Clause 81 - Restriction on use and destruction of fingerprints and samples

Part of Criminal Justice and Police Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 8th March 2001.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Minister of State, Home Office 4:45 pm, 8th March 2001

I accept the spirit of the comments of the hon. Gentleman and of my hon. Friend the Member for Hall Green. I believe that safeguards exist, but I am happy to give the commitment that I will examine carefully between now and Report whether any clarification of those safeguards would be helpful.

I acknowledge the force of the points made by hon. Members of all parties and understand that everyone needs to be assured that the powers in the Bill could not be used by despotic or tyrannical regimes. I assure the hon. Gentleman—I have already tried to do so—that that is the Bill's intention. The intention is to ensure that nothing stands in the way of building the international co-operation that we increasingly need.

I apologise if I have spoken for too long, but I have attempted to cover the substance of the issue, because the clause is one of the most important in the Bill. I hope that I have not trespassed on your patience, Mr. Gale, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will withdraw the amendment and that hon. Members will vote for the clause to stand part of the Bill.