Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill committee stage: day six

17 June 2011

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill finished its committee stage – detailed examination – in the House of Lords on Thursday 16 June. Amendments discussed covered clauses 120-123, 125-127, 129, 130, 132, 135,136, 140, 142-146, 148, 149, 152-155 and 158 of the Bill.

The Bill will begin its report stage in the House of Lords – further line by line examination of the Bill – on Wednesday 29 June. 

Day five

Amendments discussed on Thursday 9 June covered clauses 79-84, 86, 97, 98, 103, 104, 106, 110-114, 116 and schedules 11, 12, 14-16 of the Bill.

Day four

Members of the Lords agreed without voting to clauses 9 to 73 and schedules 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Further information

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill covers five policy areas:

Police accountability and governance: This part of the Bill deals with police reform to improve local accountability. It makes provisions to abolish Police Authorities and replace them with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners for each police force outside London and replaces the Metropolitan Police Authority with the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, to be run by the Mayor of London.

Alcohol licensing: These provisions aim to address issues of alcohol-related violence. Among the provisions are amendments to the Licensing Act 2003 to give the police and local authorities stronger powers to remove or refuse to grant licenses to premises that are causing problems.

Regulation of protests around Parliament Square: This part of the Bill will repeal Sections 132- 38 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, which concern demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament and give the police new powers to prevent encampments and the use of amplified noise equipment.

Misuse of drugs: These provisions amend the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, introducing a new power for the Home Secretary to temporarily ban drugs. It also amends the constitution of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to allow the membership of people with wide, recent experience of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry and chemistry and persons with wide and recent experience of social problems connected with the misuse of drugs.

Arrest warrants in respect of private prosecutions for universal jurisdiction offences: This part of the Bill aims to prevent the courts being used for political purposes. It introduces a new requirement for private prosecutors to obtain the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions prior to the issue of an arrest warrant for ‘universal jurisdiction’ offences such as war crimes or torture.  

The Bill completed all its stages in the House of Commons on 18 February and had its first reading in the House of Lords on 1 April.

Baroness Helen Newlove, the Government Champion for Active Safer Communities, made her maiden speech in the House of Lords during the second reading of the Bill.

Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a Bill takes place during committee stage. Any Member of the Lords can take part.

Select committee reports on the Bill

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill has been the subject of reports by the Lords Constitution Committee published 6 May and the Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, published 4 May.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) also published a report on the Bill on 10 May.

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