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Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001

Registration for criminal records purposes

376.These amendments are concerned with additional provisions in relation to persons applying for registration with the Criminal Records Bureau under Part 5 of the Police Act 1997.

Section 129: Requirement to give reasons for granting or continuing bail.

377.This section amends section 5 of the Bail Act 1976, which makes certain procedural provisions relating to bail decisions. At present, courts are required to give reasons when refusing bail but not, save in the most serious cases (e.g. murder and rape), to give reasons for granting it. The section adds a requirement that, wherever a magistrates’ court or the Crown Court grants bail to a person to whom section 4 of the Bail Act 1976 applies, the court must give reasons for its decision in any case where the prosecutor makes representations against the granting of bail on any conditions. It also requires the court to give the prosecutor, on request, a copy of the note of the reasons for its decision.

Section 130: Remands and committals to secure accommodation etc

378.There are two versions of section 23 of the 1969 Act as amended by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The principal version deals with all juveniles aged 12-14 and also 15 and 16 year old girls. The modified version (which was introduced by section 98 of the 1998 Act) deals just with 15 and 16 year old boys.

379.Subsections (2) –(4) amend the principal version of section 23 of the 1969 Act. This will enable courts, in addition to their current powers, to remand into custody any juvenile aged 12-14 years and any 15-16 year old girl, who is charged with or who has been convicted of one or more imprisonable offences which would amount, in the court’s opinion, to a recent history of repeatedly committing imprisonable offences while remanded on bail or to local authority accommodation.

380.The provision repeats the existing condition that the court must also be satisfied that only a secure remand-rather than bail or remand to non-secure accommodation-will protect the public from serious harm from him or her. It also adds an alternative condition that the court be satisfied that only a secure remand would be adequate to prevent the commission of further imprisonable offences by the young person.

381.It also requires the court to consider all the possible options before making any decision as to whether to remand the young person to secure accommodation. These options include unconditional bail, bail with conditions and supervised bail.

382.Subsections (5)- (7) amend the modified version of section 23 of the 1969 Act which applies to 15 and 16 year old boys in exactly the same way.

Section 131: Monitoring of compliance with bail conditions

383.Subsection (1) adds a new subsection (6ZAA) to section 3 of the Bail Act 1976. This gives the court the power to impose electronic monitoring on 12-16 year olds to ensure compliance with bail conditions.

384.Subsection (2) adds a new section (3AA) to the 1976 Act. Subsections (2) – (5) of section 3AA set out the conditions which must be satisfied before a court can order electronic monitoring. These are that:

  • the alleged offender would otherwise be eligible for remand with a security requirement.

  • the Secretary of State must have notified the court that appropriate arrangements for electronic monitoring are available.

  • the local youth offending team must have advised the court that electronic monitoring is suitable in the particular case.

385.Subsections (6-10) of new section 3AA deal with the arrangements for electronic monitoring and the associated powers of the Secretary of State. They give the Secretary of State the power to make an order designating certain individuals as responsible officers for the supervision of electronic monitoring. They also require the court to appoint a responsible officer in each case where it orders electronic monitoring. In addition, they allow the Secretary of State to make rules regulating electronic monitoring and the functions of responsible officers.

386.Subsection (4) of section 131 provides that electronic monitoring is only available to the courts. It is not available in cases of police bail.

Section 132: Monitoring of compliance with conditions of non-secure remand

387.This section deals with the electronic monitoring of 12-16 year olds who are remanded to local authority accommodation. The provisions are exactly the same as those in section 131 for the electronic monitoring of juveniles on bail.

Section 133: Arrangements for detention in secure training centres

388.This section allows local authorities to arrange for 12-16 year olds who are remanded by the courts to local authority secure accommodation under section 23 of the 1969 Act to be placed in secure training centres at the request of the local authority with the consent of the Secretary of State. It also provides that any payments made by the local authority for this purpose are lawful.

Section 134: Registration for criminal records purposes

389.Under Part 5 of the Police Act 1997, persons will be able to apply for a certificate, at one of three levels. Certificates will show information held about the applicant on police records and also, in the case of persons working with young people under the age of 18, or with vulnerable adults, information from lists held by the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Employment of people considered unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults. Applications for the two higher levels of certificates will need to be countersigned by a person who is registered for that purpose. This section makes additional provision with regard to people applying for such registration.

390.Subsection (1) introduces a new section 120A into the Police Act 1997.

  • Section 120A(1) empowers the Secretary of State (in practice, the Criminal Records Bureau acting on behalf of the Secretary of State) to refuse to register a person if it is considered that registration is likely to result in information becoming available to someone who is considered unsuitable to have access.

  • Section 120A(2) further empowers the Secretary of State to remove from the register a person whose registration is likely to make it possible for information to become available to someone who is considered unsuitable, or where that person’s registration has resulted in information becoming known to someone unsuitable.

  • Section 120A(3) provides that, in reaching a decision to refuse registration, or to remove someone from the register, the Secretary of State may have regard to pertinent information, including information from the lists held by the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Employment, or information supplied by the police.

  • Section 120A(4) imposes a duty on the police to respond as soon as practicable to a request for information.

391.Subsection (2) makes three changes to section 119 of the 1997 Act:

  • By paragraph (a), there is a new requirement in section 119(1) of the Act for the police to make information available from police records in relation to registration matters.

  • By paragraph (b), a new subsection (1A) to section 119 requires information to be made available from lists held by the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Employment.

  • Paragraph (c) extends the current requirement in section 119(3) for payment to be made to the police for information provided, to registration matters.

392.Subsection (3) makes the duty to include persons in the register, under section 120(2) of the 1997 Act, subject to the new section 120A.

393.Subsection (4) amends section 120(3) of the 1997 Act so that regulations about the maintenance of the register may also provide for

  • the nomination of persons authorised to act on behalf of a body in countersigning applications (paragraph (aa)); and

  • refusal to accept, or to continue to accept, the nomination of such a person (paragraph (ab)).

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