Results 181–200 of 627 for speaker:Sarah Dines

Written Answers — Home Office: Gender Based Violence: Crime Prevention (30 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: The Government is committed to ensuring that women and girls both are and feel safe on our streets. We have supported Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP’s Protection from Sex-Based Harassment in Public Bill, which has been passed by the House of Commons. This provides that if someone commits an offence under section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986 (intentional harassment, alarm or distress) and does so...

Written Answers — Home Office: Car Washes: Regulation (30 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: The Government takes reports of labour exploitation and illegal working practices very seriously, including in the car wash sector. We remain committed to tackling modern slavery and will take full and robust enforcement action in such cases across all sectors. The Home Office and enforcement bodies (such as the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority) have supported industry initiatives in...

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair] (29 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: I shall do my best. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Betts. I am very grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone) for securing this debate. As he made abundantly clear, he has a long-standing interest in this issue and has done a lot of work on it over the past decade. I welcome this opportunity to respond, and I will address as many of the points...

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair] (29 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: I will make a little progress. I will mention at this point that I listened carefully to the hon. Member for Champion—[Interruption.] Sorry, the hon. Member for Rotherham (Sarah Champion)—I will be reminded about that later by my hon. Friend the Member for Rother Valley (Alexander Stafford). The hon. Lady has done some hard work on this subject, and I took a clear note of what she said....

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair] (29 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: The hon. Lady makes an important point. It is exactly about the pull factor, and not necessarily just because of gender-specific professions or exploitation, such as cannabis farms or the sexual arena. We must be careful about the pull factor; when he was giving evidence yesterday, the Prime Minister said that the pull factor is a big factor and we must be careful. When concerns are...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for this important question. I also offer my thanks to the Children’s Commissioner for her report: it raises a number of concerns, which we take extremely seriously. The Government are, of course, considering the findings fully, and we expect the police to do so too. This is an important and emotive topic and, as with all areas of policing, it is right that we...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: I thank the hon. Lady for her submissions. It is important to note that while very occasionally a child as young as eight has been strip searched—[Interruption.] May I just clarify this? It is important to note that 95% of searches carried out are of males and 75% are of 16 to 17-year-olds, and that something illegal is found in about half the cases. On the request for the Home Secretary to...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: My right hon. Friend is entirely right. There are serious and important safeguarding reasons behind this, which is why it is important that the PACE codes are adhered to. Young people are often exploited by criminal gangs who recruit them to transport drugs in intimate body cavities, and we need to identify and stop that. It is shocking that about half the children who are searched have such...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: The Government and I very much welcome this report. There is, of course, opportunity for change and improvement, and we must do better for our children, but I do not accept the general proposition that the Government are doing nothing, as the hon. Lady suggests. That is simply not the case. There has been ground-leading engagement recently. Since the case of Child Q came to light, the Home...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. I know she works incredibly hard on this issue in her constituency. There are important reasons why strip search has to be used on some occasions. It is a tool that must be used proportionately, and it has to be in the police’s armoury when dealing with criminal gangs. This is a safeguarding issue, too, and not only a pure policing issue. We need to...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: The right hon. Lady raises an important issue. As I have previously said at the Dispatch Box, the education and training of police officers is vital and more needs to be done. That is why the Government are engaging with the College of Policing to improve education in this regard. Obviously, there is also local mentoring, but the right hon. Lady is right that better scrutiny is needed, which...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: My hon. Friend raises an important point. Of course, PACE code C says there must be an appropriate adult present unless the specific exceptions I set out earlier are met. The PACE powers are quite onerous, and it is right that, when the state does something so intrusive to a child, or indeed an adult, the PACE code must be adhered to. Where the Children’s Commissioner has found the police...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: It would be alarming if a Government accepted recommendations within hours of a report; we need there to be proper understanding and consideration. After looking at the three basic recommendations, I am concerned that Opposition Members seek to inflame local policing by emphasising, for example, the strip and search of an eight-year-old, when there have been in excess of 2,500 such strip...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: With the greatest of respect, I do not accept that I have downplayed the seriousness of this issue; it is very serious. The Government received the report on Monday. Today is Tuesday. Proper consideration is the basis of good government; there is no need for knee-jerk reactions. The Government are working very hard and will continue to do so. It would be damaging to jump in on the Child Q...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: With respect, I have not used the word “wokeification”—[Interruption.] I will be corrected if I have. The adultification of any child, regardless of colour or sex, is not acceptable. That is why we have code C of PACE to protect and safeguard children. It is not right or acceptable that any person—child or adult—is strip searched because of their ethnicity, and adultification is not...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: As I mentioned, collecting data is fundamental. Initially, that will be on a voluntary basis, but the Government are working with forces and the National Police Chiefs’ Council to improve data collection in future years. Such information will be part of our annual statistical bulletin. It is important that we have proper evidence and data, so the hon. Lady is right to want that. The...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: If the Northern Ireland statistics put forward by the hon. Gentleman are accurate—I am sure they are, as he has done the research—they are shocking and concerning. I am therefore very happy to say that, in the absence of the Assembly, I will speak to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to see what more can be done. These are draconian powers; the police need them in circumstances...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: Children must be safeguarded, and treated fairly and lawfully, which is why it is important to have a full view of what is happening. It is important to look at the statistics in context. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, a child should not be strip searched without an appropriate adult and without a parent being informed. That is the law and those are the rules, and the police must...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: As the hon. Lady knows, the Home Secretary is looking at these issues at pace. It is clear from Baroness Casey’s review and recent cases across England and Wales that such behaviour, including instances of racism, misogyny, homophobia, are completely unacceptable, and I have been clear that standards must improve as a matter of urgency. The hon. Lady is right that policing is built on trust...

Strip Searching of Children (28 Mar 2023)

Sarah Dines: I am disappointed that the hon. Lady does not think that my tone is appropriate. Strip searches are very serious. They have to be lawful and they have to be carried out in the most appropriate way, with the least amount of trauma. There is much research on this, which the Children’s Commissioner has looked at very carefully, and so will the Government. I can give a commitment that the...


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