Clause 263 - Review of arrangements
Criminal Justice Bill
Mr David Heath (Somerton and Frome, Liberal Democrat)
It occurs to me that if the intention is to provide not only an input into the process but a reassurance to the community, we should recognise that there is a great difference between, for instance, the Greater Manchester police and the City of London police, in terms of work loads and the communities that the advisers will represent. There are huge geographical areas and different communities in some police authority areas. In Avon and Somerset, inner-city Bristol is rather different from Exmoor in terms of the communities that are represented. In some cases there will be a congregation of offenders, simply because of the location of institutions. I am thinking, for instance, of the Isle of Wight in the context of Hampshire. I worry that we are giving the lay people in some areas the impossible task of adequately representing those communities, if indeed they are held to have a representative function.