Clause 13

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 31st October 2006.

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Application to police forces

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General

I beg to move amendment No. 143, in page 9, line 12, leave out paragraph (g).

This is a probing amendment. Clause 13(3)(g) refers to

“a member of a police force seconded to the Serious Organised Crime Agency or the National Policing Improvement Agency to serve as a member of its staff is to be treated as employed by that Agency.”

I should be grateful if the Minister would confirm that the Serious Organised Crime Agency would, as an agency, be treated as a public authority for the purposes of the Bill and therefore be subject to the duties placed upon it, subject to clauses 3 and 4?

Photo of Ann McKechin Ann McKechin Labour, Glasgow North

I would be grateful if the Minister would clarify whether special constables in Scotland are covered by this proposal or whether they are already covered in the legislation applicable to Scotland only, which is referred to in the clause, namely the Police (Scotland) Act 1967?

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I thank the hon. Member for Beaconsfield for his probing amendment and the question from my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, North (Ann McKechin). Both the Serious Organised Crime Agency and, once it has been established, the National Policing Improvement Agency, can have two categories of people working for them, employees and seconded staff. Police officers who are seconded on a temporary basis should be treated as employees of the agency in question for the purpose of the offence. This is because such secondments can be for a substantial length of time and the organisation, which to all intents and purposes should owe an employer’s duty, will be that agency.

Although under clause 3(1)(a), an organisation is already covered by the offence in relation to persons other than employees who work for the organisation, clarity is best served by making it explicit that police officers seconded to the agency are treated as their employees. I hope that the hon. Gentleman is satisfied that paragraph (g) is necessary and that he will withdraw his amendment. My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, North is correct that the special constables in Scotland are covered by this Bill.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General

I am completely satisfied and, with the Committee’s permission, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 13 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 14 ordered to stand part of the Bill.