Inspection of Premises: Part Ii

Orders of the Day — Vehicles (Crime) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:55 pm on 30th January 2001.

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'( )—(1) A justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorising a constable or (as the case may be) an authorised person to enter and inspect premises, provided that admission to the premises is reasonably required to secure compliance with the provisions of this Part, or to ascertain whether these provisions are being complied with.

(2) A constable or an authorised person may, if necessary, use reasonable force in the exercise of his powers under a warrant issued under subsection (1).

(3) A constable or an authorised person may at any reasonable time—

  1. (a) require production of, and inspect, any registration plates kept at the premises; and
  2. (b) require production of, inspect and take copies of or extracts from any records which the person carrying on business as a registration plate supplier is required to keep at such premises by virtue of this Part.

(4) A constable or an authorised person in seeking to enter any premises in the exercise of his powers under a warrant issued under subsection (1) shall, if required by or on behalf of the owner or occupier or person in charge of the premises, produce evidence of his identity, and of his authority for entering before doing so.

(5) Any person who obstructs an authorised person in the exercise of his duties under a warrant issued under subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.'.—[Mr. Bercow]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: New clause 6—Inspection of premises: Part I'( )—(1) A justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorising a constable or (as the case may be) an authorised person to enter and inspect premises, provided that admission to the premises is reasonably required to secure compliance with the provisions of this Part, or to ascertain whether these provisions are being complied with.(2) A constable or an authorised person may, if necessary, use reasonable force in the exercise of his powers under a warrant issued under subsection (1).(3) A constable or an authorised person may at any reasonable time—

  1. (a) require production of, and inspect, any motor vehicles or salvageable parts kept at the premises; and
  2. (b) require production of, inspect and take copies of or extracts from any records which the person carrying on business as a motor salvage operator is required to keep at such premises by virtue of this Part.
(4) A constable or an authorised person in seeking to enter any premises in the exercise of his powers under a warrant issued under subsection (1) shall, if required by or on behalf of the owner or occupier or person in charge of the premises, produce evidence of his identity, and of his authority for entering before doing so.(5) Any person who obstructs an authorised person in the exercise of his duties under a warrant issued under subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.'. Amendment No. 30, in clause 9, page 6, line 5, leave out clause 9.

Amendment No. 31, in clause 25, page 13, line 14, leave out clause 25.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

As hon. Members who served in Committee are aware, the arguments on the subject of the right of entry to and inspection of premises were well rehearsed in Committee, so there is no need to develop them now. Suffice it to say that, as far as we are concerned, the overweening power of the state to enter and inspect is already very great indeed. We are concerned about that. We believe that warrants should be required. It is not acceptable that entry should occur without them.

Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Minister of State, Home Office

I commend the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on the exceptional brevity and clarity of his speech. Had we only experienced that in Committee and in all our proceedings on the Bill, we would be in a different position today.

As the hon. Gentleman said, we debated the matter exhaustively in Committee. I do not think there is any need to go through the discussions again. Deciding the circumstances in which warrants are needed and the circumstances in which they are not is simply a matter of balance of judgment. In our view, the introduction of the new clauses in this group is inappropriate as they require warrants to be obtained even in the case of registered premises. The Government consider it to be right that a registered business should be open to routine inspection by the enforcement authorities to ensure compliance with the requirements of the House.

Operators will have agreed to comply with the obligations imposed on them under the registration scheme, and it would make no sense to require warrants to be obtained for routine inspections to ensure that the scheme is in fact being adhered to. The Bill already contains a limitation on the power of entry and inspection to such times as are reasonable.

As I said, we have debated the matter at length. I am confident that the power of my rhetoric will have persuaded the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the motion, and I hope that he will do so. If not, I urge my colleagues to vote down the Opposition.

It being half-past Eight o'clock, MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

The House divided: Ayes 118, Noes 326.

Division No. 92][8.30 pm
AYES
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)Boswell, Tim
Amess, DavidBottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon JamesBrady, Graham
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)Brazier, Julian
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Beggs, RoyBrowning, Mrs Angela
Bercow, JohnBruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Beresford, Sir PaulBurns, Simon
Body, Sir RichardCash, William
Clappison, JamesLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Clarke, Rt Hon KennethMcIntosh, Miss Anne
(Rushcliffe)Maclean, Rt Hon David
Collins, TimMcLoughlin, Patrick
Cormack, Sir PatrickMadel, Sir David
Cran, JamesMalins, Humfrey
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)Maples, John
Day, StephenMawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
Dorrell, Rt Hon StephenMay, Mrs Theresa
Duncan, AlanMoss, Malcolm
Emery, Rt Hon Sir PeterNicholls, Patrick
Evans, NigelNorman, Archie
Faber, DavidO'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Fabricant, MichaelOttaway, Richard
Fallon, MichaelPage, Richard
Flight, HowardPaice, James
Forth, Rt Hon EricPickles, Eric
Fox, Dr LiamPrior, David
Fraser, ChristopherRandall, John
Gale, RogerRedwood, Rt Hon John
Gibb, NickRobathan, Andrew
Gill, ChristopherRuffley, David
Gillan, Mrs CherylSt Aubyn, Nick
Gorman, Mrs TeresaShepherd, Richard
Green, DamianSoames, Nicholas
Greenway, JohnSpelman, Mrs Caroline
Grieve, DominicSpicer, Sir Michael
Gummer Rt Hon JohnSpring, Richard
Hague, Rt Hon WilliamStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Streeter, Gary
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir ArchieSwayne, Desmond
Hammond, PhilipSyms, Robert
Hawkins, NickTapsell, Sir Peter
Hayes, JohnTaylor, John M (Solihull)
Heald, OliverTaylor, Sir Teddy
Horam, JohnTownend, John
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelTrend, Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)Tyrie, Andrew
Hunter, AndrewViggers, Peter
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)Waterson, Nigel
Jenkin, BernardWhitney, Sir Raymond
Key, RobertWhittingdale, John
Laing, Mrs EleanorWiddecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Lait, Mrs JacquiWilkinson, John
Lansley, AndrewWilshire, David
Leigh, EdwardWinterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Letwin, OliverYeo, Tim
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Lidington, David
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)Tellers for the Ayes:
Loughton, TimMr. Keith Simpson and Mr. James Gray.
Luff, Peter
NOES
Abbott, Ms DianeBell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Ainger, NickBenn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)Bennett, Andrew F
Allan, RichardBenton, Joe
Allen, GrahamBermingham, Gerald
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)Best, Harold
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms HilaryBlackman, Liz
Ashton, JoeBlizzard, Bob
Atherton, Ms CandyBorrow, David
Austin, JohnBradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bailey, AdrianBradshaw, Ben
Banks, TonyBreed, Colin
Barnes, HarryBrinton, Mrs Helen
Barron, KevinBruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Bayley, HughBuck, Ms Karen
Beard, NigelBurden, Richard
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs MargaretBurgon, Colin
Begg, Miss AnneBurnett, John
Beith, Rt Hon A JBurstow, Paul
Bell, Martin (Tatton)Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Rt Hon StephenGriffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)Grocott, Bruce
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Campbell—Savours, DaleHamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Cann, JamieHancock, Mike
Caplin, IvorHanson, David
Caton, MartinHarvey, Nick
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)Healey, John
Chaytor, DavidHeath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Chidgey, DavidHenderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Clapham, MichaelHenderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Clark, Dr LyndaHendrick, Mark
(Edinburgh Pentlands)Hepburn, Stephen
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)Heppell, John
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)Hesford, Stephen
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Clelland, DavidHill, Keith
Clwyd, AnnHinchliffe, David
Coaker, VernonHope, Phil
Coffey, Ms AnnHopkins, Kelvin
Cohen, HarryHowarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Cooper, YvetteHowarth, George (Knowsley N)
Corbett, RobinHowells, Dr Kim
Cotter, BrianHoyle, Lindsay
Cousins, JimHughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Cox, TomHughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Cranston, RossHumble, Mrs Joan
Crausby, DavidHurst, Alan
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)Hutton, John
Cummings, JohnIddon, Dr Brian
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)Illsley, Eric
Dalyell, TamJackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Darling, Rt Hon AlistairJamieson, David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Davidson, IanJohnson, Miss Melanie
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)(Welwyn Hatfield)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Davis, Rt Hon TerryJones, Helen (Warrington N)
(B'ham Hodge H)Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Denham, JohnJones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Dobson, Rt Hon FrankJoyce, Eric
Donohoe, Brian HKaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Doran, FrankKeeble, Ms Sally
Dowd, JimKeen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Drew, DavidKeen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Dunwoody, Mrs GwynethKemp, Fraser
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)Khabra, Piara S
Efford, CliveKidney, David
Ellman, Mrs LouiseKilfoyle, Peter
Ennis, JeffKing, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Etherington, BillKumar, Dr Ashok
Feam, RonnieLadyman, Dr Stephen
Field, Rt Hon FrankLammy, David
Fitzpatrick, JimLawrence, Mrs Jackie
Fitzsimons, Mrs LornaLepper, David
Flynn, PaulLeslie, Christopher
Follett, BarbaraLevitt, Tom
Foster, Rt Hon DerekLewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Foulkes, GeorgeLinton, Martin
Fyfe, MariaLivsey, Richard
Galloway, GeorgeLloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Gapes, MikeLock, David
George, Andrew (St Ives)Love, Andrew
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)McAvoy, Thomas
Gerrard, NeilMcCabe, Steve
Gibson, Dr IanMcCartney, Rt Hon Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda(Makerfield)
Godman, Dr Norman AMcDonagh, Siobhain
Goggins, PaulMacdonald, Calum
Golding, Mrs LlinMcDonnell, John
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)McFall, John
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, ShonaSedgemore, Brian
McKenna, Mrs RosemaryShaw, Jonathan
Mackinlay, AndrewSheerman, Barry
Mactaggart, FionaSheldon, Rt Hon Robert
McWilliam, JohnSimpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Mahon, Mrs AliceSingh, Marsha
Mallaber, JudySkinner, Dennis
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Marshall—Andrews, RobertSmith, Miss Geraldine
Martlew, Eric(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Meacher, Rt Hon MichaelSmith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Meale, AlanSmith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Merron, GillianSmith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Michael, Rt Hon AlunSnape, Peter
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)Soley, Clive
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)Spellar, John
Miller, AndrewSquire, Ms Rachel
Mitchell, AustinStarkey, Dr Phyllis
Moonie, Dr LewisSteinberg, Gerry
Moore, MichaelStevenson, George
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Morley, ElliotStinchcombe, Paul
Morris, Rt Hon Ms EstelleStoate, Dr Howard
(B'ham Yardley)Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Mountford, KaliStringer, Graham
Mudie, GeorgeStuart, Ms Gisela
Mullin, ChrisStunell, Andrew
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)Temple—Morris, Peter
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Naysmith, Dr DougThomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
O'Hara, EddieTimms, Stephen
Olner, BillTipping, Paddy
Öpik, LembitTodd, Mark
Osborne, Ms SandraTonge, Dr Jenny
Perham, Ms LindaTouhig, Don
Pickthall, ColinTurner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Pike, Peter LTurner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Plaskitt, JamesTurner, Neil (Wigan)
Pond, ChrisTwigg, Derek (Halton)
Pope, GregTwigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Pound, StephenTyler, Paul
Powell, Sir RaymondTynan, Bill
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)Walley, Ms Joan
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)Wareing, Robert N
Primarolo, DawnWatts, David
Prosser, GwynWebb, Steve
Purchase, KenWhite, Brian
Quinn, LawrieWhitehead, Dr Alan
Rapson, SydWicks, Malcolm
Raynsford, NickWilliams, Rt Hon Alan
Rendel, David(Swansea W)
Robertson, JohnWilliams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
(Glasgow Anniesland)Willis, Phil
Roche, Mrs BarbaraWinnick, David
Rooker, Rt Hon JeffWinterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Rooney, TerryWood, Mike
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)Woodward, Shaun
Rowlands, TedWoolas, Phil
Roy, FrankWorthington, Tony
Ruane, ChrisWray, James
Ruddock, JoanWright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)Wright Tony (Cannock)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)Wyatt, Derek
Salmond, Alex
Salter, MartinTellers for the Noes:
Sanders, AdrianMr. Tony McNulty and Mr. Clive Betts.
Savidge, Malcolm

Question accordingly negatived.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour.