Clause 21

Part of Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 18th January 2007.

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Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office 1:45 pm, 18th January 2007

It is important to recognise a couple of things. First, members of Her Majesty’s forces do not have a power of arrest, which we seek to provide them with under limited circumstances. Secondly, I ask the Committee to consider a situation in which a member of Her Majesty’s forces is dealing with explosives that have been found. The Army has the expertise to deal with a threat from explosives by defusing them and so on. The Army could be called urgently to a road closure or some other scenario. They might be the only people in the area; they might get there before the police; or they might be there because they are the only people who are safe to be there. If   they came across somebody whom they suspected of being involved in the commission of the offence of laying explosives, they would need to have the power to arrest that individual. After the Terrorism Act 2000 is repealed, they will not have that power—