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Protection of Freedoms Bill

Part of Resource Extraction (Transparency and Reporting) – in the House of Commons at 5:37 pm on 1st March 2011.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for the Home Department 5:37 pm, 1st March 2011

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that point. Local authorities already have the ability to take a controlling interest and to run parking on private land, subject to the agreement and request of the landowner, although that facility has not been much used.

To ensure continued access to key buildings, existing powers for the police to remove vehicles that are illegally, dangerously or obstructively parked on roads will be extended to other land. The registered keeper of a vehicle will also be made liable, in certain circumstances, for charges incurred as a result of parking on private land.

Let me address the counter-terrorism measures in the Bill, starting with pre-charge detention. Both coalition parties and many Opposition Members are clear that in the area of counter-terrorism legislation the previous Government went too far. I have already announced to the House the outcome of our review of counter-terrorism and security powers, and the Bill puts many of those changes into practice. I announced that we would not renew current legislation on the 28-day pre-charge detention period, which means that the sunset clause inserted by the previous Government has now brought the maximum period of pre-charge detention down to 14 days. The Bill will finally repeal the power to increase the maximum period of pre-charge detention to 28 days by means of secondary legislation. As I said to the House in January, police, prosecutors and the Government are clear that the normal maximum period of pre-charge detention should be 14 days, but we recognise that in exceptional circumstances that might need to be temporarily increased to 28 days. I have therefore published draft legislation that could be introduced to Parliament only in such circumstances. The draft Detention of Terrorist Suspects (Temporary Extension) Bills will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny, the arrangements for which will be discussed through the usual channels.