Schedule 1 - Terrorism prevention and investigation measures

Part of Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 28th June 2011.

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Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Labour, Wythenshawe and Sale East 12:45 pm, 28th June 2011

It is a pleasure to follow the hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham, who made it clear at the outset that he was thinking carefully about the issues. His speech demonstrates that he is doing that, and I am sure that he will continue to do so.

It is important that the Committee should recognise the case that my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford and Eccles was making. It was not that every relocation condition that has been applied to every control order in the past would be necessary in the future, with a TPIM regime with additional resources. I am not even sure whether she would stand or fall in relation to the CD case, given the additional resources, because the Security Service and the police might want to make a different assessment and might come to a different conclusion. The point that my right hon. Friend was making, and the power of her argument, was that to close off the possibility of ever imposing a relocation condition would be to deprive the Home Secretary of an important weapon, or tool—call it what we will—in the kit bag for dealing with the threat posed by that small number of dangerous people. My right hon. Friend made a strong case.

I want to speak about a small number of amendments, starting with amendment 1, which would affect the definition of “appropriate locality”. The “specified residence” must be in the “appropriate locality” and paragraph 1(4) of schedule 1 states that that is a locality in which the suspect’s own residence is located, or, if they have no residence, where they have a connection. If they have neither, it can be any locality that is judged appropriate by the Home Secretary. I want to add a fourth element to that, so that notwithstanding the fact that an individual might have a residence in or a connection with a locality, if the Home Secretary were to judge that there would be so severe a threat to the public if that individual stayed there that it could not be justified, she would have the power to appoint another locality, where the individual would have to reside.

I do not say that the Home Secretary should in every case go first to that fourth condition. I think that there should be a hierarchy, as it is set out in the Bill, and that that would be improved by my amendment. The Home Secretary should start by giving consideration to the individual’s own residence. That should be the starting point, and if the risk can be contained while the individual is living there, he should live there. The next consideration, if that is not possible, would be a locality where there was a connection, and so on, working through the hierarchy. However, to remove the opportunity for the  Home Secretary to place an individual in another locality, where they have no residence or connection, on the ground of national security and the public safety, would be a retrograde step.

I repeat that every time a condition is loosened the risk is increased. The risk is countered or mitigated with extra resources, but it is not possible to be sure that it has been completely returned to its level under the control order regime.