New clause 17 - Entry by warrant

Gangmasters (Licensing) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 28th April 2004.

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'(1) If a justice of the peace is satisfied by written information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for an enforcement officer to enter relevant premises for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been any contravention of section (Prohibition of unlicensed activities) (prohibition of unlicensed activities), and is also satisfied—

(a) that admission to the premises has been refused, or that a refusal is expected, and (in either case) that notice of the intention to apply for a warrant has been given to the occupier,

(b) that an application for admission, or the giving of such a notice, would defeat the object of the entry,

(c) that the case is one of extreme urgency, or

(d) that the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is temporarily absent,

the justice may issue a warrant authorising the enforcement officer to enter the premises, if necessary using reasonable force.

(2) An enforcement officer entering any premises by virtue of a warrant under this section may—

(a) take with him when he enters those premises such other persons and such other equipment as he considers necessary,

(b) carry out on those premises such inspections and examinations as he considers necessary for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been any contravention of section (Prohibition of unlicensed activities), and

(c) take possession of any book, document, data, record (in whatever form it is held) or product which is on the premises and retain it for as long as he considers necessary for that purpose.

(3) On leaving any premises which an enforcement officer is authorised to enter by a warrant under this section, that officer shall, if the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is temporarily absent, leave the premises as effectively secured against trespassers as he found them.

(4) Where by virtue of subsection (2)(c) an enforcement officer takes possession of any item, he shall leave on the premises from which the item was removed a statement giving particulars of what he has taken and stating that he has taken possession of it.

(5) In the application of this section to Scotland—

(a) the reference to a justice of the peace being satisfied by written information on oath, shall be read as a reference to a sheriff or a justice of the peace being satisfied; and

(b) ''the justice'' shall be read as a reference to the sheriff, or as the case may be, to the justice.'.—[Jim Sheridan.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.