Clause 30

Serious Crime Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 3 July 2007.

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Bodies corporate including limited liability partnerships

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)

In asking the Committee to support the clause, I hope that it will be helpful if I respond to the hon. Member for Hornchurch who asked, in reference to “a person” under clause 26, about orders against corporate bodies. I had promised to return to that issue this afternoon.

If a body corporate is given a serious crime prevention order—as set out in clause 30 and other clauses—it will be capable of being prosecuted for breach if it does not comply with the terms of the order. Therefore, the reference to “a person” under clause 26 includes not only an individual, but a body corporate, a partnership and an unincorporated association.

However, the hon. Gentleman was also interested in the position of officers or employees of a company. For example, clause 32—as does clauses 31—provides that, if an offence under clause 26 is committed by a body corporate, with the consent or connivance of an officer of the body corporate or a person purporting to act in that capacity, the officer as well as the body corporate is guilty of the offence under clause 26 and is liable to be prosecuted. In that context, “officer” means a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer. There are similar provisions in relation to partnerships and unincorporated associations in clause 31(8) and clause 32(7) respectively. I hope that that answers the hon. Gentleman’s question.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

I welcome you to the Chair, Mr. Benton, and I express my pleasure at serving under you in this Committee. I thank the Minister for that response and the clarification in relation to the role of officers in that context, which is helpful. I may have one or two further questions about unincorporated associations with which I hope he will be able to assist me when we get to that clause.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 30 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 31 ordered to stand part of the Bill.