New Clause 98 - Offence of pet theft

Part of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:57 pm on 5th July 2021.

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Photo of Ian Levy Ian Levy Conservative, Blyth Valley 9:57 pm, 5th July 2021

Having served on the Bill Committee for this landmark legislation, I wholeheartedly support how the Bill embeds the police covenant into law, a commitment that I made to my constituents of Blyth Valley back in 2019. The covenant is pivotal to ensuring that our police are supported and that they rightly receive the recognition and enhanced protection that they deserve in keeping us all safe. It is a hugely positive step that echoes the Government’s commitment to protect police officers and their families.

My promise to my constituency to do all I can to reduce crime and create safe communities is paramount. Blyth Valley has seen high levels of antisocial behaviour over recent years. On occasion, tragically, it has led to the loss of life. Only recently, a constituent and father of two was violently attacked on his way home. I would like to thank the Northumbria police in my constituency for all the work they have done in the wake of this shocking incident. Much to the horror of my constituents, the offenders were all teenagers aged between 16 and 18. Due to their actions, so many lives have been ruined. It is vital that we give our police every tool they need to protect both themselves and our communities. As well as strengthening police stop-and-search powers and targeting those people who are convicted of knife crime and weapon offences, we will reinforce the custody of young offenders.

Another part of the Bill that I particularly welcome is the increase in the maximum penalty for anyone who assaults or commits an offence against an emergency worker from 12 months to two years. I worked for the NHS for almost 25 years, but I am sure that everyone in this House will agree that any form of attack or assault against an emergency worker is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Our emergency services have gone above and beyond over the past year during the pandemic to protect and save lives. They deserve to be treated with the utmost respect. Their bravery, selflessness, professionalism and unflinching diligence does not go unnoticed. I welcome the fact that the Bill will seek to ensure that everyone who commits an offence against such workers will be penalised.

Debate interrupted (Programme Order, this day).

The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (Standing Order No. 83E), That the Bill be now read the Third time.