Criminal Law

Part of Theft from Shops (Use of Penalty Notices for Disorder) – in the House of Commons at 5:19 pm on 11th March 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Liberal Democrat, Chesterfield 5:19 pm, 11th March 2009

I thank the Minister for that answer, which relates to one of my final points. I hope that the Government will commit to carrying out more research on the measure, which, in principle, is a sensible move when used in the right low-level circumstances. However, although we might believe that something is effective, it seems pointless to use it for eight years, 10 years or longer without checking whether it delivers the desired results.

The Magistrates Association, which has been referred to a few times, has quite a few concerns about the use of PNDs and about the order before us, although I do not quite agree with one of them. The association is concerned that magistrates can be sidelined where PNDs are used. As I have already said, that is in part one of the benefits of PNDs for low-level disorder. The hope is that PNDs will catch minor offenders—presumably first-time offenders—and thereby prevent them from being taken to court, being criminalised and getting a record. Sidelining the magistrates courts and keeping such people out of the criminal justice system at that point would be a good thing, if PNDs are used in the correct circumstances.

Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website