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Policing and Crime Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 7th December 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:45 pm, 7th December 2016

My Lords, Chapter 7 of Part 4 of the Bill closes a gap in cross-border powers by providing for urgent cross-border powers of arrest by police and other law enforcement officers across the three UK jurisdictions. Amendments 138 and 140 extend these powers so that they are exercisable by immigration officers and officers of Revenue and Customs, as well as National Crime Agency officers and designated customs officials who have the powers of Revenue and Customs officers. Amendment 137 provides that the powers are exercisable by British Transport Police officers in respect of offences wherever committed in the UK.

Amendment 149 inserts a new clause to provide that all the cross-border powers of arrest will be exercisable by Revenue and Customs officers in relation to any of the functions of HMRC or Revenue and Customs officers. This means that the powers will be available in relation to both tax and customs matters, rather than being confined to tax matters as they are now. The amendments also clarify the meaning of key terms as they apply to the exercise of the cross-border powers by Revenue and Customs officers and immigration officers. These amendments further enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement across the UK, ensuring that criminals are not able to evade the law simply by crossing an internal border. I beg to move.