Clause 2

Part of Emergency Workers (Protection) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 26th April 2006.

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Photo of Fiona Mactaggart Fiona Mactaggart Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) 2:30 pm, 26th April 2006

We covered the critical issues relevant to this group of amendments in an earlier debate. The provision will create a new offence covering ambulance and lifeboat crews and coastguards and—it will probably help Committee members if I reassure them on this point—it will be an anchor for early interventions using some of the tools that I referred to on Second Reading, such as acceptable behaviour contracts and so on.

Simplifying the clause by means of the phrase “without reasonable excuse” will enable us to get something we all want—success in prosecutions. One of our initial anxieties about the structure of the original Bill was that it was relatively laborious. Unfortunately, we have found that legislation of that kind can be an unintended barrier to success in pursuing prosecutions.