Power of Police Authority to Retain Unclaimed Property

Part of Orders of the Day — Police (Property) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 7 February 1997.

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Photo of Mr Piers Merchant Mr Piers Merchant , Beckenham 12:45, 7 February 1997

I have listened very carefully and with great interest to my right hon. Friend the Minister and to my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Evennett). Having had an opportunity—which the House has not previously had—to hear why a 12-month period was originally specified in the Bill, I appreciate why those arguments are convincing. I was particularly convinced by the arguments that the police should not be custodians of warehouses, and that their very success in cracking down on crime has resulted in the problem of having to look after such large quantities of property. I also appreciate the argument that property should be disposed of as soon as reasonably proper.

After hearing those arguments, I think that the 12-month period is acceptable. Therefore, on that basis, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.