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Clause 4

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 29th April 2008.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Liberal Democrat, Somerton and Frome 11:45 am, 29th April 2008

I entirely support the intention of the two amendments in the names of the hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield and the hon. Member for Newark. I agree, however, that amendment No. 81 would increase the time available to a constable, in normal practice, to make his record, which cannot be the proper intention. I am grateful to the hon. and learned Gentleman for accepting that. As the Bill says, it should be done,

“as soon as is reasonably practicable”, but it might be sensible to have an outer limit as to what is reasonably practicable, for the avoidance of doubt. Having said that, I am worried that any time limit will be interpreted as a prescription for how long it should be, rather than as an outer limit. Therefore, it would be more helpful for the Minister to indicate his expectation in terms of police practice, and his interpretation of “reasonably practicable” in such circumstances.