretation), and
(g) Schedule 4 (powers exercisable by civilians).
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1) the provisions specified in that subsection shall have effect with any necessary modifications and, in particular—
(a) the provisions shall have effect as if a reference to a police force were a reference to the Police Force,
(b) the provisions shall have effect as if a reference to the chief officer of police of a police force were a reference to the Chief Constable,
(c) the provisions shall have effect as if a reference to a police authority were a reference to the Authority,
(d) the provisions shall have effect as if a reference to a constable were a reference to a constable of the Police Force,
(e) section 45 shall have effect, except in relation to a code which is expressed to apply for the purposes of that section in its application both by virtue of this section and otherwise, as if for subsection (3) there were substituted a requirement to consult the Authority and the Chief Constable, and
(f) Schedule 4 shall have effect as if a reference to the relevant police area or a police area were a reference to—
(i) any place in England or Wales where a constable of the Police Force has powers by virtue of section 30(1)(a) to (f) of this Act, and
(ii) for a purpose connected to a railway or to anything occurring on or in relation to a railway, any place in England and Wales."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 73 [Regulations and orders]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 11:


    Page 30, line 40, leave out subsection (4).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment and Amendment No. 20 are in response to recommendations made by the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform

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Committee. Amendment No. 11 would ensure that any order brought forward by the Secretary of State to vary the upper and lower limits on the number of people on the proposed British Transport Police Authority would be subject to the negative procedure in Parliament.

Amendment No. 20 would require the Health and Safety Executive levy to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure the first time it is implemented before reverting to the negative procedure thereafter. As the Bill is currently drafted, the levy would be subject to the negative procedure on every occasion including the first. We are in this way complying with the wishes of the committee. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 76 [Extent]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 12:


    Page 32, line 24, at end insert—


"( ) The powers exercisable by virtue of section (Exercise of powers by civilians) shall not be exercisable in relation to Scotland."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 77 [Professional staff on duty]:

Viscount Astor moved Amendment No. 13:


    Page 32, line 32, at end insert ", and


(d) a professional harbour master acting in accordance with his duties."

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, when I moved this amendment in Committee, the Minister accused me of widening the scope of the Bill to cover harbour masters, which is the purpose of my amendment. I have since done some homework. The situation is that harbour masters quite often spend large parts of their time acting as a pilot on a ship, where they are covered by Clause 77(1). But they also spend quite a large part of their time in an office, giving instructions to ships of various sizes—for example, very large tankers—on where they should go and how they should enter harbours and restricted shipping lanes. This is an important area in view of the Marine Safety Bill which had its Second Reading last Friday.

In aviation, the Government have gone much wider by including pilots, navigators, engineers, and even cabin crew and air traffic controllers. My amendment does not seem to widen the scope of the Bill to an enormous extent. The Minister said, quite rightly, that harbour masters operate on a two-dimensional basis rather than a three-dimensional one. But they still carry out an important role. They work both in offices and onshore. They should be covered by the provisions, as they give instructions that affect safety. The point is that they instruct shipping. I have had conversations with harbour masters and am assured that they wish to remain sober in the workplace. Should the amendment be agreed, I will be able to visit the harbour without getting chucked over the nearest jetty. I beg to move.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I said in Committee that the amendment would widen the scope of the Bill beyond the recommendations made by

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Lord Justice Clarke. The amendment would bring the Bill into areas on which there has been no consultation and where there has been no demonstrated need for legislation.

We make the distinction that various people, not just harbour masters, but harbour authority staff, British Waterways officials, Broads Authority officials and all sorts of other staff, have an auxiliary onshore role in controlling navigation but do not have the same role as people on a ship, who are in control of immediate decisions that the ship takes, or air traffic controllers, who virtually take over the controls of aircraft on a minute-to-minute, second-by-second basis, in the analogy that the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, uses. We are talking about a distinction between 80 mg and 20 mg of alcohol—nothing more dramatic. It is the distinction between staff who are in instant, second-by-second control and those who are not. If we extended the provision to harbour masters, we would have to extend it to many others.

All those people, including harbour masters, must be subject to company policies designed to combat alcohol and drug misuse among the workforce. We expect the Marine and Coastguard Agency to do that. That appears to be adequate protection. I have heard of no-one who has suggested that there is any difficulty with that at present. We are tightening up an area where there may well be difficulty. I do not think that the amendment is necessary. I would not wish to see it in the Bill.


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