I am sympathetic to the amendment. The technicalities can be dealt with later, but compensation is important. I think that the Government agree that a system of justice should allow the person who commits an offence to repay something to the person against whom it was committed. That direct link between the person whose property was damaged and the offender is appropriate.
The Minister knows my view about the system and will remember that in response to the Government's first list of offences to be covered by fixed penalty notices I said that in cases of significant criminal damage, in which the culprit could be identified, a fixed penalty notice system was appropriate, because of the lesser risk of misidentification and so on. It follows that if criminal damage is included in the system, a compensation option should be established. We should not foreclose compensation if the police choose to take the fixed penalty option. I maintain my reservations about the system as a whole.