Protection of Freedoms: Report stage day two update

Enter Alt text here.
07 February 2012

Lords votes to restrict power of entry without prior agreement from the occupier in Protection of Freedoms Bill on Monday 6 February.

Lords voted on two amendments to powers of entry rules with one government loss and one win.

Lord Marlesford (Conservative) moved amendment 37ZA on powers of entry to safeguard people from intrusion. 'The first amendment makes the main point that powers of entry should be used only by agreement with the occupier of premises or with a magistrate's warrant.'

The house agreed by 206 votes to 194 to the amendment. Following the division on the house Lord Marlesford moved supporting Amendment 37ZB and 37ZC which were agreed to without a vote. 

Amendment 37ZB 'allows for exceptions where it is obviously necessary to continue with routine inspections and checks without notice being given'  and 37ZC details specific areas that will not be affected for example where trading standards, the police and security services, protection of children and vulnerable adults is concerned.

Lord Rosser (Labour) moved Amendment 37A on powers of entry to address metal theft and to provide police with powers to enter and inspect 'suspected scrap metal dealer premises, and any metal and records kept on the premises, as well as powers to close down dealerships should those premises be suspected of being used for knowingly handled stolen material.'

The house voted by 195 to 201 to disagree to the amendment to Clause 41. 

Protection of Freedom: Key areas

  • Brings in a new framework for police retention of fingerprints and DNA data, and requires schools to get parents’ consent before processing children’s biometric information.
  • Introduces a code of practice for surveillance camera systems and provides for judicial approval of certain surveillance activities by local authorities.
  • Provides for a code of practice to cover officials’ powers of entry, with these powers being subject to review and repeal.
  • Outlaws wheel-clamping on private land.
  • Introduces a new regime for police stops and searches under the Terrorism Act 2000 and reduces the maximum pre-charge detention period under that Act from 28 to 14 days.
  • Restricts the scope of the 'vetting and barring' scheme for protecting vulnerable groups and makes changes to the system of criminal records checks.
  • Enables those with convictions for consensual sexual relations between men aged 16 or over (which have since been decriminalised) to apply to have them disregarded.
  • Extends Freedom of Information rights by requiring datasets to be available in a re-usable format.
  • Repeals provisions (never brought into force) which would have allowed trial without a jury in complex fraud cases.
  • Removes time restrictions on when marriage or civil partnership ceremonies may take place.

Catch up on the Protection of Freedom Bill

What is the report stage?

Report stage in the chamber gives all members of the Lords further opportunity to consider all amendments (proposals for change) to a bill. It usually starts at least 14 days after committee stage. It can be spread over several days (but usually fewer days than at committee stage).

Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a bill takes place during report stage.

Before report stage takes place

  • The day before report stage starts, amendments are published in a Marshalled List – in which all the amendments are placed in order.
  • On the day, amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a list (“groupings of amendments”) is published.

What happens at report stage?

  • Detailed line by line examination of the bill continues.
  • Votes can take place and any member can take part.

After report stage - third reading

  • If the bill is amended it is reprinted to include all the agreed amendments.
  • The bill moves to third reading for the final chance for the Lords to debate and amend the bill.
  • More about third reading.

Further information

Find out more about watching House of Lords debates.

Image: iStockphoto

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, House of Lords news, Lords news, Bill news, Crime, civil law, justice and rights

Share this page