Government by-pass MPs on new policing laws

Pages of new amendments to the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill have been submitted by the government as the legislation is half way through the Lords Committee stage. The new laws target “locking-on” and other forms of nonviolent protest, as well as giving police officers the ability to stop and search without suspicion.

Green Party peer, Baroness Jenny Jones said:

“Pages of new laws are being added to the Policing Bill in a massive attack on non-violent protest and a draconian approach to stop and search, which removes the need for the police to even suspect a crime. These are not emergency laws, yet the government has by-passed scrutiny by MPs and dived into the middle of the Lords trying to debate and change the collection of draconian, draft laws that they have already put forward.  

The government should drop these amendments from the Bill, because it is procedurally not possible at this late stage to give it the proper scrutiny; and instead should bring a fresh Bill with these provisions that can then go through the full process of parliamentary scrutiny. The Green Party believe that the Lords should refuse to pass this Bill altogether if it contains these new amendments.”

See page 68 onwards –

Jenny raised this issue with the Minster during a debate on Stop and Search:

In tabling at this stage a new set of amendments on the issue of stop and search without suspicion, the Government have stampeded through all our protocols and processes. I have never heard of that happening and I think the noble Baroness probably has not either. Can she explain why this is okay, when we have already passed Second Reading and have nearly passed Committee? Why do the Government think this is all right? Could the Minister please answer the question from t Lord Paddick, which was specifically about an impact assessment on the new stop and search amendments?

Baroness Williams of Trafford  replied for HMG: As I say, the impact assessment is done on the Bill and it will include the amendments that we propose. Amendments to legislation are often put forward relatively late in the day. In Committee and then on Report, there will be plenty of time to scrutinise them. They are in response to violent crime increasing and the Government’s real desire to tackle it.

Read the Stop and Search debate in Hansard