Schedule 5 - Persons specified for the purposes of section 74

Part of Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 13 January 2005.

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Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) 3:00, 13 January 2005

We share the hon. Gentleman's concerns. He raised the issue on Second Reading and we had a discussion about it earlier today. We are happy to address those concerns to ensure that persons to whom a disclosure notice has been given are covered by the witness protection provisions. However, the phrase

''whether or not information supplied by that person has been or might be used in legal proceedings'' could lead to confusion. It does not fit well with clauses 56, 65 and 66, because it is not a statutory requirement for the issue of notices under those clauses that the person has supplied information.

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will accept the reasons that I have outlined. I agree to his amendment in principle, and if he will withdraw it, I shall table my own amendments on Report to address the concerns that he and others have expressed.

Government amendments Nos. 52 and 56 are an attempt to ensure that we leave out no one we think should be protected.