My Lords, that is exactly the response that I expected. It is the response that I got last time; indeed, even the same legislation was referred to. I said then, and I repeat now, that one of the problems-this is made clear on the Home Office website-is that gun control law is extremely complicated. I seek a simple general provision.
In answer to the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, of course there are important considerations to be taken into account about how that provision would be used, but then that is something that police officers and others responsible for maintaining law and order have to do every day. All I want is, mainly, to persuade the public that there is provision for any detectable weapon that is carried.
The noble Baroness asked me about the method. I said in my opening remarks that the main method that I envisage is metal detectors, a non-intrusive way of checking. I was asked about sealing off streets. Sometimes that would mean sealing off areas; sometimes not. The sort of thing that I imagine would be practical is that if there were a club in which it was felt that people might have weapons, the police could check everyone coming out of it and then, if people had become aware that this was happening and had left their weapons behind, there could be an appropriate search to pick them up. They could open the lavatory systems, for example, and if someone had taped a gun in there, that would be a plus.
I am seeking to provide for the police-using the common sense, sensitivity and imagination that I believe they have-the facility to do this in a way that the public were aware that they had the right, and would expect them, to do. As I said at the beginning, my main objective is to make it a great deal more risky for people to carry such weapons on the streets in this country.
Having said that, of course I did not expect at this stage, during the wash-up, that the Government would be able to accept this amendment. I hope to return to it in due course, but meanwhile I beg leave to withdraw it.
Amendment 1 withdrawn.
Clauses 2 to 13 agreed.
Moved by Baroness Hamwee
2: Before Clause 14, insert the following new Clause-
"Retention, destruction and use of fingerprints and samples
For section 64 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (destruction of fingerprints and samples) there is substituted-
"64 Destruction of fingerprints and samples
(1) Unless provided otherwise in this section, where fingerprints, impressions of footwear or samples are taken from a person in connection with the investigation of an offence, the fingerprints, impressions of footwear or samples or any DNA profile may not be retained after they have fulfilled the purposes for which they were taken and shall not be used by any person except for purposes related to the prevention or detection of crime, the investigation of an offence, the conduct of a prosecution or the identification of a deceased person or of the person from whom a body part came.
(2) In subsection (1) above-
(a) the reference to crime includes a reference to any conduct which-
(i) constitutes one or more criminal offence (whether under the law of a part of the United Kingdom or of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom); or
(ii) is, or corresponds to, any conduct which, if it took place in any one part of the United Kingdom, would constitute one or more criminal offences; and
(b) the references to an investigation and to a prosecution include references, respectively, to any investigation outside the United Kingdom of any crime or suspected crime and to a prosecution brought in respect of any crime in a country or territory outside the United Kingdom.
(3) A DNA sample must be destroyed-
(a) as soon as a DNA profile has been derived from the sample, or
(b) if sooner, before the end of the period of six months beginning with the date on which the sample was taken.
(4) Any other sample to which this section applies must be destroyed before the end of the period of six months beginning with the date on which it was taken.
(5) Fingerprints, impressions of footwear and DNA profiles are not required to be destroyed if they were taken from a person convicted of a recordable offence.
(6) Where any fingerprint, impression of footwear or sample has been taken from a person who is arrested for or charged with a sexual offence or violent offence, the fingerprint, impression of footwear or DNA profile shall not be destroyed-
(a) in the case of fingerprints or impressions of footwear, before the end of the period of three years beginning with the date on which the fingerprints or impression were taken, such date being the "initial retention date"; or
(b) in the case of a DNA profile, before the end of the period of three years beginning with the date on which the DNA sample from which the DNA profile was derived was taken, such date being the "initial DNA retention date"; or
(c) if an application is made to the court under subsection (7), until such later date as may be provided by subsection (8) or (10) below.
Provided always that if the person is convicted of a recordable offence, subsection (5) shall apply.
(7) On application made by the responsible chief officer of police within the period of three months before the initial retention date or the initial DNA retention date as the case may be, the Crown Court, if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so, may make an order amending, or further amending, the date of destruction of the relevant fingerprint, impression of footwear or DNA profile.
(8) An order under subsection (7) shall not specify a date more than two years later than-
(a) the initial retention date in relation to fingerprints or impressions of footwear, or
(b) the initial DNA retention date in the case of a DNA profile.
(9) Any decision of the Crown Court may be appealed to the Court of Appeal within 21 days of such decision.
(10) A fingerprint, an impression of footwear or a DNA profile shall not be destroyed where-
(a) an application under subsection (7) above has been made but has not been determined;
(b) the period within which an appeal may be brought under subsection (9) above against a decision to refuse an application has not elapsed; or
(c) such an appeal has been brought but has not been withdrawn or finally determined.
(a) the period within which an appeal referred to in subsection (9) has elapsed without such an appeal being brought; or
(b) such an appeal is brought and is withdrawn or finally determined without any extension of the time period referred to in subsection (8); the fingerprint, impression of footwear or DNA profile shall be destroyed as soon as possible thereafter.
(12) Subject to subsection (13) below, where a person is entitled to the destruction of any fingerprint, impression of footwear or sample taken from him or DNA profile, neither the fingerprint, nor the impression of footwear, nor the sample, nor any information derived from the sample, nor any DNA profile shall be used in evidence against the person who is or would be entitled to the destruction of that fingerprint, impression of footwear or sample.
(13) Where a person from whom a fingerprint, impression of footwear or sample has been taken consents in writing to its retention, in the case of a fingerprint or impression of footwear or the retention of any DNA profile-
(a) that fingerprint, impression or DNA profile as the case may be need not be destroyed;
(b) subsection (12) above shall not restrict its use; provided that-
(i) no DNA profile may be retained on any child under the age of 10 years; and
(ii) consent given for the purposes of this subsection shall be capable of being withdrawn by such person upon making written application to the responsible chief officer of police or person authorised by the Secretary of State for such purpose whereupon such fingerprint, impression of footwear or DNA profile shall be destroyed as soon as possible following receipt of such written application.
(14) For the purposes of subsection (13), it shall be immaterial whether the consent is given at, before or after the time when the entitlement to the destruction of the fingerprint, impression of footwear or DNA profile arises.
(15) In this section-
"DNA profile" means any information derived from a DNA sample;
"DNA sample" means any material that has come from a human body and consists of or includes human cells;
"the responsible chief officer of police" means the chief officer of police for the police area-
(a) in which the samples, fingerprints or impressions of footwear were taken; or
(b) in the case of a DNA profile, in which the sample from which the DNA profile was derived was taken; a "sexual offence" or "violent offence" shall mean such offences of a violent or sexual nature as shall be set out in any order made by the Secretary of State with reference to this section.
(16) Nothing in this section affects any power conferred by paragraph 18(2) of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971 or section 20 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (c. 33) (disclosure of police information to the Secretary of State for use for immigration purposes).
(17) An order under this section must be made by statutory instrument.
(18) A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (17) shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.""