Unopposed Bill Committee Minutes of Evidence


Sections 480-499

London Local Authorities Bill [HL]

Tuesday 18 February 2003

480. MR BLACKWELL: We do. We do also prosecute the organisers in circumstances where we inform them of where the poster is and ----

481. CHAIRMAN: I was going to ask, if they have given their consent to where, you do not have to say the particular one at number 37?

482. MR BLACKWELL: We do, yes.

483. CHAIRMAN: I would, again, wish you well when this thing goes through in the enforcement.

484. MR BLACKWELL: These provisions will make it easier because it will put the onus upon somebody who derives benefit to do something rather than just saying to someone "Take it down" so as to avail themselves of this defence. They do actually have to make sure it is taken down.

485. CHAIRMAN: If it is a pop star himself or herself who is trying to promote a record, which is often what they are, I think, would you be able to get up to that person and say "You must have known that your record was being promoted, it is being promoted for your benefit, you are guilty"?

486. MR BLACKWELL: Theoretically, yes. In practice we would go to the company responsible for promoting the album or the concert.

487. LORD TORDOFF: I just wondered, could you actually explain to us what this amendment precisely seeks to do?

488. MR LEWIS: As I said, at the moment the defence is that the defendant proves that the flyposter was displayed without his knowledge or consent. So we are introducing two new alternative defences. The first one is part of a defence which already exists - ie, the poster was displayed without his knowledge.

489. MR SAUNDERS: Does that mean displayed originally without his knowledge or continued to be displayed without his knowledge?

490. MR LEWIS: Both.

491. MR SAUNDERS: So once he knows about it he cannot defend a continuing offence by saying "It is without my knowledge", now he knows.

492. MR BLACKWELL: That is right. Then you move on to the second limb of the defence, which permits him to say "But I then took all reasonable steps to avoid the commission of the continuing offence."

493. MR SAUNDERS: So as soon as he knows, then he has got to switch and also operate the second defence.

494. MR BLACKWELL: Yes.

495. CHAIRMAN: You see these things all over the place and for the same event or the same record. Do you have to say individually, each one, that there is one here, there is one there?

496. MR BLACKWELL: We would and we do. At the moment.

497. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Moving on?

498. MR LEWIS: Moving on to Clause 34, the provision of information to authorised officer, this clause mirrors a clause in the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill which your Lordship has already dealt with. There has been some comment on this clause but all the concerns expressed by Mr Saunders have been met by amendments. The clause will be particularly useful in the context of unlicensed street trading in the West End.

499. Repeat offenders constantly give council officers false names when an offence is investigated, resulting in additional cost and delay in prosecution cases. In future cases if a false name is given an additional offence will arise when the defendant is eventually found and prosecuted. The threat of being prosecuted for this additional offence should provide an incentive to provide the correct information.


 
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