Clause 10 - Compensation

Part of Anti-social Behaviour Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:45 pm on 6 May 2003.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 6:45, 6 May 2003

The hon. Member for South-East Cambridgeshire points that neither he nor I is a lawyer. We want to the get the legislation right and do not want to pay compensation inappropriately. Equally, however, we do not want to introduce draconian measures that can be used in inappropriate circumstances without compensation being paid and so discourage people from getting into the business of letting their properties. We must encourage people to expand the rented sector where appropriate.

The hon. Member for South-East Cambridgeshire asked me to clarify what the clause means. I believe, and am advised, that it means precisely what it says, namely that

''On an application under this section the court may order the payment of compensation out of central funds if it is satisfied . . . that the person had no connection with the use of the premises as mentioned in section 1(1)''.

Of course,

''the use of the premises as mentioned in section 1(1)''

relates to clause 1(1)(a) and

''the unlawful use or supply of a Class A controlled drug'',

and to clause 1(1)(b) and

''the occurrence of disorder or serious nuisance to members of the public.''

The answer to the question whether we should, in any circumstances, compensate someone with a connection with the use that created the nuisance, is no. The answer should also be no if the person had any connection with the supply of class A drugs. Paragraph (a) is designed to prevent compensation in circumstances where the person has a connection with misuse, causing a nuisance or supplying drugs.