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Clause 4 - Relationships between NCA and other agencies: tasking etc

Part of Crime and Courts Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 24th January 2013.

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Photo of Jeremy Browne Jeremy Browne The Minister of State, Home Department 12:45 pm, 24th January 2013

No, I am not able to provide that guarantee for the reason I just explained, which is that the numbers without context may be misleading. If extra context is provided, that may be operationally sensitive. The fact that tasking is being done on a more routine, or more  frequent, basis is illustrative of the priorities of the National Crime Agency or could be deemed to be such, so there are sensitivities.

I had hoped that the hon. Gentleman and other Opposition Members would be reassured by the point that I made a moment ago, because of their concerns about whether police and crime commissioners are playing a role. I said that the director general will be required to notify the relevant police and crime commissioner and the Home Secretary if he or she issues a direction to a police force to perform a task or to provide assistance.

The information will be known by the directly elected police and crime commissioner. He or she may or may not choose to share that information; that would probably depend on its nature. The Home Secretary is answerable to Parliament, and she will be able to justify the actions that have been taken by bodies for which she is responsible to Parliament and the directly elected Members who constitute Parliament.