This is a rare situation for me. We have come to the second private Member’s Bill of the day, both of which I wholeheartedly support—an unusual occurrence for a Friday. I find myself in a slightly uncomfortable situation in that regard. I have tabled the amendments not to bury the Bill, but to try to improve it. It is already an excellent Bill, but it could be further strengthened. I hope to persuade my hon. Friend Stuart Andrew, whom I congratulate on getting the Bill to this stage, that my amendments would enhance his Bill, and I will give it my best shot.
I begin by congratulating you, Mr Speaker, on not selecting my first amendment. It is what is known, I believe, as a consequential amendment, and it suggested leaving out the word “or” and inserting a comma instead. The House would probably not have wanted to have had a Division on such a lead amendment, so I congratulate you on not indulging the House with it. The other amendments are well worthy of at least consideration.
On the disposal of unauthorised or unattributable property, clause 1 states:
“an article found inside the prison or in a prisoner escort vehicle”.
Amendment 2 suggests an addition to include:
“any other location that the prisoner attends while in custody,”
Obviously, the Bill covers the prison and prison escort vehicles—that is perfectly reasonable. I am concerned, however, about all the other places prisoners might find themselves while in custody. It would be bizarre if something was not covered because of a technicality—because the prisoner did not happen to be in prison or a prisoner escort vehicle at the time.