New Clause 6 - Police directions stopping the harassment etc of a person in his home

Part of Criminal Justice and Police Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 pm on 6th March 2001.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green 11:45 pm, 6th March 2001

Like most members of the Committee, I support the sentiments behind the new clause, especially given the appalling behaviour that we have seen in Huntingdon and some other places. However, I share a concern with the hon. Member for Taunton. The new clause might have been conceived to deal with that specific situation, but where else might it be applied? On radio and television consumer programmes and in investigative journalism, this country has a history of dealing with people who may intend to act in a fraudulent or unethical way that affects members of the public. Because of other laws, the only way in which investigative journalists can deal with them is to ``harass'' and expose them. I should hate a clause such as this one, which is clearly intended to prevent the sort of offensive behaviour that has been used on people who work at Huntingdon, to be used by people who behave fraudulently, as a defence against the proper exposure of their unethical activities.