[1st Allocated Day]

Part of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:58 pm on 15th March 2021.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, North East Bedfordshire 9:58 pm, 15th March 2021

I prepared a one-minute speech, but I will try to stretch it to two minutes. The constituents of North East Bedfordshire will welcome this Bill. They will particularly welcome the fact that it begins with the police covenant, which codifies our responsibility to recognise the obligations and sacrifices of our police officers. They will very much welcome the end of automatic early release, but I must say to the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend Chris Philp, that I agree with my hon. Friend Philip Davies: he should see this as the start, not the end, of ending automatic release, so that the public understand that sentences mean what they say.

My constituents will particularly welcome the actions on illegal encampments, which are a blight for so many in the countryside and urban areas. On the issue of policing demonstrations, let us listen to what my hon. Friend Sir Charles Walker said and take more responsibility for ourselves in setting the laws, rather than the obligations of the police for policing them. I welcome the sensitivity in the Bill in terms of the interactions of young people with our justice system. If we can get that right, it will preclude many faults later on.

It is welcome that we have clause 164, which at last recognises that deaf people can have access to British Sign Language interpreters. For hundreds of years, we have recognised that every citizen in this country is entitled to a jury of their peers, and now those juries can include our deaf citizens as well as everybody else. Finally, I believe, in all generosity, that Labour Members have made a terrible mistake in opposing the Bill, and neither my constituents nor theirs will ever understand the reasons why.

Ordered, That the debate be now adjourned—(Michael Tomlinson.).

Debate to be resumed tomorrow.