Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 13 May 2008.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Liberal Democrat, Somerton and Frome 11:30, 13 May 2008

My brief question also relates to clause 52, which sets out offences relating to notification. The offence, of course, is failure without reasonable excuse to comply with initial notification as outlined in clause 44. Presumably, that offence is triggered by any failure to comply with any part of clause 44, and what worries me—it is a perfectly simple concern—is subsection (2)(b), the national insurance number. I can see that it is entirely possible for a person to comply in every respect with clause 44—to appear at the police station within the three-day period, give their date of birth and home address, which they know, and all the other details which they know, but they may not know their national insurance number. They may thus not be able to comply with clause 44.

There is no requirement to know one’s national insurance number; it is helpful if one does, but there are circumstances in which people do not know or perhaps have never been allocated one, or have been allocated two, which is sometimes the case. As the offence is non-compliance, it worries me that the compliance is absolute in terms of the whole provision, yet one element is not necessarily in the control of the individual to whom the notification order applies.