Clause 3 - Administration and enforcement
Gangmasters (Licensing) Bill
Mr Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras, Labour)
Mr. Illsley, I am happy to be able to say without any doubt that your chairing was the most helpful piece of chairing that I have come across in nearly 25 years in the House. I also cannot help but observe the appropriateness of Room 9 being renamed the Wellington Room. Someone obviously had a sense of humour, as we are discussing the gathering of shellfish, agriculture and horticulture in a place named after the appropriate clothing.
I would be grateful if the Minister confirmed that those to have powers of arrest will include not only the enforcement officers, but the usual people—the police—under the Bill or under general legislation.
I want to raise two other points. As I understand it, powers of arrest will apply only to someone who has not got a licence or who has a dodgy licence. There is no proposal that a power of arrest should be applied to someone who is wildly in breach of a licence, which might appropriately be an arrestable offence. Might someone who is obstructing enforcement and compliance officers in the exercise of their duties be arrested? Some of the minority of evil people involved in gangmaster activities are precisely the sort of people who would destroy important information in the period between the enforcement officer trying to get in and anybody laying hands on the information.