Clause 13 - Interpretation

Part of Criminal Justice and Police Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 15th February 2001.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate 2:45 pm, 15th February 2001

I wish to add to the points that my hon. Friend has made. I hope that my comments are helpful to the Minister. I have some experience. Having been a service man myself and dealt with the Ministry of Defence police, I might have a marginally more informed idea of the differences between regimental police, the Royal Military Police and MOD police. The services have collected a variety of police forces.

Clearly, the measure should not apply to the Royal Military Police or to regimental police, because they are not constables in the ordinary nature of their business, but I believe that not including MOD police is an oversight. They are likely to deal with demonstrations such as those at Greenham common, and their responsibility for land on some of the routes to Stonehenge, for example, regularly requires them to deal with the sort of people who are likely to offend under clause 1.

MOD police protect areas in which some form of illegal demonstration that could lead to an offence under clause 1 is likely to take place, so I hope that the Minister will consult his colleagues in the Ministry of Defence to determine whether they think it appropriate, as I do, that the MOD police should have the powers described in the Bill.