Clause 17 - Inspections

Part of Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 11 January 2005.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 5:15, 11 January 2005

I beg to move amendment No. 88, in clause 17, page 9, line 37, leave out 'jointly by HMIC and'.

The amendment deals with the arrangements for Scotland where there is an inspection of SOCA's activities conducted entirely in Scotland. The provisions of subsection (3) require that:

''Any inspection under this section must be carried out jointly by HMIC and the Scottish inspectors . . . if it is carried out wholly in Scotland, or . . . in a case where it is carried out partly in Scotland, to the extent that it is carried out there.''

If this is to be a joint affair, I can see no justification for the inspectors in Scotland not to be wholly responsible for what takes place in Scotland. Indeed, it is an extraordinary extension of the powers of HIMC for England and Wales that it should have any responsibility for activities that take place wholly in Scotland. It is therefore much more appropriate that the reference to ''jointly by HMIC'' should be left out of the arrangement. It is quite clear that HMIC and the Scottish inspectors will co-operate to a very great extent in their inspection regimes for SOCA, and it is quite appropriate that both should be involved when an inspection covers both England and Scotland, but it   is entirely inappropriate that HMIC should expressly be involved in inspection arrangements for matters that take place entirely in Scotland under Scottish law with constables who are trained, as we are told, to Scottish legal requirements. I do not believe that HMIC has a locus in such matters, which is the basis on which I propose the amendment.