Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill Debate

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Department: Home Office
Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Portrait Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville (LD)
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My Lords, I will speak briefly to Motion A1. I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, on his introduction and support his amendment. Organised food crime costs billions and the police have far more urgent priorities to deal with. Food-borne illnesses cost money in lost earnings and even in some cases result in death. In the current food shortage scenario, it is open season for the unscrupulous to take advantage and exploit the public by producing and selling adulterated food that is not fit for human consumption. They avoid prosecution while the police are completely overstretched. This amendment would assist the FSA to act to prevent future food scandals. I fully support the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, and urge the Government to accept this very sensible amendment.

Lord Paddick Portrait Lord Paddick (LD)
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My Lords, we support Motion A1 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Rooker. Compared with other important issues that the House is considering today, it is a relatively minor one. None the less, it will save no time if we abstain, so if the noble Lord divides the House, we will support him.

On Motion J, although the repeal of the Vagrancy Act is very welcome and something for which Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for many years, it is unfortunate that the Government are still insisting on delaying the repeal of the outdated and unnecessary Act until replacement legislation is in place, as we believe that existing alternative legislation is sufficient. Unlike the noble Lord, Lord Young of Cookham, I heard the Minister say that the Government will commence, not conclude, repeal in 18 months—I wrote it down. If I am right and the noble Lord is wrong, can the Minister tell us how long it will take to repeal the Act in its entirety?

On Motion L, serious violence reduction orders will allow the police to stop and search people without any suspicion that those targeted have anything on them at the time they are stopped and searched that they should not have in their possession. It is another form of stop and search without suspicion, which is notorious for being ineffective. It is even less effective at finding weapons than stop and search based on suspicion and it is disproportionately focused on black people, even compared with stop and search based on suspicion. As a consequence, it is notorious for the damage that it causes to the relationships between the police and the communities they are supposed to help. The Government’s own impact assessment shows that these measures will disproportionately impact black communities and fly in the face of the Government’s response to the report by the independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

The police need to work together with communities suffering serious violence to build trust and confidence and to demonstrate that they are on the side of the community—not using powers disproportionately against it, as these new powers, by the Government’s own admission, will continue to do. Even Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services says that the disproportionate use of powers against certain communities is “undermining police legitimacy”.

Like the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Manchester, we have concerns. We believe that serious violence reduction orders are likely to make serious violence worse, as they further alienate the very communities the police need to co-operate with to identify the perpetrators. However, we have reluctantly agreed to see how SVROs, arguably a manifesto commitment, work in practice in a limited number of pilot areas. We supported an amendment in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, on Report that would have strengthened the proposed pilot evaluation and prevented SVROs from being introduced beyond the pilot phase until a report on the pilot had been laid before Parliament and both Houses had agreed to the rollout.

The Minister has given assurances that the pilot will be independently evaluated and that the Government will not continue with the scheme if it proves, as we suspect, to be ineffective or counterproductive. The evaluation must include crime reduction outcomes and community impact assessments. Given those reassurances and the Government’s strengthening of the pilot evaluation, we have agreed with the noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, not to insist on her amendments, but we will be watching the pilots very carefully and listening to the communities affected, whose trust and confidence in the police is essential if knife crime is to be tackled effectively.

Lord Rosser Portrait Lord Rosser (Lab)
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There are three issues in this group and I wish to say something about all of them. Starting with Motion A1, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Sharpe of Epsom, for sending me a copy of his letter of 22 February to my noble friend Lord Rooker on Lords Amendment 58, which relates to the Food Standards Agency. As the letter says, the amendment gives powers available to the police under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to the National Food Crime Unit of the Food Standards Agency. However, the Commons disagreed with the amendment, giving this reason:

“Because it is premature to confer new search and seizure powers on the Food Standards Agency until the accompanying accountability arrangements, including in respect of the handling of complaints about the exercise of such powers, have been determined.”

Yet Lords Amendment 58 does not lay down a specific date or timescale by which powers available to the police under PACE have to be given to the National Food Crime Unit. It simply says:

“The Secretary of State may by regulations apply any provisions of this Act to investigation of offences conducted by officers of the National Food Crime Unit in respect of search and seizure.”

If I am right, the Commons reason suggests that the Commons and the Government never actually read the terms of Lords Amendment 58. That is surprising, since the letter from the Minister to my noble friend Lord Rooker states that

“the Government agrees in principle that these powers should be conferred upon NFCU officers in order to support their vital work tackling food crime.”

There is no argument about whether the powers should be given, but simply over when they should be given. Lords Amendment 58 would give the statutory authority to the Secretary of State to give those powers but leaves it up to the Secretary of State to decide when the time is right. So what is the problem with the amendment?

The letter from the Minister goes on to say:

“Food crime is a very serious issue and empowering the NFCU to investigate these offences independently will ensure that their specialist knowledge is put to best use and that the burden on police forces is reduced”.

Yet the Commons and the Government have disagreed the amendment. The Minister goes on to say that

“further work is required to fully work through the implications of these proposals to ensure that any exercise of police powers by a non-police body is necessary, proportionate and legitimate and that suitable governance and accountability arrangements will be in place”,


“For these reasons we have tabled a motion to disagree with Lords amendment 58”.

But Lords Amendment 58 does not say that the Secretary of State has to do it; it would simply give the Secretary of State the necessary statutory power to do it if and when the Secretary of State so wishes, which is the point being made by my noble friend Lord Rooker. Frankly, the Government really are struggling to think of a credible argument why Lords Amendment 58 should not be accepted.

The powers currently available to the Food Standards Agency under food law relate to the enforcement of regulatory matters. The NFCU investigates cases of serious crime, often involving offences such as fraud. However, the FSA’s existing powers do not sufficiently equip the NFCU to investigate these crimes fully and lawfully, and to collect evidence to the higher standard needed to prove criminal intent, without the support of partners in the hard-pressed environments of policing or local authorities.

As part of the FSA, the NFCU already has access to sensitive law enforcement powers around directed surveillance, securing communications data and the management of convert human intelligence sources. But NFCU officers have not yet been given essential investigatory powers, including the power to apply to courts for warrants to search premises and seize evidence, or to interview suspects without police officers present. The unit has to rely on the support of partners, including the police forces, to carry out these activities. This means that the courts are not hearing from the experts familiar with the cases, which can increase the likelihood that warrants are not authorised.

As I understand it, competing demands on police time have led to delays in several NFCU investigations. At present, the NFCU needs the police to go to court and swear warrants on its behalf, so investigations are delayed if the police decline or take time to do so, or if the court refuses to authorise the warrant, which is more likely if the person swearing it cannot answer questions about the case. The NFCU also needs the police to be present when warrants are executed, which can lead to delays in the unit being able to carry out searches or seize critical evidence if the police have other priorities. As I understand it, the evidence seized then needs to be taken into police custody before it can be transferred to the NFCU. These issues can and do create delay, which is a problem in running a live investigation and trying to gather evidence before it is moved or destroyed.

I understand that NFCU investigations have been impacted by all the issues to which I have referred. I am also advised that the FSA’s view is that these additional powers are essential to enable the National Food Crime Unit to properly investigate and pursue complex food crime cases. As has been said, this was also identified as a gap in its systems to keep food safe in the independent review by Professor Elliott in I think 2014 following the horsemeat scandal.

In the Commons debate on this Lords amendment, the Minister said that the chairman of the Food Standards Agency had written to the Minister for Crime and Policing on 11 August 2021, expressing concern that the existing powers of the National Food Crime Unit were insufficient for their purpose. The Minister responded in October by expressing support for the request and indicating the Home Office’s intent to work with the NFCU to find a suitable legislative vehicle.

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Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, for his comments and to all noble Lords who participated in this short debate. I will try to reassure the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, that we fully recognise the need to make quick progress with the consultation on extending Police and Criminal Evidence Act powers to the Food Standards Agency and then to introduce the necessary legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The noble Lord very properly pushed me on a credible argument for this. I refer back to one of the paragraphs in my opening remarks: we specifically need to work with the National Food Crime Unit, the Independent Office for Police Conduct and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services on establishing a formal independent oversight framework for the NFCU’s exercise of these powers and the potential for the NFCU to be brought under their respective jurisdictions. The noble Lord referred to gangmasters; that is what happened with the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority. That is likely to require other legislative changes in addition to those provided for in Amendment 58. The issue is one of linked legislation. I have no doubt that the noble Lord will monitor this closely and I will ensure that he is kept informed of all developments. I hope that, on that basis, he will not press his Motion A1.

My noble friend Lord Young of Cookham asked about our commitment to commencing the repeal of the Vagrancy Act just as soon as we have consulted on and legislated for replacement legislation. The noble Lords, Lord Paddick and Lord Rosser, asked me precisely when. Perhaps it would help to clarify this if I read out what the Minister said in the Commons:

“On the undertaking that I was asked to give about the Vagrancy Act, let me say that 18 months is a maximum. If we can act faster, we will, but intensive work will obviously be required to get us there.”—[Official Report, Commons, 28/2/22; col. 855.]

My noble friend Lord Young asked about the consultation. All I can say is that it will take place this spring.

The noble Lord, Lord Rosser, quite rightly asked why the House will not necessarily have a debate on the SVRO pilot. We have done this because, subject to the Bill receiving Royal Assent, we expect the pilot to take two years, having started in early 2023. It will then take some two or three months to complete the evaluation. That timetable firmly takes us beyond the life of this Parliament. I hope that the noble Lord understands that it would not be right for me to commit a future Government or Chief Whip to provide parliamentary time to a debate on the report of the pilot. That is not within my gift or anyone’s gift. But we have said that in principle we endorse the case that has been made for such a debate and we understand the concerns. Therefore, we commit to sending all noble Lords the terms of reference for the independent evaluation of the pilot once they have been finalised and to lay a copy of those in the Library of the House.

In conclusion, I hope that, in the light of the Commons amendments in lieu providing clarity in the Bill on the matters to be addressed through the pilot and the observations about affording this House the opportunity to debate the pilot report, the noble Lord, and indeed the whole House, will support Motion L when we come to it.

Lord Paddick Portrait Lord Paddick (LD)
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I am still confused, despite what the noble Lord read from Commons Hansard. There will be consultation and replacement legislation, but will the repeal start in 18 months’ time or will the Vagrancy Act in its entirety be repealed in a maximum of 18 months? I am still not sure.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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I go back to the statement that I just read: 18 months is a maximum for this issue to be resolved.

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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con)
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My Lords, in moving Motion B, with the leave of the House, I will also speak to Motion M. Amendment 70, originally tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede, and passed by this House on Report, would require the Secretary of State to

“establish a review into the prevalence of, and the response of the criminal justice system to, the offence of administering a substance with intent under section 61 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003”.

As I have made clear previously, the Government share that concern about spiking, whether it is spiking of drinks or by needles, which has prompted this amendment and we are taking the issue very seriously.

In September last year, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary asked the National Police Chiefs’ Council to review urgently the extent and scale of the issue of needle spiking. We still have much to learn, as the noble Lord acknowledged at the time, but it is clear from what the police have told us that the behaviour is not exclusively carried out with the intention of perpetrating a sexual assault. Sometimes, financial crime might be a motivation. Indeed, many reported incidents do not appear to be linked to any secondary offending at all. It seems that sometimes the act might be an end in itself, yet all examples of this behaviour are serious in their impact on the victim and in the fear and anxiety felt more widely by those seeking simply to enjoy a night out.

It is also clear that we need a response that goes beyond the criminal justice system and encompasses health, education and the night-time economy. In the Commons, therefore, the Government tabled Amendment 70A in lieu, which is drafted more broadly. It requires the Home Secretary to prepare a report on the nature and prevalence of “spiking”—which, for these purposes, we are defining as

“intentionally administering a substance to someone without their consent and with the intention of causing them harm.”

The report will also set out the steps that the Government have taken or intend to take to address it. The Home Secretary will be required to publish the report, and lay it before Parliament, within 12 months of Royal Assent.

I hope that this addresses the concerns that underpinned the amendment tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, but in a way that enables the Government to consider the issue in the round. In addition, the Government are looking at whether creating a new offence specifically of spiking would help the police and courts to tackle the issue. If we need to take action to do this, we will not hesitate to do so.

Amendments 141 and 142 provide for bespoke new offences to tackle so-called sex for rent. We are very clear that exploitation through sex for rent has no place in society and we understand the motivation behind the amendments. However, as I previously explained, there are two existing offences in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 that can be, and have been, used to successfully prosecute this practice, including the Section 52 offence of causing or inciting prostitution for gain. We recognise the need to stamp out this terrible practice and support those at risk of exploitation. Again, on Report I set out some of the actions that we have already taken, including producing updated guidance for prosecutors and measures in the forthcoming online safety Bill to tackle harmful content on the internet.

We recognise that we need to go further. We are determined to act on the concerns that have been raised on this issue, both in your Lordships’ House and in the other place. Accordingly, we will launch a public consultation before the summer to invite views on the issue of sex for rent and, as part of this, we will look at the effectiveness of existing legislation and whether there is a case for a bespoke criminal offence. Following our commitment to undertake a consultation on this issue, the Commons disagreed with the Lords amendment by a majority of over 100.

All sides of the House share the heartfelt desire of the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, to do more to tackle spiking and sex for rent. We are fully committed to doing so. We will publish a report on the nature and prevalence of spiking and the actions that we are taking in response, including consideration of the case for a bespoke offence, and we will be consulting before the summer on the issue of sex for rent. In the light of these clear commitments, I invite the House to agree Motions B and M. I beg to move.

Lord Paddick Portrait Lord Paddick (LD)
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My Lords, the amendments in this group were introduced by the Official Opposition and we supported them. We welcome the Government’s undertakings in Amendment 70A in Motion B to prepare and publish a report on spiking, for example of drinks, intentionally and without a person’s consent and with the intention of causing harm, so as to establish the extent of the problem and therefore to inform what measures need to be taken to address it.

We also welcome the Government’s commitment to undertake a consultation on whether the existing law in respect of requiring or arranging sexual relations as a condition of accommodation—so-called sex for rent—needs to be strengthened. The prevalence of the phenomenon and the lack of prosecutions under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which the Government believe covers these scenarios, indicate that such action is likely to be necessary. We are grateful to the Official Opposition, particularly to the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede, for raising these important issues and securing government action to address them.

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I respectfully commend the noble Lord, Lord German, for raising this issue and ensuring that it was fully debated by both Houses. I am particularly grateful to him and the noble Lord, Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames. He is not in his place, but I thank both noble Lords for their sustained engagement with me and my officials on the issue, which I and my officials have found extremely helpful. However, for the reasons set out, I respectfully invite the House not to insist on Amendment 107 and invite the House to agree Motion C and, in due course, Motion K. I beg to move.
Lord Paddick Portrait Lord Paddick (LD)
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My Lords, in relation to Motion C, one of the main recommendations of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel, led by the noble Baroness, Lady O’Loan, was for the police to be subject to a statutory duty of candour, as has been introduced into the National Health Service, and Lords Amendment 71 sought to establish that. The Government with their Amendment 71A, in Motion C, claim that police officers are already under a duty to co-operate during investigations, inquiries and formal proceedings and that it would be premature to add such a provision pending further consideration by the Government.

The provision to which the Minister referred makes a lack of candour a matter for police misconduct proceedings, except in the most serious cases where a complaint is made by someone who is not a member of a police force and who is directly affected by the conduct. Whether a police misconduct investigation is held, or misconduct proceedings are brought, is a matter for the relevant chief constable of the police force concerned.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services has today published a report in which it describes the Metropolitan Police’s approach to tackling corruption as “not fit for purpose”. Publishing the report, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, Matt Parr, said:

“It is unacceptable that 35 years after Daniel Morgan’s murder, the Metropolitan Police has not done enough to ensure its failings from that investigation cannot be repeated. In fact, we found no evidence that someone, somewhere, had adopted the view that this must never happen again.”

That is why we need a statutory duty of candour. In the case of the issues covered by the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel, there was systemic and institutional withholding of information by the police sanctioned at the highest level. Arguably, the current Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, who as an assistant commissioner decided to withhold essential information from the panel, would have had to order an investigation into herself under the provisions that the Minister is relying on.

The provision that the Government are relying on is not fit for purpose in the circumstances of police cover-ups, even when there is a member of a police force who is a whistleblower, because the whistleblower is a member of the police force and cannot bring a complaint against his or her own force. However, work is ongoing by the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster and the family of Daniel Morgan to ensure that a comprehensive, effective and legally binding duty of candour is imposed on all public institutions. Therefore, we have reluctantly decided not to insist on Lords Amendment 71.

In relation to Motion K, we are grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Wolfson, for clarifying that there is no legal barrier to local authorities setting up and running academies and for the Government’s acknowledgement of the important role that local authorities have played in the past in running secure accommodation for young offenders.

Lord Rosser Portrait Lord Rosser (Lab)
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There are, as has been said, two issues here, the duty of candour and secure academies. I note what the Minister said on the duty of candour and must say that our views are rather more in line with those just expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Paddick. One might think it rather odd, particularly at the present time when trust in the police appears to be at such a low level, that the Government and the Commons decided to disagree with such an amendment, but it is their prerogative to do so.

As the Minister said, this issue is not going to be dropped. There are people within Parliament, including ourselves, and people outside Parliament, to whom reference has been made, who intend to pursue the issue of a duty of candour. I think I am right in saying that the Minister referred to the fact that the Government would further consider the position—indeed, that is given as a reason for disagreeing—and that they would come up with conclusions later this year. While indicating that we intend to pursue the issue, we will, with some reluctance, leave this in that context. It is certainly not going to be pushed to one side now. It will be pursued and we will wait to see what conclusions the Government come up with later this year. The issue of trust in the police is a serious matter and I know the Government agree. We need to make sure that the mechanism is in place to improve the levels of trust that currently seem to exist.

On secure academies, the Government and the Commons have disagreed the amendment from the noble Lord, Lord German, which would put explicitly in the Bill that local authorities can establish and maintain secure academies. The aim of the amendment was to put beyond doubt that applications from local authorities to run secure academies would be welcomed and would be considered on their merit, on a level playing field with other providers.

The Government’s response has been that there is no legal barrier to local authorities setting up an entity that could enter into an academy arrangement with the Secretary of State, so there is not a legal barrier to them establishing a secure academy. The Government said that the Ministry of Justice

“will assess in detail the potential role of local authorities in running this new form of provision, before we invite applications to run any future secure schools.”—[Official Report, Commons, 28/2/22; col. 803.]

The Minister also made that point.

Our response in the Commons was that this does not go far enough. We argued that local authorities have the expertise needed to run services and provide care for vulnerable children with a high level of need in a secure environment and that the Government should widen the pool of expertise that providers bring and ensure that local authorities are explicitly brought into the fold when planning for secure academies.

We recognise that the Government have committed to look at the involvement of local authorities in providing secure academies before any new applications are invited, so we will now deal with and pursue this issue outside of the Bill. However, we strongly support the noble Lord, Lord German, in saying that what is needed, and what we will keep calling on Ministers to deliver, is, frankly, not vague statements that a local authority could provide a secure academy but a proactive change to bring the expertise that local authorities have into that pool of providers.

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Baroness Bertin Portrait Baroness Bertin (Con)
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My Lords, I support the amendment and thank the noble Lord, Lord Russell of Liverpool, for all his support on this issue. I say to the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy of The Shaws: “What a powerful speech”.

I particularly want to reiterate the points made about police recording. I am really quite depressed that this amendment has had to be laid—depressed as a Conservative Peer, because I have been so heartened by the commitment that this Government have shown on the issue of violence against women and girls. But at the moment, on the issue of misogyny—it exists, it is there and is corrosive; it is huge, if you ask me—there is a lack of grip. There has also been a lack of leadership and accountability, in particular on the issue of recording, and that really matters.

It matters because we should not make promises at the Dispatch Box and not keep them. That picks away at the faith and trust we have in our democracy. I do not wish to make too big a point out of this, but it is important and we do notice it. It also matters because it helps victims to have much more faith in the system; it gives them confidence. We have heard that from chief constables who have voluntarily taken this approach on board. It matters because it helps them do their job as well. It helps them target their resources, understand where the repeat perpetrators are, and target the culture within their own police forces—which, as we know, is a huge problem.

I hope that noble Lords will support the amendment, as I will. It really matters. Misogyny exists, it is corrosive and it needs to be tackled, and this is a very thoughtful and reasonable approach.

Lord Paddick Portrait Lord Paddick (LD)
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My Lords, I rise with some trepidation as the first man to speak in the debate—sorry, after the noble Lord, Lord Russell, of course, the proposer of the Motion. Something seriously needs to be done about misogyny in society, as the noble Baronesses said. I think it was the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy of The Shaws, who said that misogyny is not hatred of women. My understanding is that it is hatred of women who are not subservient to men and who do not allow men to do what they want because they can, because they are stronger or because they think they can get away with it.

I have to say that I do not understand the Law Commission’s assessment that having misogyny as an aggravating factor would undermine the investigation and prosecution of things such as domestic abuse and sexual violence. Racism is treated as an aggravating factor by the courts, yet black victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence are not disadvantaged by having racism as an aggravating factor. So why should women be disadvantaged were misogyny to be an aggravating factor? Perhaps the Minister can answer that question.

I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy of The Shaws, that we must deal with misogyny in terms of the actions that have a detrimental impact on women—not the thought but the deed, not the prejudice but the discrimination against women.

Amendment 72B in Motion D1 would create a new offence of harassment or intimidation aggravated by hostility towards sex or gender, where the maximum penalty for the new offence is the same as the offence, under Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986, of intentional harassment, alarm or distress without any aggravating factor. So there is an issue there.

There is a crisis of misogyny in society in general and in the police service in particular. Urgent, decisive action needs to be taken, notwithstanding the Law Commission’s findings. Creating a new offence, as suggested by the noble Lord, Lord Russell of Liverpool, in the form and with the penalties suggested might not be the right answer, but it is a vehicle to allow the Government to come forward with a better alternative using the Bill. We do not know when the next legislative opportunity will arise and we need to force the Government to take action now.

This urgency is reinforced by the fact that, as the noble Lord, Lord Russell of Liverpool, said, the undertakings given by the Government when we last debated this issue during the passage of the Domestic Abuse Bill—now an Act—to ensure that all police forces flag offences aggravated by hostility towards sex or gender do not appear to be happening. Even if the Government are not convinced that legislative change is needed, surely they must deliver on their commitment to ensure that the nature and extent of the problem of misogyny in society is measured by the recording of such offences by the police. Surely the Government must understand why police forces might be reluctant to record misogyny as a hate crime when there is clear evidence of a culture of misogyny in police forces. That is why they should be compelled to do so by the Government.

I am concerned that the Government, encouraged by the Law Commission, are going into reverse on the issue of misogyny, betraying women who suffer every day from male violence. If for no other reason, we should support Motion D1 and Amendment 72B.

Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Portrait Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede (Lab)
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My Lords, this has been an extraordinary debate in many ways. It has really gone to the heart of the issue. I pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Russell, in the way he moved his amendment.

I will start by addressing a specific point that the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, made about the way sentencing is done in courts. I speak as a magistrate who sits in London. When I sentence on a matter where there is racism as part of the sentence, I explicitly have to say in court what the uplift is because of the racist element. However, when there are other aggravating factors, be they misogyny or any other factor, such as the fact that the victim works in a public-facing way, I am not required to do that, but I can if I wish to. That is a very specific example of the difference in the way sentences deal with particular different types of aggravating factors.