Report (5th Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 20th March 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development) 7:30 pm, 20th March 2012

My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, and my noble friend Lady Browning for their incredibly kind words to me. However, it is they who have been the doughty fighters who have brought us to this position. I should also like to thank my right honourable friend the Secretary of State, Ken Clarke, for his help in taking forward this innovative idea.

The noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, and the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, mentioned domestic violence, and as both noble Lords emphasised, these are complex issues which require multifaceted approaches. We will need to see how, in tackling the abuse of alcohol, there might be a beneficial effect in this area as well. The provision is not targeted at domestic violence, as noble Lords will appreciate, but we will need to see what we can learn from its possible effects. I would be extremely happy on behalf of the Government to meet the organisations to which the noble Lord referred. I know that the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, expressed an interest as well. I really appreciate that and look forward to taking that further forward. It is extremely important that we discuss what is suggested here with such groups.

We agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Browning, that alcohol treatment is extremely important; as a spokesperson for health, I hope that I can reassure noble Lords that we fully recognise that. I want to reassure the noble Baroness that we believe that the pilots are there so that we can learn from them. We need to learn what works elsewhere and see how it might need to be adapted within our own legal, social and economic situation. However, we are optimistic that these are interesting proposals to take forward.

My noble friend Lord Avebury asked about the funding for the pilots and the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, also flagged that up. Existing resources will be drawn on for some of the work with breathalysers, but the Government are indeed providing funding for the pilots and this will be announced shortly. My noble friend Lord Avebury asked about the areas for conditional caution pilots. I hope he will be pleased to hear that this will be announced in the alcohol strategy next week.

Above all, I thank noble Lords for their support for the government amendments, and especially for the work of the noble Baronesses, Lady Finlay and Lady Browning, and others in bringing us to this point. I look forward to our learning from these pilots.

Amendment 152ZC agreed.

Clause 72 : Alcohol treatment requirement

Amendments 152ZD to 152ZF

Moved by Baroness Northover

152ZD: Clause 72, page 53, line 16, at end insert-

"(2) In section 223(3) of that Act (power to amend specified periods of time), omit paragraph (d)."

152ZE: After Clause 72, insert the following new Clause-

"Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement

(1) After section 212 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 insert-

"212A Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement

(1) In this Part "alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement", in relation to a relevant order, means a requirement-

(a) that, subject to such exceptions (if any) as are specified-

(i) the offender must abstain from consuming alcohol throughout a specified period, or

(ii) the offender must not consume alcohol so that at any time during a specified period there is more than a specified level of alcohol in the offender's body, and

(b) that the offender must, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the offender is complying with provision under paragraph (a), submit during the specified period to monitoring in accordance with specified arrangements.

(2) A period specified under subsection (1)(a) must not exceed 120 days.

(3) If the Secretary of State by order prescribes a minimum period for the purposes of subsection (1)(a), a period specified under that provision must be at least as long as the period prescribed.

(4) The level of alcohol specified under subsection (1)(a)(ii) must be that prescribed by the Secretary of State by order for the purposes of that provision (and a requirement under that provision may not be imposed unless such an order is in force).

(5) An order under subsection (4) may prescribe a level-

(a) by reference to the proportion of alcohol in any one or more of an offender's breath, blood, urine or sweat, or

(b) by some other means.

(6) The arrangements for monitoring specified under subsection (1)(b) must be consistent with those prescribed by the Secretary of State by order (and an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement may not be imposed unless such an order is in force).

(7) An order under subsection (6) may in particular prescribe-

(a) arrangements for monitoring by electronic means;

(b) arrangements for monitoring by other means of testing.

(8) A court may not include an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement in a relevant order unless the following conditions are met.

(9) The first condition is that-

(a) the consumption of alcohol by the offender is an element of the offence for which the order is to be imposed or an associated offence, or

(b) the court is satisfied that the consumption of alcohol by the offender was a factor that contributed to the commission of that offence or an associated offence.

(10) The second condition is that the court is satisfied that the offender is not dependent on alcohol.

(11) The third condition is that the court does not include an alcohol treatment requirement in the order.

(12) The fourth condition is that the court has been notified by the Secretary of State that arrangements for monitoring of the kind to be specified are available in the local justice area to be specified.

(13) In this section-

"alcohol" includes anything containing alcohol;

"specified", in relation to a relevant order, means specified in the order."

(2) In section 177 of that Act (community orders), in subsection (1), after paragraph (j) insert-

"(ja) an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement (as defined by section 212A),".

(3) In subsection (2) of that section (limitations on power to impose community order)-

(a) omit the "and" at the end of paragraph (f), and

(b) at the end of paragraph (g) insert ", and

"(h) section 212A(8) to (12) (alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement)."

(4) In section 190 of that Act (imposition of requirements by suspended sentence order), in subsection (1), after paragraph (j) insert-

"(ja) an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement (as defined by section 212A),".

(5) In subsection (2) of that section (limitations on power to impose requirements by suspended sentence order)-

(a) omit the "and" at the end of paragraph (f), and

(b) at the end of paragraph (g) insert ", and

(h) section 212A(8) to (12) (alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement)."

(6) In section 215 of that Act (electronic monitoring requirement), after subsection (4) insert-

"(5) An electronic monitoring requirement may not be included in a relevant order for the purposes of securing the electronic monitoring of the offender's compliance with an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement.

(6) Subsection (5) does not prevent the inclusion of an electronic monitoring requirement in a relevant order which includes an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement where this is for the purpose of securing the electronic monitoring of an offender's compliance with a requirement other than the alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement."

(7) In section 223(3) of that Act (provisions to which powers to amend periods of time apply), after paragraph (b) insert-

"(ba) section 212A(2) (alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement)".

(8) In section 305(1) of that Act (interpretation of Part 12), at the appropriate place insert-

""alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement", in relation to a community order or suspended sentence order, has the meaning given by section 212A;"."

152ZF: After Clause 72, insert the following new Clause-

"Piloting of alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirements

(1) The Secretary of State may by order provide for the coming into force of section (Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement).

(2) The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (1) with the effect that section (Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement) is in force for the whole of England and Wales (a "general commencement order") without having previously made a piloting order.

(3) Subsection (2) does not prevent an order under subsection (1) from bringing section (Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement) into force for the purpose only of making orders under section 212A or 223 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 or rules under section 222 of that Act (and such an order is not a general commencement order for the purposes of this section).

(4) A "piloting order" is an order under subsection (1) with the effect that section (Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement) is force only-

(a) in relation to the area or areas specified in the order, and

(b) for the period specified in the order, but otherwise for all purposes, or for all purposes other than application by the Armed Forces Act 2006.

(5) If, having made one or more piloting orders, the Secretary of State decides to make a general commencement order, the Secretary of State may by order-

(a) amend section (Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement) so as to enable the general commencement order to bring it into force with those amendments;

(b) amend or repeal any provision of this Act in consequence of provision made under paragraph (a).

(6) Amendments under subsection (5)(a) may confer power on the Secretary of State to make an order or rules.

(7) If, having made one or more piloting orders, the Secretary of State decides not to make a general commencement order, the Secretary of State may by order-

(a) repeal section (Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement);

(b) amend the Criminal Justice Act 2003 so as to reverse the effect of that section on that Act;

(c) make other consequential amendments or repeals.

(8) An order under this section may make transitional, transitory or saving provision (including, in the case of a piloting order, provision relating to section (Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement) ceasing to be in force at the end of the period specified in the order).

(9) An order under this section is to be made by statutory instrument.

(10) A statutory instrument containing-

(a) a general commencement order, or

(b) an order under subsection (5) or (7), may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament."

Amendments 152ZD to 152ZF agreed.

Amendments 152A and 152B not moved.

Amendment 152BZZA

Moved by Lord Woolf

152BZZA: After Clause 72, Insert the following new Clause-

"To add restorative justice to the statutory purposes of sentencing

In section 142(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (purposes of sentencing) after paragraph (c) insert-

"(ca) the achievement of restorative justice,"."