Police and Crime Commissioners: parity of funding between police and families at inquests

Policing and Crime Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 13th June 2016.

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“(1) A police and crime commissioner has the duties set out in this section when the police force they are responsible for is a Properly Interested Person for the purposes of—

(a) an inquest into the death of a member of an individual’s family, or

(b) an inquest into the deaths of members of a group of families,

under the Coroners Act 1988.

(2) The police and crime commissioner must make recommendations to the Secretary of State as to whether the individual’s family or the group of families at the inquest require financial support to ensure parity of legal representation between parties to the inquest.

(3) If a police and crime commissioner makes a recommendation under subsection (2) then the Secretary of State must provide financial assistance to the individual’s family or the group of families to ensure parity of funding between families and the police.

(4) The individual’s family or the group of families may use funding authorised under this section solely for the purpose of funding legal representation at the inquest.”—(Andy Burnham.)

This new clause would put into law the principle of parity of funding between police and families at inquests. It would ensure that funding to a bereaved family, or a group of bereaved families, for purposes of legal representation during an inquest is an amount broadly equal to the level of funding that the police force receives. This new clause seeks to place an obligation on the PCC to recommend to the Home Secretary as to whether a bereaved family, or a group of bereaved families requires funding to support their legal representation at the inquest. The Home Secretary must provide such funding if it is recommended.

Brought up, and read the First time.

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

The House divided:

Ayes 155, Noes 264.

Division number 16

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Aye

No

Question accordingly negatived.

More than three hours having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on consideration, the proceedings were interrupted (Programme Order, 26 April).

The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83E).

New Clause 64